Dumball Rally… Driving a broken down Cadillac to Corfu

Dumball Rally 2018

Just another of those dumb ideas??  Well no, not really!

This is the third Dumball Rally which Neil McDonald of Parts USA has been involved with, but  the tenth time they’ve run it.

Previously, he has driven to Odessa in Ukraine and through the Sahara desert. This year they are off to Corfu. Dumball chose Teenage Cancer Trust as their charity when one of the participants in an earlier rally asked if he and his teenage son with Leukemia could join in. His son died shortly after the rally but dad, family and friends still come on every one (and put everyone else’s fundraising to shame). The organisers are hoping this rally will be the one where donations hit the million pound mark. They’re pretty close!

In keeping with his business, Neil talked the rest of his team in to letting him buy a Cadillac. They turned up to a guy’s house in Leicester where the car hadn’t run in 2 years. A couple of hours later they had fixed it and drove it away, with only one working brake! Since then, Neil has gradually been turning it in to a Presidential Limo. Well, it is a Cadillac after all! They even cut the roof out, because nothing bad ever comes of a convertible Presidential Limo….

They leave this Saturday and this year there are 47 cars and nearly 150 people taking part. The route is Margate to Corfu (and the full route can be found on Neil’s JustGiving page)

And you can follow all the craziness on @thedumball on twitter

As for Parts USA, the business was set up in early 2015 as a parts supply operation for North American vehicles. Within 12 months, General Motors had asked if Neil and team would consider becoming an Authorised Repairer for their American vehicles in the UK. They made the necessary modifications to the business and accepted the offer, which has led to them looking after the current fleet of Chevrolet vehicles that Manchester United operate as part of their Chevrolet sponsorship. They are one of only two Authorised Repairers in the UK for General Motors North American vehicles (the other one being in Surrey). The current vehicle line up is Corvette, Camaro and a line of Cadillac vehicles, including the Escalade, and they also look after previous models, such as the HUMMER H2 and H3 (fun fact: HUMMER has to be in caps to meet branding standards. That’s American’s for you!)

They still specialise in the North American General Motors vehicles, but we do also cover many other American makes on an independent basis. Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge, Ford/Lincoln etc… Neil tells us that while newer cars are easier to supply parts for, they have, on occasion, supplied parts for vehicles back to the 1940s.

They’ve had vehicles come in from the Isle of Man, the tip of Scotland, and almost anywhere else you can imagine in the UK. A motor home even arrived all the way from Cornwall on the back of a recovery truck for them to fix. The motor home wouldn’t fit in the building, so they had to fix it on the back of the truck!!

A lot of Neil’s customers seem surprised how good they are at fixing their cars as, in most cases, they’ve tried regular garages and had nothing but trouble. Neil’s constant response id to tell people that American cars is all they do which is why they’re so good at it. He’s all for specialism stick with what you’re good at would be his advice!

Needless to say, we are wishing Neil and his team all the best on their adventure and can’t wait to hear all about it and see the photos when he gets back!!




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