maestro set For moNgoliaN trek
Two men and their Bulgarian-built LHD Rover prepare to raise money for charity on gruelling 16,000-mile trip
Two university students are taking their 1996 Rover Maestro to Mongolia – and hopefully back again – to raise money for charity.
Max Holder, 24, and Matt Smith, 20, are departing from Goodwood around midday this Sunday (16 July) for the 16,000-mile trip, which is expected to take up to eight weeks.
Max says: ‘It’s something I’ve wanted to do for the past seven years. I’m a real petrolhead, but none of my friends would do it with me – until Matt and I met at Exeter University.’
They bought the 1996 Maestro online for £510, giving it a thorough service and replacing an exhaust section in anticipation of the major trip. The car, which wasn’t registered until 1999, was among a batch of Maestros that was built in Bulgaria but found themselves in Britain because of low demand. Most were converted to right-hand drive, but ‘Manuel’ is still a left-hooker.
The lads’ trip will see them crossing southern Europe, Kazakhstan and parts of Russia on the outward trip, and St Petersburg and the Arctic Circle on the way back. Some 200 teams are participating, although most of the other competitors won’t be driving a British car from the Eighties built in Bulgaria in the Nineties. Matt says: ‘It’s definitely going to be an adventure – we might even make it back again!’
Money raised by the adventure will go to the anti-deforestation environmental charity, Cool Earth.
Max Holder (left) and Matt smith with Manuel the Maestro.