Navigational School 25th February

Ever wanted to know more about the ‘black arts’ surrounding rally navigation; well now’s your chance to learn a bit more!

John Hartley, the brains behind our Fellsman event, has organised a navigators school on Sunday 25th February at Blackburn Northern Sports on Pleckgate Road, Blackburn BB1 8QA (next to Pleckgate School) running from 10.00am to 4.00pm.

Those of you who enter our classic runs face simple tulip and instructions but events like the Fellsman are true navigational events and John’s navigational school will give you a chance to understand and enjoy this type of event.

Please contact John on 01282 691062 or email jeanjohnhartley@tiscali.co.uk for further details

Important news from the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs

18 December 2017

For immediate release

Department for Transport (DfT) Guidance on Substantial Change of Historic Vehicles.

  1.  The Guidance sets out the definition of a Vehicle of Historic Interest (VHI), vehicles which will, from May 2018, be entitled to be exempt from taking a vehicle (MoT) test.
  2. The Guidance reflects the outcome of intensive discussions between the DfT and the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC). FBHVC wishes to express its appreciation of the open and collaborative manner in which the DfT approached these discussions.
  3. In the discussions FBHVC was careful to take account of all possible members of the historic vehicle family.
  4. The Guidance supersedes all previous potential criteria released for discussion by DfT.
  5. The Guidance makes clear that it does not in any way affect DVLA’s registration criteria and processes which remain unchanged.
  6. The Government included motorcycles in the Motor Vehicles (Tests) (Amendment) Regulations 2017. As the Guidance implements the Regulations, DfT could not accept FBHVC’s representations, based upon the requirements of the EU Directive, regarding historic motorcycles, so they are included in the Guidance.
  7. Following STRONG representations by FBHVC, a vehicle may generally be a VHI if relevant changes were undertaken more than 30 years previously. This will be a rolling 30 years and replaces the fixed 1988 date previously proposed by DfT.
  8. Major points of note are:
    1. The process is one of self-declaration.
    2. Owners will only be required to declare their vehicle to be a VHI if they wish to be exempted from an annual MOT Test.
    3. All vehicles will still be able to be tested if their owners wish
    4. The criteria are generic and permit changes made, less than 30 years prior to the declaration, which improve efficiency, safety, preservation or environmental performance.
    5. Those vehicles registered on a Q plate, as kits or built up classics are not entitled to be declared as VHIs until forty years after they were registered.
    6. For motorcycles only the criteria of Q plates, kits and built up classics prevent declaration as a VHI.
  9. The Guidance refers to “a marque or historic vehicle experts”. A list will be published on the website of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs by 30th April 2018. Vehicle owners wishing to confirm if they may declare their vehicle as a VHI, may choose to contact the appropriate nominee from this list
  10. FBHVC will be explaining the Guidance in full in its first Newsletter of 2018 and as soon as possible on its website at fbhvc.co.uk.
  11. Text of the Guidance is at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/668274/vehicles-of-historical-interest-substantial-change-guidance.pdf

ENDS

2018 Season Opener Dinner Dance

LAC Dinner Dance and Prize Presentation Friday 23 rd February 2018
This year we are returning to Mitton Hall for our annual season curtain raiser. Full details and tickets are available from Carolyn Taylor, info@autotuneuk.com (please put LAC Dinner Dance in the Subject line) or tel 01254 385413.

 

Pictures from Manchester to Blackpool added

Pictures from the finish of the 2017 Manchester to Blackpool Classic Car Run now in the picture gallery.

There are more pictures from alng the route on www.whitedogphotography.co.uk. Pictures taken north of Edgeworth and at Fulwood barracks together with many more from the finish.

Brian Taylor took some great photos which are very professional and he is raising money for Cancer Research UK.
His site is White Dog Photography www.whitedogphotography.co.uk simply click on this link then select 2017 motorsport galleries to see all the pictures (by the way if you look on 2016 motorsport galleries there are pictures from our 2016 events).
To get the pictures simply follow the directions at the bottom of the first web page. Brian doesn’t personally charge but asks that you donate an amount you feel appropriate to Cancer Research UK. You don’t just get your pictures you are helping the fight against Cancer.
Please give generously for a very worthy cause.
You then contact Brian direct with the picture numbers you require and he gives you a link to the files at full resolution.

