Thursday, 28 February 2019



Final Capri will lead the 50th-anniversary parade

Ford Capri owners are being offered a fabulous opportunity to be part of the much-loved fastback’s 50th birthday party at this summer’s Silverstone Classic (26-28 July).
Launched at the Brussels Motor Show in January 1969, and marketed by Ford as ‘The Car You Always Promised Yourself’, close to two million Capris were produced before the model’s demise at the end of 1986.
A dazzling classic touring car race has already been announced to salute the stylish coupé’s golden jubilee, together with a special trophy presented by Gordon Spice, the world’s most successful Capri racer in the period.
Now comes confirmation of an exclusive anniversary track parade and display – plus a special Capri Celebration Package – to encourage all owners to join in the festivities.
This attractively priced offer provides owners with a pair of adult tickets (for Sunday or the full three-day weekend) plus a special vehicle pass giving access to a dedicated Capri Celebration display area.
Also included is a place in the commemorative Capri Celebration track parade taking place on the full Grand Prix circuit at lunchtime on Sunday. This will be fronted by the final Capri to roll off the production line in Cologne – a limited edition 280 ‘Brooklands’ model owned by Ford’s heritage workshop.
This package has been introduced to enable owners who may not be members of those car clubs already attending the world’s biggest historic motor racing festival, to share in the extensive 50th birthday revelries.
“Five years ago we paid tribute to the Ford Mustang when it turned 50, now we are honouring its equally-iconic European sibling, the Capri,” explained Nick Wigley, Silverstone Classic CEO.
“For many of us the Capri was always the affordable coupé, so it’s no surprise that they are becoming more and more treasured by classic car enthusiasts. We want to foster and fuel that passion by encouraging as many Capri fans as possible to share in the 50thbirthday celebrations at the Classic.”  
Owners not wanting to miss the party can select the Capri Celebration Package from the ticket options available on the official website.
As well as honouring the Capri in style, this year’s Silverstone Classic is also marking Bentley’s centenary and 60 years of the evergreen Mini among its many other celebrations.
Furthermore, the packed 21-race track programme features evocative retro showdowns for prized Formula 1, Formula 2 and Formula 3 single-seaters for the very first time plus the inaugural round of the exciting new Aston Martin Heritage Racing Festival Series.
Full details of all tickets (which must be purchased in advance) – as well as hospitality packages and weekend festival camping – can be found on the official website.   



Head to Beaulieu for a Porsche-themed day with Simply Porsche on Sunday, June 2nd, as more than 1,000 stylish sports cars join a vibrant display in the grounds of the National Motor Museum.
Held in association with The Independent Porsche Enthusiasts’ Club (TIPEC), Beaulieu’s 7th Simply Porsche will be a season highlight whether you’re looking for an excuse to get out and about in your prized Porsche, keen to see a staggering selection of iconic sports cars or just fancy a great day out at one of the south’s leading visitor attractions.
Enjoy a drive across the stunning New Forest to reach Beaulieu, then take pride in your Porsche as you park amongst other shining examples in the showground. You’ll be in good company as you meet fellow owners and immerse yourself in all things, Porsche.
Last year’s record line-up of 1,620 Porsches ranged from the 1950s and ‘60s 356, through numerous incarnations of the legendary 911, right up to the latest models. Fans were spoiled for choice as examples of the V8-powered 928, high-performance GT4 and open-top Boxster took their places in the show, with 2019’s line-up anticipated to be equally exciting.
Visitors and event-goers will cast votes for their favourite Porsche of the show in the People’s Choice Awards, with the winner receiving a Beaulieu trophy.
For those driving Porsches and taking part in the show, participant tickets are £10 an adult, £5 a child (aged 5-16) if bought in advance before 5pm on May 30th, or £12 an adult and £6 a child on the day. All other visitors can buy a general admission ticket to Beaulieu at the standard attraction price. For tickets and information see
Event tickets include entry to all of the Beaulieu attraction, including the National Motor Museum with its Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 50 years exhibition, World of Top GearOn Screen Cars, 13th century Beaulieu Abbey, the Montagu ancestral home of Palace House and its spring-time grounds and gardens.
Entry is from 8.30am - 3pm for rally participants. The Brabazon Restaurant will serve hot drinks and breakfast snacks from 8.30am. All other visitors should enter Beaulieu though the Visitor Reception building with a standard attraction admission ticket, from 10am.
Simply Porsche is part of Beaulieu’s range of ten Simply rallies. Following Simply Porsche is Simply VW on June 15thSimply Land Rover & Rummage on June 23rdSimply Jaguaron July 14thSimply Japanese on July 28th, the first Simply Mercedes on August 18th and Simply Smart on November 10th. For tickets and the full calendar see
Find us on Twitter @Beaulieu_Hants, on Facebook at /nationalmotormuseum or on Instagram @national_motor_museum and join the conversation.



