100 pre-war cars to tackle international rally

| 30 Mar 2014

More than 100 vintage cars are set to take on the Flying Scotsman reliability trial on 4 April. Starting in the Midlands, the group will head north towards the Scottish Borders before finally finishing in Gleneagles, Perthshire some 600 miles later.

Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Lagonda, MG and Jaguar will be just some of the marques represented during the feat, which begins at the Forest of Arden Hotel and Country Club near Birmingham. An overnight stop in Blackburn follows before reaching Gleneagles on 6 April, at around 5pm.

The Flying Scotsman is far more than a car tour, with timed sections, tests and checkpoints featuring heavily throughout the event. Serious competitors have been attracted to the challenge including 2013 Peking to Paris Rally and 2012 Trans-America Rally champions Phil Garratt and Keiran Brown, who will be competing in their 1932 Alvis Speed 20.

The oldest car taking part in the competition is a 1912 Chalmers 10, which won last year's 'Pioneer' division with Robert Abrey and Brad Webb at the controls.

It's not all serious competition; to add to the fun, participants are being urged to dress in period clothing.

A gala dinner awaits at the Gleneagles Hotel where trophies will be awarded to the victorious crews.

Philip Young, Endurance Rally Association’s Rally Director, said: “We have entrants coming from all over the UK and Europe, with even Americans, Canadians and Australians taking part, making it a truly international celebration of pre-war motoring.

“But don’t let the vintage dress they will be wearing fool you. There are plenty of teams who are definitely in it to win it. Entrants will be judged on their performance and reliability and will have to maintain certain average speeds over set distances along the route. Once we hit the road, that's when the competitive spirit will be seen in all its glory."

A vintage car isn't required to join in the excitement. Chief Marshal, Bob Hargreaves, is looking for 400 marshals to help ensure the smooth running of the event.

Click here for an application form.

Photo credit: Gerard Brown