The Great Beater Challenge 2017 – The Teams

In Part One of The Great Beater Challenge 2017 I introduced you to my ride. In this installment we will take a look at the other twenty two teams that are also participating. Participation went from eight to twenty three with all eight teams from last year returning. The range of themes and vehicles was amazing.

Team: Rice Pudding – 1984 Toyota Celica Supra. Straight six power with a five speed manual gearbox this had to be one of the most performance oriented choices. The snowboard wing and stickers are a nice touch. The bear on the hood is a trophy from last year (they had the Toyota van).

Team: S.M.R.T. – 1993 Subaru Loyale station wagon. This seems like a perfect choice for the gravel roads this year. This one was in surprisingly good condition.

Team: Grandma’s Locked in the Trunk – 1993 Mercury Grand Marquis. One half of the team with the Top Gear themed Volkswagen from last year came up with a 80s and 90s themed Mercury.

Team: Pro Dart – 1969 GMC 910. This pickup truck looked fantastically original. The Challenge’s Facebook page showed this truck undergoing an engine swap but the team must have got it buttoned up in time.

Team : Tyrannosaurus Wreck – 1992 Ford Explorer. This Explorer went for a full Jurassic Park theme. Fantastic!

Team: Svensky & Hutchensson – 1987 Saab 900. This Saab was pulled from a field a few years ago and now sports a Starsky and Hutch theme.

The Minilite style rims are certainly attractive.

Team: Einfahrt Notfahrt – Ford Mustang. This team was supposed to run a Volkswagen Rabbit diesel with a home brew turbo but transmission concerns lead them to run this Ford Mustang that had been previously pulled from a junkyard.

Team: Pontiwreck – 1963 Pontiac Laurentian. Going by the name Mad Mennos this team finished first last year with a field fresh 1959 Rambler. This year they arrived with a Canadian market Poncho and wearing “Daisy Duke” costumes including short shorts.

Team: Kystal-Beth – 1982 Pontiac Trans Am. A 305cid V8 powered F-body.

Team: Bongoes – 1993 Mazda Bongo. This Japanse market Mazda Bongo is not a Kei class vehicle truck but a bit bigger.

Team: Wild Thing – 1987 Suzota Siderunner – The other half of last year’s Top Gear Volkswagen team brought this Suzuki Sidekick with Toyota 4Runner running gear. Over the allowed budget but along for the fun anyway.

Team: Campbell Racing – Dodge Aries. This one was identified on the list of participant’s sheet as a 1982 but it is clearly a later example crucially with fuel injection. I have owned two K-cars and the fuel injection seems to double the available power as well as give much better drivability.

Team: The Van Lyons Rally Team – 2002 Chevrolet Express. This van was decorated as a homage to the Calgary Flames hockey team. This husband and wife team drove a race car themed Monte Carlo last year.

Team: Banana Boat – 1992 Pontiac LeMans. This was the organizer’s car. They dressed in banana costumes and braved an automatic equipped Daewoo in Pontiac LeMans clothing. Hopefully it proves to be less leaky than the Mazda B2200 he campaigned last year.

Team: Burbzilla – 1989 Chevrolet Suburban. Obviously not looking to minimize fuel costs this Suburban squeaked into the 80s category.

Team C.H.I.C…A. – 1989 Honda Civic Si. They ran a Subaru last year but these returning veterans opted for a high mileage Civic this time around. Lots of thoughtful little custom touches on this one.

This photo just about sums up the beater rally. Two guys in banana suits judging a high mileage Civic with an apt sticker on it.

Team: SS Arthritis – 1990 Mercury Grand Marquis LS. An old person’s dream car.

The walker on the back is a nice touch. They did have free candy inside. Appropriately old person candy.

Team: Not Fast Not Furious – 1995 Honda Civic CX. Peeling clear coat included.

Team: Hot Fuzz – 1994 Honda Civic. My friend Rod’s hatchback makes a return from last year’s challenge. At the front 15″ Volkswagen Golf alloy wheels and 14″ aftermarket mesh wheels on the rear. It was also missing the rear bumper.

Team: Mater – 1956 Mercury 3/4 ton pickup truck. One of three farm fresh elderly pickup trucks. They traveled 700kms all the way from Cold Lake (I believe) before even starting the challenge. This one has to be the best looking vehicle here but not likely to be a comfortable or fast ride.

This Canadian market Fargo pickup was another well traveled farm truck.

The last of the farm trucks was this 60s era Chevrolet loaded with patina.

The budget likely did not allow for tail light lens replacement but this Tuck tape fix was certainly economical as well as functional.

After judging and a quick driver’s meeting lead by the top banana we were off. Tune in next time for an account of day one.


The whole series:

Vehicle Selection and Preparation

The Teams

Day One Part One: Tarmac, Gravel, Tarmac and more Gravel

Day One Part Two: Out into the Prairie

Day Two Part One: Dinosaur Hunting

Day Two Part Two – Bridges, Pipes and Star Trek