Carlo Paisley Start - Run to Monte 27 January|
Part 2 - Over the ramp, the channel and France
Story Jim Paterson - Photos Andy Thomlinson
Paisley start activities began early on the afternoon of Wednesday the
27th . The Historique entries arrived after their scrutineering at GTG
services. The six crews lined up in prime place in preparation for the
start at 6.00pm. The Classique cars began to arrive, completing their
300 mile drive from John O’ Groats, for some an agonisingly slow
drive. The Riley WD was equipped with a web tracking device so we could
follow them on locatoweb.com. With an average of 30mph it would be nip
and tuck for them to arrive by 6.00pm. However, they reached the
northern outskirts of Glasgow by 4.00pm. Riley driver John Lomax told
me it took a full hour to cover the last 5 miles to Paisley, such was
the build-up of rush hour traffic. Of course this did not help the
Riley cooling, which started to rapidly overheat. Finally the Heritage
cars arrived, completing some 70 classics for the big start.
2016 Monte Start Committee had taken the organisation of Paisley under
its wing, no longer calling on CCHMSC for any assistance. This allowed
those who have been actively involved over the previous five years to
experience the event as either spectators or competitors. Yours truly
was co-driver with John Stuart in his 1959 Austin A40, heading on the
Heritage run to Balmaha.
the Paisley departures was Jim Meggat in his Chrysler
Sunbeam complete in special livery to celebrate the Paisley 2021
UK City of Culture bid. Going only as far as Dumfries this year, Jim
told me he would love to drive to Monte Carlo in the distinctive
livery. Perhaps next year if Paisley win their City of Culture bid?
They may even sponsor your attempt Jim.
Telfer, along with Radio Clyde DJ were on the ramp with Provost Ann
Hall holding the chequered flag to wave the crews off on their way.
CCHMSC member Maurice Millar was keeping the clocks synchronised and
controlling the timekeeping.
Jim Meggat was followed by Jim
Wilson in his freshly prepared Austin A40, running as Car Zero for the
run to Dumfries, before pressing on leading the Ecosse to Reims tour
crews. Pete Gibson led his Capri Club Scotland crews in their Ford
Capri’s, going all the way to Monte Carlo
Historique crews led the competitors departures with Gordon and son
David Glen in the 1978 Opel Kadett. The Glen family were also
represented, with nephew, also named David Glen, in the 1976 Triumph
Dolomite, as in past years, making this a real family
affair. Jonathan Young and Mike Hyrons 1967 Volvo Amazon
popped the bonnet as their car stopped on approach to the ramp. A quick
fuse change and they were on their way. Club member Ranald White in his
1964 Rover 2000SC with Karsten Brown were next off. A regular on the
event with this car Ranald had been busy with last minute fettling to
get the best out of the car. Club members, Craig and Helen McGibbon
joined in another Volvo Amazon, experiencing no problems getting
too or over the start ramp. Last but not least of the Historique
entries was Belgian Jean-Marie Herman in the 1951 London Taxi, with
Olivier Ferriere on the maps.
following the Historique crews were the Classique entries fully
recovered from their 300 miler from John O’ Groats earlier in the
day. The 1927 AC of Mike Grimmond and Robert Hescroff led the way,
going open top as well was impressive. Following in grandfather Victor
Bruce’s tyre tracks, when he won the 1926 event in an AC, would
be a trial of endurance. The Riley WD we had followed on the web
tracking was next over, showing gritty determination to make it to
Monte, even at 30mph average. We would follow them all the way via the
internet. Our friends at Club Triumph were represented by Mike Helm in
his TR3 with Andy Flexney on maps. A sparks failure caused Mike to look
under the bonnet but made it to the start ramp and off toward Dumfries.
John Stuart and I in the Austin A40 were close up behind the
Classique crews heading over the ramp and on our way to Balmaha. Fuel
was our first priority and a local Morrison supermarket just around the
corner was a welcome sight. By the look of the other classics filling
up we were not alone with an empty tank!
and Dumfries Heritage crews headed for the Cairndale Hotel in Dumfries
for their overnight. All except the Historique crews who pressed on as
they had a tighter schedule to keep.
Thursday morning would be
a long day so many of the crews set off early from Dumfries. Heading
down the A6 to Penrith it was over the Pennines to Scotch Corner and
Croft racing circuit. The idea was a quick blart round the circuit
before heading to Olivers Mount for another race circuit and on to Hull
for the ferry crossing to Zebrugge.
Riley and Lagonda at Croft before cut and run to alternative channel crossingsAn
unwelcome tweet from P&O ferries to say the evening Zeebrugge ferry
canceled due to technical problems quickly called for a change
of plan. Jim Wilson negotiated a switch to Harwich for the Hook of
Holland crossing, but later managed to secure places on the Hull to
Rotterdam crossing (whew). Meanwhile the Classique crews decided to
make a dash for the Dover Calais crossing, only 310 miles away!
The Riley WD would have to press on as fast as the old girl would go to
make it before midnight. She did, and got to Folkestone just
before midnight struck, keeping her glass slippers intact!
reached France, either over the sea or under the Chunnel, it was full
steam toward Reims. The Historique crews after clocking in at Calais
made short shift to reach Reims for the annual party that the town puts
on for the Monte crews. Jim Wilson’s group reckoned they would
still make the 260 mile from Rotterdam to Reims in time to see the
Historique crews from Glasgow, Oslo, Hamburg and Reims, restart
together on their way south.
Some of the Classique crews,
including the Riley WD just kept on rolling along. Stopping only for
fuel coffee and the occasional nap was the only way they were going to
arrive in time for the Saturday gala finish party. Historique and
Classique followed similar routes, by Dijon, Lyon, Grenoble, Digne into
Monte, arriving exhausted but ecstatic that they had arrived at all.
the Historique crews have to head back to Valence for the Alpine
regularities before they finish on Wednesday. The Glens are going well,
but Ranald White is nursing a very poorly Rover 2000. The P6 Club
are providing arms length support and he has tried a number of ignition
fixes, several times, but the car is overheating badly
climbing the cols. Strategy dictates that missing some controls
(30000 penalties each time) is required putting him in last place, but
still in the running to finish. Fingers crossed. Lots more tales
to hear on their return.
See all of Andy Thomlinson's photos of the event
|Updated 1 February 2016|