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Robin Reliant challenge a nightmare for three fundraisers
A Bradford charity fundraiser and his pals have decided they took on more than they bargained after a bruising 4,600-mile drive across Europe in two Robin Reliants.
Mark Hill, 39, of Wyke , has declared ‘never again’ after a series of breakdowns left the group spending nearly as much as they raised for the cause.
Mr Hill, 39, along with Ian Forster and Nick Rahman of Liverpool, completed the 16-day trip in two 20 year-old Reliants in aid of Forget Me Not children’s hospice.
The trio, who met at university, bought the cars on auction website e-Bay and started their Robin Reliant Challenge from The Transport Museum in Manchester.
On day six on the outskirts of Stockholm, Mr Hill experienced the first problems with his car he had dubbed ‘The Bradford Flyer’ when the carburettor failed.
Mr Hill said: “We must have been to about 18 different garages. People were amazed at the car, they just hadn’t seen anything like it.
“I felt defeated. I thought I was going to have to go home, but people were really nice and tried to help us.
“We did find one garage who said they would have a look, they gave me free food and a car to drive around in while they looked at my car.
“They managed to fix the car and did it free of charge. Their kindness was overwhelming. I was almost at the point of tears.”
During the journey the group passed through 11 countries, including Estonia and Latvia. The friends devised the challenge to support the charity’s hospice in Huddersfield, which is due to extend its services.
Forget Me Not provides care and support for children suffering from life-limiting conditions and their families.
Mr Hill alone spent about £1,000 out of his own pocket completing the challenge. The group is still collecting their sponsorship money but believe they have raised between £1,500 and £2,000 for cause.
Reflecting on his journey Mr Hill added: “It was really hard; it was harder than I ever imagined, especially as I did all the driving myself because my co-driver dropped out.
“The trip was really interesting. People we passed on our journey thought I’d made the car myself. The reaction to the cars alone was just hilarious.
“I wouldn’t do it again – well, not in a Reliant Robin.”