Ross and Theo's Bangers4Ben journey, October 2022
At Connected, we are big on helping the community, so we’re always looking at ways we can help out, whether it’s in a food bank or raising money for a charity in need. With Bangers4Ben being very well-known in the used car industry, we figured it was about time to join the race for charity.
In June 2022, Ben – the automotive industry’s charity – announced that this year’s theme was James Bond.
Ben is very close to our hearts, as it aims to help those who work in the motor industry that need support, including their families.
With the theme of 007, we gave you the chance to promote your dealership on our Bangers4Ben mission with your logo on our car. What better way to decorate our car than to showcase our brilliant secret agents – you! After all, you are the heart of our mission.
Thanks to your kind donations from the wonderful community we are, we raised so much more than our target amount of £1,000! It’s all thanks to you that people who need additional support (who are or were once working in the motor industry) get the help they require.
The donations didn’t stop there, either! You kept supporting us throughout the rally, donating money even when we could no longer offer real printed stickers. We weren’t going to let that stop us though, so Theo and Ross handwrote more names on our car – despite how messy it seemed, you still wanted to donate to the brilliant cause, and we can’t thank you enough!
Our car was supplied by our great friends at A P Hynes & Co and here it is, a Rover 220 Diesel. This little car has spent the bulk of its 23 years living a simple life, making short local journeys around the streets of the north east, however, Theo and Ross have given it a new lease of life and have transformed it into the ‘Martini Express’.
The starting line
Theo and Ross arrived at the ferry terminal in Dover. Taking a peek at everyone’s cars while waiting and ready to go, all the Bangers4Ben participants introduced themselves.
Just look at everyone’s amazing efforts!
Day 1 - Dolly and Jaws
Our ‘secret agents’ began their journey in France. They spent nearly 7 hours on the road, travelling a whopping 462 miles! Whilst everyone else took a different route to get to the next meeting point, Theo and Ross took trust in the satnav! The rally had only just commenced, and they had already, accidentally, made it a very lonely rally for themselves. With the uncertainty of them being lost, unsure if they would come last or first, they were certainly happy either way just to be a part of the rally (even though they weren’t for most of the day…).
As they were practising their French, they were able to do some sightseeing and found the Eiffel Tower ‘a little underwhelming’…
The Martini Express ran smoothly with no signs of trouble as they eventually made their way to Nice.
Day 2 - Jill Masterton and Goldfinger
Making their way to Marseille, the Martini Express was running low on fuel, which was a worry for our ‘secret agents’ as there just so happened to be a petrol and diesel crisis in France. Luckily, they were eventually able to find a fuel station where they could fill up the tank with diesel.
The Martini Express continued to impress, as the Rover was still running smoothly. Theo and Ross finally made it to Monaco, where the Martini Express Casino was officially open for business.
All the Bangers4Ben participants had the thrill of driving on the Grand Prix circuit.
Theo and Ross took a quick tour around Monaco before heading back to Nice, where they stayed for the night. Once again, the Martini Express stood strong and was yet to have any issues.
Our supporting dealers
We’d like to shed a bright light on everyone who has sponsored us. The support has been overwhelming, and we’d like to thank everyone who contributed whether it was a donation or a supportive comment, we really appreciate the love. What makes us feel more grateful is that the fact we are proven to be a loving and supportive community, so thank you because you are quite literally our bread and butter.
Thank you to all our supporters!
Derg Valley Autos, Hudson Cars, See Cars LTD, Moyway Motors, Newtons of Ashley, Cartec Motor Company, Cade Cars, Victoria Park Garage, Onntoo, Carnalea Car Sales, Slaters Motor Group, Invictus Motors, George Kingsley Prestige & Performance, Amina Autos Ltd, Testers Autos Limited, Keycars, BM Vehicles, Tulip Motors Ltd, Racing Roy Davies, Mark Gow, Sharon Carcary, Poppy, Gill, Nadine, Gail Carlisle, Stevie and Libby Woollen, Rob Woollen, Joe Gough, Lesley dixon, Sue Ames, Katie Denton, Vikki, Ben, Sam, Alan Carson, Sam Swin, Ed Legge, Danni, Nicola, Conrad and Logan.
Day 3 - Blofeld and Solomon
Theo and Ross were ready to go through the Alps as they started to make the long journey home, stopping at Grenoble. They had a long 8 hour journey to complete.
When they successfully reached the Alps, they recreated the legendary scene from For Your Eyes Only.
Day 4 - James Bond and James Bond
At last, the final journey was upon them. As they set off from Grenoble, they had over 800 miles ahead of them to catch the ferry in Calais. They eventually made it to Dover and began their final journey back to Bond headquarters (our head office in Stockport) in one piece, incredibly having no issues with the Martini Express. It’s safe to say they made it in style.
Now that the rally has been successfully completed, the Martini Express, in Ross and Theo’s eyes, is officially known as ‘Never say Rover Again’…
No Time to Die
Unfortunately, Theo and Ross had difficulty live-streaming the event due to service issues. But luckily for us, they recorded some great moments. Here are Ross and Theo’s best bits on the Bangers4Ben rally 2022.