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Around the world in a mini truck

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

  1. LAZ 1

    LAZ 1 New Member

    Sounds like a real good time and a really great place to work.

    I've been looking into the Mongol Rally myself .... maybe next year . If I did it, I'd probably pick up a Daihatsu Hijet 4X4 in England, where the motors are 1000 CC.

    My 92 Hijet 4X4, with the 660 CC and a 4 spd, is licensed in BC, Canada, and is my daily driver. Top speed is 108 Kph, but comfortable cruising speed is around 90 - 100 Kph. Long trips in my Hijet are OK, but I repeatedly keep reaching for the shift lever, hoping that a 5th gear will magically appear. And, going over a mountain [ or even a serious molehill ] is definitely a third gear type of thing.

    If you can make it around the world in one of these, you should qualify for some type of award from the Guiness book of records.
    good luck

    LAZ 1
  2. kargador

    kargador New Member

    sounds like fun, good luck! :D
  3. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    Well, it looks like we are close to filling our sponsorship slots. If anyone has been thinking about it, please make decision soon, or there won't be any slots left on the van!

    We have one main sponsor (tba) from Canada. We're looking for US sponsors too!
  4. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    team photo

    I tried to post a photo here but couldn't. So, here's the attachment. I'm the goofy looking one with the hockey jersey.
    From left to right: Anderson, Steve, Joel, Elmer. Missing, Shawn Smith (lives in Toronto and couldn't make it to Nagoya for the photo shoot. In the background is the Subaru Sambar 5speed Super Charger van we're driving. Yes, that's the van!

    The other photo is of us trying to lift the front. We had if off the ground for a few seconds. I wasn't really helping...didn't want to do out my back.

    We're still waiting on some sponsors. Get in now before the door closes!

    We're shipping out the van in a couple of weeks. The colour is going to change to a yellow-orange, like the Land Rover Camel Trophy Rally colour. We have a Land Rover in our yard and I love that truck (originally bought for me, but not driving it---its a gas pig). We're in the last phase of equipment buying and installing new parts. On May 22, we load a container and send it out for Southampton for it to arrive on July3. The rally starts on July 19 in Hyde Park in London.

    We figure it'll be 4 weeks to Mongolia, and another 10 days to Vladivostok Russia to take the ferry to Japan. I figure we'll start the North American leg in late September. Anyone want me to visit their dealership? You'll have to be a sponsor!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 9, 2008
  5. Colin

    Colin Member

    Very nice. :D
  6. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    Finally, the truck is painted and we're putting the final touches on it to send out on June 6.

    Still waiting on sponsors. Space on the truck is still available. In fact, we haven't had any firm commitments yet, so the top sponsorship is still available. Lots of interest, but dollars yet!

    We're waiting on our Japanese international license. We've made the roll-bar and are in the process of replacing the clutch. Got an extra battery, power converter (for the guys to use their computers), 1 set of highway tires and 1 set of off-road tires, a stereo with CD (I think they want to change it again so they can listen to an iPod. We're going tomorrow to buy the camping gear. My brother Shawn, who starts driving with Joel from London, sent a good list of gear to bring.

    The route has been made. by Elmer. In fact, Elmer had to make the list of cities and countries so we could get the international license. I don't know why we needed to give that info, but at least we now know where we're going!

    Elmer has created a blog. Please check out http://minivanmongolrally.wordpress.com/ for the latest news.

    The staff held a fund raising event called "Crossing Borders" on Saturday and raised most of the money needed for the Mongol Rally charities (2000bucks). Over 120 people showed up, and there were lots of bands playing an assortment of styles of music. Everything from a retro-80's band to Japanese Shamisan (Japanese old-style guitar). We featured the newly-painted Rally Van and I stood outside most of the night talking to guests about the Rally, Mongoila, and why a bunch of people like us are doing this crazy journey. Too bad we didn't have sponsors to talk about...
  7. Jce's Excellent Adventure

    Hey Steve,We spoke briefly about this I'd like to sponser if not too late
  8. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    The truck as left Japan! Flights have been booked and we're finally realizing this is going to happen!
  9. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    If you can donate to our charity, we'd appreciate it.

    HI all,

    Well, now is the time to go hat-in-hand asking for fellow minitrucktalk folks to donate to the charity we're supporting.

    Please go to the sponsorship page at http://www.hopeglobalchallenge.com/participants.asp?id=70 . Any amount would be great. If you're in Canada or the US you'll be issued a tax receipt for the donation. Imagine that, doing something good and not paying tax on it!

    Pledges aren't paid until the end, so if we fail, you don't pay!

