The Mystery Box Rally is an annual event dedicated to raising much-needed funds to support cancer research. Teams are to drive their own 25+-year-old cars along a mystery route in a unique 5-day challenge - The route is a loop starting and finishing at the same location, but all the other details are kept under wraps, only given to the teams each morning.
This year, we decided to team up with our friends at Rockinghorse Studios to sponsor their particularly shit car and support their journey around Australia. Departing from our home town, Byron Bay, the team sped (or jumped) off on their expedition.
We sat down with driver, Taryn McGregor to chat all things about the rally and give us a front seat view of her experience.
Firstly, for those who don't know, would you mind telling a little bit about the rally and how it came about?
James, the director of Box rallies, created the Mystery Box Rally to raise funds for Cancer Council a decade ago after losing both of his parents to cancer.
I believe they started out with the Shit Box Rally, added in its baby brother, the Mystery Box Rally, and over time have developed into two Shit Box rallies and one Mystery Box rally each year.
This year, around June, they hit the $20,000,000 mark as funds raised between all the rallies over the last 10 years. This year was the first Mystery Box Rally to crack $1 million raised in a single Mystery Box Rally, the previous record was approx. $840,000.
Was this your first year? How did you get involved?
We heard about the box rallies when they left from Brisbane last year in May, thinking it would be a great way to get involved, raise funds for science and research while having a great adventure and seeing parts of Australia that we may never get around to seeing. This was our first rally and we raised nearly $6000 in all, and we have been accepted into the Autumn Shit box rally next year where we will need to raise at least $5,000 to join. However, we will also need a shitter car with the rules stating cars can have to be a max of $1000 market value and two-wheel drive.
Best highlight of the rally?
Best highlight... it's hard to say. You meet great people from all walks of life, the daily adventure of not knowing where we will be going next and it was great fun driving around in a 1985 Corona which brings back so many memories of being kids as well as first cars. Of course where we went was amazing, so many people forget we have such diverse and interesting country, even though it's dusty out in the outback the people from each town who supported us all driving through were just amazing and wonderful people.
Assuming the car made it to the end, what happens to it now? Have you formed a bond?
Yes, our car made it with flying colours, she just skips and jumps over the rough roads, not even a flat tyre. she is too good for the shit box rally next year, so will likely be left to pasture until our teenager starts learning to drive in a year or two, I think teaching kids to drive as we learnt back when cars had manual windows and no power steering gives you an appreciation and understanding of the road and how fast you are really going, a perfect thing for new drivers to learn. But to be honest I may just keep her for a fun car to drive around in, or perhaps another Mystery Box Rally.
There you have it, folks. Want to know more about the event or donate? Head to the Mystery Box Rally website here.