Bentley Display at Blenheim Palace - courtesy BDC

Salon Privé (5th to 8th September) will this year dedicate two days (Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th September) to celebrating the centenary of one of Britain’s most revered and prestigious motor car marques; Bentley Motors, founded in 1919 by the gifted engineer W.O. Bentley. The two-day celebration of 100 years of Bentley Motors at Salon Privé will consist of Bentley Masters on Saturday and Bentley Drivers Club Concours d’Elegance alongside Salon Privé Classic & Supercar on Sunday.
On Saturday 7th September, the third running of the Masters Series at Salon Privé will be devoted to Bentley Motors, marking the 100th anniversary of this iconic British automotive marque. Although there will be a competitive element to the day, first and foremost it will be a celebration with an enviable display of 50 Bentleys from the earliest through to the very latest models. Together, they will bring to life the story of how the marque evolved to become one of the most admired luxury vehicle makers in the world today.
These 50 Bentley Masters motor cars will be judged on the Saturday by a panel carefully selected for their knowledge and expertise of the Bentley marque, combined with those who have a passion and life-long interest in these special cars. Salon Privé takes a relaxed and celebratory approach to the judging, rather than the close scrutiny of a traditional Concours event. Trophies will be awarded during the day, with the much-coveted Owners’ Choice presented at the Saturday evening Gala Dinner within the sumptuous surroundings of Blenheim Palace.
Salon Privé’s Co-Founder and Sales Director, David Bagley commented: “It’s a real honour for us to have been selected as the host event for Bentley’s Centenary this year and we are planning a spectacular weekend of celebrations at Blenheim Palace. On Saturday 7th September on the South Lawn, we present Bentley Masters at Salon Privé with an eye-watering display of 50 of the rarest and most exceptional models from around the world - already, entries have been received from France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, South Africa and The Netherlands. Then, on Sunday 8thSeptember, Bentley Drivers Club join us for their annual Concours d’Elegance and together, we will attempt to gather a record 1,001 Bentley together at one event. Stretching across the North Lawns, it will be the ultimate tribute for this iconic British marque.”
On Sunday 8th September, the Bentley Drivers Club (BDC) Concours d'Elegance will merge with the newly launched Salon Privé Classic & Supercar and with an expected record gathering of no less than 1,001 Bentleys from across the globe taking centre stage, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience not to be missed!
Lucky owners of exceptional Bentley models are invited and encouraged to consider entering their motor cars for both days of Salon Privé’s Bentley centenary celebration weekend. Models already submitted for entry to the whole weekend include a noteworthy 1929 Speed Six Gurney Nutting Weymann Saloon, one of just 182 Speed Six models built, a 1938 Sports Saloon by Park Ward and a 1950 Mk VI Drophead Foursome Coupeby E.D.Abbott, one of just 16 ever built.
Sunday 8th September will see the largest ever annual Bentley Drivers Club (BDC) Concours d’Elegance taking place as an integral part of the Salon Privé Classic & Supercar event at Blenheim Palace, with 18 prestigious trophies to be awarded, including Concours, Patina and the Inter-Regional Team Challenge awards. A special exhibition of significant Bentley cars from every decade will showcase 100 years of the marque; this will include the earliest surviving Bentley, EXP2, and a number of fascinating cars such as a striking-looking Continental GT Zagato, one of only nine made, and a unique Continental GT S Convertible ‘art car’ boldly decorated by the creative brush of celebrated artist Sir Peter Blake.
Bentley Drivers Club Chairman Ron Warmington said: “Our Concours d’Elegance will be a unique occasion and we would be delighted to mark Bentley Motors’ centenary by setting a new world record for the largest ever gathering of Bentleys in one place. Do come along – we guarantee you’ll have a wonderful day.”