2018 Classic Challenge

The Challenge enables drivers, navigators and organisers to claim points for each event. Points will be recorded on a simple scorecard which must be sent to the Championship Compiler, Chris Lee, before the 20th January 2019. Full regulations and Scorecard are available from Chris Lee – chrislee1275@aol.com

The Lancashire Automobile Club ‘Classic Challenge’ is a social challenge and does not reflect any element of competition within the events or for completion of any event. Merely taking part, as an entrant or organiser, is sufficient for points to be claimed in the challenge.

  • Points may be claimed for each Lancashire Automobile Club Classic event by drivers, navigators and organsiers who are fully paid up members of the Club on 25th October 2018.
  • Organisers of events may claim points for events as set out below
  • Lancashire Automobile Club Classic events are defined as:
  • Any 2 LAC Social Events
  • St Georges Day Run                                 22nd April
  • The Fellsman                                             12th May
  • Manchester to Blackpool Car Run     10th June
  • Coast to Coast Car Run                           14th July
  • Highland 3 Day Classic Tour                21st – 23rd September (see note below)

 

  • Points will be awarded as follows:
  • Attending LAC Social events in 2018 – 5 points (max 2 events)
  • Entering event                      5 points
  • Starting Road Event           20 points (see note on Highland 3 Day below)
  • Taking part in Concours (Manchester to Blackpool and Coast to Coast)                                                                30 points
  • Note – Highland 3 Day Owing to the nature of this event points may be claimed as follows:Entering the event               5 points              Starting Day ‘0’      5 points         Starting Day One 10 points                              Starting Day Two 10 points               Starting Day Three 10 points
  • To claim points entrants should fill in the Championship ‘scorecard’ and send it to Chris Lee.

Scorecards must be sent to the Challenge Organiser on or before the 20th January 2019.

2017 Highland 3 Day

You are invited to join us on the 2017 Highland 3 day Starting on Thursday 22nd September At Rosslea Hall Hotel near Helensburgh and running over the week end to finish back at Rosslea Hall on Sunday 24th we will also run the optional Day 0 Starting near Dumfiries running up to The Rosslea Hall Hotel on Thursday 21st for anyone wanting the extra days motoring the four day route will cover over 800 miles and take in some spectacular Highland scenery and serpentine tarmac Scotland has to offer. 

So something for your year planner for 2017 please fined attached you entry form and………………………………………………..regulations for the Highland 3 day tour 2017 as ever we only have limited space so please book early to avoid disappointment.

I hope to hear from you soon, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Regards

