The WCSC: driving the longest current road network possible for under £10,000
Are you ready for the sketchiest, most dangerous, and outright insane drive of your life? A 250 tribe coin reward awaits a madman/woman
By Shafiq Abidin
What's the greatest thing about driving? The cars? The scenery? Perhaps the final destination? No. I truly believe that the best thing about driving is the freedom that comes with it. Exploring the open road, without a thought or worry on your mind. Seeing where you've been in your rear view mirror, and where you're going through your windscreen. There's something so beautiful about the simplicity of driving, and driving, and driving some more. It relaxes the mind, replenishes your soul, and reminds you that life can be beautiful.
There are many great roads that we as a species have been able to create: the Pacific Coast Highway in America, the Transfagarasan Highway in Romania, the Ruta 40 in Argentina, and the Amalfi Drive in Italy are just a few of the many. Roads like these are the absolute pinnacle of human roadbuilding, and serves as a reminder that we can thrive in any environment, and conquer any of the elements that Mother Nature wants to throw at us.
Image credit: Gradyreese on Getty Images.
But just as we've built roads to satisfy the pleasure of driving, there are miles of tarmac that have been laid down for the simple purpose of getting from point A to B. In many places around the world, roads aren't even made up of tarmac, rather, just beaten out of the ground with pickaxes and hammers. For every North Coast 500, there is a Carretera a los Yungas (otherwise known as Bolivia's death road).
Quite often, you need to risk life and limb to traverse these treacherous stretches of road. On average, 1.35 million people lose their lives behind the wheel ever year. Of course, this isn't completely down the type of road they're driving on, but I'm pretty certain that the nature of the conditions of roads, coupled with poor roadbuilding, have contributed significantly to this sum.
The Karakoram Highway in Pakistan. Image credit: CK NG on Chookia.
But if it wasn't for those brave men and women who first began to construct roads, we would be significantly less developed as a species. Transportation of goods, ability to see your friends and families - all of that would be non-existent. I may be slightly going off topic here, but I guess I'm just thankful to them for paving the way for us.
Now we've discussed both the positives and negatives to roads and driving, let's look at one other side to it: longevity and distance. What's the furthest distance you can possibly drive on Earth without using ferries, or having to cross water? So, what's the longest possible drive you can embark on that continuously remains on land (of some sort)? Well, there's actually a unanimous winner there ... but first, last week's winner announcement!
As is my problem every week, there were some fabulous finds in the last challenge: a few old Jags, a MK1 MR2, a BMW 850i. Hell, there was even an old Saab Turbo from 1993. It's impossible to choose just one, but since I have no choice, I thought I'd play it safe and choose this stunning Aston Martin DB7. The car is timeless, so very pretty, and that engine note will always be in demand.
I really think these will more than double in price over the next few years, particularly those that have been meticulously maintained over the course of ownership, since they're becoming increasingly rare. Well done to Brian D for fighting off some stern competition last week and winning the 250 Tribe Coin reward!
Image credit: Google Maps.
Spanning a distance of 22,958 kilometres (or 14,265 miles), this network of continuous roads begins in Cape Town, and travels right the way to Magadan, found in the eastern corner of Russia. Travelling through 15 countries that span across three continents, the Eurofrasian road network is officially the farthest distance you can drive via road networks and paved roads in the world.
According to Google Maps, it would take 350 hours (or 14.5 days) of continuous driving to complete the trip. I wouldn't imagine you'd be driving for more than 12 hours a day, in any instance, when you account for resting and exploration time. I mean, what's the point of travelling through all that lot if you don't stop and enjoy (or loathe) what's around you? That'll bring it up to a minimum travel duration of 29 days.
Image credit: Culture Trip.
So, there's your (quite frankly) terrifying challenge for the week:
Starting in Cape Town, South Africa, you'll be heading North through ...
Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, Egypt, Israel,
Syria, Turkey, Georgia , Kazakhstan, and Russia (total distance: 14,265 miles)
As per usual, you'll be expected to find a set of wheels that'll successfully ferry you through the beautiful sceneries that come with embarking on a journey like this .. in tandem with the ferocious heat, bone-chilling cold, and animals that look at you and see their next meal. Oh, and a few civil wars, too.
You've got a budget of £10,000/$14,000
Find a suitable vehicle that'll get you through this journey
No limitations on what type of vehicle, get creative
Any modifications you hope you make should be included in a rough cost estimate
Image credit: MotorBiscuit.
I took my inspiration for this challenge from one of my favourite YouTube channels, 'Half As Interesting', who made a video regarding this very topic. I'd highly recommend giving it a watch, as it's only five minutes long (click here!). You can find out a bit more about the perils you'll face along the way: perhaps that'll even help you slightly when you're finding your entrant for this week.