Just under 250 cars rumbling out of Goodwood last weekend. In amongst the K11 Micras and 1st generation Fiat Pandas we spotted some true gems. The sort of car where every kilometre is a triumph. The sort of car which beats a Suzuki Jimny even by reaching the start line.
Cross Border Smugglers Reliant Robin
The turning circle of a battleship, tendancy to roll and woeful engineering make the plastic pig the worst car ever to do the Mongol Rally.
In 2011 we actually had one reach the finish line but it took a pair of mechanics and a mountain of spare parts to see it through.
Adventure for Dementia
Three things you can say about the Ligier. It has two forward gears (slow and nearly backwards), you don't need a licence to drive one (allegedly), and it has an engine displacement of less than a pint of beer.
There's only one way this thing will get to the finish line. Slowly. Or perhaps on the back of a lorry.
2 Tees Please
In 1968 '2001: A Space Odyssey' was released, Martin Luther King was shot and Kyle Minogue was born. More importantly this little beauty rolled off the production line in Oxford.
A lot has happened in the 47 years since she first hit the road but it's what happens to her in the next 4 weeks that we'll be watching.
2 Stroke Rocket
Engine of just over half a litre, ridiculous 2 stroke engine and comes from a country that no longer exists (East Germany). There's a lot to say about this little turd.
You don't tend to find 2 stroke cars for a good reason; they're underpowered, uneconomical and they smoke like a cuban grandma. What's not to love?
Famously 2CVs have suspension designed to carry a basket off eggs across a freshly ploughed field. Which is of course, perfect for the roads of Mongolia & Kazakhstan.
Before you start to wonder if that makes it too easy, note that the 600cc engine only delivers 2 Horse Powers (CV is an abbreviation of the French Chaveux innit?)
OMJ (One Man's Junk)
On first examination the scamp is the perfect vehicle for cross country overland travel; it's light, rugged and easy to fix. Sadly they've got no ground clearance, terrible build quality and no power.
There's a reason you'll see a lot of pictures of Mikey & Peter under the bonnet of this little blighter.
The Brazil Nuts
This French marvel boasts hydraulic suspension and brakes. Technology so far ahead of its time in 1981 that they doesn't really work at all.
It's not like you need suspension or brakes on the Mongol Rally though is it?
For Those About to Yak
Custom VW Beetle
I wasn't going to add this one, but it seems this ridiculously-pimped stretch Vee-Dub is really popular.
By the standards of the American boys driving her the 1.3l engine is really tiny, and the fact that Beetles fare really badly on the Mongol Rally, so we'll leave it in.