Essential Pittsburgh
2:24 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Driving a Banger from the Big Apple to the Big Easy

Shauna Yorty and Eli Mailey with their Uber Banger car
Shauna Yorty and Eli Mailey with their Uber Banger car
Credit Slyorty

From the Big Apple to the Big Easy, known by the acronym BABE, decorated “bangers” or junk cars, drive  from New York to New Orleans. The concept originated from similar rallies driven by junkie cars in Europe.

Shauna Yorty and Eli Mailey's banger is a 1982 VW Quantum that runs on vegetable oil. The Harrisburg couple can recall goofy stories and quirks about the rally over the past four years. Mailey converted his diesel car to run on vegetable oil with the help of a home conversion kit.

“During the race we would just pump the vegetable oil from barrels behind restaurants into the car for free,” Mailey explains. Teamwork plays a huge role in the rally. Shauna Yorty remembers breaking down in the Tennessee Smokey Mountains and working with teammates to keep everyone awake and motivated for the remainder of the rally. She says the race and the challenges along the way are always fun and worthwhile. “It’s all about adventure.”