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Whickham and District Motor Club Limited

Flying Scotsman Classic Reliability Trial

This event came through our area in April and I had the pleasure of spending Saturday afternoon on Hartside Top watching some truly fantastic, classic cars.

Scotsman 1

Now in its 3rd year the event commemorates the first run of the Flying Scotsman train from London to Edinburgh. The event takes place over 3 days – Day 1 on Friday ran from the Brooklands Museum up through the Midlands to overnight in Crewe. Day 2 ran through Lancashire into the Yorkshire Dales, on into Teesdale and across into Cumbria over Hartside to finish in Carlisle, while the final day toured south west Scotland before heading north east to finish in Edinburgh.

Scotsman 2

Entry to the event is restricted to cars in production in 1941 or earlier and is by invitation only, so the organisers can pick and choose the best entries. The event also has a competitive side with the 700 mile route interspersed with a number of Regularity sections and special driving tests.

Scotsman 3

This years event attracted the best entry to date with over 80 crews from around the world in a wide variety of pre-war cars. Some makes are still in manufacture today (Bentley, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin) while others are gone forever (Riley, Frazer Nash, Talbot, Alvis). The oldest car was a 1912 Chalmers (thats 99 years old!). A number of the entries had also competed in last years Peking to Paris Challenge. Thats almost 9,000 miles in 37 days in a pre-war car!


Fantastic Cars everywhere!

Scotsman 4

The entrants are a mixture of very competitive and experienced crews who are looking for outright victory (the winners victory margin after 3 days of competition was only 42 seconds), through well heeled enthusiasts who want to enjoy driving their priceless cars (the Alfa 8C Zagato is worth £3 million!), to the clubmen who just wanted to have a good time, such as the men riding 4 up in a 1920 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost!

Scotsman 6

The Hartside time control followed a relaxed section up from a regularity that finished in Garrigil, so crews had time to stop for coffee and a bun in the café. If they were on time they had about a 20 minute break, if they were running late it was straight in and out of the control! This gave us a chance to have a good look at most of the cars.

Scotsman 7

The organisers had also stipulated that the crew’s attire should be appropriate to the era of the cars – sheepskin jackets and flying helmets were much in evidence and there was enough tweed to cover a football pitch!

If you want to find out more about the event and the results take a look at www.endurorally.com

Guy Wickham

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