|Argyll Classic March 2015 - The Andrew Davidson Memorial Run
Story Jim Paterson, Photos Andy Thomlinson, Jim Paterson & Robert
classic and sporting cars headed for Lomond Shores for the start of the
2015 Argyll Classic event on Sunday 29 March. Two of our 25 entries had to
unfortunately call off just prior to the event.
call came in from Peter Young in car number 5, the Daimler Dart
SP250, to tell me he was struggling to reach the start in time.
The Krooklock (remember them?) he uses as an anti theft device for
security had caught the accelerator pedal when taking it off in the
morning and sprung the throttle linkage to the carbs under the bonnet.
However much tinkering and spannering in the rain got them to the start
before the crews had all left. Classic car owner drivers are
a hardy lot, with the motto 'never say never'. I thought a split
throttle linkage sounded a great security device Peter. The low slung
Dart had a difficult time later on the Loch Awe section, being so low
slung, and made a swift detour, which also found some sunshine. Well
1938 Hotchkiss was our oldest car entered brought by Branislav Sudjic,
and would lead the start line on their way. As the crews signed on
I saw Hugh MacKinnon under the bonnet of his splendid 1955 Jaguar
XK140. Hugh reported that the water temp gauge was reading on the high
side, and not sure if water required or gauge going wonky. A quick look
in the radiator found a low water level so out with the water bottle.
'Still or Sparkling? I asked, tongue in cheek, but either would do, and
soon they were reading normal again. David Allan with daughter Kirsteen
were on their first event in David's 1968 Sunbean Tiger V8 looking
great ,even in the wet. The big V8 being a tight fit in the Tiger
means it can get quite warm when idling, and David had fitted the
period mod that raised the rear of the bonnet to allow the heat to
escape once they were on their way.
was heavy 'Scots mist' as the crews left Loch Lomond and it would
deteriorate as the day progressed, and this is the start of Spring!
Crickey what next? The route took the cars through Glen Fruin to the
Gare Loch, past Faslane naval base, round to Loch Long and up to
Arrochar to reach Glen Croe and the Rest and be Thankful. Clark
Dawson, normally in the driving seat throwing an imp around on tests
was today guiding Brendan MacKinven on his first attempt at this tour
in a 1969 Sunbeam Imp Sport. Clark is well known for his skills in
rebuilding Hillman Imps and created a rally imp for the legendary 'Imp'
rally star Rosemary Smith, whom he met again at the 2014 Monte Carlo
start in Glasgow last year
years run up the Rest was a tribute to the late Andrew Davidson, who
owned the Rest and reopened this famous hill climb for the use of
classic and sporting cars. The rain eased off for the crews to enjoy a
'safe but spirited' drive up the hill. Hugh in the 'hot' XK140 enjoyed
a trouble free blast to the top, while David Heirs in the Saab was
worried that his newly installed gearbox was sounding a bit 'off' so
will be coming out again soon. When all the cars reached the top, the
crews and marshals got
together for a special presentation.
a special gift the club, in addition to the obligatory bottle of malt,
presented Andrew's daughter Diane and husband Stephen with a metal
plate replica of the original RAC direction sign to the entrance, which
was used for the July 1950 event. The source of the sign was taken from
a very scratchy 16mm film clip in black and white and researching the
original colour scheme used at the time.
With a grey curtain of
rain approaching up the Glen, to which Diane told us that her father
would have said 'We've seen the best of the day', the crews headed off
down Hells Glen road toward Loch Fyne and Inverary. We met a few crews
pulling over for a coffee / brunch stop at any one of the many eateries
in the town. Several soft top crews including Tom and Marianne
Dromgoole in their MGF (Car No 22) were determined to keep the top
down, despite the weather, but only Tom and Marianne would keep it down
to the finish. This was to be expected as I know this is Tom's
signature feature on all events.
Heading north out of
Inverary we reached Loch Awe and hugged the loch side on the single
track road to Ford. I warned the crews at the briefing that the road
gets very close to the loch and not to slip in as they may never be
seen again! From Ford the route headed up the north side of Loch Awe
but climbed up higher giving great views toward Kilchurn Castle. Well
it does on a clear day. A few crews, including Alaister Muir in the
Healey 100/4 were finding the potholes giving the exhausts a bit of
punishment, requiring a bit of remedial DIY in the case of Alaister to
keep it on the car.
Reaching Kilchrenan we turned west for Taynuilt and back on to the A85, passing Cruachan power station,
to reach Tyndrum and fuel for those running low. An easy return to
Dumbarton via Crianlarich, Tarbet, down the side of Loch Lomond.
welcome and a superb three course dinner awaited the finishers, at the
Dumbuck Hotel, close to Jimmy Stewart's (Jackie Stewart's father)
garage. The crews once again dug deep into their pockets to support the
raffle raising funds for CHAS, the Children's Hospice Association
Scotland. A total of £155 was raised for the charity.
Everyone reported having a great time despite the typical Argyll weather. Sorry can't influence that one I'm afraid.
you drove the Rest and be Thankful Andy Thomlinson will have you
'caught on film' and if you would like a print copy for your
collection, he is pleased to arrange one. Please drop me an email and
I'll pass your request on.
you can see a selection of Andy's photos here :-
out for our next Tour of the Ochils on 10th May which will cover roads
never used by the club before. with visits to some special venues this
is a must for the classic owner.
Starters for the event
||Hotchkiss Monte Carlo
||Austin Healey 100/4
||Sunbeam Imp Sport
||Saab 96 V4
||Triumph Dolomite Sprint
||Ford Escort Mk2
||MG Midget 1500
Updated 31 March 2015