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Father and daughter's African adventure

PUBLISHED: 09:44 17 October 2009 | UPDATED: 11:27 08 July 2010

THEY have spent months creating their very own customised Citroen 2 CV car and now father and daughter team Kell and Mal McLean are getting ready to take it on the trip of a lifetime to West Africa.

THEY have spent months creating their very own customised Citroen 2 CV car and now father and daughter team Kell and Mal McLean are getting ready to take it on the trip of a lifetime to West Africa.

The McLeans built their vehicle from scratch using parts from about six Citroen 2 CVs. They started the project, which cost about £6,000, at the end of last year and it took them about six months to finish the car that is painted green and white and called Laura the Tourer.

Now they are preparing for a new challenge - the Touareg Trail 2009 - which will see them drive about 6,000 miles from Brussels to Benin, West Africa, as part of a fleet of 25 Citroen 2 CVs.

They hope to raise £5,000 for children's charity UNICEF and along the way they will visit places including Luxembourg, Spain, Morocco, Mali, Mauritania and Burkino Faso.

They will face hostile and dangerous terrain as they travel through mountains and deserts to reach their destination, and to help their car rise to the challenge they have reinforced the chassis, installed a six-point roll cage to protect them if the car rolls over, and put special guards around the oil and petrol tanks. Throughout the trip they will also be responsible for fixing anything that goes wrong with their car on the journey.

Miss McLean, 27, who lives in Millside, Stalham, and who grew up in Swanton Morley, said: “It is going to be tough but I am looking forward to the whole experience. Some of the things we will see will be absolutely amazing.

“I am not hugely well-travelled so it will be the experience of a lifetime for me. It will also be really rewarding to make it to the end with the car we have built.”

Mr McLean, a 53-year-old tower crane driver who lives in Biggin Hill Way, Carbrooke, asked his daughter to take part in the trip with him after he heard about it while he was building another car.

He said: “Most of my life I have wanted to do something quite adventurous and now this is my chance.

“Although Kell is my daughter she is my best mate as well. It was good fun working together on the car and now we are going on the trip of a lifetime together.”

The pair will also be taking a third passenger - a teddy bear called Laura B that belongs to the Catton Girl Guides and who will feature on the online blog that Miss McLean, who works for a bank, plans to update regularly.

Their adventure begins in Brussels at the end of the month and they expect it will take about four weeks to complete the journey.

Autotest, based in Norwich and part of the Bosch car service network, is sponsoring the McLeans by providing some funding and some spare parts for the car.

t To sponsor the McLeans or find our more about their trip visit www.norfolk2benin.moonfruit.com

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