Monday, 25 February 2019



 Salon Privé prides itself in continually evolving, offering brand new visitor experiences year after year, and this year promises not to disappoint.
Previously two separate events co-existed; Salon Privé and Blenheim Palace Classic & Supercar. Salon Privé offered three days of private full hospitality entertainment on the South Lawn of Blenheim Palace, followed by a public day spread across the Great Court and surrounding North Lawn of the stunning Oxfordshire Estate. For 2019, the two events will merge with Salon Privé becoming a four-day event format and the newly-launched Salon Privé Classic & Supercar taking place on the South Lawn Enclosure and North Lawn on Sunday 8th September 2019.
Visitors on the Public Day will have the option of purchasing a North Lawn ticket from £21.00 or a combined North Lawn & South Lawn Enclosure ticket from £36.00. The upgraded South Lawn Enclosure ticket includes full access to the supercar manufacturers, classic car specialists and luxury brands exhibiting within Salon Privé. On top of this, the North Lawn ticket includes a GT Tour display of 80 supercars, the Supercar Club Paddock with 500 supercars from Ferrari, McLaren, Lamborghini & Porsche, the Bentley Drivers Club Annual Concours and 1,001 Bentleys, celebrating the marque’s Centenary….
Salon Privé’s Co-Founder and Sales Director, David Bagley commented: “We have so much planned for the day on both lawns and look forward to welcoming enthusiasts, collectors & owners from throughout the UK and indeed, overseas. We’re particularly proud to be hosting the Bentley Drivers Club Annual Concours and partnering with them to create the largest collection of Bentleys ever gathered at a single event to mark the 100th anniversary of Bentley Motors. With in excess of 1,001 Bentleys attending and enthusiasts of the marque flying in from all corners of the globe, it promises to be a celebration to remember!”
Bagley went on to say: “Thanks to the flexibility of Blenheim Palace, Salon Privé is able to evolve continually, allowing us to present something new and exciting for our guests each year. The new format this year offers the ideal opportunity to create a ‘Club Day’ and work more closely with the car clubs of Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren and Porsche, as well as Bentley and Rolls-Royce who will have their own preferential parking area on the North Lawn. A trio of exciting new club awards will be up for grabs and presented later in the day within the South Lawn Enclosure. These will be the Salon Privé Secretary’s Trophy, the Salon Privé Manufacturer’s Trophy and for the people’s choice and best club car on the day, the Salon Privé Club Trophy.”
For more information about tickets, please visit the website:



The London Concours, presented by Montres Breguet, has announced the first of its exceptional special features; a show-stopping gathering of iconic Lamborghini Miuras. Once the world’s fastest production car, and hailed as one of the greatest automotive designs of all time, as many as eight examples will be on display at the London Concoursthis June
In the forthcoming, definitive book on the model, The Lamborghini Miura, to be published by Kidston SA this summer, the outrageous Italian supercar is celebrated as the one that set the template for almost every great automotive performance icon since. First revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in 1966, its revolutionary rear mid-engined layout quickly became de rigueur for the many supercar pretenders that followed. 
As if that wasn’t reason enough to celebrate the Miura, this year marks 50 years since the premiere of The Italian Job, and although the Minis secured their place in pop culture history, it was the Miura in the opening scene that captured the imagination of petrolheads the world over. Accompanied by a spine-tingling V12 soundtrack, the Miura was driven up Italy’s beautiful Gran San Bernardo pass, in one of cinema’s greatest ever automotive scenes.
That particular car was finished in lurid Arancia Miura, and the London Concours will bring together a world-class collection of up to eight variants – including one in Arancia Miura – showcasing the gamut of outlandish shades offered by the factory. Among them, London Concours visitors will also see Miuras finished in Giallo Sole, Bianco and Azzuro Cielo.
In total, nearly 100 automotive greats of all eras will be on display on the idyllic lawns of the Honourable Artillery Company HQ when the London Concours rolls into the City from 5-6 June. Curated across seven distinct classes, including ‘The Icons’ and ‘The Innovators’, London Concours is the ultimate automotive summer garden party.
Andrew Evans, London Concours Director, said: “If any single model deserves to be celebrated at the London Concours, it’s the Lamborghini Miura. Not only is it a silver screen star, but it was the posterchild for a generation and arguably the provided the spark for the whole supercar scene as we know it. In a spectacular event showcasing nearly 100 automotive icons from the Ferrari F40 to the Bugatti Veyron, this colourful slice of supercar history is set to be a real highlight.”
The London Concours 2019 takes place from 5-6 June. Tickets are available to buy now from



