We are really pleased to take part in Shitbox Rally 2021 Autumn!! This year, all the teams are driving their shitboxes from Alice Springs to Gold Coast via the Gulf of Carpentaria. We are doing this as Cancer, in one form or another, has touched our families and that of many of our friends. We won't let it beat us. Part of the participation is that our team has to raise a minimum of $8,000 but we are aiming for $10K. These funds go to the Cancer Council and we are extremely proud to be doing our part to support such a worthy charity. The fundraising is the hard part, so any donation you can give is greatly appreciated. Please make sure to follow our progress via this page and the blog post below.
We'll be leaving the Gold Coast on 15th May to head to Alice Springs for the start of the Rally. As the Beach Boys, we could have no better a Shitbox, than Barbara Ann, our Woody Wagon, complete with an original old single fin surfboard, ready for our "Surfin Safari" across Australia!
Shitbox Rally is the adventure of a lifetime challenging participants and their cars, worth no more than $1,000, on a 7 day drive across Australia to raise money for cancer research.
The rally is not a race – it’s a fun, colourful, unpredictable adventure with participants travelling at their own pace in smaller groups. Vehicles often break down but “we never leave anyone behind” and each night is spent camping beneath the stars and celebrating the day’s achievements. It all adds up to an incredible opportunity to see Australia’s vast and beautiful countryside and make lifelong friends, many brought together after experiencing cancer themselves or seeing cancer impact family and friends.
Since it’s inception the rally has been the largest fundraiser for the Cancer Council nationally.
Well today, after an agonising search, we found a "shitbox"! Just needs a motor and a name!
Well, the car was one thing, but we need a motor as well! Found and delivered and now sitting strangely in the hole that was the engine well! Next job is to hook it all up!
Today we received a massive injection with Black Hops Brewery providing us with a $500 donation. The boys and girls at Black Hops brewery at Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast were really keen to get involved and help us achieve our target. Their beer is pretty good as well. Pity we can’t take a few slabs of samples with us on the rally, but there may well be opportunities for us all to taste the good brew when we arrive at destination Gold Coast!
Well, today was back to work on the beast! With the motor in, but not yet hooked up, we decided that it was to be brakes and fuel today. We removed the wheels, sanded back the drums (they have been sitting for 5 years!) and then got to work removing the fuel tank and emptying out the 5 year-old fuel. A new fuel pump should see us clear to finish off hooking up the motor next week. We also cleaned up the crank shaft and refitted that, put in an old battery (5 years old) and found that the electrics seem pretty good, other than the fact that the brake lights don't work.
Finished off with a couple of Black Hops beers from our support team at Black Hops Brewery.
All in all, a great day's work!
Another big day under the bonnet and under the car.
This saw us:
> drain and change the transmission, diff and engine oils;
> remove clean and replace the fuel pump;
> drain and clean, refit and refuel the fuel tank;
> reassemble and refit the fuel filter (proved a monster job);
> sand back the rear brake drums;
> remove the wheels, pick the best of a dozen tyres and paint the rims;
> replace the air filter;
> repair the windscreen washers and replace the wiper blades;
> remove the rear carpet and clean the boot.
Still a few more days to go, but we should be aiming for a roadworthy in the next week or so!
Today we got close to kicking the engine over, but a wrong size fan belt foiled our plans! Never-the-less, despite this and the 40 degree heat, we did get a fair day's work done:
> refitted the cooling pipes to where the radiator will go;
> removed a damaged headlight and replaced this (surprising how long it took us);
> replaced the hangers to the exhaust pipe system;
> painted and fitted the wheels and the spare;
> drained the fluid from the brake lines and refilled the reservoir;
> drained the transmission oil and replaced this;
Hopefully we'll get a new fan belt this week and be able to kick the engine over and then check for leaks in all the hydraulic systems!
Well, yesterday we spent 3 hours trying to put in the radiator! The original one was cactus so we had a “new” radiator from Ford but even though it was supposed to fit any ford vehicle, this one missed by millimetres and we had a wee bit of trouble. Eventually, we took to the car with a grinder and had a few sparks flying before we could get the radiator in. Having done that, we found that the fan didn’t quite seat against the radiator and then the fan belt just about beat us before slipping into place. Hope none of those need replacing along the track!
To cap it all off, we connected and filled the hydraulics and tried to kick over the engine (which refused to start!).... back to the drawing board!
After quite a few weeks of working on our "Shitbox" Barbara-Ann (get it? Beach Boys; Bar Bar Bar Barbara Ann!!) we can finally say that "THE ENGINE WORK IS ALMOST DONE!"
