|Argyll Classic - 26 March |
Report - Jim Paterson, Photos - Andy Thomlinson, Jim Paterson
30 entries gathered under unbroken sunshine at Lomond Shores on Sunday
26 March to start the 160 mile tour of 'Argylls Secret Coast'.
With classics from the sixties through to more modern sporting cars the
day was set for some great motoring.
Our signing on
was once again managed by Rona and Karen, who are a dab hand at keeping
the crews in line! Most now know what to expect.
Under the morning sunshine we were
able to admire the John and Julia Mellon magnificant 1974 Mk1 Escort
RS2000, just refreshed after its winter slumber. William and Valerie
Pollock in their Triumph TR2 were glad to see the sunshine, taking the
lead to drop the softop. Donald and Margaret Campbell arrived from
Inverness in their 1955 Sunbeam Mk3, one of the first cars to appear
after dropping Talbot from the name. Always good to see Chris and Mary
Paton in their bright red Mini Mk1. Hope to see them out an about again
Telford from Classic Car Tours welcomed the
change to taking part, rather than organising, bringing his 1963
AC Cobra 289 whose beefy V8 would light up the road, both for the
eyes and ears! He would find Quentin Gray and Dorita Orr in the
1954 Swallow Doretti a challenge later on. Though looking somewhat like
a 'barn find' Quentin told me that the Doretti chassis was in top
condition and the drive train just short of stage 2 tuning.
were graced by not one but two Volvo 122S Amazon's that have
successfully completed th monte Carlo Historique. Carig McGibbon teamed
up with Karsten Brown, normally sitting alongside Ranald White in the
Rover P6, whilst Andy Thomlinson brought along 'Anhangá'. Andy
stopped over at the Rest and be Thankful and took all the photos
of the cars as they pulled round the top hairpin of the hillclimb.
Ian Close and Chris
Macdonald brought the 1967 Frontline MGB LE50, the reincarnation
of the original MGB, brought professionally right up to date. Always
good to see a Riley Elf, and Norma and Jim Wilson's example is one of
the few left running. He told me only around 300 are left in the UK. A
quick 'Google puts that at 344, and dropping, in 2016. The pair
use the Elf a lot in the summer, waving the flag for the
MG were in line again, this time David and Fiona Chapman
in their 1968 MGC. Holding steady at some 1000 on the road. Still with
MG, this time Stuart and Graeme Sheridan in their 1969 MGB/GT. I met up
with them at the Rest and be Thanksful and the car was missing quite
badly making it difficult to get away from thestart line. A trail of
water on the road did not look good. Bonnet up and a reseat of the SU
carb dampers helped, and th ewater temp was not above normal. Off they
went slowly to try and clear the fuel flow.
are becoming a rare sight on our roads, most having succumbed to the
rust worm. Patrick and Pauline Shannon brought a 'borrowed' 1971
example which looked in fine fettle.
and Beth Cargill brought their little 1973 Toyota which looked good,
and ready for the season. George and Elizabeth Ferguson have been seen
several times in their 1978 Triumph Dolmite Sprint and the Argyull was
a good shakedown for the 2017 season. Robbie and Margaret Bulloch in
the 1978 Escort is a great sight, and today he would almost pass
his front door in Strachur on route. David and Anne Scott flew the
German flag in their 1985 VW Golf, continuing the European and
international flavour of the tour, while David and Marion Marshall flew
the Frernch tricolour in their Peugeot 205 Rallye .
Rod Ritchie brought a Porsche 911 in place of their Skoda 136 ex
works rally car. A spare part did not arrive in time to bring the
The omen would not be good for the Porsche. Already sporting an unusual
number plate after meeting a pheasant on the same flight
path, coming directly at them, on the way to the start, took out
Pheasant and number plate, last seen spinning over a hedge! Their
troubles returned later on with a split brake pipe after bottoming out
on the Rest and be Thankful. Running repairs kept them going but
eventually forced them to retire later in the day. Hope to see the
Skoda next time out.
Sunbeam Inverness crew were joined by roddie and Sylvia Main in their
1995 Mercedes 320SL. Dave and Maureen spence brought their recently
acquired 2002 BMW 2500, which is destined for the Dolomiti Sfida later
this year. Unfortunately Dave felt unwell the previous night in his
overnight hotel, and was unable to cross the start line. Good news is
he had recovered sufficiently to attend th eclub AGM on the following
missed Darren McGuiness in his 1998 BMW Z3M, who along with co-driver
Simon Crowe dropped out at hte last moment. He did say to keep his
entry fee and donate it to the CHAS raffle collection. Thanks Darren, a
real gentleman. However Ron and Jan Adam brought their 2000 BMW Z3.
This is a quick machine and Ron enjoys giving it a long lead on
the long straights. Still with Z3 we saw Graham Morris and Kenneth
Willamson start in a 2002 example.
