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The signing on team

Cool XK140 

Robbie Bulloch revs up Escort

MacKinven & Dawson set off 

Dromgooles brave elements

Knox  heads the Imp team

Peter Young and Daimler SP250 DartGeoff and Bev Ramsay line up for the drive up the Rest Presentation metal plateRussel and Carol Smith kick out tail in 1996 Mazda Eunos

Nick Green and Alan Dougan setup the hairpin on the Rest

David Heirs in Saab saving the gearbox on the Rest

Moira Wallace and Stuart Hall in tidy Stag
Graeme Gallaoway's Anglia
Argyll Classic  March 2015  - The Andrew Davidson Memorial Run
Story Jim Paterson, Photos Andy Thomlinson, Jim Paterson & Robert

Twentythree 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.

A panic 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 done Peter.

The 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.

It 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 

This 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. 

As 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.

A 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.

If 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 :-

Look 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  

Car No Driver Navigator Car Year
1 Branislav Sudjic Gesa Walker Hotchkiss Monte Carlo 1938
2 Nick Green Alan Dougan Jaguar XK140 1955
3 Alaister Muir Bob Gillespie Austin Healey 100/4 1955
4 Hugh MacKinnon Fraser Anderson Jaguar XK140 1955
5 Peter Young Ursula Ross Daimler SP250 1960
6 James Rae Will Moffat MGB V8 1967
7 Geoff Ramsay Bev Ramsay MGB GT 1967
10 David Allan Kirsteen Allan Sunbeam Tiger 1968
11 Alex Knox Kathleen Knox Singer Chamois 1968
12 Brendan MacKinven Clark Dawson Sunbeam Imp Sport 1969
14 Moira Wallace Stewart Hall Triumph Stag 1973
15 David Heirs Doug Philliips Saab 96 V4 1974
16 George Ferguson Elizabeth Ferguson Triumph Dolomite Sprint 1978
17 Robbie Bulloch Margaret Bulloch Ford Escort Mk2 1978
18 Gililan MacDonald Ian Johnstone MG Midget 1500 1978
19 David Birdsall Rod Phillips Audi Quattro 1985
20 Colin Rose June Rose Mazda MX5 1993
21 Russell Smith Carol Smith Mazda Eunos 1996
22 Tom Dromgoole Marianne Dromgoole MG F 2001
23 Ian Sinclair Ann Sinclair Audi TT 2001
24 David Lauder Val Lauder MG TF 2003
25 Alex Sneddon Hazel Dewart Honda S2000 2004
26 Ronnie Sandeman Struan Robertson Jaguar XJS 1985

Updated 31 March 2015