20TH – 21ST APRIL 2019

Over 250 vintage buses, lorries and commercial vehicles on show. Free admission, free bus rides. Family event. Saturday evening road run through the fells, food & drink stalls and vintage funfair.

The Cumbria Easter Rally, the UK’s biggest, free rally of classic commercial vehicles turns 21 on Easter weekend, Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st April 2019, when the quintessential event returns to Kirkby Stephen and Brough.

Held at some of the most picturesque locations in the Upper Eden Valley and in the Cumbrian North Pennines’ area of outstanding beauty and the recently extended Yorkshire Dales National Park (Westmorland Dales), the two-day event attracts thousands of people to South East Cumbria to view the impressive display of much loved vintage vehicles that, alongside a picturesque road run across the fells, frames a host of other activities and stalls for shopping and food and drink. 

Well-preserved and lovingly restored vintage lorries, buses, coaches, Land Rovers, military and utility vehicles, tractors and other farming vehicles, vans, wagons and old pedal bikeswill be exhibited across various sites across Kirkby Stephen and Brough with free classic bus rides available between them.

A highlight of the 21st Classic Easter Rally will be the amazing annual road run through the fells, which takes place on Saturday 20th April. The evening procession of classic trucks and buses will delight the crowds lining the route with the fells of the Westmorland Dales creating a spectacularly beautiful backdrop for sightseers, professional photographers and Instagrammers alike.

Entry is free for exhibiting historic, commercial vehicles and the free, family-friendly event features a mini-roundabout and other activities for children, plus local artisan, craft and food stalls and extended parking to manage visitor numbers comfortably. The Easter Rally provides two days of nostalgia as well as a fascinating visual history of commercial vehicles.

Encounter Eden, a not-for-profit, social enterprise designed to give the area an economic boost with a series of events in the region took over the co-ordination of the classic commercial vehicle rally last year. The Rally was previously organised by the Eden Classic Vehicle Group and the now-retired Hamer Family (returning as exhibitors).

Entry forms are available from  Entry to the public is Free.


Nanette Rigg of Encounter Eden: ‘Encounter Eden took on the task of organising and promoting Cumbria Easter Rally in 2018, to help maintain what has become the first main visitor attraction of the Cumbrian tourism calendar. The event has also proved its importance to the local community as a flagship event, with local observers reckoning that 10,000 attended the event in 2018, bringing an extremely welcome estimated £100,000 into the local economy. Encounter Eden is looking forward to helping bring together exhibitors, visitors and locals together again for the 21st Cumbria Easter Rally and build upon the much-loved tradition in 2019.’ 

  • Grand Prix yard in Brough – classic vehicles and stalls; parking across the road
  • Geoff Atkinson’s yard in Brough – The Bedford Enthusiasts Club
  • Jubilee Park in Brough – vintage pedal bikes
  • The Auction Mart in Kirkby Stephen – classic vehicles and stalls. Limited camping for exhibitors. Please reserve.
  • Market Square and Market Street Kirkby Stephen – classic vehicles displayed and craft/artisan and food stalls as well as stalls for motor enthusiasts.
  • The Kirkby Stephen CoOp car park – exhibitor displays on Sunday only.
  • Kirkby Stephen Parish Church – ‘the Cathedral of the Dales’ – bric-a-brac and cafe

The free classic bus service from Kirkby Stephen Railway Station to Brough – buses run in approximately 15-minute intervals. First bus 10:00. Last bus 16:30.
Road Run on Saturday 20th April at 16:30 starting at Grand Prix in Brough. If you want to take a bus to join the route please be at the Grand Prix at 16:10.

