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While waiting side by side at a junction with the Vatican City right in front of them, a Fiat Panda tried to stop on the wet roads and locked its wheels aiming right for the back of Marko's Granada. Getting a glimpse of this in his rear view mirror and not wanting a repeat of last time, Marko slammed into first gear and pulled away all wheels spinning. This definitely helped as the impact wasn't severe, but the Panda went into the rear corner and sent the Granada spinning across the junction and coming to a halt on the opposite side, bumper hanging off.
Unable to believe that it happened again, but relieved that nobody was hurt, Marko went through the process again, this time waiting 6 hours until 9am in the morning for the police to arrive, all right in front of the Vatican. Unwilling to have this dampen his spirits the Granada was duct taped together and they set off home. Needless to say the little Fiat Panda was dead.
Marko, Dennis and Dave all returned home safely and thus history was written and the first Rust 2 Rome was complete. After hearing about Rust 2 Rome 2006 many people expressed an interest in going if there was ever to be another one. Never being a person to turn down adventure Marko began planning and organizing what would be the biggest Rally he has done to date...
tell me how it all started? IT WAS ONE MAN AND HIS CAPRI...
It all started with his first trip to Rome from his home town of Cupar in Fife. Inspired by "The Long Way Round" in 2005 Marko, aged 18, spent 4 months preparing his 1982 Ford Capri 2.8i for the trip. With a meticulous work ethic Marko made every part of the Capri perfect. After a rebuilding the engine he fitted all sorts of extras such as central locking, a kill switch, fire extinguisher and a very cool sound system, with wires carefully hidden underneath the original carpet.
With the black Capri gleaming he set off on his trip. After stopping in London, Brussels, Paris and Milan on his way to Rome he finally got there. Deciding the adventure wasn't over yet he went on to Florence where he attended Italian language school to get to grips with his Italian heritage (his mother is Italian) and made a lot of new friends.
After a trip up to Genova, heading back towards Rome all the traffic on the motorway halted ahead. Marko quickly stopped the Capri and pulled hard into the side to make space for other cars behind. In his rear view mirror cars swerved left and right and a car used the space Marko had made next to him. Then Marko's beautiful Capri was hit from behind by another car which hadn't even noticed the traffic had stopped. The impact sent Marko up the side of the crash barrier and shunted him forwards. Every single panel on the Capri was damaged.
This was a crushing blow to Marko.
After giving statements to all the police and authorities and having the written off car towed away, Marko finished school in Italy and got his Diploma. Months later Marko had the Capri brought back home to Cupar and even today it sits in his garage, shiny, polished and mangled.
Feeling that his trip in Italy was cut short and never being one to let anything take the sense of adventure away from him, Marko went out to Mexico and bought another car, a '72 Mustang. After living in Mexico for a total of 6 months Marko came home in March 06. His adventures in Mexico are a whole other story, but Marko joined the Mustang car club, learned to speak Spanish, was featured in a music video with his car and went on Rally-Del Sol with his Mustang in Mexico, joined by other American Muscle cars like 60's Corvettes and 50's Cadillacs!
After going on an epic drive from Guadalajara to Veracruz and dropping the Mustang off at the port Marko flew home. After being home for a few weeks the sense of adventure started to burn inside Marko again and he decided that he wanted to go back to Italy, like he did last year in his Capri. Not wanting to risk taking his new pride and joy Marko decided he would buy a budget car for £250. After mentioning it to a few friends the idea gathered interest and after many meetings at Starbucks, the plans were made and the date set.
In July 2006 Marko in his £250 Ford Granada 2.9 4x4 set off alongside Dennis Tartakov in his Vauxhall Astra 1.4 with David Lambie as his co-pilot. Re-tracing his original route they made their way through France staying in camp-sites along the way before finally getting to Rome at midnight on a hot summers evening. After taking some pictures in front of the coliseum they set off to look for a hotel.
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Rust 2 Rome, the official banger rally from Edinburgh to Rome in £500 cars!
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