11,063kms, 10 Countries, 3 Continents, in old Mini

Ready to go – the intrepid pair set off on their adventure. Picture: functionphotos.net

AT noon on Sunday May 22nd, Nicky West and Rob Stacey were waved off by celebrity chef, Jean Christophe Novelli, as they departed from Hatfield House to begin their incredible journey.
Driving across Europe and North Africa, the intrepid pair are seeking out all that remains of the Wonders of the Ancient World before reaching the only remaining example, the Pyramid of Cheops.
Nicky and Rob are making the run to support the Willow Foundation charity which helps young people afflicted with terrible illnesses to live their dreams or to take a break from treatment to be with their loved ones. Nicky and Rob hope that their arduous journey, without a support crew, will raise £11,000 for the Willow foundation.
An eBay purchase, mysteriously the Cherry Red 1961 Mini had been off the road since 1967 although the only obvious fault with the engine was a leaking hose and crossed sparkplug wires. Although carefully prepared for the journey, the car is unrestored and original. However, this is an 850cc model, so that Pyramid is quite a goal!
In 2012, Veloce will be publishing the book ‘Mini Minor to Asia Minor’ covering the journey in detail and packed with photos. 40% of the royalties earned by the book will go to the Willow Foundation.
“It is going to be a really hard slog,” admitted Nicky. “The Mini has no air conditioning and we’ll spend over 10 hours in the car each day with temperatures around 40◦C, so we should certainly come back a bit thinner! The political situation in some of the countries we travel through is a slight concern at present but we have a number of alternative routes already planned should we need to make a diversion”.
“At the end of the day it should be a fantastic drive and it’s for a really great cause” Rob added.