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Around the world in a mini truck

Discussion in 'Mini Lounge' started by steve_nagoya, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    That is true, but since we're wanting to visit our sponsors, we have to show up in something that they would sell to their clients. I think 4WD is the way to go. I don't want the team to be stranded in some huge pothole in the middle of Kazakstan or Uzbekestan and need to get a pull from a yak.

    That being said, we want to go around the world too. I just like the idea of having 4WD just in case, but Derek is right, most Mongol rally people do it in 2WD cars and they leave the cars in Mongolia. We need to finish the rally, then go through to Russia, all the way to Japan, and then bring the truck to North America. We're going a lot further, and want to have every advantage we can!

    Funny thing, last Friday we got a call from an Englishman who is submitting a proposal to some sponsors to take a brand new Land Rover around the world. I told him about our trip. What a coinsidence! His last name is also Smith too!We're going to help him get his Land Rover from Japan to Vancouver. He's going a few weeks ahead of us (not on the Mongol Rally).
  2. geoffreyr66

    geoffreyr66 Member

    I'm a little more partial to Suzuki. However with the engine in the back Subaru makes for a quieter ride. At the end of the day( and may hours) this would be desirable.
  3. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    What we should really do is take out a few on the highway and take them up to 90kph and see which is noisier. I'm sure you're right geoffreyr66, the Subaru is probably quieter.
  4. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member


    So, we've decided to go with Subaru. The main reason is that its a rear-engine so sound will be less of an issue.
  5. Colin

    Colin Member

    Good choice, 'course I'm a bit biased. :D
  6. frostback

    frostback Member

    Here's some shelter ideas, maybe on a hard tonneu or up on a rack. It's much nicer and safer not having to sleep on the ground. I sure as hell wouldn't want to try to sleep in a minitruck but I have a feeling they will. Good rest will go a long way in an epic trip like this one.

  7. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    Excellent. Funny thing, I was speaking with someone today about our design for the sleeping shelter. We're going to build something similar on the flatbed but have one of the sides extend out. The flatbed would have an upper and lower section. We'd have the tent covering the upper section.
  8. minitruck.ca

    minitruck.ca Member

    Steven Your adventure sounds like fun. I am in for sponsorship and if you need a place to stay here. Your welcome. We can arrainge media contacts and I have contacts in the Insurance Co as well. Can put you up in a place in California if need be too. Let me know.
  9. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    Thanks for that Todd.

    I missed bidding on a Subaru SC. I finally saw one and was slightly conservative on the bid. ****!

    We're planning our route and starting to work on visas now.

    In the works is a Japanese tv personality getting involved and doing a show on us.
  10. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    Update: I lost out on bidding for an Sambar SC so I've asked our parts supplier for a SC engine. May be crazy, but we'll see if it can work.

    The guys are thinking of using tents instead of building a sleeping space on the flatbed. My brother (one of the drivers to Mongolia) is going the cushy route and wants to stay in hotels. I'll make sure he pays for himself!

    We're having a design meeting on Monday and will discuss the "secret" money locations (in other words, if the team is held-up, they can give money from their pockets but will have most of their stash hidden).
  11. Acerguy

    Acerguy Moderator Staff Member

    I'd recommend reading "Adventure Capitalist" by Jim Rogers. Interesting accound of driving around the world. Goes into money hiding places and all kinds of interesting things. Good reading.
  12. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    Thanks for that. I'll order it on amazon. I'll make it manditory reading for the team!

    Update on Monday!
  13. Acerguy

    Acerguy Moderator Staff Member

    As I said, it a good read but it's really more about investing and exploring than a "how to" for this sort of travel. But might be helpful.
  14. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    So we had our design meeting and have come up with the design for the Subaru. We've decided on keeping it simple, but will shock you all with what we're going to do with it. More on that when we get the process going since we think we'll also have a market for the design.

    We've also decided on not having the truck accomodate a tent. Part of the feature of the truck is how one person can sleep in it.

    We're going to add an reserve fuel tank. We're going to strength the suspension. I want to add an extra set of headlights about the front windshield. The lights will be "built in".

    That's it for now!
  15. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    Well, we've decided on a Subaru Super Charged Automatic (I know, I know) with ECVT transmission. And, its a van rather than a truck. We decided on this because this van is totally awesome. Its fast, its smooth, and it has the ability to take a 3rd passenger. We thought it was important just in case we need to pick someone up to get directions.
    Photos to follow.
  16. unclejemima

    unclejemima Member

    Cant wait!!! Sounds awesome!!!
  17. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    Just an update:
    The mini truck is a 660cc Subaru Sambar Super Charged with ECVT transmission (a smoother ride).

    As you all know, we're starting on July 18 from London England, traveling first to Ulan Bataar Mongolia in the Mongol Rally, then on through part of China, then to Russia to catch a ferry to Japan. Then we'll ship it out to Vancouver BC, and what route from there is all up to our friends and clients. We plan on finishing in Halifax Nova Scotia (Canada) some time in late September.

    The people in the picture attached are (from l to r) Joel Hage, Steve Smith, Anderson Rocha and Shawn Smith. Joel and Shawn will start the rally in London and travel to Mongolia. Shawn will depart and Anderson will take over from Ulan Bataar to Japan. Steve will be doing the North American leg and will finish in Halifax.

    The team picture makes us look like a cheesy 70's rock band, and I love it!

    Attached Files:

  18. Gawdzuki

    Gawdzuki New Member

    The team picture makes us look like a cheesy 70's rock band, and I love it!

    The Monkeys??? :rolleyes:

    Just kidding
  19. Acerguy

    Acerguy Moderator Staff Member

    Nice. But Steve, is your head really that much bigger than the others? :p:D
  20. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    Everyone has been saying that! Its perspective...I'm in the front (front-man)! That's all...
  21. Acerguy

    Acerguy Moderator Staff Member

    Phew! That's a relief. So you're not some genetic freak...not that there's anything WRONG with that... :D
  22. dayspowersports

    dayspowersports New Member

    great ideal steve. this will help the mini to become much more respected. hope to see it in the usa. will be in touch soon.
    Rolls-royce wraith
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
  23. unclejemima

    unclejemima Member

    This is great guys!
  24. flefitz

    flefitz New Member

    Great idea, would like to see this state issue plates again for these trucks,they tried it for a couple of years and then other big interests put in their two cents,and so the state stopped letting people register for road use. many people in this state and other states use registered golf carts on the roads,with plates,however golf carts are not in the grey market and don't step on some peoples toe's ???????? exposure will be good. be a kie freek
  25. spaceagegirl

    spaceagegirl New Member

    that sounds great! is your minivan an old banger or newish?
  26. kmoneil

    kmoneil Administrator Staff Member

    Good luck on the trip!
  27. Acerguy

    Acerguy Moderator Staff Member

    Steve, any updates?
  28. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    The Subaru van will be a 1993 model.

    Some updates: we've put together a sponsor package, identified a very good NGO to support (other than the Mongol Rally NGOs) here in Japan, getting the many visas in order.

    Also, we'll be on local radio soon (in Japanese, but I'll have one of our team interpret), and we're going to be featured in a nationwide magazine called Japanzine. That's just the start!
  29. Colin

    Colin Member

    You should document your exploits on video, then release a DVD, a la IMV Films. :D
  30. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    We will be doing a video of it. Our media staff will be compiling all the video once we've finished the whole rally, including my part in North America.

    We're still looking for support to make it happen!

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