Mike Raven

01772 862364

www.highlandtour.com 22nd 23rd and 24th September 2017

SUPPLEMENTARY
REGULATIONS                                                                                                                     ©2017 Highland 3 Day Classic Tour
1. Definition of Event
1.1 The 2017 Highland Classic Tour is a Touring Assembly for interesting, sports and classic cars.
1.2 The Event is not a competition nor is it a race.
1.3 The 3 Day Event will take place on September 22nd 23rd and 24th September 2017.
2. Organisation of Event
2.1 The Event is organised with the Lancashire Automobile Club Ltd (LAC) in accordance with the General Regulations of the Royal Automobile Club Motor sport Association (M.S.A.) together with these Regulations and any additional instructions that may be issued for the event by the event organisers. All Entrants undertake to comply with these Regulations by the fact of their entry.
2.2 An M.S.A. certificate of exemption has been applied for.
3. Route
3.1 The Start and Finish of the Event will be at The Rosslea Hall Hotel, Rhu, Loch Helensburgh, G84 8NF tel:- 01436 439955
3.2 The route excluding day zero will be in excess of 600 miles and will vary from “A” Roads to country roads. The route has been planned to take in the most attractive scenery between Start and Finish venues and will use ferry’s not covered in the entry fee.
Subject to confirmation the route is as follows:-
Day 0 22nd Sep Carrutherstown Salway Firth Newton Stewart Dunoon Helensburgh
Day 1 23rd Sep Helensburgh Inveraray Mallaig Skye Dundonnell
Day 2 24th Dundonnel Loch Shin Tongue Ullapool Dundonnell
Day 3 25th Sep Dundonnell Loch Ness Glen Coe Loch Lomond Helensburgh
3.3 The route will have various Coffee halts or Lunch stops which will be named on the Route Card.
3.4 The route can be followed on any good UK road map or road atlas additional Ordinance Survey land ranger sheets may be specified in the final instructions.
3.5 Entrants will be given detailed route instructions at signing on. The onus on finding the correct route rests with the Entrant.
3.6 We offer an additional days motoring Day Zero starting on the 21st September from The Hetland Hall Hotel, Carrutherstown DG1 4JX tel:- 01387 840201 If you would like to start in Carrutherstown a additional £55 should be added to your entry fee and is inclusive of lunch for two driver and navigator at the lunch stop en-route.
4. Eligible cars and the Number of Starters
4.1 The Event is open to vehicles as defined in Section 1.1
4.2 All cars must be correctly registered, currently licensed with a valid M.O.T. Test Certificate and be in a roadworthy condition. Trade plates are forbidden.
4.3 The Event will not be divided into classes.
4.4 The maximum number of entries for the Event is 23, the minimum is 15.
4.5 Entrants will be provided with a numbered Identification Plate that must be displayed in a forward facing position at the front of the car during the Event.
4.6 No advertising, trade sign or promotional display may be carried on or distributed from any vehicle without the prior written consent of the Organisers.
5. Eligible Entrants
5.1 Any person resident in the United Kingdom, being an individual or an organisation may enter the event.
5.2 The Entrant must sign the entry form.
5.3 Where the Entrant is not the legal owner of the vehicle the individual body having legal ownership must appoint in writing the Entrant or first named driver as their accredited representative.
5.4 All drivers must be over 17 years of age and hold a valid full driving license for the vehicle being driven. A competition license is not required.
5.5 Entrants not present at the Event will be represented in all matters by the first nominated driver.
6. Entries
6.1 Entries open on the publication of these Supplementary Regulations and close 22nd July 2017.
6.2 The Entry fee will be £755 per vehicle in line with
6.3 below. A £155 deposit is payable on application but may be refunded should insufficient Entries be received, or the Event is cancelled. Otherwise the deposit is non refundable. The balance of £600 is payable by Monday 22th July 2017. Note The price is based on two people sharing a twin or double room, should a single room be requested a single room supplement of £80 per person applies i.e. £160 in addition to the entry fee.
©2017 Highland 3 Day Classic Tour
6.3 The entry fee is inclusive of Dinner, Bed and Breakfast for two people sharing (Driver and Navigator) on the 22nd 23rd and 24th September 2017. If you wish to stay overnight at the start venue a discounted rate based on two people sharing of £65.00 per person Dinner, Bed and Breakfast has been negotiated. If you wish to take advantage of this offer please make your own booking at The Rosslea Hall Hotel, Country House Hotel, Rhu, Loch Lomond, G84 8NF tel:- 01436 439955 for the evening of the 21st September, please mention the Highland Tour 3 Day and Mike Raven when booking. Note a £15 single occupancy room supplement per person applies.
6.3 The £55 entry fee for day zero covers lunch for two and the road book if you wish to stay overnight at the start venue for day Zero on September 20th a discounted rate for a twin room of £79 Dinner, Bed and Breakfast and a single occupancy at £59 DB&B has been negotiated. If you wish to take advantage of this offer please make your own booking at Hetland Hall Hotel, Carrutherstown DG1 4JX tel:- 01387 840201 for the evening of the 20th September
6.4 Entries must be submitted on the official Entry Form, signed by the Entrant, and accompanied by the requisite fee, as given in 6.2 and sent to:-
M A Raven, 22 Woodplumpton Lane, Broughton, Preston, Lancashire, PR3 5JJ
With cheques or Postal orders made payable to the LAC Highland 3 Day or if you prefer please request account details and I will send you the number.
