BABE 2008 Launched -- An American Adventure

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Americas only Banger Rally is back for a fourth installment with BABE Rally 2008, that gets launched on Monday 20th October. Teams have to purchase a vehicle for less than $500 and drive it 1,500 miles from the Big Apple to the Big Easy.

Due to the overwhelming success of the previous BABE Banger Rally(1), the organisers have already begun arrangements for BABE 2008 and places are open to anyone brave enough to drive from New York to New Orleans in a $500 car over 5 days.

Organised by StreetSafari(2), the BABE (Big Apple to Big Easy) Rally brings the British concept of ‘banger rallying’ to the US. Participants can only use vehicles purchased for less than $500. They not only have to drive from New York to New Orleans in 5 days, but they also have to undertake a series of daily challenges, earning points for each challenge.

In previous years, teams had to buy the car for $250 or less, but with the increased price of scrap metal this rule has been relaxed to allow cars of $500.

StreetSafari is the company behind the original Staples2Naples rally, a popular annual challenge to get £100 cars all the way to Italy over a long weekend. Since then, the StreetSafari stable has grown, with more European banger rallies such as CzechWrecks and Home2Rome now taking
place every year. BABE is the first ever American banger rally, and was trialled in 2006 with a smaller number of teams, with great success.

Justin Clements, Director of StreetSafari explains, “Staples2Naples and our other European banger rallies have really taken off now. There has been interest from all over the world and we even had people from America coming over to England to take part. So we decided to organise an American banger rally. It took place in May this year and we had more interest than we expected, with over 100 people taking part. We held an enormous party in New Orleans on the last night and everyone vowed to come again next year. Because it was such a success, we anticipate that the places will sell out very quickly for 2008.”

The route is pretty challenging, with the first day taking the cars down to Harrisonburg, Virginia, and on to Newport, Tennessee by the end of day 2. There is an extra day being added to the 2009 adventure, and stop over points will be announced in future. The organisers set challenges along the way, including photo matching and treasure hunting. There are prizes handed out at an awards ceremony at the final night party:

1st prize (most points accrued on rally).
Worst bucket of bolts.
Most creative repair job.

Finding cheap cars in the States can be a bit more of a challenge than it is in Europe, as Justin explains, “Some states of America don’t have anything like the British MOT test, so cars stay ‘roadworthy’ for a lot longer than they do in the UK. So they hold their value a lot more. In
keeping with the spirit of banger rallying, we’ve set a maximum price which you can pay for your car of $500 for 2009, but it takes a lot of searching to find something for that price which is going to survive this tough journey, covering thousands of miles and taking in twisty, mountain roads.”

Anyone from anywhere in the world can take part in BABE 2008 – to join in the fun, you just need to sign up online from October 20th 2008 at http://www.baberally.com. It costs just $250, plus flights and hotels. After that, you just need to find a car, prepare it for the journey, and turn up at our New York rendezvous point on Wednesday, May 31st 2009, ready for the 5-day adventure of a lifetime.

Notes to editors:

1.The BABE Rally (Big Apple to Big Easy) leaves New York for
Harrisonburg, Viginia on Monday June 1st. Day 2 takes the participants to Newport, Tennessee, and then on to Alabama, for Day 3 and 4. The final leg will see participants arriving in New Orleans on Firiday June 5th for a party and awards ceremony. For more information please see
http://www.baberally.com

2.StreetSafari Ltd is the original European banger-rallying company. The original event, the infamous and highly successful Staples2Naples rally (which took contestants from Staples Corner in London to Naples in Italy) first took place in 2003 and has taken place every September
since. Due to overwhelming demand, further rallies have been introduced over the years including Home2Rome, CzechWrecks and BABE, with even more adventurous rallies planned for next year.

For further information please contact:

Justin Clements, Rally Organiser: 850-525 5574
Email: justin @ streetsafari.com
Website: http://www.baberally.com

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JUSTIN CLEMENTS
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