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Wilson 1912 Renault AX

1912 Alldays and Onions

Kulli 1959 C Type Replica.

Reilly 1968 Morris Fire Tender

Beaton Chesil 356 speedster

Black 1951 VW Beetle

Ross 1970 Ferrari Dino

Harvey 1934 Wolsely Hornet

Wallace 1973 Triumph Stag

Ferguson 1978 Dolomite

Shiveral 1972 Maserati Ghibli

Meggat 1978 Sunbeam

Organisers with Chris Kulli and codriver Natalie

George rome collects overall winners prize for his 1936 MG SA Saloon

For full view of photos at the start and at the Rest see Paddy Mackays selection
on his
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Graeme Gallaoway's Anglia
Three Lochs Classic - 8 August 2015
Story Jim Paterson. Photo  Paddy Mackay, Jim Paterson

Line up at the start
The morning sunshine at the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club at Rhu, near Helensburgh, shone down on the 65 starters heading off on the annual Three Lochs Classic, organised by the RSAC. Jonathan Lord as Clerk of Course welcomed the crews for this the 11th running of the event. As in past years two routes were on offer. The 'wee; route of some 45 miles aimed at the older 'veteran and vintage' class cars (yes we are talking of the cars status, not the crew !), and a longer 90 miler for everyone else.

Both routes took the crews to the Rest and be Thankful hillclimb for a drive, 'spirited' for those with enough power, to enjoy. Unfortunately only the early runners managed to reach Glen Croe as an unrelated accident on the main A82 on the side of Loch Lomond closed the road just ahead of the crews arriving.  The only reroute available is the A814 alongside Loch Long, but that is no match for coaches, trucks and large commercial vehicles. It was not long before Arrochar became grid locked in all directions. Those at the Rest could not get back, and those trying to reach it were stuck. Many attempted to turn around but some of the elderly cars have turning circles wider than a modern day artic truck! 

Leading the Veteran class was an instantly recognisable 1912 Renault AX. The bonnet shape was used for many Renault models in the early days. Hamish Wilson from Hamilton was at the wheel. Following him was Richard Dover from Glasgow at the wheel of his 1912 Alldays and Onions 12/14 open tourer. Richard is constantly working on the car making and improvising parts to keep this car in superb working order. Completing the veteran class was the Meek family from Lenzie in their 1913 Darracq TT13, and like the Renault, running on wooden wheels. This superbly turned out French car built in Paris went on to win the class.        

In the Vintage class Linda Black from Shandon appeared in a 1922 Ford Model T
Coupe, sometimes known as a 'doctor's' or 'high hat'. Brought over from the USA it carries it's first UK registration. Owned for a time by the Drambuie family it was discovered on a Dorset farm in the fifties, before being restored in the sixties. Obtaining a V5 for the car was a trial, getting the DVLA to search their paper records. The T went on to win its class, as the other two class entries were delayed in returning to Rhu.

The Post Vintage class had a selection of cars from 1932 to 1936, with a selection of Austin 7 and variants.

However it was Arthur Harvey from Larkhall in a Wolsely Hornet Daytona Special that lifted the class win.  George Rome from Kilmaurs took the overall prize for the event in a magnificent 1936 MG SA Saloon. Sitting on period correct Blockley crossply tyres, George told me that he had to rebuild the wheels when they collapsed during powder blasting the rust off the spokes!

We were moving into more familiar territory for me with the Classic classes. In the class covering 1947 to 1955 we saw a wide selection, from Riley 1.5's Morris Minor's, Daimler Sports and saloon's, and taking the class win was the 1951 Volkswagen Beetle of Alexander Black. Still boasting the original black paint job, this split rear window model is a prized example of the marque, and still has the original working semaphore arm indicators, wipers, and the original full tool kit as supplied when new.  In the same class was CCHMSC member Geoff Douglas from Helensburgh, in his 1955 Daimler DJ256 Dauphin. This well kept example took second overall in the Concours judging.

The Classic Class 2 covered 1958 to 1965 cars, including a great selection of Jaguar XK, E Types, and Chris Kulli in his 1959 C Type Replica which I saw at Dave Barnett's BBQ the other month.

It was Bill Ross in his 1959 XK150 who took the class prize in a close challenge from Charles Batchelor's 1958 MG Magnette ZB.

Classic Class 3 covered 1967 to 1972 so really recognisable cars here. More Jaguar E Types, a selection of MGB roadsters and GT examples, 1972 Maserati Ghibli SS, and a '72 Ferrari Dino. Unfortunately the Dino got caught up in the traffic chaos and was never seen again. The class win went to Mike Robertson who had a 1970 Lotus Elan Sprint in Gold Leaf colour scheme, one of my boyhood dream cars. It was a close win with James Walker's well presented and sorted 1970 Rover P5B making a respectable challenge.

The final Classic Class 4 for the 'new boy' 1973 to 1978 had Triumph Dolomite, Ford Escorts, and a Triumph Stag in the lineup. It was however another VW Beetle, this time a 1978 Karmann Cabrio with Munich plate that took the class prize.

Despite the unfortunate road chaos on route those that did make it through enjoyed their somewhat 'different' day out, and received their prizes after the meal back at Rhu.

Line up with unusual Morris minor in fire Tender form, complete with working bell.

The organisers are looking at new options for next year so look out for the 2016 event which may take crews in a new direction altogether.      

Updated 10 August 2015