6.5 Any change of nominated driver(s) or vehicles must be notified, in writing, to the Secretary of the Meeting by 22nd July 2017.
6.6 It is the responsibility of the Entrant to contact the Secretary of the Meeting if acceptance of Entry is not received within 21 days of posting.
6.7 The list of Entrants and Drivers will be published on 5th September 2017. The Event organisers reserve the right to refuse an entry, at their sole discretion, and are not bound to give their reason for so doing.
7. Insurance
7.1 Entrants and Driver must have valid insurance in accordance with the requirements of the Road Traffic Act and relevant laws applicable in Great Britain. 7.2 Entrants and Drivers must sign any indemnity required under the terms of any policy held by the organisers relevant to the event. 7.3 In case of cancellation by the entrant It is recommended that the entrant and the co driver carries suitable holiday insurance that covers them both in the UK as a refund will not be possible.
8 Documents and Scrutineering
8.1 Approximately one week before the Event all Entrants will receive the final instructions and start times, an Identification Plate will be handed out at signing on.
8.2 The following current and valid documents should be available for inspection:- Driving Licence Ministry of Transport Test Certificate (MOT Test) Current Motor Insurance Also you will be required to have available for inspection:- A first aid kit Available from Halfords A warning triangle Available from Halfords A fire extinguisher Available from Halfords Two high visibility jackets or tabards. Available from Halfords
8.3 Vehicle examination (“Scrutineering”) will be carried out at the Start and may also be carried out at any subsequent place on the Event. Even though vehicles may be scrutinised by the Event Organisers, they do not warrant that any vehicle that they may scrutinize is in a legal, road-worthy condition.
8.4 Any vehicle which does not comply with the Regulations or which in the opinion of the Organisers is deemed inappropriate for the Event will be forbidden to start.
8.5 Any vehicle found to be in an un-roadworthy condition at any time during the Event will not be allowed to continue.
8.6 Passengers may be carried at an additional cost up to the maximum number for which proper seating is provided. Additional passengers must be notified to the Event Organisers at the earliest opportunity. The Event Organisers cannot guarantee that requests for additional passengers can be accommodated on the Event.
9. Outside Assistance
9.1 Cars and Drivers are permitted to receive outside assistance if required.
10. Start
10.1 A generous overall time-allowance will be given. 10.2 The starting order will be at the organiser’s discretion. 10.3 Cars will leave the Start at intervals of one minute as instructed by the Start Marshall. 10.4 The starting time will be forwarded with the final instructions for the Event. 10.5 Any car starting late will be deemed to have started at their allocated time.
11. Check Points
11.1 The route will have Check Points that will be shown in the Route Book.
11.2 Each Check Point will be open for a period that the Event Organisers deem to be appropriate.
11.3 Opening and closing time will be advised to each entrant at the start of each day.
12. Finish
The Finish of the Event will be at The Rosslea Hall Hotel, Country House Hotel, Rhu, Loch Lomond, G84 8NF tel:- 01436 439955on Sunday 4th September 2017.
13. Event Souvenir
Each Crew will receive a Souvenir to be handed out at Dinner on Sunday 24th September 2017.
14. Instruction and Communications
14.1 Any additional instructions will be deemed to be an appendix to and have the same powers as these Regulations.
14.2 All official notifications affecting an Entrant or Driver will be confirmed in writing to the person concerned wherever possible.
15. Jurisdiction
15.1 Stewards of the Event
15.2 Have absolute discretion in the application and amendment of a penalty for any breach of these Regulations.
15.3 May implement decisions on any matter not provided for in these Regulations.
16. Penalties
16.1 The Penalty for any: – Breach of these Regulations Car found to be ineligible at any time Breach of traffic law Prejudicial behavior or conduct Matter not specified by these Regulations May be one, or a combination of the following:- A reprimand Exclusion from the Event
17. Postponement or Cancellation
17.1 The Event organisers reserve the right to cancel or postpone the Event or any part thereof should circumstances arise which cause such action desirable or necessary. In such circumstances the return of fees, in whole or part, will be at the discretion of the Stewards.
18. Protests and Appeals
18.1 Protests and Appeals must be made in writing and handed to the Clerk of the Course.
18.2 Only the Entrant has the right to Appeal.
18.3 Not withstanding the rights of the Entrant to, protests will be considered by the organisers as not being within the spirit of the Event and may be viewed with disfavor.
19. Holiday Insurance
19.1 Incase of unforeseen circumstances resulting in an entrant being unable to attend the Highland 3 day Classic Tour, it is recommended that the Entrant and the Co-driver take out suitable UK holiday insurance as no refund in part or in full can be offered.
20. Data Protection Act 1984
20.1 Information on this Event, involving entrants, is held on computer but is used only for Club purposes in connection with motor-sport activities.
21. Officials Stewards
Clerk of the Course Mike Raven Tel 01772 862364
Assistant Clerk of the Course Owen Drew
Chief Marshal John Hartley
Secretary of Meeting Catherine Raven
                                                                              APPLICATION FORM
IMDEMNIFICATION
By signing the form below the persons indicated on this form below indicate that:
