Gatton's Red Devil arrives home
IT WAS a triumphant, if a little dusty, return for Gatton's own Devil this week, as the 23-year-old Nissan Pulsar arrived home after a 3800km outback adventure.
Joanne Emery and her best friend and co-pilot Donna Wheeler took the Pulsar, affectionately known as the Little Red Devil, in the Shitbox Rally charity event which this year travelled from Brisbane to Darwin.
Teams complete the gruelling rally for charity in cars costing less than $1000, and this year raised $1,060,630 for the Cancer Council - a new record.
Ms Emery said the rally was something she would never forget, and planned to apply for next year's rally - travelling from Perth to Sydney, via Uluru, over 10 days.
"It was an amazing experience to be a part of,” Ms Emery said.
"It's almost like being back at school, where nothing else matters. You meet some amazing people and for that one week it is your entire life, and the people that you are surrounded with - they just make it.”
Ms Emery's 1995 Nissan survived the gruelling challenge without incident - only losing a horn and suffering a few punctures.
"We had five punctures - two were blow-outs and the other three were flat tyres. That was all that was wrong with it, which was amazing,” she said.
"I think the Nissan Pulsars must have a good reputation because a lot of people came up to us during the rally and said, 'Oh you're in a Nissan Pulsar - you'll be fine', so they must have a good reputation.”
Ms Emery and Ms Wheeler raised more than $9000 for the rally, and Ms Emery said that support from the community had simply blown them away.
"We thought in the beginning we'd struggle to get to the $4000 (minimum donation),” she said.
"We wouldn't have been able to raise $9140 without the help from local sponsors, and that was Gatton Autopro, Zabels Mechanic and Red Roo Earthmovers, and personal donations from people.
"Without them, we wouldn't have been able to get anywhere near it.”