But when the dust finally clears, half its combatants will shower in champagne, their names enshrined in the annals of sport.
The other half—locked in a Turkish prison, left for dead in Central Asia with broken-down Geo Prizms... or worse.
We’re talking, of course, about The Mongol Rally 2012, a semi-insane, single-liter-auto-powered journey from England (or the Czech Republic) to Mongolia, accepting entries now ahead of July’s will-bending journey.
Remember: this is a rally, not a race. You can take as much time as you need, since there are no winners here—only survivors.
The catch: your vehicle must be powered by nothing stronger than a one-liter engine. Most any hollowed-out ice cream truck, vintage motorcycle sidecar or Soviet-manufactured hatchback will do. (We’ll assume you know a guy.)
Then, you’ll make a choice—to start in the Czech Republic or in England, where you can begin with a friendly warm-up lap around the storied Goodwood Motor Circuit. You’ll snap photos, check gauges and wish your opponents luck getting to Mongolia.
How you get there is entirely up to you. En route, you’ll encounter all sorts of shenanigans—some fancier (partying in a Bohemian castle with fellow racers at the first official checkpoint), others fraught with peril (camping out in the Kazakh desert, pulling up to the Iran-Turkey border in a repurposed matzo wagon).
Small price to pay for glory.