Carlo Classique - JoG to Paisley |Story Jim Paterson - Photos Alan Duncan
northern lights gave way to dawn over John O' Groats for the Monte
Carlo Classique starters on Wednesday 27th January. Following a 'Burn's
Supper' hosted by the local car clubs the night before, the pre 1959
cars gathered at 8.00am on the start line.
off was an AC Montlhèry Sports, reliving the 90th anniversary of
the Victor Bruce win in the 1926 Monte Carlo Rallye. Driven by grandson
Mike Grimmond, this 1927 example, the original Monte car no longer
exists, had Bruce's daughter Wendy joining him in the support car.
1934 Lagonda M45 Tourer, known affectionately as 'Josephine' crewed by
James and Andrew Mann, grandsons of original owner Conrad Mann. It was
the largest sports car in Britain at the time, boasting a 4.5 litre
engine, and would be seen on route by our flying photographer Alan
Duncan showing a clean pair of heels to many a younger more modern
vehicle. The car has been seen on regular continental 'sorties'
and has more than 415000 miles on the clock.
The Blue diamond
logo of Riley was carried by a 1931 WD tourer with John Lomax and
Gordon McAllan crewing this veteran machine. Gordon told me the average
they expected would be around 30mph, less on the uphill sections. They
were hoping for a tail wind on the route south to Paisley.
Helm brought his Triumph TR3A all the way from Essex with Andy Flexney
on the maps. The pair are regulars on Club Triumph events and close
friends of us at CCHMSC. The car can be seen on the Club Triumph Round
Britain Reliability Run, which takes no more than 48 hours non stop.
John O' Groats is the northern most point on route. Today they
would find the wet and windy weather on route a trial for the TR,
losing sparks in Paisley, just as they were to head for the start ramp.
Mike is a good engineer and knows where to kick the car in the right
Jan Van Rheenan brought his 1934 Bentley 3.5 litre all the way from
Holland. It seemed ironic that they would motor all the way back and
pass the end of their street on the way to Monte Carlo. Another pretty
fast car it would be brakes that had to be managed, again due to the
unfavourable conditions on the way to Paisley.
More modern metal
included Fiona and Richard Lamotte's 1958 Austin A35. This has been
seen on a number of CCHMSC events and definitely shows a clean pair of
heels to many modern cars, just ask Alan Duncan.
superb Lotus Elite of Mark Butler, not many of them around now, had
David Sutton in the left seat. David built rally cars for the likes of
Ari Vatanen who won the WRC in a Sutton prepared Ford Escort.
Terry Mower and Nick Green crewed a 1960 Ford Mk2 Zodiac, while the
1954 MG YB of Marc Hanson, which was the the Autosport company car and
press car in the early 50’s, had Per Jonsson from Sweden as
co-driver. Per is a veteran of Monte Carlo Rallyes. A good old
Ford Pop known as ‘The Tortoise’ crewed by Ian glass and
Nick Ward would not hang about either on the way to Paisley.
up the rear of the Classique crews was event coordinator Douglas
Anderson in his 1961 Triumph Herald Coupé. Jim Paterson of
CCHMSC drove with Douglas from Glasgow to Monte in this car as part of
the Monte 100 year anniversary event in 2011. Lets hope he can repeat
the drive this year. The James Slevin and Callum Cameron Riley RMA
blew its engine a day before the start so they would follow in their
Ford Fiesta day car.
The Classique crews were followed by a
few heading to Paisley on the associated Heritage run, making about 20
cars heading south.
The weather was kind for the run down
to Inverness, where a press photo opportunity was laid on at Caledonian
Thistle FC stadium. also time for a quick coffee and natural break.
Good place for fuel as well.
route headed down the A9 over Drumochter Pass with snow at the side of
the road. The Riley WD crew pulled in at Aviemore for fuel and hot
drinks to 'unfreeze' themselves. With an average speed of just over
30mph it would take until 5.00pm to reach Paisley, just in time for a
coffee and a sandwich before heading for the start ramp at 6.00pm.
John O’ Groats crews were joined at Paisley by Jim Wilson’s
Reims tour crews, Pete Gibson and the Capri Club Scotland crews heading
for Monte Carlo, and the Heritage crews heading for either Dumfries or
Balmaha. In total around 70 classic cars would line up for the drive
across the ramp
See all Alan Duncans photos of the start at John O' Groats
|Updated 30 January 2016|