Motoring Events Bucket List

Picture of By Craig Ranson
By Craig Ranson

Managing Director – Bridge Classic Cars

For car lovers and adventure chasers, there’s a tonne of events that are well worth adding to your motoring bucket list. They’re a step up from a relaxing car show or road trip but whether you’re a spectator or competitor, they will all give you a unique experience you won’t be forgetting any time soon. Here’s a selection of some of the world’s greatest motoring events off the beaten track.

The Mongol Rally

The Mongol Rally is one of a handful of charity events set up by the kings of chaos and exploration: The Adventurists. This 10,000-mile adventure from the UK to Mongolia only has three rules; a small car under 1.2 litres, no back up/support, raise £500 for the chosen charity. The rules encourage you to spend very little on your car, but do not specify which cars you should choose, meaning many do them in old run-down cars, so there’s nothing stopping you from picking up an old classic for this trip! The rally also encourages you to throw your GPS and planned routes out the window and venture into the unknown. There’s no set route although many competitors take a route that leads them through the Stans, however the more inventive the better. Lasting on average of 3-4 weeks, the Mongol Rally starts in July and can end any time from August to September, depending on your route.

This rally isn’t for the faint-hearted and whilst it’s a serious adventure, it is run with a light-hearted spirit and encourages escapades and chaos.

Rickshaw Run

The Rickshaw Run is another wacky event organised by The Adventurists. Although strictly not a car, this is motoring event packs a punch. The event takes place in India, the Himalayas or Sri Lanka, each one varies in length. The original event is held in India and lasts on average of 16 days, the Himalayan event is around 13 days and the Sri Lankan event is 9 days. Much like the Mongol Rally, there are only a few rules. You race in a Rickshaw, you raise £500 for the chosen charity and you have no road support or back up; if you break down, you fix it yourself! Although far simpler than a car, the Rickshaw has its own tricks to learn in terms of fixing it. Nevertheless, you’re in for the adventure of a lifetime.

The Monkey Run

Another event organised by The Adventurists and I’m sure you get the idea by now – it’s going to be ridiculous and adventurous. The Monkey Run is a race done on monkey bikes, which are essentially children’s motorbikes. They’re nippy bundles of metal and gusto, with only 2.1 BHP, 48cc of 4 stroke engine and weighing 69kg, there’s not far to fall when you inevitably do take a tumble. The route starts in a secret location near Merzouga, Morocco, venturing through deserts and mountains, and ends in another secret location near Marrakech.

Dumball Rally

The Dumball Rally changes route each year. In 2020, the event took place in Mexico, with a bunch of old VW Beetle’s travelling 2000km from Mexico City to Acapulco, raising money for Teenage Cancer Trust. Much like the Mongol Rally, its an event in the spirit of adventure, however, The Dumball Rally is a bit less ruthless as they offer you accommodation, road support and meals. This event encourages beat up and cheap cars to join the road trip. From Morris Minors to old Toyota’s, this road trip event is perfect for road trip lovers and classic car fanatics.

Gumball 3000

2021’s Gumball 3000 rally is set to take place from Toronto to Havana in May. Since 1999, its taken routes through a selection of different countries and continents. For those who haven’t heard of Gumball 3000, its an adventure road trip for rockstars.

“Gumball is about challenging tradition and taking a non conventional approach to exploring and pushing cultural and creative boundaries.”

Baja 1000

Starting in 1967, the Baja 1000 rally is not for the faint-hearted. It strikes through the heart of the Mexican desert. It holds the title of the longest non-stop point-to-point race in the world and lasts just 5 days.

Any and all vehicles and bikes are welcomed, but depending on your steed of choice depends on when you start. For example, motorbikes and buggies start first and different classifications of cars then follow in segments.

24 hours Le Mans

24 Hours Le Mans is a little more exclusive to enter, filled with some of the worlds best drivers and teams. Its an incredibly popular spectator event as the worlds oldest sports car endurance races. The race itself has been going since 1923 and is held near Le Mans in France and is one of three races in the Triple Crown of Motorsport, with the other two races being the Indy 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix. The race is measured by how far each car can go in 24 hours without mechanical failure, making it different from fixed distance races. Spectators tend to camp out by the track and tickets for the campsite are available on their website.

Monaco Grand Prix

The Monaco Grand Prix is a Formula One motorsport race that’s been running since 1929 and is held on the Circuit De Monaco. The race is held on a narrow course laid out in the streets of Monaco, with many challenging elements such as tight corners and a tunnel, making it one of the most demanding and dangerous tracks in Formula One. Much like 24 Le Mans, its a more exclusive event to enter than rallies like The Mongol Rally, making it more of a spectator event rather than an open race.

Indy 500

500 miles, 200 laps, 33 drivers and a bottle of milk. This exciting event is held at the Indianapolis Speedway track in the USA. The Indy 500 was set up in 1911, this event has gone on for over 100 years, with two breaks during World War One and World War Two. The unique milk-drinking celebration was started in 1936 after three-time winner Louis Meyer was seen drinking Butter Milk in the Victory lane. ‘An executive with what was then the Milk Foundation was so elated when he saw the moment captured in a photograph in the sports section of his newspaper the following morning that he vowed to make sure it would be repeated in coming years.’ Although from 1947-55 milk no longer offered, the tradition returned in 1956 and has been a tradition ever since.

Italian Job Rally

The Italian Job Rally is loosely based around the Michael Caine film and takes place across Europe with each year the route being different. Mini’s of any generation or any other car featured in the Italian Job film can enter, and its run to raise money for a selected charity.

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