A Rally with Passion and Purpose

Alex Lewis, a founding member of the Hope Classic Rally, shares his insights into its ongoing success and thoughts on the passion for classic cars.

I am lucky enough to have been involved with the Hope Classic Rally for the past four years and to have seen it grow every year. What started as a fledgling idea between friends has developed into an annual celebration of the love of old cars and an impactful fundraising event for charity WeSeeHope.

I think the concept of the Rally is so unique because it simply wouldn’t exist but for the enormous trust and generosity of our car donors. Lending your car (let alone a classic!) to someone you don’t know is quite an ask, but it seems our car donors understand what we are trying to achieve through the event and are genuinely moved to be part of it in some way.

After all, thanks to them, our guests get the one-of-a-kind experience of driving classics like a Ferrari 250 SWB, a Ferrari Daytona or a Mercedes Gullwing, and feeling like they are theirs for the day.

We have found that this is an exciting way to raise money and inspire people to get involved with WeSeeHope’s work to support vulnerable children in Southern and Eastern Africa. I personally couldn’t help but get on board with something that uses people’s passion to empower and help drive positive change in disadvantaged communities.

At the Rally there is undeniably a genuine passion for old cars and the beauty of the vehicles. Aesthetically they are like works of art and mechanically they are often stunning under the bonnet. Many great classic cars were at the forefront of engineering design, and racing and rallying were central to the mystique. Nostalgia plays a big part in people’s passion; they remember cars they grew up with or cars that literally transport them to another era.

I have been fortunate enough to drive a variety of cars at the Rally, but if I had to choose one, I would love to get behind the wheel of an Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato. There’s something about an Anglo Italian collaboration that produces the perfect balance of refined brawn and impeccable styling. Apart from being super rare these cars were race bred but perfect on fast roads. A blend of Sean Connery and Sophia Loren!

There is something magical about driving a classic car on a beautiful English country road and we are so excited to be going Track-to-Track from Brooklands to Goodwood for the first time this year. If you would like to join us for this year’s event on 14-15th June, please get in touch with Marina Hamilton at: Marina@hopeclassicrally.org

We hope to see you in June!

Alex, Collector and Private Consultant
Hope Classic Rally Board Member


Hope Classic Rally 2019 – Track to Track

2019 marks the fifth anniversary of the Hope Classic Rally and we want it to be an event like no other.

To mark this anniversary year, we are delighted to be going track-to-track for the first time, from the historic Brooklands to the legendary Goodwood Motor Circuit; the only classic racetrack in the world to remain entirely in its original form having been restored to all its glory to recapture the nostalgia of the golden era of motorsport.

 

HISTORY OF GOODWOOD

The historic 2.38 mile circuit, with is dramatic sweeps and curves, was officially opened on 18th September 1948 when Freddie March, the 9th Duke of Richmond and amateur racer, took to the track in a Bristol 400.

This was to be Britain’s first professionally organised post-war motor-racing evet. It was supported by over 15,000 spectators and 85 drivers and it continued for 18 years before closing its gates to contemporary motor racing in August of 1966. It was the end of a chapter in Goodwood history as although the Circuit remained in continuous use as a testing and track day venue, it wasn’t until 1998 that it re-opened to the public.

Exactly 50 years to the day that the Goodwood Motor Circuit first opened, Goodwood Revival was born and to mark the occasion the Earl of March, re-enacted the opening of the track driving the same Bristol 400 that his grandfather had used half a century earlier.

 

HOPE CLASSIC RALLY

Hope Classic Rally is proud to share in this history as part of our 2019 event as we drive this fantastic route which includes a pitstop at Race Control where racing legends Sir Stirling Moss, John Surtees, Mike Hailwood, Giancarlo Baghetti and Betty Haig amongst many others, have received their driver briefings over the years.

With support from Jaguar Land Rover and private collectors, we have established the Hope Classic Rally as a unique driving experience for motoring enthusiasts, giving our guests the opportunity to get behind the wheel of cars which have their own place in motoring history.

Each year since the start of the Rally in 2015 we have been fortunate enough to have had a 1962 SWB Ferrari Berlinetta for participants to drive. Only 176 were built and with its short wheel base for improved handling, disc breaks and an impressive power to weight ratio, the SWB Ferrari is hailed as one of the greatest Ferraris and one of the most notable GT racers ever.

2018 also saw the inclusion of Mike Hailwood’s IsoGrifo Rivolta. Few people have made the transition from motorcycle racing to F1 with the success of Hailwood, who also raced at Goodwood during his professional career. But even without the providence of its former owner, this car was worthy of attention. It is one of only 26 right-hand drive series 1 Grifos to be made, and was intended to compete with Ferrari and Maserati GTs using a series of power trains and components to ensure performance and maximise reliability.

We are now gearing-up for the 2019 Hope Classic Rally on 14-15th June and expect to have more exceptional cars for our guests to drive than ever before. It is shaping up to be a truly unique day out.

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