Paisley hosts start leg for Monte Carlo race 5th year in a row

Paisley hosts start leg for Monte Carlo race 5th year in a row

Thousands of people gathered outside the Paisley Abbey on Wednesday evening to watch classic cars set off on a race to Monte Carlo.

The international event is one of the most historic and treasured in motorsports. It involves cars and crews from around Europe completing a 1,500 mile trip to the South of France.

It is the fifth time that Paisley has held the event which has been running since 1911 and 70 cars crossed the start line to head off on their journey – 24 of these heading to Monte Carlo.

Douglas Anderson, the events co-ordinator said: “Paisley, like the Monte, brings people and places together. This year we have crews from Scotland, England, Wales, as well as Europe and the USA.

“New friendships are formed and new towns are united through this world famous event, the Monte Carlo Rally.”

The wide range of classic cars including a Triumph Herald, a Chevrolet Coupe and a Hillman Imp were waved across the only starting leg in the UK.

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Cars on display

There are three different levels involved in the event:

  • Historique – open to cars that competed in the Monte Carlo Rallies between 1955 and 1980. The car and their crews have to undertake 15 average speed test stages in the mountains of France and are expected to arrive on Wednesday.
  • Classique – open to cars as old as 1911, which simply just need to arrive in Monte Carlo on Saturday.
  • Monte Heritage Run – shorter route with the option of travelling to Stirling or Dumfries.

Father and son, Duncan and Gordon Best, are taking part for the second time in Gordon’s 1960 Rover P4 that spent 38 years in the African bush.

Gordon said: “Last year my wife Moira was to be my co-driver, she had cancer and unfortunately passed away a few months before we were leaving.

“She made me promise to do it and I raised £7,500 for Beatson by driving from Paisley to Monte Carlo.”

The drivers from Stirling are raising funds for Beatson again this year. If you would like to donate click here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/moira-best2

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Gordon’s 1960 Rover P4

Also taking part are Gordon and David Glen, driving a yellow and white 1978 Opel Kadett GTE.

The crew from Alexandria who like to take part as a hobby have completed the race five times before and were quite successful in 2016.

Gordon said: “The challenge is absolutely phenomenal; it’s not just like a Sunday drive.”

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Gordon (left) and David (right)

As well as enjoying seeing the display of classic cars up close, there was a Sega Rally arcade racing game, a giant scalextric set, children’s workshops and face painting at the event.

Renfrewshire’s Lord Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “Events like the Monte mean the momentum and positivity created by the bid will continue into 2018 and beyond.”

By Lauren Brownlie and Stephen McCabe

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