320 crazy drivers raise $1 million for cancer
ON SATURDAY, 160 cars decorated for Cancer Council's Mystery Box Rally left the Cavanbah Centre, Byron Bay to raise money for research.
Over the next five days, drivers dressed in costume will travel up to 3000km through arduous back country and finish in Byron Bay on Wednesday afternoon.
The unique fundraiser challenges participants by only telling drivers their destination and route on the morning of each day.
Michael Ryan, head of support for the event, said the rally is a fun reward to celebrate people's fundraising efforts.
As for the eclectic mix of costumes and cars, "the more interesting the better". All cars are at least 25 years old.
Kate Battersby partnered with her son Daniel to create a pink flamingo-inspired ride, The Pink Lady.
She said she was excited and a little nervous to hit the road.
"The car runs well on bitumen, it hasn't been on a dirt road before, so it's going to be interesting," she said.
Brad Gee and friend Rob Goldsworthy have raised $4800 and came from the Sunshine Coast in their bright pink 1976 Volkswagen Golf.
"We have no idea where we are going," Mr Gee said. "I hear it's arduous back country roads with lots of dirt and dust.
"Should be a bit of fun."
Mr Gee said their trip to Byron Bay ended up taking 15 hours instead of seven because they had to fix their alternator and radiator on the way.
"If that's any indication, who knows how the rally will go?" Mr Gee said.
Roving mechanics will travel with the rally to assist drivers in trouble.
"We're just going to wing it. We have first aid kits."
Also among the 320 participants were Micheal Shepherd and his father who dressed themselves and their car up like dairy cows, calling their ride the Bogan Boys.
Parked next to them were mates Matt Nixon and Christoph Grueter who had costumes for each day inspired by Top Gun, fairies and cowboys.
The event has broken last year's fundraising record and as it left was just $5000 short of raising $1 million this year.