Monte Carlo or Bust!

The Story

In January 2017 Ian Thompson fulfilled a dream by buying back and bringing home his father’s first car – a 1935 Aston Martin Le Mans Mk II Sports Tourer. 

Ian with photo

On the 31st January he and his son Ben, along with Tim Hall and Sandy Sanderson, will set off from Paisley in the hope of completing the Monte Carlo Rallye Classique 2018, driving 2,000 km in 4 days in the middle of winter in an 82 year old car.  What could possibly go wrong!  Follow their progress in this daily blog and if you want to support their fundraising for the Rosemere Cancer Foundation go to

The team are covering all their own costs so every penny will come direct to Rosemere.

The Build Up

It sounded simple – get in the car and drive - but as the date got nearer the logistical nightmare began to dawn.  What about back up?  Spares?  Route?  The car needed servicing and modifying (brake lights weren’t very bright in 1935!).  Sandy needed to learn how to drive it, getting used to a crash box, double de clutching and pedals in exactly the opposite position to modern cars.  Ben needed to learn how to give hand signals and read a map and Tim had never driven a Land Rover never mind towed a 7.5m clam shell trailer!  As winter drew in, the team realized that with open sides it was going to be cold.  Canvas sides were made, with more fittings needed than even the most elaborate wedding dress, and thermal underwear was added to Christmas lists.  Being one of the oldest cars entered from the UK, the Aston was also going to be one of the slowest so the team realized that days were going to be very long with quite a bit of night driving, something even Ian has never attempted.  As one sceptical ‘friend’ commented “I’ll be amazed if they get to the Channel!”  Read on …