For further information, to offer voluntary support or to offer sponsorship, contact: Nanette Rigg, on 07769 949788 and

Entry forms for the 2019 Cumbria Easter Rally are available from

Monday, 18 February 2019



The largest single-entry team to compete in this year’s Rallye Monte-Carlo Classique has returned home after a 1,300-mile endurance road rallye battling alpine passes and sub-zero conditions.
Led by three-time Rallye Monte-Carlo Classique finishers, Blue Diamond Riley Services, all cars finished the winter rallye. With five pre-war Rileys competing, alongside one post-war MG, it made the total to six cars within the team, four of which were prepared by the specialist experts.
Starting their journey from Clydebank, Scotland on 30 January and finishing in Monaco 3 February, each car and driver overcame sleep deprivation, extreme weather and working with their Thirties and Forties car’s technology.
Being the only team to tackle the grueling 1,300-mile journey in pre-war sports cars on this year’s rallye wasn’t a small undertaking. With some cars only having a thin cotton roof and dim lights for the night passages, it was true testament to the drivers’ skills, co-drivers’ navigating, as well as the mechanical team’s support.
One stand-out pairing of the whole team was that of ex-car designers Adam Gompertz and Craig Callum. Driving the 1949 MG TC, the duo entered the rallye to raise awareness and much-needed funds for mental health charity OCD Action. With the pair battling high-altitude passes and varying conditions of between -10 degrees and a balmy 15 degrees, it was also a test of patience, endurance and teamwork.
“What a journey! It’s finally hit home what we’ve all been through as friends, teammates and drivers. Not to mention how incredible the cars have been,” said Blue Diamond Riley Services’ Managing Director John Lomas. “We’re retracing history but with modern know-how and much-needed wet weather kit. Would I do it all again? Absolutely! 2020 here we come.”
Lomas drove his 1936 Riley Sprite 2,800 miles from the company’s Bicester Heritage workshop to the official start line in Scotland. With his co-driver, Martin Greaves, the pair then undertook the official rallye journey and drove back to Bicester Heritage from the finishing point in Monaco.
“The Sprite was faultless. For it to do 2,800 miles in eight days is incredible. My co-driver Martin, the rest of my team, and the other drivers have been an immense support. Now it’s time to wash the road grime off it and press it back into action for the daily commute and school run.”
Riley, a name synonymous with pre-war endurance road and track racing, is being revived by established specialists, Blue Diamond Riley Services. The company has participated in a range of well-known endurance rallyes, including The Flying Scotsman, 1,000 Mile Trial, VSCC events and recently the Rallye Monte-Carlo Classique. Understanding the importance in well-prepared cars as well as teamwork, Blue Diamond Riley Services sponsored the official stop of the Rallye Monte-Carlo Classique in Banbury, Oxfordshire, which was open for free maintenance and mechanical support for competitors that also started from Clydebank, Scotland.
The Blue Diamond Riley Services team is already preparing cars for the 2020 season, with plans of having an even larger team for next year’s Rallye Monte-Carlo Classique. To discuss what Blue Diamond Riley Services can offer in terms of preparation or guidance about endurance events, please contact the company’s Managing Director, John Lomas.
A full list of entrants of this year’s Blue Diamond Riley Services Rallye Monte-Carlo Classique team:
1931 Riley 9 WD Tourer
1933 Riley 9 Monaco
1933 Riley 12/4 Kestrel
1935 Riley Sprite
1936 Riley Sprite
1949 MG TC