The persons detailed below have read the supplementary regulations issued for the 2017 Highland 3 Day Classic Tour and agree to be bound by them and by the General Regulations of the Motor Sports Association Ltd. In consideration of the acceptance of this entry and of being permitted to take part in the 2017 Highland 3 Day Classic Tour, the persons indicated below agree to save harmless and keep indemnified, The Motor Sports Association Ltd, The 2017 Highland Classic Tour, any such person(s) or bodies or other representatives which may by authorised by the 2017 Highland 3 Day Classic Tour or the Motor Sports Association Ltd, to promote the 2017 Highland Classic Tour, from all actions, claims, costs expenses and demands in respect of death and personal injury to themselves or other third parties, howsoever caused arising out of or in connection with this entry or their taking part in the 2017 Highland Classic Tour, and notwithstanding that the same may have been contributed to or occasioned by the negligence of the said bodies, their officials, servants, representatives or agents.
Furthermore, in respect of any parts of the 2017 Highland 3 Day Classic Tour held on ground where third party insurance is not required by law this agreement shall, in addition to the parties named above, extend to all other participant(s), their servants, representatives and agents and to all actions, claims, costs, expenses of their own, their driver(s), and passenger(s).
The persons named below also declare that any use of vehicles entered is covered by insurance as required by English Law, which is valid for parts of the 2017 Highland Classic Tour as shall take place on roads and public highways as defined by the Law.
Please Print using BLOCK CAPITALS (Except for the Signature boxes)
                                                         Entrant/Driver                                                      Co-Driver
Surname                                 …………………………………………………                               ………………………………………………..
First name                              ………………………………………………..                                ………………………………………………..
Address                                 ………………………………………………..                                ………………………………………………..
Town                                     ………………………………………………..                                ………………………………………………..
County                                  ………………………………………………..                                ………………………………………………..
Post Code                             ………………………………………………..                                ………………………………………………..
Day Tel:                                ………………………………………………..                                ………………………………………………..
Eve Tel:                                ………………………………………………..                                 ………………………………………………..
Email:                                  ………………………………………………..                                 ………………………………………………..
Signature                             ………………………………………………..                                ………………………………………………..
Car Make                             ………………………………………………..
Car Model                            ………………………………………………..
Year of Manufacture            ………………………………………………..
Cubic Capacity                    ………………………………………………..
The Entry fee is £755 per vehicle (in line with section 6 of the supplementary regulations). A £155 deposit is payable on application. The balance of £600 is payable by 22nd July 2017. Entries must be submitted on the official Entry Form, signed by the Entrant, and accompanied by the requisite fee.
Cheques are to made payable to:- HIGHLAND 3 DAY and sent to:- M A Raven 22 Woodplumpton Lane, Broughton, Preston, Lancashire, PR3 5JJ.
Deposit                                        £155
Balance                                        £600
Day 0                                           £55
Should we need to contact somebody urgently whilst you are on the event, please supply details below:
Name                                          ………………………………………………..
Address                                      ………………………………………………..
                                                   ………………………………………………..
Telephone No :-                        ………………………………………………..
Data Protection Act 1984
Definitions:
Event: The 2017 Highland Classic Tour
 The Event makes use of computer based records to enable it to carry out the administrative work required by the Event.
 Such details are stored on computer files and these files may be processed for the benefit of the Event. The information stored is restricted solely to basic details required to run an efficient event. Confidential information concerning any person is not sought after or stored in records used by the Event.
 The Event guarantees that any information held on computer is intended for use by the Event only and that information will not be disclosed to any third party other than those in the course of the Event. Under no circumstances will address lists, or any other such information be sold or given to any commercial undertaking for whatever reason.
 Any person who has provided details to the Event is entitled to obtain full details of any records held by the Event of themselves by applying in writing to the Event organisers. Similarly any record appertaining to any individual will be modified if any errors are found or identified.
 Any person may insist that no data or information concerning themselves be held by the Event in the form of computer records. It must be stressed however, that any use of computers by the Event is intended to enhance the work of the Event organisers.
 In case of cancellation by the entrant It is recommended that the entrant and the co driver carries suitable holiday insurance that covers them in the UK as a refund will not be possible.

