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The Full Monty Cape To Cape Challenge

2nd - 9th July 2000
Challenge over and completed - The Full Monty Team provisionally in 2nd place - beaten only by a Volvo V70 2.5 D Estate with a time of 54 hours 35 minutes, a gap of just 39 minutes - They did beat the existing record, an outstanding achievement!!

Cape to Cape Route Map The Route Map

The Car - MG spec Montego Estate Getting packed Fully Loaded!
At the Artic Circle Day 1 - The Start Day 2 - Crossing the bridge
On the Autobahn Sunrise on day 3! The team at the finish

Click on small the images for The Full Monty!

Cape to Cape report No.1    Cape to Cape report No.2

Cape to Cape report No.3    Cape to Cape report No.4

Cape to Cape report No.5    Cape to Cape report No.6

Cape to Cape report No.7

In early July a team of MG enthusiasts are taking part in the Cape to Cape Challenge, an endurance run crossing Europe from North to South.

This is an organised event, the aim being to drive from the North Cape of Norway (Nordkapp) to Cape Tarifa in southern Spain (near Gibraltar) non-stop. It is a distance of over 3500 miles for which the record currently stands at just under 57hours. The event is strictly controlled, all cars being fitted with tachographs to ensure speed limits are complied with, and enable verification of any record that could be set.

The car they will be driving is a Montego Estate hence the team name 'The Full Monty' Although not strictly an MG, it has been modified to MG specification, similar to two factory cars built in the late 80s. The car is in fact a 1991 Rover Montego 2.0 GTI Estate, which, like the company that made it, was going to be put on the scrapheap a few months ago, but it too has now been reborn as an MG with hopefully a bright future ahead of it.

The Full Monty - Cape to Cape 2000

Neil Turner from Hoddesdon rescued the car from its potential fate when passing his local Nissan dealer, about the time he heard about the Cape to Cape Challenge. It was bought for just 100 and has since had a makeover, consisting of some replacement panels, a respray, and a full service (mechanically it is totally original having covered a mere 117,000 miles).

He recruited a few friends for the venture. Dave Cowan is an electrician and also from Hoddesdon. John Dalton from Coventry works for Rover and is an experienced rally driver. He has undertaken a few motoring marathons before, including driving from Lands End to John O'Groats and back in the same day. David Smith from Wokingham, an IT project manager with Siemens, has been taking part in grass-roots motorsport such as trials and sprints with the MG Car Club for over 20 years. Three of the team are also members of the MG'M' Group, a club for owners of MG 'saloons' (i.e. Metros, Maestros and Montegos).

The Cape to Cape Challenge this year has about 40 teams taking part. They will meet up in Newcastle on 2 July where the cars are scrutineered prior to taking the ferry to Norway and a drive up inside the Arctic Circle. The Challenge starts on the morning of Friday 7 July at Nordkapp, and finishes on Sunday evening at Cape Tarifa. This year is the first time that the whole route can be driven directly without using ferries, the new Oresundbron linking Malmo to Copenhagen is due to be opened on 2 July.

Two TV companies are planning to cover the event, with a BBC crew actually taking part, so the team might feature in a TV programme! Before that you should be able to check up on the progress of 'the full Monty' on the Channel 4 car website during the event on Wimbledon finals weekend. The team is planning to e-mail reports and pictures onto the site directly before and during the event.

Channel 4 Motoring featured the Full Monty Team

The Full Monty – The Team

Neil Turner, a customer service engineer from Hoddesdon, Herts, is team leader and the man first attracted to doing the Cape to Cape Challenge. He is club secretary of the MGM Group, a club for owners of modern MG 'saloons' (i.e. Metros, Maestros and Montegos), and it was in this capacity he got to hear about the event.

Having found the 'ideal' car to do it in, he set about finding two or three other people mad enough to take on the challenge. Neil already owns a couple of other Montegos, an MG which he has used in sprints and hillclimbs over the past couple of years, and a modified 16-valve MG Turbo.

The first person signed up for the venture was John Dalton, another MG'M' member. John is an experienced rally driver and has undertaken a number of escapades in MG Maestros. He has done a few motoring marathons before, including driving from Lands End to John O'Groats and back in the same day. John (still) works for Rover in the marketing department and lives in Coventry with his collection of three MG Maestros.

Neil then persuaded a close friend, Dave Cowan, an electrician living close by in Hoddesdon, to join the team. Unfortunately Dave dislocated his shoulder with only 10 days to go and was forced to drop out, so perhaps the team should now be called 'the not quite so Full Monty'……

Last but not least is David Smith, another MG enthusiast who sprints and hillclimbs an MG Montego. David, from Wokingham, is an IT project manager with Siemens who has been taking part in grass-roots motorsport such as trials and sprints with the MG Car Club for over 20 years.

The Full Monty - Cape to Cape 2000
Cape Tarifa, Spain - The Full Monty Team still with their clothes on!
The organisers did not expect the MG Montego to finish - they were 2nd!

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