East Antrim men gear up for ‘Screwball rally’

David Laverty and Gordon Thompson, from Larne and Gerald Torbitt and  George Erwin, from Glengormley are taking part in the 'Screwball Rally.
David Laverty and Gordon Thompson, from Larne and Gerald Torbitt and George Erwin, from Glengormley are taking part in the 'Screwball Rally.

Larne man David Laverty is gearing up for a marathon drive across Europe taking part in an international “Screwball Rally”.

David will be making the 1,726 mile trip to Poland in an old £750 Vauxhall Vectra which he got back on the road after being rescued from a field.

David Laverty and Gordon Thompson, from Larne and Gerald Torbitt and  George Erwin, from Glengormley are taking part in the "Screwbally Rally".

David Laverty and Gordon Thompson, from Larne and Gerald Torbitt and George Erwin, from Glengormley are taking part in the "Screwbally Rally".

He will be sharing the driving with Gordon Thompson, also from Larne, following a route which will take them the length of the United Kingdom before sailing to France and travelling onwards to Germany, Prague and the Czech Republic before arriving in Poland.

This will be a charity trip for the pair who are raising funds for Autism NI.

Their distinctive car, has already been seen on local roads, has been lovingly restored and covered with an eye-catching jigsaw print to raise awareness of the charity. It is only one of two from Northern Ireland taking part.

In the other car will be Gerald Torbitt and George Erwin, from Glengormley, who are also fundraising for Autism NI.

The Larne men have already raised the sum of £2,500 for the charity through fundraisers and donations from Purple Bricks, P&O and Vets 4 Pets, to name a few.

He has thanked everyone for their generosity and support, in particular, Samantha Hogg who helped organise all the events and without whom, he said the “whole thing would not have been possible”.

David and Gordon will join the colourful convoy in Dover for the novelty event on September 20.

Drivers of more than 80 cars taking part in the annual rally will raise a grand total of £700,000 for charities of their choice.

Each team taking part in the novelty event is asked to raised a minimum of £250 for a charity of their choice.

David says he decided to choose Autism NI as he has a number of friends whose children have the condition.

Cars must not have a value of more than £750 but must be roadworthy and comply with the regulations of each country.

Although the vehicle has been extensively serviced and has an MOT certificate, David joked: “i just hope we make it.”