Vroom for bucket list rally
Richard Bennett with the 1967 Mustang. Picture: Michael Wilson/The West Australian

For self-confessed "petrol head and bush mechanic" Richard Bennett, it is the ultimate bucket list trip.

Covering 16,000km and several terrains in his treasured 1967 Ford Mustang, Mr Bennett will be the envy of many when he joins a handful of entrants in the Sydney to London Classic Marathon Rally starting on April 12.

The trip has been five years in the making for the WA businessman after scoring a sought-after spot in the once-in-a-decade rally.

The month-long rally includes an 11-day race across Australia, an airlift from Perth to Turkey, a trip across the winding roads of Europe before a ferry ride for the event's final stint in the British capital.

While he looks forward to the freedom of the open road, Mr Bennett's sense of adventure goes hand-in-hand with the goal of raising thousands for an organisation that has saved many lives in his time working at remote drilling sites.

Mr Bennett knows the true value of the Royal Flying Doctor Service after a colleague suffered a major back injury at a drill rig near Norseman.

"We work remotely and see all the good work that the Flying Doctor does," he said. "I've seen it firsthand. I had a guy who was badly injured and he's now fine."

Mr Bennett hopes to raise $200,000 for the RFDS through business sponsorship and donations from family, friends and those he meets on the road.

He bought his Mustang two years ago after finding out it had done the same rally in 2004.

"Finding the right car was important because it has to survive the distance," Mr Bennett said.

"I love Mustangs - everyone loves a Mustang - and it's a proven and tested car."

With co-driver Matthew James-Wallace, Mr Bennett will travel without air-conditioning, carrying only a boot full of clothes and some spare parts.

They will be timed on the journey, competing for a trophy to be presented in London on May 11.

The West Australian

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