Scotland hosts top motoring events
TWO major events in the motoring world were held earlier this month – and both were in Scotland.
The first one was the announcement of the first inductees in the Scottish Motoring Hall of Fame.
And this prestigious ceremony on board the Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh was also the opening party of the 2015 Concours of Elegance.
Along with fellow members of the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers, supported by Bridge of Weir Leather Company, I had the difficult task of deciding who to vote into the Hall of Fame.
Announcing these, ASMW president Alisdair Suttie said: “The ASMW believes our country has produced many of the greatest racing drivers, engineers, designers and many others who make the auto-motive industry such a huge global business.
“That is why we felt it was time to recognise these achievements and successes with our very own Scottish Motoring Hall of Fame.”
Racing car legends Jim Clark and Sir Jackie Stewart, and world-renowned car designer Ian Callum were the three first inductees.
Clark was a Formula One driver from Kilmany, Fife, who won two World Championships and at just 32 years of age had won more Grand Prix races (25) and achieved more pole positions (33) than any other driver in history.
He competed in sportscars, touring cars and in the Indianapolis 500 which he won in 1965, the same year he was crowned Formula One World Champion for the second time.
Clark was tragically killed, aged 32, during a Formula Two race at Hockenheim, Germany, in 1968.
In 2009, he was named as the Greatest Formula One Driver of All Time.
Sir Jackie was born in Milton, West Dunbartonshire, and went on to become one of the top five Greatest Formula One Drivers of All Time.
The Flying Scot competed in Formula One between 1065 and 1973, during which time he was crowned World Champion in 1969, 1971 and 1973 – notching up 27 race wins.
Callum hails from Dumfries and is director of design at Jaguar Cars, a position he has held since 199, following a number of other high-profile design roles in the automotive industry.
Often named among the best British car designers of the 21st century, he has received five honorary doctorates from universities around the world, has been honoured as a Royal Designer for Industry, as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a winner of many prestigious awards.
His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent was onboard to offer his congratulations and also took part – driving a 1937 Bentley Vanden Plas Tourer – in a Highland Tour involving more than 50 incredible cars to mark the opening of the event at the Palace of Holy-roodhouse.
The Concours of Elegance is among the world’s leading classic car events, and each year is held at a Royal Palace.
Established in 2012, the inaugural event was held within Windsor Castle to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen’s reign.
The second Concours was held in 2013 at the historic Royal Palace of St James in London, with the third Concours set in the stunning grounds of Hampton Court Palace in 2014.
Only 60 car of the highest calibre are invited to the Concours of Elegance – 60 being a reference to The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – with the rarest cars in the world, coming from Ame-rica, Australia and Europe.
The Best in Show Award went to the 1903 Mercedes Simplex 60hp, owned by Anke Ruckwarth. It is powered by a 9.2-litre four-cylinder engine and capable of nearly 80mph.
A Jaguar SS1, owned by Michael and Linda Jewell, was a double winner – RAC Club Trophy and inaugural Jaguar Trophy – and as club winner is invited to the 2016 Concours.
A key objective of the annual Concours of Elegance is to raise significant sums for charity and is expected to raise in excess of £150,000 for this year’s charities – Walking With the Wounded, Action on Addiction and Springfield Motor Racing’s Club for Young People.
The 60 classic and modern cars on show were stunning and even the sun came out for spectators to enjoy viewing these and some other special features over the weekend.
These included the Ecurie Ecosse celebration featuring a notable selection of the team’s most famous cars throughout the years, including a Jaguar C-type and two of the team’s hugely successful Jaguar D-types.
There was a Sir Jackie Stewart Tribute with his 1969 Matra MS80, 1971 Elf Team Tyrrell 003 and 1973 Elf Team Tyrrell 006 winning cars on display as well as his three tartan-striped championship winning helmets.
A Scottish Motor Racing Legends display featured Jim Clark’s Lotus-Cortina he drove to victory in the 1964 British Touring Car Championship, the Lotus 38 he raced at the 1967 Indiana-polis Grand Prix and his 1963 Formula One Driver’s Championship-winning Lotus 25.
Also on display was a Hillman Hunter driven to victory by Andrew Cowan in the gruelling 1968 London-Sydney Marathon, and a Jaguar XJR-9 piloted by Johnny Dumfries to victory in the 1988 Le Mans 24 Hours race.
Dario Franchitti was also featured with the pace cars he won for his three Indianapolis 500 victories – 2007 Chevrolet Corvette, 2010 Chevrolet Camaro and 2012 Chevrolet Corvette 427.