People don’t tend to like rules. They make us feel a bit boxed in and trapped. But rules can be good. Rules can open up a whole world to you. Take the Mongol Rally for example. If we didn’t have the 1000cc or less* rule then no doubt a whole flood of feckless muppets would be signing up in wanky 4x4s, SUV’s, MUV’s and god knows what else UVs. And just ask yourself, what fun are they going to have, eh?
We get a lot of requests from people who would like to bring ‘blah blah something too big’ on the Rally. Most of the time, it’s a flat no. Sometimes, it’s a straight yes. Occasionally, however, we come across one that we just can’t decide on. Probably because we’re having a moment of softness, or because the people asking have pulled at our heartstrings in just the correct way, or because they’ve bribed us with gin. It’s almost certainly the latter.
*Because people tend to believe it’s difficult to source a car 1 litre or smaller (it isn’t by the way) we do generously allow up to a 1.2 litre capacity on the Rally no questions asked. If you wanted to bring anything bigger than that then you’ll need to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and plead your case.
The case we’re currently mulling over comes from Cristina in Italy, and involves her ideal Mongol Rally vehicle - this (ahem) beautiful Fiat Tempra.
This is them on the left. As you can see, there’s nothing remotely glamorous or sexy about this Fiat Tempra. It’s bulky, heavy, and has no power-steering, ABS or air-con. It’s also nearly 30 years old. So, there are, at least, some plus points to tackling the Rally in it.
Not content with simply writing to us herself however, Cristina has sculpted a whole story from the narrative of Tempra (her car), plus, the car has a nice backstory. Pasted here is our correspondence.
We’re going to put this one to the vote and let the 2019 Ralliers choose whether or not they’re going to allow Cristina et al to join us for the journey to Ulan Ude next year.
Hi there, Adventurists!
Tempra and Cristina from Bassano del Grappa (Italy) speaking!
We really wish to take part to 2019 edition of the Mongol Rally, but we
both know old faithful Tempra is too powerful according to your rules.
She has an engine displacement of 1.4, and she feels very sorry about that,
because when Fiat created her they didn’t expect Mongol Rally rules to be
that way, and when we met we had no idea we wanted to crown our long
friendship driving all the way to Ulan Ude!
As you can imagine we already made our minds about that, we are already
feeling and tasting everything that can happen during those 16000 km, and
we are girls, imagine how disappointed we can be if it doesn’t happen.
And imagine also how hard it could be to tell my cousin and a friend of
mine who are supposed to come with me that this summer they will be free to
go wherever they want, but not to Mongolia. At least not with me and
We want to plead our cause, in the hope you can get over the fact that she
is too powerful and strong, but she embodies all that The Adventurist and
Mongol Rally is about.
If you don’t believe me, read our story, direct from Tempra…
“In 1991 a ruinous accident destroyed Cristina’s mother’s 1973 orange
Volkswagen Beetle :(
Cristina was just 8 years old and her parents decided to go for a more
spacious and modern car (!).
They chose me, a 1400 SW Fiat Tempra born in 1990.
Fun fact: Tempra in Italian means hardening, temper and it’s a feminine
Well, I was the car that took Cristina to her first piano lesson, brought
her to the seaside along with Ulisse, the dog she received for her first
holy communion, and which took her to school until she got 18 years old.
Then, one lucky day, as soon as Cristina got her brand new drivers license,
her parents decided to give me a new owner.
And That person was - guess – Cristina!
Finally, for the very first time after 10 years of carrying her everywhere,
it was my turn to be driven everywhere by her.
A large, bulky, family car, not very feminine according to most people; but
together we went to our first Oktoberfest in Munich with her mother (yes
with her mother! But don’t panic, she is not coming to Mongolia!), and then
all the way though university.
Faithful companion of parties, countless nights out and several house
movings and the perfect means of transportation for fantastic animals (if
you are wondering where to find them they are still hidden in the car,
probably under the seats), I am a kind of a wheeled Mary Poppin's bag;
I never leave anything or anyone outside.
I am car that, according to some people, can only make you think about the
money you can get from scrapping incentives, but day after day I changed my
skin and lived (and still live) so many different lives, adapting myself to
new adventures, watching Cristina grow.
And after we rode so many roads together – roughly 50,000 km more and we will
reach the moon – Cristina decided it was the moment to give something back
She thinks it’s time to reward a faithful partner in crime, and to give her
the journey of her life.
And I want to do this not only for myself, but for Cristina, for a new
great friend and for her sempervirens cousin who can’t wait to travel with
me and her.
In 1991 Cristina’s parents ended up choosing a burgundy Tempra
Same colour as wine and as big as a heart should be.
Or more likely it was me that chose them.”
We wish thank you for reading this far, please let us know what do you
think about us...
So. There you have it. What do you reckon? Do you think Tempra’s story merits her and Cristina a place on the Mongol Rally in 2019, or is this just enhanced begging to try and sneak a 1.4 litre car onto the Rally? Please leave any comments in the box below.
Spots for the 2019 Mongol Rally are open now, and it’s already well over half full, so if you wanted to get in, you’d best hurry up by clicking this beautifully hand-crafted artisan button below.