Today we gave the old girl a kick start and boy, what a sweet sound that engine makes! Check out the clip - turn up the sound and imagine that purring down the Rally Road!
Next Step - Roadworthy and Registration and then the very serious Fund Raising and of course the pleasurable part of turning the Shitbox into a Beach Boys wagon. Watch this space!
Well what a momentous day! We finally took Barbara-Ann out on the road! With ctp in hand, she purred like a cat! This day is the culmination of a number of weeks of work, from a car with no motor, to a prowling feline with plenty of personality!
The list of things done to the motor and fuel lines, transmission, brakes, hydraulics, exhaust system, electrics and interior! We are now almost ready for the safety certificate inspections and then Registration! Can't believe how much effort has gone into Barbara-Ann! And we need to give a massive vote of thanks to Aaron (original owner) who worked tirelessly with us to give to this point; herculean!! But isn't that what this rally is all about? It gets to you! Not just the fundraising and the getting ready to rally (though those things are really important) No; the thought that we might just make a difference to a life or two, we might make a difference to enable some research that might lead to the "end of cancer"! Yeah! Tell 'em their dreamin (but are we?)
Mark & Alan (Team Beach Boys) with Barbara Ann & Aaron (Car seller/mechanic/supervisor and all-round motor magician)
OK! Days don't come much better than this! First of all we get a massive donation from Good mates, Bev and Barry; this takes us over half way to our required fund raise of $5K. (and allows us to get official and receive our side panel Shitbox stickers for Barbara Ann!!!
Then we pass the Roadworthy for the Old Girl, (just had to blow out a few cockroach nests from the brake-hose to allow the brakes to work!
And then, we got Barbara-Ann registered to be able to drive her!!!
So, here she is with official number plates in her garage for the next couple of months while we put her lipstick on!
So, over the last couple of weeks, we've started to turn Barbara Ann into a true Woody Wagon.
Big thanks to Dick Van Straalen (one of Australia's most creative surf board shapers) for the loan of a 1950s original, single fin board.
Big thanks also to Nathan Hillier at Beaurepaires Burleigh for a wheel alignment!
We also go our Air Con gassed up from Aussie Auto Air this week which has helped enormously in the hot and humid weather we have been experiencing.
Barbara Ann will continue to morph over the next few weeks into a true Beach Boys wagon!
We're on the countdown to Rally-Readiness, with Barbara Ann getting lots of attention and pampering on the outside now. Roof gear, bling and accessories demand a lot more attention than we thought, but all worthwhile in the end.
We finally have Barbara Ann running and sounding like it's Rally -Ready! Today we got some professional phots done. Thanks a bunch, to Wayne of Wayne Sorensen Photography. Wayne has a gallery at 40 Lemana Lane, Miami and has some magic landscape photos and videos from around the Gold Coast and around the world. Well worth a visit.
We’ve had a couple of anonymous donations over the past 24 hours or so; you know who you are and we are very grateful for your support. We hope you’ll stick with us and follow progress as we wend our way from Alice to the Gold Coast. The Cancer Council has done well by this Rally and every bit helps in providing funds for that vital research. Thank you! Alan & Mark (the Beach Boys)
We’ve added a bit of bling to Barbara Ann....
Well, it’s all about to start!
Tomorrow at the crack of dawn (or just before) Barbara Ann and the Beach Boys will start to wend our way to Alice Springs for the start of the Rally.
Thanks to all of you for supporting us which has enabled us to face the challenge (without too much trepidation!!) Good Luck to the Beach Boys!
Here’s or Route!
Left home at 6.30 this morning and headed to Coonabarabran. Barbara Ann performed admirably (though a bit heavy on the gas!). We filled up at Armidale after 430kms and put 69.25 litres into the 68 litre tank!! (Obviously the spout is pretty big!!) (and obviously we need to not travel so close to the wind!!)
Coonabarabran is going down to 0 degrees tonight - not good for a couple of warm blooded Beach Boys!
An early night tonight, we thinks!
Well, Day two saw us up at dawn and heading to Wilcannia via Warren and Cobar. This is one big Country! Barbara Ann is performing well and we are getting very confident that we’ll make it to the start line in Alice (before the start!!)
We have never seen the Darling so full before - it gladdens the heart!
Shitbox Rally is a dedicated fundraising event for cancer research with funds going to Cancer Council.
Cancer Council is one of the largest non-government funders of cancer research in Australia. We conduct and fund research studies across all cancers and all stages of the cancer journey.
Thanks to the community funds raised such as Shitbox Rally we can fund world-class research that reduces the impact of cancer for everyone.
Almost $24 million has been raised by Box Rallies to date, supporting ground-breaking projects such as:
These projects wouldn’t be possible without your support.