Wednesday, 13 February 2019



The Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard is evolving into even more of a motoring mecca in 2019. Changes to the physical layout, with the relocation of the road car paddocks, will make way for an all-new live action arena guaranteed to thrill spectators. The four-day Festival, this year taking place on 4-7 July, is always looking to the future in making sure the newest and most exciting cars, bikes and technologies are very much part of the mix.
The first change for 2019 will be the relocation of the Michelin Supercar Paddock. In previous years, it has been located in the Cathedral Paddock. This year it will relocate to the space adjacent to the start line of the Hill, that used to be home to the Moving Motor Show. A firm favourite with our younger audiences, visitors will be able to get up close and personal with the most exciting and inspiring road cars in the world, all pushing the boundaries of technology.
With a large space now free in the Cathedral Paddock, an all-new attraction ‘The Arena’, will be introduced here. It will be the first time Goodwood has created an amphitheatre of action this extreme. Throughout Friday, Saturday and Sunday visitors will be in awe, witnessing drift cars shredding tyres, stunt drivers doing the daring, insane and unimaginable with car and motorcycle displays. The Arena will showcase some of the biggest stars and daredevils and allow fans to interact with their heroes.
Another paddock set to relocate is the First Glance Paddock. It will find a new home next to FoS Future Lab, nestled right amongst all the manufacturer stands. The First Glance Paddock, combined with FoS Future Lab, will be the hub of pioneering engineering achievement, with the latest cars and technology alongside each other. FoS Future Lab, now in its third year, is an immersive technology experience, where visitors take a look into the future and experience the technology of tomorrow first hand. Last year, favourites included Roborace and JetPack Aviation’s incredible ‘jet pack man’.
The Goodwood Action Sports zone, affectionately known as GAS, will also get an injection of new content, the much-loved shows featuring the incredible talent of BMX, mountain bikers, trials riders and freestyle motocross will remain, but be joined by new features such as an e-gaming area.
Finally, Sunday is getting supercharged! After three days of practice runs the fastest cars of the weekend will enter the Sunday Shootout and attempt to beat the 41.6-second record time that has stood for 20 years. Supercars, touring cars, electric cars and specially-built Hillclimb monsters will battle to be crowned the fastest car of the event. The three fastest cars will be displayed outside Goodwood House after the Shootout for fans to get close to.
The Duke of Richmond, founder of the Festival of Speed said, “While celebrating the Silver Jubilee of the Festival of Speed last year we enjoyed record attendance. We’ve seen an incredible 4 million visitors through the event gates over the last quarter of a century. We’re always very conscious of looking to the future as much as we are celebrating the past. We hope with Future Lab, and the relocation of the paddocks to make way for the new live-action arena, there really is something to represent every area of motorsport and technology. There is something to appeal to all, from the youngest in the family to the most hardcore motorsport fan.”
Tickets for the Festival of Speed are available from and from Goodwood Customer Sales on 01243 755 055.



