Bought for $1000, this VL has done over 90,000km for charity

Scott Rankine is saddling up the Team Bitzamissin VL for a wild off-road trek from Bendigo to Townsville, all for a fantastic cause


An event with a name like the Shitbox Rally sounds like it’d be a ball of fun right off the bat, and the best bit is that it’s all for a great cause.

Just like the well-known Variety Bash, the Shitbox Rally sees dirt-cheap, standard passenger vehicles driven off-road in a week-long rally to raise money for the Cancer Council.

Scott Rankine has participated in 10 rallies since 2012, using a VL Commodore donated by a Barossa Valley winery.

“At the time, the rules were that the car couldn’t cost more than $1000, and back then, these VLs weren’t worth much,” he says. “The winery donated the car, but on the condition it had to be returned, because they thought it wouldn’t make it! It’s been stored there after each rally ever since.”

Scott reckons he and the VL have covered around 90,000km since they started doing the rallies, including the road miles either side of the events. “The car has been driven to and from all but two rallies; it’s looked after us well!” he says.

Each Shitbox Rally has generated in excess of $1 million for the Cancer Council and taken entrants all over the country. “We’ve been to every capital city, including Hobart,” says Scott. “It’s not a time trial; it’s just about making it to each stop. You move in groups of eight cars, and complete strangers are best mates by the end of it.

“It’s such a good event; all the places and sights you get to see and the camaraderie that comes out of it are the best parts for me.”

This year, Scott, his brother-in-law Wayne, and the long-suffering VL have teamed up under the Bitzamissin moniker to take on the Spring Rally over 18-26 October. The adventure starts in the Central Victorian town of Bendigo, cuts through western New South Wales and South Australia, and finishes in Townsville in North Queensland.

To take part, prospective entrants must raise a minimum of $5000 at least one month before the rally begins. Scott and Wayne intend to raise $10,000 by the end of the rally, and the event organisers aim to crack $2 million in total to donate to the Cancer Council. At the time of writing, Bitzamissin has already raised just shy of $7000, so if you’re keen to throw some cash towards the boys for a great cause, you can find out more and donate here.

Each year, the VL also cops a new paint scheme for the rally, partly for fun and partly to include sponsorship. So far, Lightforce, REDARC, Willshire Motor Trimmers and Wright Evans Partners have jumped aboard, and Scott is happy to welcome any other companies who want to partner with the team’s cause. He can be contacted at [email protected].

We’ll be tracking Scott and Wayne’s efforts at the rally in October. In the meantime, we wish them and all the other entrants the best and hope they can crack that $2 million!