 

Coast to Coast 2016

Pictures from the start and finish of this years Coast to Coast have been added to the gallery.

The twenty fourth running of this popular event started again from the lovely art deco Midland Hotel in Morecambe and made its way by a wonderful scenic route to Hunley Hall Hotel and Golf Club on the East coast just South of Redcar.

Not blessed by good weather at the start, things became damper as the cars motored their way up the hills to the coffee stop at the Shap Wells Hotel, and then on to the lunch halt at Akebar Park, between Leyburn and Bedale on the A683. Better weather here allowed the crews to enjoy picnics and chats to chums old and new, then off again via the Cleveland Hills and the North York Moors, with all it’s stunning scenery, to the destination to be greeted by the Mayor of Redcar Councillor Barry Hunt, and club officials.

 The routine was then fairly straightforward, park the car, find the bar, and enjoy the excellent buffet. After which there was the presentation of trophies with the following awards being presented. The Mayor’s Trophy to Richard Wilkinson with his Fraser Nash BMW, The Presidents award to Paul Kennady with his Porsche, and a Special award to David Cuff, Event Secretary, who fulfilled his role admirably, in spite of one or two problems. In the evening the weather turned positively tropical! And many of the participants took the opportunity to sit outside to enjoy the odd libation and to admire the wonderful sea views

Classic Challenge 2018

Lancashire Automobile Club Ltd

Classic Challenge 2018

This Challenge will be staged to promote interest in the Clubs’ events and to encourage some friendly rivalry between members. The Classic Challenge is open to all members of the Lancashire Automobile Club. Points are scored for taking part in Lancashire Automobile Club Classic events. Full regulations are available on the Club web site.

The Challenge is open to both drivers and navigators with trophies awarded at the Club’s Annual Dinner Dance and Prize Presentation 2019 at Mitton Hall.

The Challenge enables drivers and navigators to claim points for each event they take part in. Points will be recorded on a simple scorecard by the entrant submitted at the end of the season.

Challenge Rounds are:

o   Any one LAC Social Event

o   St Georges Day Run 22nd April

o   The Fellsman 12th May

o   Manchester to Blackpool Classic Car Run  and Concours 10th June

o   Coast to Coast Classic Car Run and Concours Saturday 14th July

     Highland 3 Day Classic Tour 21st – 23rd September 

Donation to North West Blood Bikes Lancs and Lakes

The LAC is proud to support Blood Bikes. As you know we raised money at the Barry Whizzo Williams event for this worthy cause. Set out below is there letter acknowledging our donation,

Our Next Ride May Save a Life.
Will Yours? Date: 16/03/ 2016 “Volunteers Who Care”

NWBB-Lancs & Lakes,
Willowbank House,
The Clough,
Clayton-le-Woods,
Chorley. PR6 7DG Registered Charity 1147282

Lancashire Automobile Club Lancashire

Dear All On behalf of North West Blood Bikes Lancs and Lakes I would like to thank you for your kind donation of £ 250.00
As you know, our members provide an out of hours motor-cycle delivery service, which supports the NHS. Providing this transport costs money and many of our riders pay their own fuel bills and use their own bikes, but we do an emer-gency service also with specially equipped motorcycles with blues and twos and the cost of running them is quite expensive, so donations such as yours are fantastic.

To date we have handled almost 20,000 call outs in the 46 months we have been running and the numbers are ever increasing and without help from organisations like yours we would not be able to do it. Conservative estimates based on a standard taxi fare of £40 show that we have saved the local NHS in Lancashire and South Lakes well over £800,000 so far, and included runs as far away as Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham, Cardiff Abingdon, Charing Cross & Great Ormond Street.
Thank you from all of us at NWBB Lancs & Lakes.

Yours sincerely Scott M Miller

Name: Scott M Miller Vice Chairman, Trustee Email: scott@millersuk.co.uk Web: www.nwbb-lancs.org Tel: 01254 395552 Mob: 07860 883430
Grass Roots
Motor Sport

Entrants Report on 2016 St Georges Day

Drive it day 2016

With classic car values soaring, it’s easy to forget that their original purpose was to move us from A to B as frugally, as fast or as fashionably as possible. Drive-it day seeks to remind us of that.

Each year, on the nearest Sunday to the 23rd of April, classic car owners are encouraged to dust off their pride and joy, blowing away the cobwebs on the open road to usher in the start of the summer show season.

