What do you get when you take a 25+ year old car on a mystery adventure through the back roads of country Australia?
Mystery Box Rally!
The Mystery Box Rally is the sister event of the Sh&*box Rally, a hugely popular event run once a year by James Freeman. James lost both of his parents to cancer, and started the Sh&*box Rally to raise money for cancer research. Entrants drive a car worth $1000 or less across some of Australia’s roughest roads, stopping only in small country towns to revive themselves and their cars along the way. This year’s rally ran from May 22nd to June 3rd, with teams driving from Adelaide to Cairns via the Oodnadatta Track and Plenty Highway (no sealed roads there!).
To be eligible to enter, teams must raise a minimum of $4000 and can come with any car worth no more than a grand (excluding rego) that is not a 4WD or AWD.
Needless to say, breakdowns are common and the organisers have a team of support cars who travel with the rally to help the broken ones get to the next town (where they can either be fixed, transported home, or destroyed). Teams are two people max, so pairs can come together if one of the cars breaks down indefinitely.
At the end of the rally, the cars that have made it are auctioned off, with all proceeds contributing to the final fundraising amount.
This year’s Sh&*box Rally raised $1.64million for cancer research – its best result ever.
The Mystery Box Rally was started for those who couldn’t get into the Sh&*box Rally due to the extensive waiting list. This year’s event will be in late November, beginning and ending in Dubbo and driving approximately 3,500km across five days. Differing from the Sh&*box Rally, the cars can be worth any amount but must be 25 years or older. Teams will have no idea where they’re driving, with each day’s route and destination given to them before they set off each morning.
Local team Darren Lloyd and Shane Whiting love the challenge and have been involved in the rallies for years. But it’s more than just fun…both have been touched by cancer and are committed to raising money and driving awareness.
“We’re just one of a handful of Canberra teams, but the spirit is amazing and it’s great to come together for an adventure and to support a worthy cause,” says Darren. “At the end of the day it’s not a race, it’s a challenge. You have these cars that aren’t great, and take them on crazy off-road adventures. We drive about 600 kilometres a day, and of course cars break down along the way. Prizes are awarded to those who raise the most money or have the most hopeless car, or demonstrate the best spirit of the rally.
“This year we’re taking the car that made it back from last year’s rally, which was donated to us by a friend of Shane’s. Same car, different paint job!”
Last month Darren and Shane were given a $500 grant as part of Curtin Community Bank® Branch’s 5th birthday celebration. The pair has added the funds to their team total which is currently almost $3,000, with a goal to reach $5000.
The top 10 fundraisers for the Mystery Box Rally will be automatically offered a spot in the coveted 2018 Sh&*box Rally.
Another Canberra team will also be holding a fundraising BBQ at Bunnings Fyshwick on Saturday 19th August.
To learn more about Canberra Community Bank® Group grants, pop into any one of their branches in Calwell, Curtin, Jerrabomberra or Wanniassa.