THREE madcap motorists were plotting a journey with a difference in 2003 - driving 4,000 miles across eight countries in a clapped-out car.

The trio of 24-year-olds, school pals Jon Dent, from Mellor; Carl Holden, from Wilpshire, and Jim Rogers, from Great Harwood, would set off on their 21-day trip on Boxing Day.

They would be part of the Plymouth to Dakar Challenge raising money for children’s charity, The Pilgrimage Trust, and Cancer Research UK.

The three lads had to buy a car for less than £100 and spend only a few pounds preparing it for the journey.

They purchased a 1989 F-registered Austin Montego estate, with 71,000 miles on the clock in a local scrapyard for the princely sum of £45.

Jon, a quality technician, said: “I read about the challenge in a motoring magazine and my friends said they were up for it.”