A 112-year-old Mototri Contal three-wheeler is set to take on the 2019 Peking to Paris, aiming to finish a 13,840 km journey it started in 1907.
The first Peking to Paris (P2P) ran in 1907, five competitors accepting a seemingly impossible challenge. Amongst them was a French three-wheeled Mototri Contal piloted by an ambitious duo, Frenchman Auguste Pons and Oscar Foucauld. A story of struggles and triumphs eventually saw them, and their three-wheeler, stranded in the Gobi Desert. The story ended with the crew attempting to walk back to Peking, almost losing their lives in the process.
But now Anton Gonnissen (58) a successful architect from Sint-Martens-Latem near Ghent in Belgium will attempt to rewrite history by starting the 2019 Peking Paris Rally in a rebuilt second Mototri Contal and bring her back to Paris, a feat the brave Pons failed to do in 1907. Inspired by the story that almost cost Pons and his co-driver Foucauld their lives, Anton Gonnissen set about acquiring an original Mototri Contal. He reached out to many for support and all, including the Rally Director of the Endurance Rally Association, who asked: “Are you mad Anton?”
On the contrary, Anton Gonnissen is an accomplished modern-day adventurer who has finished three Dakars, four Rallies of Egypt, and one UAE desert rally variously in a car, truck and on a quad bike. He is taking this bold venture very seriously and intends to make the impossible journey possible, using all his experience from his previous adventures.
Gonnissen eventually found one of the very few Mototri Contal’s left in the world together with its original manual and went about making the necessary study of the antique machine following a structural test by Ghent University. Some improvements have been made to the chassis, wheels and engine, although, as with the original Mototri Contal, there is no rear suspension together with the 1906 crude springing still on the front. The navigator will sit over the front axle perched out front in what has long been christened the ‘suicide seat’, or as the French said: ‘le tue belle-mère’.
Brave navigator, Belgian Herman Gelan, an interior architect from Ghent, will be in that seat perched out front as Foucauld was all those years ago. Herman is an accomplished triathlon and marathon runner, a passion he shares with Anton. However, he is being thrown in at the deep end as this will be his first motor sport event, he is a total novice. 
Anton Gonnissen will be behind him steering the trike from over the rear wheel for 36 days, 13,840 km (8,600 miles) aiming to finish in Paris six weeks later. The only concession to comfort for the endurance rally specialist from Belgium is a Harley Davidson saddle in place of the original bottom crusher.
Anton Gonnissen: “The story for Auguste Pons was a short one. Stranded without petrol early in the race they couldn’t be rescued by the other competitors as they were ahead of them. They ended up drinking the water out of the radiator and then started their perilously long walk back to Peking in the heat. They nearly died and the Contal is still out there covered by sand somewhere.
“Auguste Pons and navigator Oscar Foucauld were the only men not to eventually make it back to Paris so we intend to lay that ghost to rest and exercise their long lost spirits. Pons was certainly the bravest of the five competitors in the race, as he attempted the absolute impossible race. He lost everything in the Gobi Desert, even his 1906 driving licence was left in the trike when the Contal was abandoned. However, we did find his 1908 replacement document.
“As it is one of the few original Mototri Contal, we have tried to keep as many original parts as possible which is why some components of the original trike will be in place. In some cases, we have simply had to beef up the chassis with the endurance rally and the finish in mind.
 “We are nearly ready to start testing the Mototri Contal which has to be ready to be shipped to China in early March. We want to be prepared but I am not underestimating the formidable challenge ahead. We know this will be a life-changing event, but it could turn us, ordinary men, into heroes if we can get the Mototri Contal all the way to Paris and finish the job for Auguste Pons 112 years on.”
*Testing of the Contal Mototri will begin in February. A further release with VT/ photos from the tests will be distributed in early March. Please kindly indicate if you would like to receive the material and follow the story as it unfolds.
*Please also follow Anton Gonnissen’s blog here.



Racing and Rally legends will once again gather at Race Retro, powered by Motor Sport, as racing drivers John Watson and John Fitzpatrick make their show debut alongside returning rally legend Rauno Aaltonen.

Held at Stoneleigh Park from 22-24 February, Race Retro welcomes Formula One driver turned pundit John Watson, who won five Grands Prix and was third in the 1982 championship.

Born in Belfast, John’s F1 career started in 1972 at Goldie Hexagon Racing but his first World Champion event wasn’t until the following year when he drove a Brabham-Ford BT37. Moving on to the BT42, John scored his first championship point in the 1974 Monaco Grand Prix. Drives with Team Surtees, Lotus and Penske followed.

John’s first World Championship podium came in 1976 coming third in the French Grand Prix with a victory to follow in the Austrian Grand Prix driving the Penske.

In 1979, Watson moved to McLaren where he gave them their first victory in over three years by winning the 1981 British Grand Prix and also securing the first victory for a carbon fibre composite monocoque F1 car, the McLaren MP4/1.

His most successful year was 1982, when he finished third in the Drivers' Championship, winning two Grands Prix before he retired from F1 at the end of the 1983 season, turning to sports car racing. John partnered Stefan Bellof to victory in the Fuji 1000km and drove a Jaguar XJR-5 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans seven times over the course of his career between 1973 and 1990 and came second in the World Sports Car Championship in 1987.

