I’ve been to John ‘O’ Groats and back this week. A pointless journey in an apparently marginal car in a stupidly short time frame.

As it was for charity no one actually questions your sanity, but they
an question your mode of transport.

As this was an exclusively motor trade event it was packed with vehicle technicians who spend their entire lives shaking their heads, drawing breath, skinning knuckles and muttering accusingly: “Who replaced these suspension arms then chief?”

Obviously they criticised my blameless Rover Sterling reckoning that it would expire within yards in a haze of blue smoke, boiling coolant and chunks of sauteed motoring hack. How they laughed.

Well at least a Sterling is a comfortable place to be with deep leather seats, a lazy V6, CD, working air con and pretty much electric everything. It proved to be utterly magnificent, whether it was munching up the motorway miles, or negotiating the tricky Highland hairpins.

It was certainly the longest, most powerful and when new, the most expensive car on the rally. It was also one of the most reliable, as an old Land Rover expired and other cars had coolant, brake and warning light dramas.

How I laughed at the professional car fettler’s uniformly poor selections. Countless Civics, a cabal of Carinas, the inevitable Mark 1 Mondeo and an early ‘90s Astra. Plus there were several competitors, a 2001 Renault Scenic and Suzuki Vitara which can’t seriously be worth less than a grand, like they were supposed to be.

But hey, everything is being auctioned for charity and that means much more money is going to be raised.

For logistical and organisational reasons the Rover won’t make the auction so if you would like to buy my Rover for rather more than £250, with tax and test to February, contact me and I will tell you what issues the old girl has.

All money goes to BEN, which offers care and support to employees of the automotive industry and their dependants in times of need.

So I just wondered if you had been on a Banger rally and what you drove. If you haven’t what cheapo set of wheels would you choose?

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