If you haven't heard of the Mongol Rally, we suggest you acquaint yourself. The charity event starts in Europe and ends in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Unlike most rallies, there is no defined route or support staff. Participants must simply survive long enough to make it to the finish line in one piece. That would be challenging enough in a well-equipped off roader like a Nissan Patrol or Toyota Hilux, but those who take up the challenge must do so in either a vehicle with an engine displacing no more than 1.2 liters or an emergency services vehicle like an ambulance or fire truck.

At the end of the rally, the surviving vehicles are either auctioned or donated to cash-strapped local organizations. This year, New Yorkers Ota Ulc and Nick Jarret have partnered with Prague local Karel Vancura in an attempt to trace the 10,000 miles from Prague to Mongolia in a Renault Kangoo. The "Last Rat to Mongolia" team bought their car sight-unseen and have outfitted the quirky little van for the trek with the help of a local mechanic. Skid plates, rally lights, a roof rack and a gaggle of jerry cans are all part of the plan.

A total of 300 teams will attempt the continental crossing, each supporting their own charities along the way. The Last Rats are raising funds for UNICEF and Lotus Children's Centre Charitable Trust. You can follow their progress on Facebook or at the Mongol Rally site, and can kick them a couple of bucks via the team's JustGiving site. What else are you going to use the money for? Another coffee?


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      fred schumacher
      • 2 Years Ago
      In the late 1950s, Jan Myrdal and his wife Gun Kessle drove from Sweden to China in a 12 hp Citroen 2CV. The story of their crossing of roadless Afghanistan, with their primary problem being fixing punctured worn-out tires, shows what an underpowered car with lots of ground clearance, large suspension travel, and a simple, reliable engine can do.
      fred schumacher
      • 2 Years Ago
      After looking at their website, I would say their biggest problem is going to be their wheels and tires: too small. Not enough ground clearance, not enough tire. I would go with 15 inch steel rims (chuck the wheel covers) and 75 aspect ratio tires. Mongolia is the last place you want to be with fashionable European rubber band tires.
      BG
      • 2 Years Ago
      What? 2WD? Low power? Across Mongolia? I thought Americans bought 400 HP SUVs with 20-inch wheels, 4WD, air conditioning, and leather seats to do similarly rugged adventures, like go to Cosco on Saturday or take the kayak to the beach.
        A P
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BG
        Yes we do give our citizens to buy stupid cars and trucks........we dont enjoy having crap shoved down our throat by nanny states like those in Europe. Gee look how well Europe is doing now! Nothing like 50 to 60% tax rates to promote freedom and economic success!
      ftpaddict
      • 2 Years Ago
      There's an all-girl team from Romania doing the same thing on the same car. Do a search on "fire fairies mongol rally".
      TangoR34
      • 2 Years Ago
      My friend have done this last year in a yellow rover 25. His mates tried to do cross river with it and ended up flooding the engine and was running in 3 cylinders. eventually it broke down from something else in some very deserted area until a lorry driver was either kind enough or paid to take their car to the nearest mechanic. Gosh I was laugh so hard when he showed me the picture of their car being loaded on top of a pile of wood and furniture on the back of it.