Our Car’s Health – Mongol Rally

August 25, 2011 5 Comments »

You know all about our Social Media Syndicate Team, but I’ve yet to introduce you to the heart, soul, and engine of our team…The Hot Box.

Our car, the lovely Nissan Almera from Allways Rentals, has been a peach.  She’s been termed the Hot Box because even though she has an air conditioner, it doesn’t work.  We are driving through deserts…it’s damn hot.  Luckily, the windows do work, and we spend most days with them all rolled down with the constant deafening noise of wind as if you are standing next to a jet engine for 8 hours.

We’ve given her some beatings  (unintentionally, of course), and she still starts to chug along every morning.  We have accidentally ripped off some protective undercarriage covering, taken her off-road and off-off-off road, and hit potholes so large and at such speeds that, quite frankly, it’s amazing we didn’t crack the axle or a tire rim.  Yet – who knows what Mongolia will hold?  After all, Mongolia is where the real ‘road trip adventure’ begins…where the roads end.

We try to treat her nicely by adding oil when she’s low, providing her with apple-flavored window washer fluid (which looks just like an appletini), and ensuring that her tires (including the spare) have proper air.   Rick even cleaned her air filter with my old toothbrush one morning.  That’s about the extent of our team’s mechanical knowledge – for the rest – we hope for the best and the kindness of strangers.

We’ve dressed her up and made her hip by putting our sponsor stickers all over her.  By far, the favorite sticker on our car is the route map on the hood.  When we stop for gas or at hotels and cafes, and even when we get stopped by police – everyone huddles around and looks at the map in amazement.  Amazement needs no language.

We recently had another team ask us how we keep her so tidy…this is not easy to do when you live in a car with three other people for 8 hours a day.  We sweat in it (a lot), eat in it, drink in it, and sometimes sleep in it.  We have noticed that she might be due for a car air freshener sometime soon.  Dave thinks that she smells like ass…but we all sort of smell like ass at this point…so I can’t really tell any longer!

For all of you cheering us along at home, send the Hot Box good vibes!  Once in Mongolia, we still have over 1600 km of no roads at all, so the Hot Box will be tested to her limits.  Let’s hope that our team’s love for the Hot Box will get her all the way to Ulaanbaatar!

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