Caledonian Classic & Historic Motorsport Club
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The Grand Caledonian Tour was a 15 day tour of Scotland visiting the all 4 points of the compass. Join or leave the tour at anytime, so ideal for those on a time constraint.
There was NO entry fee, other than a small admin only to cover materials, which included a souvenir roadbook with full gazetteer.
Highland, Lowland, mountains, glens, coasts and islands. Fabulous scenery, fantastic roads, reasonable daily mileages.

This was the ideal event for those with a classic or sporting car.

Day 1 Start
Spalding Healey 3000

Campbell Bristol 412

Clark Audi Quattro

Crews gather at the start

Gullane Links golf course

Gullane sands and site of midget submarine wrecks

Midget sub in the sands

Dirleton Castle

North Berwick harbour, now  mostly pleasure rather than fishing boats

Jim Clark museum Duns

Grey Mare's Tail

Graeme Gallaoway's Anglia
Grand Caledonian Tour - 25 September to 9 October  

Overall route of the tour,travelling to the four corners of Scotland

Stuart 1975 Alpine and Owler 1971 model take centre stage

Day 1  - Saturday 25 September
The sun broke through and the temperature rose as the crews gathered at Dobbies Eskbank for the start of the Grand Caledonian Tour on Saturday 25 September. It is a thrill to see the famous Renault Alpine A110 at any event, but today we were treated to not one but two members fronting up the departures, Andy Owler in his yellow 1971 model, and John Stuart in his red 1975 version.

A wide selection of classics and sporting cars arrived, fully fueled, despite the fuel shortage 'panic buying', ready to start their 15 day tour of Scotland visiting the all 4 points of the compass. We will meet other crews joining the tour at later stopovers. The first day route took us across East Lothian and the borders.

Leaving Dobbies garden centre start we joined the A720
Edinburgh bypass at the infamous Sheriffhall roundabout, taking the eastbound exit toward the A1, the main Edinburgh to London Road. Soon we broke off the main highway to take the coast road along the south side of the River Forth. 

We passed through the small once fishing villages of Aberlady and Gullane, the latter now famous for its links golf courses, but also a post wartime secret.

In the spring of 1946, two midget submarines were towed to Aberlady Bay and tethered on either side of an anchor point made of one old concrete anti-tank block set on top of four others. There, over two days of trials in the first week of May, they were fired at by aircraft including Mosquitoes and Seafires (the naval version of the Spitfire) in an experiment to judge the effectiveness of 20 mm cannon shells against the submarines’ steel hulls.
Read the full story complete with youtube link of the actual trials

We continued through the picturesque village of Dirleton toward North Berwick where the harbour still is home to a few fishing boats as well as pleasure craft of all sizes.

From here we can see the Bass Rock looming out of the Forth, made famous in books by Robert Louis Stevenson, and once a prison island. Now it is home to a lighthouse and a colony of gannets. Behind us was Berwick Law a hill, only 187 metres but with a 1:1 gradient a steep climb for the adventurous.

Onward passing Tantallon Castle, dating back to the mid 14th century, now a favourite location for weddings locally.

Reaching Dunbar we turned south west heading into the Lammermuir hills. These hills form a natural barrier between the Lothians and the borders, slowing advancing English soldiers in days gone by. At Gifford we joined the B6355 taking us across the Lammermuirs to Duns, the home of Jim Clark the famous GP driver. A new museum has been built to add to his Trophy Room, making it a must visit for motor sport enthusiasts.

Also in the area is the home of the late Andrew Cowan, rally driver and senior director of Mitsubishi Ralliart until 2005. Our club had the privilege of visiting Andrew shortly before he passed away, and saw his extensive collection of rally cars, not open to the public.  Not only rally winning  Mitsubishi Evo’s but the Hillman Hunter that he won the London to Sydney Marathons in 1968 and 1977, and other escorts and imps he rallied in his extensive career.

Crossing the border roads we made for Galashiels and Selkirk, leading to the Ettrick Valley. St. Mary’s Loch on this route is the largest natural Loch in the Scottish Borders. We pass several famous coaching Inns, Gordon Arms and Tibbie Shiels, and the Grey Mares Tail, a 200ft waterfall, on our way to the first day finish in Moffat.

Published 13 October 2021