Getting ready in their 1964 Chevy Belair for the Bourke to Broome Bash are James Barnes, of Suffolk Park (left), Richard Rombouts, of Ewingsdale and hanging out the car window is Ian Walsh, of Brunswick/Byron Wreckers, (absent is Carsten Schramm of Suffolk Park).
Getting ready in their 1964 Chevy Belair for the Bourke to Broome Bash are James Barnes, of Suffolk Park (left), Richard Rombouts, of Ewingsdale and hanging out the car window is Ian Walsh, of Brunswick/Byron Wreckers, (absent is Carsten Schramm of Suffolk Park). Doug Eaton

Pals on ride of their life

A GREAT old car, four mates, and a driving route that takes in some of Australia's most iconic towns.

Throw in a bit of dust, a little drinking and plenty of camaraderie and it's the ultimate boys' trip.

But the ride from Baulkham Hills to Buccaneer Rock (near Broome in Western Australia), by four Northern Rivers business owners, isn't just about having a good time - although that's a given.

It's about raising much-needed cash for children's charity Variety as part of Australia's most successful charity motoring event, the Variety Bash.

On August 6, Richard Rombouts (Bangalow Newsagency), Carsten Schramm (Artisan Air in Bangalow), James Barnes (Brunswick Village Green) and Ian Walsh (Brunswick Motor Wreckers), will hit the road in a 1964 Chevy Belair.

The car has been at the wreckers for nearly two months while Mr Walsh has been working to get it up to scratch for the 12-day event, with the four friends chipping in expenses.

“All the car expenses and fuel costs are our own and every cent that we raise through donations goes to Variety,” said Mr Rombouts.

“We're doing the Bash because we wanted to help the kids and this was a fun way of doing it.

“There will be a lot of hours behind the wheel but there will also be good camaraderie and a little bit of drinking.”

The men, who have known each other for about 15 years, will stay in roadhouses, motels, and camping areas at destinations including Tennant Creek, Inverell and Mt Isa. The wives will stay at home.

Mr Rombouts said he, Mr Schramm and Mr Walsh have been on previous Variety Bashes but Mr Barnes was a Bash “virgin”.

To enter the race, competitors must have a car that is older than 1974 and it can only be two-wheel drive.

“We will be sharing the driving and carrying a certain amount of spare parts,” said Mr Rombouts who added that all donations would be greatly appreciated.

To date, the men, who have named themselves The Caped Crusaders, have raised close to $20,000.

To lodge a donation online, go to http://www.gofundraise.com.au/page/008 and click on Donate now.



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