Rollin’ like Jurassic Park and Ghostbusters – Ashwell Banger Challenge 2017 to raise thousands for children’s charity Barnardo’s

One of the 2017 Ashwell Bangers cars - a Vauxhall Frontera done up like one of the Jurassic Park cars. Photo: Mark Allen

One of the 2017 Ashwell Bangers cars - a Vauxhall Frontera done up like one of the Jurassic Park cars. Photo: Mark Allen


A group of pals from Ashwell are to take a set of pimped-out banger cars on a series of Top Gear-style challenges in aid of children’s charity Barnardo’s – starting with a tour of the village this Friday.

The Ashwell Banger Challenge will see 14 teams embark on a weekend of trials, each using a car bought for less than £350 and modified to look suitably silly – including a Vauxhall Frontera decorated like the Jurassic Park cars, and a former police Volvo T5 done up like the Ghostbusters’ Ecto-1 vehicle.

This year’s weekend-long contest comes three years after the inaugural Ashwell Banger Challenge, which raised more than £5,000 for children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent.

Organiser Mark Allen explained: “We’re a group of Ashwell chaps, a lot of whom now work away from the area and don’t see each other very often.

“We came up with the idea of a Top Gear-style event in 2014. Now, three years later, it’s back and formed up of about 60 challenges.

“The weekend is going to be full on. The challenges include things like making an advert for your car for Youtube – because the cars are sold on afterwards at a black-tie event – and having the car photographed with a certain thing, like a dentist or a lion.

“Generally the public are very helpful with the challenges.

“The idea is to get money from backers and sponsorship. Some of the teams have raised more than £600 or £700 already.”

The teams covered more than 500 miles in 2014, with challenges ranging from finding strange objects to racing at Santa Pod Raceway, near Northampton.

The bangers will embark on a ‘village cruise’ at 6.30pm on Friday, with the teams and cars touring the streets until arriving at the Three Tuns pub at 7pm – with a brief judging ceremony before they are sent on their way.

Two days later there will be a return party at the Bushel & Strike pub in Ashwell, starting at 4pm on Sunday.

Cars in the banger challenge two years ago included a Volvo V40 converted into a mobile pub, complete with pumps and a sign dubbing it The Broke ‘n’ Down.

Other themes that year included the Dukes of Hazzard and the Blues Brothers.

If you’d like to find out more or donate to the teams’ fundraising, see


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other The Comet visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by The Comet staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique The Comet account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

Do you agree that we don’t spend enough time talking about death? Well you might do worse than head along to Stevenage’s first Death Cafe event on Monday.

Five teams of pupils from junior schools in the Stevenage area became university lecturers for the day when they took part in the annual Rotary Stevenage Speaks competition.

Yesterday, 19:18

A Biggleswade man has become the first person in Bedfordshire to be convicted of coercive and controlling behaviour after his ex-partner was subjected to ‘appalling’ attempts to take away her freedom by watching her every move.

Yesterday, 18:42

A Stevenage man who has previously been jailed is wanted by police for allegedly breaching the conditions of his parole.

Most read stories


Show Job Lists

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

Read the The Comet e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter