Monte Carlo Rally returns to Scotland 06 | 12 | 2018

    SCOTLAND WILL AGAIN be one of the starting points for the 2019 historic rally run to Monte Carlo. Around 80 cars are expected to leave the start ramp in Aurora Avenue, Clydebank, in the shadow of the town’s giant Titan Crane at 6pm on Wednesday, January 30. (Related: Green light for Scots Monte start)

    It is the second time the town has hosted the prestigious event, with thousands turning out to watch the event when it last started there in 2012. (Related: Prizewinner Emilia to wave off Scots Monte crews)

    It is the only British start point of six European cities for a range of classic cars to make the 1500-mile trip to the South of France and is staged by the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM).

    Three separate categories will start from Clydebank. The Historique Class is being run for the 22nd year and is restricted to car models which competed in the Monte Carlo Rallies between 1955 and 1980. It will run over eight days on open public roads with the cars and crews undertaking a series of 14 demanding test stages in the mountains of southern France.

    It’s been confirmed that among the cars taking part in that class will be a Mk2 3.8 litre Jaguar, an Austin A40 and a Rover 2000 SC, all from the Sixties, and an Opel Kadett GTE, Fiat 124 Coupe, and Lancia Fulvia 1600 HF from the Seventies.

    The Classique event is for older cars, and in the 2019 entry list there are no fewer than five Rileys from the 1930s – two of them driven by American crews, and another which actually competed in the Monte Carlo Rally before the last war. There’s also an MG TC from 1949.


    Other cars include a 1958 Standard Pennant, a French-entered Austin Healey Sprite from 1959 and a 65 year old Ford Popular.

    They will follow the same route to Monte Carlo but will not compete in any test stages, the goal simply being to finish after checking in at a series of control points on the way, including Dumfries in the south of Scotland, Barnby Moor in Nottinghamshire and Banbury in Oxfordshire.

    Once again the event will feature the popular Monte Heritage Runs which will follow on from the full-scale starts and take in a series of short classic routes in Scotland including John O’Groats, Aberdeen, Stirling and Dumfries.

    With just over a month to go, the event was given a launch preview at Clydebank today. On display were two rare classic Riley cars from the 1930s, similar to the models which were popular for long-distance rallying in the pre-war years, along with a Volvo Amazon which successfully completed the event this year.

    “I’ve always felt that hosting the Monte Carlo Rallye projects West Dunbartonshire on to a world platform,” Convener of the Cultural Committee at West Dunbartonshire Council, Baillie Denis Agnew,  said, “and the fact that drivers are travelling from America and France to start the Rally in Clydebank is testament to this.

    “We are very much looking forward to welcoming organisers back to Clydebank as well as participants and spectators from near and far.

    “It will be a thrilling start to the year for West Dunbartonshire, and not to be missed.”

    Douglas Anderson, the UK co-ordinator of the event and the man responsible for bringing the Monte start back to Scotland a few years ago, is delighted.

    “It is wonderful to have the Scottish start returning to Clydeside,” Anderson said. “The event grows in stature every year and we’re confident the 2019 event will attract big crowds to wave them off on their drive to the sunshine in the South of France. They’ll all be sharing the magic of the Monte”.

    Related: Record start for Historique Monte in Scotland

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    Jim McGill

    CAPTION: (From left) Convener of the Cultural Committee at West Dunbartonshire Council, Baillie Denis Agnew, and Douglas Anderson with the two rare classic Riley cars from the 1930s and the Volvo Amazon.


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