A COUPLE are gearing up for an epic 4500-mile banger rally in aid of Doddie Weir’s My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

A stipulation of the rally is that you must complete the journey in a car that costs less than £1000 or is more than 20 years old.

Lucy and Stewart Alexander, directors of Glasgow-based mechanical and electrical contractors A. Alexander Group have painstakingly restored a Volvo 940 Estate rescued from Wales.

Fondly known as Bella, the car has been dressed up in the motor neurone disease (MND) charity’s tartan.

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They will set off on their Rust 2 Rome adventure from Edinburgh on June 4, travelling through Europe to arrive in the Italian capital 10 days later on Wednesday, June 14.

Lucy and Stewart were keen to support the charity in memory of Isobel MacKay (Bella), Stewart’s aunt, a remarkable and inspirational woman who was diagnosed with and lived with MND, a disease that affects the motor neurons of the nervous system, at the same time as former Scotland rugby star Weir, who founded the charity.

The foundation fundraises to aid research, investigate cures, and provide grants and support to individuals and their families living with MND.

Stewart, managing director of A. Alexander Group said, “I love nothing more than tinkering about with cars and it seemed a great opportunity to combine a passion with a terrific charity cause that’s very close to our family.

“However, the closer it’s getting the more and more things come into our heads of what we need to double-check and prepare for.

“I think it’s certainly going to be an adventure and we’re really looking forward to meeting all the other people taking part.

“It’s going to be a great trip for us, but the main thing is that we can raise a lot for the charity that does such great work for so many.”

The route for the challenge has still to be unveiled but the trip will involve eight days camping and two days in a hotel.

Paul Thompson, director of fundraising for My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, added, “What a great adventure that Lucy and Stewart are embarking on – we always enjoy seeing fundraisers coming up with fun and creative ways to support My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and this certainly ticks those boxes.

“We’re especially impressed by the entirely tartan wrap of the car and can’t wait to hear what people make of it as they travel across Europe!

“We wish them the best of luck, a safe journey to Rome, and offer our thanks once again for their support”.  Lucy and Stewart’s fundraising page can be found at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bella2rome.

All monies raised will be donated to the charity and corporate sponsorship for branding is also available.

For further information email: bella2rome@gmail.com – and you can also follow Bella’s journey @bella2rome on Instagram.