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