Local mates Simon O'Donnell and James Sawers have finally completed the finishing touches on a car that will take them 16,093km (10,000 miles) from the UK to Mongolia in the 2017 Mongol Rally.

Accompanied by their friend Nico Clere, the local pair make up "Team Flightless" in the charity rally that will see them drive a distance equivalent to driving between Hawke's Bay and Auckland every day to meet the arrival deadline.

Mr O'Donnell said while the journey would be "pretty bloody tiring" it would raise money for the team's chosen charities, Doctors Without Borders and Cool Earth.

"There is just going to be a reliance on locals, sharing the will to live," he said.


Mongol Rally rules are that teams can only take a small vehicle, must complete the journey on their own and have to raise at least $1768 for charity.

Despite admitting it was a fairly extreme kind of adventure, Mr O'Donnell said the team were "fizzing" to get started.

"It's going to be a bit of a wing and a prayer mission," he said.

Formally working as a lawyer in Wellington, Mr O'Donnell said he and his friends had made the decision after hearing about the Mongol Rally and wanting a new challenge.

"We've all been out of university for two and a half years now and we felt it was about time to find some adventure," he said.

"It's probably going to be just as much a challenge as the past few years has been, but just a different one."

Mr O'Donnell said all of the money raised would go to the group's chosen charities; Doctors Without Borders who provide healthcare in war torn areas and Cool Earth who fight deforestation around the world.

In a final update on the team's status earlier this week, he said the group had been "scrambling" to raise more funds and put their final plans in place for the rally.

After travelling separately from New Zealand, the team regrouped in London several weeks ago and picked up their rally car; a "dinged up" 1999 Nissan Micra.

"The first time I went to start it, it didn't run. Turns out it was simply a flat battery, but we're hoping this isn't a sign of things to come. We've been for a test drive to Brighton which is around two hours away and the car which is yet to be named runs well!"

Mr O'Donnell said one of the biggest limitations of the car was its storage capacity which was left with little spare room once all three Kiwis, measuring more than 1.82m each, were in the car.

"We've solved this by sourcing a metal roof cage to be attached to the roof racks. This will carry essentials like spare wheels, water and jerry cans of fuel."

He said of the places they would visit on their adventure the group was most excited about travelling to Herat in Afghanistan.

"The Islamic Republic receives around 100 to 150 tourists a year, so we'll be part of a small number of people who get to live this experience,

"Safety will be paramount, so we'll be trying to blend in as much as is possible in a tiny green Nissan."

Set up with a Go Pro camera and drone, Mr O'Donnell said those wishing to follow their journey could do so by following their Facebook Page www.facebook.com/teamflightless.

Those who would like to donate money can visit givealittle.co.nz/cause/flightless-mongol-rally.