Drive it day commemorates the thousand mile trial of 1900, in which the Royal Automobile Club participated in a round trip setting off from London and travelling via Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Derby, Kendal, Carlisle, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, Sheffield, and Nottingham before finishing back in London.

Unlike the original event which was spread across 19 days, the celebration is confined to just one day, with runs and rallies organised countrywide — and that’s where I’d be.

Dad and I would be joining the Lancashire Automobile Club’s St George’s Day run, taking in the best backroads East Lancashire and West Yorkshire have to offer.

We’d be taking part in Dad’s 1969 Lotus Elan, with him in the driver’s seat, and me crunching the numbers and using my legendary (ha!) prowess as a navigator.

Upon signing on, we received our run plaque, some notes on the route (including the bizarre story of the Sabden treacle mine), and directions presented in tulip road book style.

After fuelling up on bacon and coffee, we were ready to set off in the Elan, joining an automotive melting pot of vehicles classic and modern, popular and priceless, all taking to the roads in the pursuit of nothing more than a good drive out. Aside from some characteristic April rain showers and some uncharacteristic April snow showers, that’s exactly what we’d get.

While the organisers could do nothing about the weather, their preparation with the route and the accompanying paperwork was such that we were confident of an easy afternoon’s navigating.

After a short time queuing we reached the start line and the marshals waved us on our way with the union flag.

Despite the organisers staggering the starters, it wasn’t long before any slower cars at the front of the pack were caught, and a convoy of classics developed — much to the amusement of the locals, who waved and smiled as car after car passed by.

After the relatively sluggish first stint, the rest stop at Helwith Bridge gave us a chance to change tack.

We’d been one of the last cars away at the start line, hoping that letting the others gain a bit of ground first would give us a clear run — not so. As we pulled into the car park of the Helwith Bridge Inn, we realised we could kill time more creatively.

Whilst drivers and navigators piled into the pub for coffee and cake, Dad and I patrolled the car park and sized up the other entrants. Having caught up some of the first starters, we had a fair bit of extra time to look over the cars, weighing up the variety of the entrants.

The run is by no means a serious competitive event — more a fun way to spend a few hours on a Sunday, but there were some serious machines on display.

A prized Ferrari 330 GT +2 sat a few paces away from a Volvo Amazon whose dashboard was cluttered with all manner of rally instruments for measuring miles and keeping time. A pre-war Rolls Royce shared the car park with an equally immaculate Mini Clubman, resplendent in its oh-so-70s Tundra green paint.

With the poor weather predicted, it’s a credit to the owners that so many of these valuable cars were brought out and driven, when they’d likely be mollycoddled as collectibles by many others.

As Dad and I finished our circuit of the car park, the other entrants began emptying out of the pub, ready to start the second leg. With that, we went inside, pulled up a couple of chairs and sat down to a lunch of coffee and cake to put some space between the main group and ourselves.

When we eventually resurfaced, the Elan stood alone in the car park. Success.

The roads of the second leg weren’t unlike the first — the only difference was the speed at which we’d be taking them. With mile after mile of clear air ahead of us, we hustled the Elan around the twists and turns of West Yorkshire, before dropping back down into East Lancashire.

On the way down, we encountered switchbacks on the steeper sections — the like of which you’d expect to find on more continental roads.

The terrain levelled out, the roads widened, and the pace increased — it was only a matter of time before we caught a few of the stragglers which courteously waved us by, allowing us to go on unheeded.

After getting our eye in with the first leg of the route, it was pretty easy to pick up where we left off, tackling the 30 mile return leg without any drama.

We pulled into the car park, greeted by smiles and waves from the same marshals who had waved us off at the start.

Whilst Dad and I were happy to lap up any adulation, it only took a look over our shoulders to realise where the praise was due. In the previous owner’s hands, the Elan had managed only 50 miles per year – we’d broken that record by the time we’d reached the rest stop at the Helwith Bridge Inn. The little Lotus, now ticking itself cool, had completed the 80 mile run without complaint.

Sure, this hardly compared to the Mille Miglia or the Targa Florio, and I’m sure none of us taking part would expect to be treated like the daredevil mavericks taking on these gruelling events, but over the 80 miles we’d covered, we’d all proven that in less than perfect conditions, our cars were not only capable of being driven, but enjoyed too.

Matthew Parkinson