No chance of a paws on 96-hour Italy trek

Gareth Carter and William Blackshaw with their canine-inspired car.
Gareth Carter and William Blackshaw with their canine-inspired car.

Two Alnwick businessmen are taking on a charity quest and will be driving to Italy and back in a £500 car, hoping to complete the trip in four days.

And the car will certainly be noticeable as it has been decked out with a doggy theme, complete with furry body and a tongue sticking out at the front.

William Blackshaw, managing director of Blackshaws of Alnwick, and his friend, Gareth Carter, of Alnwick Computerware, are taking on the challenge which is to raise funds for BEN, the UK’s dedicated charity for those who work, or have worked, in the motors industry.

Forty cars will be taking part in the 3,000-mile challenge and, as well as the four-day time limit, competitors have a budget of £750 for their vehicles.

William and Gareth will be setting off from Dover next Saturday in a £500 Suzuki Ignis, which has had its clutch replaced courtesy of one of Blackshaws’ junior mechanics.

They also spent a few hundred quid more pursuing the canine theme, which was all done in the Blackshaws body shop.

“We have done a few test runs and, touch wood, it has gone well so far,” said William. “There’s no air conditioning though so it will get quite hot.”

Upon their return – assuming that they make it back – the cars are all auctioned off to raise funds for the charity.

Visit to sponsor the duo.