By Danielle Kutchel
Picture this: The open road stretches before you, marred by river crossings, dirt roads, desert and unsettled conditions. It’s a dream trip across Australia’s top end. You’re piled into a beaten-up old wagon, miles from family and civilisation. And you might not make it to the end of the track.
That’s the situation father and son duo Jase and Tyler Howell will find themselves in next May when they take part in the 2020 Autumn Shitbox Rally.
The Shitbox Rally is a challenge more than a race. Teams must drive a car worth less than $1000 across some of the country’s most formidable roads, raising funds for the Cancer Council.
The 2020 Autumn challenge, held from 23 to 29 May, will see teams drive from Alice Springs to the Gold Coast via the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Jase and Tyler’s team is called Too Slow Too Serious. Their beast, a 1992 Ford EB Falcon wagon, is in need of a bit of work in the lead up to the event, but they’re quietly confident that it’ll be up to scratch.
“We found the car on Gumtree, it was advertised in Warragul. We were looking for something a little bit different, a little bit left of field, and I suggested we go for a wagon. We did a deal and picked it up and there it is,” Jase explains.
His son Tyler, a Narre Warren resident, adds: “We don’t really have to add a lot. We’re going to add a roof rack so we can carry some stuff upstairs. We’ve just got to go over it and make sure it’s mechanically sound because it’s got to drive from Alice Springs to the Gold Coast so we don’t want to be one of these groups that don’t make it.”
They’re aiming to raise $10,000 for the Cancer Council, double the minimum required by the event. They’re currently sitting at close to $5000 so Tyler believes they will get pretty close to their goal.
Donors can also provide services instead of dollars: for example, sign writers can provide branded stickers to decorate the panels, or tradies could provide parts.
Like most of us, the duo has been touched by cancer. Jase says one of his cousins was diagnosed with breast cancer a while ago but managed to come through: meanwhile, his uncle succumbed to the big C about ten years ago.
“Hopefully that’s as close as we get to it,” he says practically.
Anyone interested in donating to TooSlowTooSerious, or following their journey in the lead up to the Shitbox Rally, can visit the team’s Facebook or Instagram pages by searching TooSlowTooSerious.