4WDrive - - Event -

THE EVENT was only sup­posed to blow the doors off, but with one hun­dred and five ve­hi­cles reg­is­ter­ing, and well over two hun­dred peo­ple con­verg­ing at the Husky truck stop in Brad­ford one cold week­end in Fe­bru­ary, the Rally of Aban­doned Ontario blew our goal clean out of the park­ing lot.

If you’ve ever watched that clas­sic movie The Ital­ian Job, (the proper 1969 ver­sion star­ring Sir Michael Caine that is) you’ll know that it fea­tures cool cars, pre­ci­sion plan­ning, team­work, awe­some driv­ing and some­thing about a rob­bery. Very much like the rally, with the ex­cep­tion of the rob­bery.

Con­ceived orig­i­nally as a fun event to get a few peo­ple out ex­plor­ing (in the dead of win­ter when the Ontario 4x4 com­mu­nity loses most of the trails to snow­mo­biles), driv­ers were to be given writ­ten clues to fifty aban­doned lo­ca­tions within a pre­de­ter­mined area. All they then had to do, was us­ing a spe­cific Back Road Map Book, plot the lo­ca­tions, plan their route and set off to dis­cover and pho­to­graph aban­doned Ontario. The pic­tures would then be up­loaded to a se­cure Drop­box ac­count for ver­i­fi­ca­tion and to de­ter­mine the ‘roll of hon­our’ once the rally was over.

The clues were posted to so­cial me­dia in the early hours of Satur­day morn­ing and those who wished to com­pete had to reg­is­ter in per­son at the Husky (as we were also ac­cept­ing do­na­tions for the Brad­ford Food Bank who re­ceived $450 plus two trunk loads of food. Thanks guys!). For two and a half hours the CORE Out­fit­ters sup­port crew mar­shalled an amaz­ing va­ri­ety of ve­hi­cles through reg­is­tra­tion process be­fore park­ing them up prior to the planned 11 am start.

Teams had trav­elled from as far afield as Sun­dridge, Wind­sor, Ni­a­gara-on-the-Lake, and even Gatineau, PQ to com­pete, and they ar­rived in ev­ery­thing from full spec over­land rigs, through stock 4x4’s, a va­ri­ety of ‘nor­mal’ cars

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