On May 22, 2011 celebrity chef Jean Christophe Novelli will send off Nicky West and Rob Stacey, in a cherry red 1961 Mini, from the famed Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, England to the Great Pyramid of Giza. They will return home 35 long days later on June 26. At least, that’s the plan.
West and Stacey are undertaking the journey to raise money for the Willow Foundation, a charity which helps approximately 12,500 16-40-year-olds in the United Kingdom, who are diagnosed every year with a life-threatening illness. The Willow Foundation is similar to a British Make-A-Wish Foundation by helping those afflicted with terrible illnesses to take a break from treatment to visit family or to live out their dreams.
A book covering the journey in detail and packed with photos, titled Mini Minor to Asia Minor, will be published by Veloce in 2012. Money will be raised by donating 40 percent of royalties from book sales. The couple hopes to raise £11,000 or nearly $18,000 for the Willow Foundation from their insane journey.
The 50 year old Mini was purchased on eBay and hadn’t been driven since 1967. The only repairs needed were a leaking engine hose and a crossed spark plug wire! The car is an unrestored and original 850cc model which has been carefully prepped for the incredible journey to the great pyramid.
“It is going to be a really hard slog,” admitted West. “The Mini has no air conditioning and we’ll spend over 10 hours in the car each day with temperatures around 40◦C (104 degree Fahrenheit), so we should certainly come back a bit thinner!”
Due to political unrest in some of the countries they will travel through they have several alternate routes already planned should they need to avoid any troubles.
“At the end of the day it should be a fantastic drive and it’s for a really great cause” Stacey added.