Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Mongol Rally: The Biggest Small Car Adventure

Ever wanted to travel from the UK to Mongolia? Ever wanted to do it in a car with a 1.0-liter engine or smaller, or perhaps on a 125cc motorbike? Of course you have! Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: The Mongol Rally—the biggest small car adventure out there.

Teams use either two-wheeled transportation with 125cc engines or less, or cars/trucks/vans/tuk tuks/crap cans/death traps, etc. with engines under 1.0-liter, and drive them all the way from the UK to Mongolia (OK, technically the event ends in Ulan Ude, which is the capital of the Republic of Buryatia, Russia, but who's counting?). There's no mechanical support; no backup on the event. The finish line opens August 12 for the faster vehicles and remains open until September 12 for the slow pokes who are probably just happy to be alive after driving a shitbox across a large part of the globe. Bonus: Romanian beach party on July 22. Teams will likely have a blast the entire way (minus any dysentery) and each team must raise £1000 for charity. Sounds like an hell of a time.

Think of the scintillatingly small vehicle possibilities: Original Mini Coopers. Fiat Pandas. Suzuki Carry vans. Pit bikes. Even the Honda Grom at 124.9cc would qualify. So many opportunities for small car/bike shenanigans.

Team Spicy Wanderlust Morris Minor

And by the way, yes, we have our logo on the side of a particular Morris Minor pictured above (note the black Subcompact Culture logo on the b-pillar) which belongs to the fellas at Team Spicy Wanderlust. The team includes a chap named Ian Andrews who follows Subcompact Culture, has traveled the world, and who I had the pleasure of meeting at last month's NW Overland Rally. Other team members include Scotsman, Charlie Mackenzie, and Englishman, James Parker (see the team at 1:16 in the above video), who are undoubtedly stand-up gentlemen who have outstanding taste in classic subcompact British vehicular transportation. You can follow their adventure on Facebook.

So why is Mongol Rally awesome? Did you not read the paragraphs above? Here let me spell it out for you: Because you're traveling 10,000 miles in a super-tiny car all the way to goddamn Mongolia—that's why! Seriously, this event is a bucket list item. I bet it'd be freaking amazing. The UK, Europe, the Middle East, yaks, dirt roads, new cultures, new friends, new adventures, and you might even run across nomadic Mongols who are will thing share a succulent meal of fermented camel milk and sheep eyes. Delish! Someday, people, someday.

Still don't get it? See this 2015 Mongol Rally infographic:

Mongol Rally Infographic

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