John Fitzpatrick raced professionally for over 20 years in Touring Cars, Sports Cars and GTs and was considered one of the best Porsche drivers of his era. He began his career driving Touring cars in the BSCC and ETCC, winning the British Saloon Car Championship in 1966. First it was Minis, then Ford Anglias and Escorts; BMW CSs and then Porsche 911s. He then became renowned for his expertise at driving the German machines.
John was crowned European GT Champion in 1972, and then again in 1974. He moved to the United States in 1980, driving for Dick Barbour Racing, capturing the IMSA Camel GT Championship in the process. He won the prestigious Porsche Cup in 1972, 1974 and 1980. His most prestigious wins were the Daytona 24-hours, Sebring 12-hours and the Bathurst 1000kms in Australia.

In 1981, he moved from driver to team owner-driver, with some success and spent eight years as Secretary of the British Racing Drivers Club and Director of Silverstone Circuit.

Joining these legendary racers is Finnish rally legend Rauno Aaltonen. Known as one of the Flying Finns of rallying, Rauno started his career on speed boats and later moved on to motorcycles competing in road racing, speedway and motocross. He was the first Finn to win a Grand Prix motorcycle racing competition.

Before the World Rally Championship was established, Rauno competed in the European Rally Championship, winning in 1965 with co-driver Tony Ambrose. He also won the Finnish Rally Championship in 1961 and 1965.

In 1966, he partnered Bob Holden in Australia to win the premier touring car race, the Gallaher 500, in a Mini Cooper S at Mount Panorama in New South Wales.

Aaltonen finished second on six occasions in the Safari Rally, which is considered one of the most difficult courses in rallying earning him the nickname of ‘The Rally Professor’.

This amazing trio will all be interviewed on the Motor Sport Live Stage on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 February as well as taking part in Q&A sessions and autograph signings.

Tickets are now on sale for Race Retro, powered by Motor Sport, held from February 22-24, 2019 at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, with free parking for all visitors. For the latest updates and ticket information, visit

Tuesday, 12 February 2019


The first of this year’s three FIVA World Rallies take place in Austria, from 22 to 26 May 2019, and is open to any vehicle built up to 1980 with a valid FIVA ID Card – not just to members of FIVA (the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens or international federation of historic vehicles).
“The Austria Classic is intended as a ‘regularity event and/or touristic discovery trip’ to enjoy not only driving your own historic vehicle, but also the architectural, geographical and cultural diversity of Austria,” explains Robert Krickl, president of OMVV (Austrian Motor-Veteran-Federation) and OMVC (Austrian Motor-Veteran-Club), the FIVA clubs organising the Austria Classic.
Starting and finishing at the Radisson Blu Park Royal Palace Hotel in Vienna, the event is a 650km run round Vienna, Wachau, Burgenland and the Semmering region, with a choice of two classes to enter: one for Regularity (Classic) competitors and one for Touring (Trophy) participants.
Wachau, which will be explored on the first full day of the rally, is a part of Austria renowned for its picturesque landscapes: rolling hills that stretch along the Danube river. Other reasons for its popularity with visitors include the region’s high-quality wines.
On the second day, participants will head for Burgenland, the easternmost province of Austria. Once part of the Kingdom of Hungary, Burgenland is characterised by Neusiedler Lake in the north and the foothills of the Alps in the hilly south.
Day three, and the tour will visit the Semmering region, since the 19th Century a popular holiday destination for Viennese ‘high society’. Not only did the nobility gather in the fashionable villas (Emperor Karl I often spent holidays here), but also artists. Today, the Semmering is an extremely popular venue for classic car rallies and historic motorsport events, helped by its history: in 1899, for example, the first Semmering mountain race was held, a 10km race for automobiles and motorcycles. It ran almost every year until 1933, with winners including such famous names as Rudolf Caracciola and Hans Stuck.
“We look forward to welcoming historic vehicle owners from many different countries to join our exploration of Austria, in company with other enthusiasts who are keen to meet new people, while enjoying their cars and the spectacular Austrian scenery and culture,” concludes Robert Krickl.
To register for the Austria Classic, please visit The entry fee is €1,300 per person, plus hotel accommodation @ circa €125 per night, and registrations are open until 30 March 2019.