    Really need your help to build that school for boys and girls in a remote area of Afganistan where girls have never had a chance for an education. Your dollars gives the chance for a child to get an education. And, the school will have a solar panel and accompanying water well. So, its eco-friendly too (like our mini trucks).

    Also, any donation means we'll write your name on the van and it'll go around the world with us! Cool!

    Thanks for your support.
  10. Subaru

    Subaru Member

    Can I donate using PAYPAL?
    ounds like a worthy cause Steve and JCE:)
  11. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    You can go to the link I provided and then you can later pay by credit card. So, its as easy as that.

    Like I mentioned, Hope International will only as for the donation when we complete the rally.

    Thanks for your support Subaru!
  12. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

  13. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    The guys are enroute to England now!
  14. gumballf355

    gumballf355 Member

    Do you guys have a list of everything you're bringing? Gas cans? Water? Toilet paper??!
  15. Subaru

    Subaru Member

    Good to hear Steve.
    Its nice when things start to progress and the fun begins:D

    Keep us all informed
  16. Colin

    Colin Member

    Take lots of pictures and video! :D
  17. Stuff99

    Stuff99 Moderator Staff Member

    it is almost time!
  18. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    To all people who can get CBC tv (in Canada and border of US).

    Team Smaller is Better will be featured on CBC news this weekend!!!!!!

    Well, thanks to my brother Shawn, who is my co-driver for the North American leg, team "Smaller is Better" will be on CBC news this weekend!!!!!! CBC arranged for a camera crew to interview Joel and Elmer in London (I called them today and they had already met up with the camera man). Shawn will be in the Toronto studio to talk with the news anchor about the rally, our mission and such. VERY EXCITING!!!

    So, if you have a chance, it'll be on the weekend edition of the CBC news. Shawn will be at the studio from noon, but I don't know when it'll air. Perhaps the noon news or 5-6pm news? Anyhow, if you have a chance, please do tune in!!!
  19. Stuff99

    Stuff99 Moderator Staff Member

    someone better youtube that news episode!!
  20. Subaru

    Subaru Member

    Sure wish I could get CBC
    that you tube thing is a good idea;)
  21. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    It was on and will be repeated this weekend.

    CBC News: Today: Weekend Edition

    I heard it went well.
  22. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    Hey all,

    Check out the latest news in our blog. The guys are about to hit the Russian border. Had some issues with the van, and the blog has some great stories to tell about the adventure, and the people they're meeting. I made a comment about the Bank of Transylvania ATM they were using. The machine says "I want to suck your blood" when you put in your card...then it takes your card and doesn't give it back.
  23. Colin

    Colin Member

    Cool, thanks for the update. Interesting read for sure. :D
  24. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    QUICK UPDATE from Joel via cell phone e-mail, received this morning:

    we made it through the Russian border after 7 hours. lots of waiting. we crossed just in time to hear about the Russia/Georgia conflict which is not good for us considering US-Geogian ties. They are evacuating US citizens in Georgia. Anyway, we plan to find a hotel tonight and call the embassy tomorrow to see if there if there is anything to worry about. we also have to find another mechanic. We are going though gas very quickly and a mechanic in Odessa said that it was a fuel injector issue but he didn't haue the computer to deal with it.

    We were ooly able to get 15 days of insurance for 90 USD. Hopefully we can make it to Mongolia before then. we'll try to get you updates tomorrow.
    -end quote--

    To say I'm a little worried is an understatement. So far they have had a great time, meeting locals and such. Now that war is in the area, I'm worried about them. They are traveling with another team from the US. Hopefully the police won't stop them too many times for bribes (we expect them to be stopped for no reason and have to pay bribes).
  25. Subaru

    Subaru Member


    Do keep us informed,and hopefully everything works out for the good.I will have my Sambars humm a special tune for them:D
  26. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    The guys have made it into Mongolia. The blog is really interesting. Please check it out.
  27. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    The blog was just updated. The story of the Mongol Rally vehicle graveyard is interesting. Most vehicles are in terrible shape. Our Subaru had problems before hitting Mongolia (just old parts) but seems to be holding up fine now.

    It seems like we're the only team doing it in a minivan. But, seeing some of the vehicles other teams are driving is amazing. One team is driving a London double-decker bus, another is driving an ambulance, and two nuts have a London telephone booth straped to the top of their mini cooper (and they are wearing suits all through the rally)!
  28. Acerguy

    Acerguy Moderator Staff Member

    Fantastic. What an adventure.
  29. Colin

    Colin Member

    Aye! This is great! :D
  30. kmoneil

    kmoneil Administrator Staff Member

    Great news Steven!

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