THE DEVOTED dad and his crew of friends who transformed an old hearse into the iconic Ghostbusters car are just about to set out on their 2,000-mile charity rally across Europe.
As previously reported by the Gazette, Aaron Ind, his dad Dave and friends Simon Slater, and Jason and Pete Gregus haggled to buy a hearse to transform it into the classic 80s movie vehicle.
The £4,000 renovation has taken months, but the gang are displaying the striking vehicle at local events to recoup costs and now are gearing up for the big event.
They will drive the gleaming white car, complete with Ghostbusters badges, in the prestigious 1,400-mile Rusty Rex Banger Rally from Saturday, July 12.
The ghost-hunting car will travel almost 2,000 miles, which includes departing Cam two days before, ferry to France and driving to the Reims start line.
Aaron said: “We bartered to bag the hearse and got a discount when we said it was for a charity challenge,” he said.
“We’ve worked tirelessly to alter it and are really gearing up to start."
Dressed as Ghostbusters, the “wacky and fun”, four-day challenge takes in the Alps, Swiss and Italian lakes, and finishes in Nice, France.
They are supporting Stroud-based charity Meningitis Now, Bristol Children’s Hospital, Help for Heroes and Dursley regeneration scheme Breakheart Community Project.
Aaron, who lives in Sharpness, said his fundraising efforts were because his six-year-old daughter Ruby contracted Meningitis at just six months, but thankfully fully recovered after she was initially treated for conjunctivitis and then chickenpox.
After the second visit to the doctor, they noticed a bulging fontanelle, a classic meningitis sign in babies, and Ruby was rushed to Bristol Children’s Hospital, where she spent two weeks fighting the disease.
She returned home, but two days later she started fitting while Aaron fed her a bottle and she was rushed back to BCH.
Ruby had trapped cranial fluid, which was drained and she spent another fortnight in hospital, which Aaron, 35, described as “dreadful”.
“We were on edge constantly, but thankfully Ruby rallied and recovered,” he said.
“We don’t want anyone else to feel the pain of seeing a loved one battle the awful disease.
“Meningitis Now is close to my heart because of Ruby, and the team have picked some other wonderful charities.”
Meningitis Now founder Steve Dayman MBE, of Alveston, who launched the UK’s meningitis movement after losing his baby Spencer to the disease in 1982 said: “We thank Aaron and the gang for taking on the rally for such great causes.
“Without people like them, we couldn’t continue our lifesaving work to fund pioneering preventative research, raise awareness and support families.
“We wish them the best for the rally.”
Aaron is appealing to businesses to sponsor the car.
For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page Glorious Ghostbusters, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01453 511312.
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/Aaron-ind or text RIND 90 and your amount to 70070.