A few months back some friends and I were throwing around the idea of going away with one another for a week in the summer. However, despite the appeal of a sun soaked week in some place where the locals talk funny, we decided to embark on a holiday with a difference which begins in just a few hours. We’re calling our adventure, ‘4 lads, one crap car!’

When we first discussed the idea of spending a week with one another in the summer we quickly decided upon a road trip. Being the stuff of many a good tale we agreed that a road trip would be far more amusing than some alcohol-fueled binge drinkathon in the company of lobster skinned Brits hell bent of soaking up every last sunbeam their wages bought them.

Somewhere along the way it was decided that while we could embark on a roadtrip in any of our own vehicles, or even something like a rented RV, it would be far more entertaining and challenging to find an old banger. Inspired perhaps by tales of similar adventures I’ve embarked on in haggard old bangers, we pretty soon decided that the budget for our vehicle was to be no more than £100 – on the road, and completely legal. This alone would present us with a formidable task.

The four of us are myself, Jon Price, Gavin Cree, and Fozwaldo the Great (aka Gareth Griffiths) then decided to drive north into Scotland and as far north as our wheels would take us. To make life that bit more interesting we also decided not to allow ourselves the relative ease and luxury of using motorways as we head northward.

Our mission is to get to the most Northerly points of John O’Groats and Dunnet Head in Scotland, whereupon the four of us will crack open bottles of cheap champagne and spray them like winning race drivers in what will almost certainly be a bracingly harsh and bone chilling Scottish cross wind.

Along the way we plan to stop and see at least a few of the sights, and hopefully a whisky distillery or two. Aside these most lax of plans that are little more than mere ideas we have prepared no plans or provisions, no overnight accommodation, and only the guidance of a crap map to take us North.

Our crap car

Less then a week away from the beginning of our adventure we still had no wheels. Our budget of £100 was looking like it might have to be significantly revised. The government’s ‘cash for clunkers’ scheme (whereby old cars are worth £2000 traded in against a new car) was making finding impossibly cheap road-legal cars extremely difficult to acquire. However, at the last minute I was able to find the perfect chariot for our cross-border crunchy credit cruise.

A British-built Rover 420 2.0 litre diesel with a disfunctional starter motor. The car trader described the vehicle as “very tatty” and “needing a push start to go anywhere.” It’s taxed until the end of the month and has an M.O.T safety certificate good for another 4 months. For just £100 it was perfect!

In actual fact, when Gav and I went to collect the car we found that it was far more comfortable than either of us had imagined. With electric windows, a sunroof, and even a stereo (disfunctional), this car was positively feature rich.

The discovery of organic matter growing on one of the front wheel arches, and a worrying fluid leak coming from somewhere around the engine, lead us to believe that the car won’t be entirely without its quirks. However, I’ve driven far worse (such as the Datsun I that could only turn right which I had to drive across London, or the Ford Escort that would only start when struck with a milk bottle), so I am confident that we will be able to make adjustments to suit out ‘new’ car’s needs.

Unlike a similar adventure I embarked on some nineteen years ago in an old Lada Riva with my friend, Mark Dawe, this roadtrip will be digitally documented such is the modern age we live in. You will be able to follow us on Twitter as we negotiate the wilds of Scotland and the joys of a week in the British summer. Point your browser to twitter.com/4lads1crapcar to keep up with us and our adventures and possible misadventures throughout this week.

I’ll make a follow up post upon my return. But for now, wish us luck!

Follow us this week on Twitter