The MG's are never
too far away, and Tom and Marianne Dromgoole arrived in the MGF,
freshly MoT'd and sporting bigger brakes on the back. Ian and Catherine
higgins had hoped to arrive in their MGB, but th ewinter cobwebs got
the better, and so switched to the 2002 Rover 25. THe final MGF of the
day was Tom Niven and Karen Wilson. As orgnisers they strictly don't
count, but they were going to enjoy the sunshine, as opening car, come
what may. Karen did look a bit sun reddened by the end. Ran out of
factor 50 by look of her !
has to be a Mazda MX5 somewhere and we welcomed Reuben Phillips and son
Jacob, in the 2003 example, with Charlie Young and Eddie Hawkes
sporting a 2007 model.
Margaret Betteley and Andrew Green showed up in a Smart roadster, while Stuart cobb brought his toyota MR2.
and Ann Sinclair brought their 2001 Audi TT along, while late entry
Ranald White brought his Monte Historique 2007 top brit entry Rover P6
with Fred Douglas navigating.
oldest entry was the French 1938 Hotchkiss crewed by Branislav Sudjic
and Gesa Walker. The pair are great supporters of the club events and
often arrive in wonderful examples of cars from the 20's and 30's, be
it Delage or Bugatti, always a treat to see.
first visit took us to the iconic Rest and be Thankful hillclimb where
Diane and Stephen Kinghorn provided a warm welcome to all the crews.
Though we had secured and paid for access to pass across the forestry
land to reach the Hillclimb section, some 'jobs worth' arrived in his
giant low loader, just before our crews, and was determined to unload
his cargo right in the middle of the approach road.
done to marshal Brendan Mackinven for his 'negotiating' skills to
overcome the situation with the minimum of delay. The start line was
marshalled by another local keen classic enthusiast, Kevin Bax. With
CCHMSC committee member Tom Niven at the finish line at top of the
Rest. Quite a number of walkers took time out to admire the selection
of cars, some of which let their exhaust note tell everyone they were
on their way up.
route headed through Hells Glan then south past Strachur into the Cowal
Penninsula. Cutting over to Ardentiiny brought us to 'Argyll's Secret
Coast' alongside loch Long, looking over to Coulport home to the
Trident nuclear warheads. No sparks please! Continuing we hugged the
shore of the Holy Loch, before heading west, skirting Loch Striven, to
Heading South again beside Loch Riddon, to the
Kyles of Bute and Tighnabruaich, where some stopped for a welcome
coffee break. Sticking to the Kyles of Bute coast we reached the
southern tip of the peninsula at
Ardlamont before turning north toward Portavadie, on the shores of Loch
Fyne. We continued alongside this longest sea loch in Scotland passing
Otter Ferry, another coffee stop, before arriving at Cairndow on the
A83 and the run to the finish.
The last section to reach the finishers a
major challenge in itself. The road alongside Loch Lomond toward our
finish at Dumbarton can be a bit busy on a Sunday afternoon (I blame
all these Sunday drivers, O, and classic car clubs too). Being Mother's
Day only exacerbated the length of the queue, reaching Luss where we
joined the tail end. Local driver Tom Niven was just in front of
me and we both bailed out over the Haul Road to Gairlochhead, to hug
the side of Loch Long toward Helensburgh and into Dumbarton. Whilst not
entirely traffic free it did save sitting admiring the view of Loch
Lomond, while going nowhere!
As organisers we should have
been at the finish venue first, but we ended up nearer the end. However
we soon got organised and the meal provided by the Dumbuck Hotel was
well received. With each entrant receiving a momento of the day we ran
a raffle to raise funds for the Children's Hospice Association Scotland
(CHAS). A range of prizes, with some especially for the ladies, it was
Mother's Day after all, was topped off with a bottle of gin, and a
couple of bottles of the 'amber nectar' one in the shape of a Loch Fyne
whisky, very appropriate as we had driven round the Loch. The other top
prize was a Single Malt, cask strength (careful with that one). Both
bottles of whisky were donated by Brendan Mackinven who we met earlier
at the Rest, and he has given us more. Join us on future events where
our raffle at the end will have some more of this pot of gold from
Brendan. The raffle raised a total of £200, and together with Darren McGuiness entry made a total of £240.
Thomlinson's selection of photos from cars heading up the Rest
and be Thankful.
Remember to check out the Red
Hackle Tour which explores the roads of Angus on May 7.
Starting at the Black Watch museum in Perth the route covers many
the places made famous by this prestigious Scottish regiment. Explore
military history on this brand new event in the CCHMSC calendar, put
together by three of our well experienced club members, George Shand,
Ron Adam, and Duncan Massie.
Lots more events to follow. Check them out at the Events page
|Updated 2 April 2017|