Hitting the road

Dave Myers, left, and Dave Clark made a stop in Thunder Bay on Wednesday while participating in the the Canada 5000 Rally Against Alzheimer’s in a 1967 Volvo 122S Amazon.

A pair of car enthusiasts are testing their luck and mechanical abilities on a 5,000-mile journey in a self built 1967 Volvo.

The trek is partly a history project paying homage to the famous Shell 4000 Rally races that were held in Canada in the 1960s. The other part of the rally is to raise awareness and money to fight Alzheimer’s disease.

“I wanted to do a road trip across Canada and I was looking for a cool way to do it when I stumbled across the history website for Shell 4000 rally and everybody was saying it was an amazing way to see Canada,” Dave Clark told The Chronicle-Journal on Wednesday.

Along with co-driver Dave Myers, the pair decided to recreate the rally on their own using a 1967 Volvo Amazon, the type of car that twice won the rally.

The Shell 4000 was known to be one of the longest and toughest car rallies at the time.

Clark and Myers, who both live in Edmonton, bought a non-running 1967 Volvo and spent several months rebuilding the car for the rally.

“In ’64 and ’65 the Volvo Amazon won the rally,” Clark said. “In ’65 there were ten Volvos that entered and they all finished the rally without changing a single part. They are known as being solid and dependable.”

Things haven’t gone completely according to plan. Clark explained that they had to change a few parts and even replace the transmission while going through Calgary and the wheel bearing blew in Vancouver.

Despite those setbacks, Clark said they doing well.

They both credited the Internet for helping them diagnose and solve mechanical problems along the way.

The pair set off from Edmonton on June 10 and drove to Vancouver to start the rally on June 12 with a goal to reach Halifax by June 24.

For Myers the rally has deeply personal meaning as his mother, Marilyn, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in her early 60s.

“We are doing this in part as a way to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease,” said Myers.

He said that women make up 72 per cent of people with Alzheimer’s.

“We are doing this to honour the women in our lives and hope that we can create some awareness for girls and women in the future,” he added.

One of the things that isn’t well known in Canada is how significant Alzheimer’s is from a family, social and economic point of view, added Myers.

For more information on the trip or to follow Myers and Clark, go to their website at www.canada5000.ca.

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