Matlock motoring trio survive epic Euro banger rally in £500 Ghostbusters car

Mark and Lorraine Allen travelled more than 1,000 miles through seven countries in their �500 Volvo.
Mark and Lorraine Allen travelled more than 1,000 miles through seven countries in their �500 Volvo.
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An adventurous motor team from Matlock are celebrating after their £500 Ghostbusters car successfully survived a trip across Europe.

Mark Allen, his wife Lorraine and their friend Christine Foden were thrilled that their souped-up old Volvo safely completed the Monte Carlo or Bust banger rally challenge.

Mark, 60, said: “We loved every minute of it. There was some incredible scenery. We met some wonderful people and we took part in something we will never forget.

“The format is you buy an old banger and choose your own fancy dress for it -most people just use stickers but I thought we could do a bit better than that.”

Their adventure began in Namur in Belgium and then passed through Luxembourg, Freiburg in Germany, the Swiss Alps, and Lake Como in Italy before finishing in Nice.

The journey of more than 1,000 miles also passed through Monte Carlo and featured a lap of the famous Monaco Grand Prix circuit.

The team were joined on the road by dozens of other petrol heads, completing various challenges along the way.

Mark said: “There was no single highlight. Obviously the mountains are amazing, but there’s also all the silly things you do along the way, nights out, good food, fancy dress.”

“We did it for fun, and it was a good laugh from start to finish.”

Participants in the event raised over £40,000 for UK charities and despite a few breakdowns and running repairs, all 85 of the teams successfully completed the challenge.

After the challenges, all drivers rounded off the event in Nice for speeches and a presentation ceremony where Mark, Lorraine and Christine picked up the best dressed car award.

Their version of the Ghostbusters Ecto 1 will be making appearances at local carnivals, but Mark will not be risking it on everyday travel.

He said: “I have another car to use at home, but we’re signed up for another rally from Inverness to York in September, and we’re looking at one to Barcelona too.”

Organisers are already seeking new teams from across the UK to take part in next year’s event, Monte Carlo or Bust.

Further details can be found at www.bustrallies.com.