It is quite simply a case of ‘May the Force be with you’ as Chandlers Building Supplies unveils a fully ‘pimped up’ and refurbished Reliant Rialto for its entry into the Pavestone Rally 2019.
The family-owned builders’ merchant bought the 1986 classic three-wheeled car on Ebay for £200. It has been at Hastings College’s Automotive Training Centre since March, where 43 students worked on rebuilding the engine and over hauled the bodywork to create a daring Darth Vader-mobile.
Rally driver, Trevor Mudd from Chandlers Building Supplies is taking the wheel for his fourth consecutive year competing in the event. Trevor said: “The enthusiasm and marvelous engineering work done by the students on the car is exceptional. This is an amazing piece of workmanship. I can’t wait to rev her up!”
Part of this project’s challenge was to also allow the car to be easily adapted to a new creative theme every day of the rally, with themes including ‘Underground’, ‘Superheroes’ and ‘Back from the Dead’.
Trevor, who is being accompanied by Sam Hanks of Cembrit, added: “This challenge is our most daring yet and we are delighted to have had such young talent supporting us. The input by the students will make a huge difference in getting us across the finish line, raising lots of money for charity and hopefully bring the trophy home. We aim to make the students proud!”
Jamie Nash, 17, a student on the project, said: “I loved working on the car and thinking about how each element could be achieved. We even made a working prototype of a luminous green water jet cannon and a working lightsaber for the Darth Vader theme.”
Sue McKinney, Head of Marketing at Chandlers Building Supplies, said: “We have a great relationship with the college due to our existing in-house apprenticeship schemes and, as a business, we are always keen to support young apprentices in every vocational field. Taking part in the rally is just one element of our business’s commitment to supporting charitable initiatives.”
The Pavestone Rally invites the UK building materials supply chain, encompassing builders’ merchants, suppliers and other industry bodies, to raise money for charity. The goal is to drive a car, worth less than £500, across Europe in four days, while in full fancy dress. This year, the event is hoping to raise £175,000 for its three chosen charities: Rainy Day Trust, Teenage Cancer Trust, and Variety.
Chandlers Building Supplies has entered the rally for the last three years, finishing in first place in 2016, and second in 2017 and 2018 – the team also won Best Dressed Car and Best Dressed Team last year. The merchant is welcoming donations via its Virgin Giving page whilst you can keep up to date with the team on its Facebook: @cembritchandlers7