UMG Monte 16 13 Dumfries

After leaving Paisley we had a short night time run to Dumfries where we made our first overnight stop. The Historique guys had no such luxury heading straight down the motorway to a distant Dover. A good selection of the Classique cars can been seen in this shot getting ready to leave Dumfries.Behind my Swedish co driver Per Jonsson (in his fetching yellow coat) is the Dutch Derby Bentley 3.5 litre of Robert van Rheenan. Behind him is the rapid little Austin A35 of Fiona and Richard Lamotte. On the right Ian Glass and Nick Ward fettle “The Tortoise”, Ian’s Ford Popular.

UMG Monte 16 14 Croft Dad

From Dumfries the route took us over the border into Cumbria and then over the Pennines to Croft Motor Circuit near Darlington. There I had a pleasant surprise, my father having driven down from Northumberland to see how we were getting on.

UMG Monte Carlo Rally 2016 - Croft Circuit 5

Here we are leaving the pits for a few laps of the circuit

UMG Monte 16 Croft 2 on track

I believe this was the first time that UMG 662 had been on a motor circuit since it raced at Silverstone in the 1953 Daily Express Production Touring Car race (3rd in class!).

UMG Monte Carlo Rally 2016 - Croft Circuit 2

Coming down the pit straight with a Standard in pursuit.

UMG 662 Silverstone 1953

The last time UMG 662 was on track – The Daily Express Production Touring Car Race, Silverstone 1953

UMG Monte 16 16 M25 Dartford

Some unwelcome news at Croft was that the ferry we were due to take overnight from Hull to Zeebrugge had been cancelled. Alternative arrangements were put in place but entailed a long slog down the A1 to Folkestone and the Channel Tunnel. Unfortunately we arrived on the M25 at rush hour with traffic over the Dartford Crossing held up by high winds. We ended up sitting in traffic for over an hour. Much to our relief UMG 662 did not over heat.

UMG Monte 16 17 Chunnel

Since leaving Croft we had not seen any of the other rally cars. It was therefore a pleasant surprise to find ourselves behind the splendid Ford Zodiac of Terry Mower and Nick Green for the short Chunnel journey to France where we arrived after midnight.

UMG 662 Monte Carlo Rally 1954

In a way it was good to just cross the Channel near Dover rather than take the ferry from Hull. It was more in keeping with what the UK crews did in the past. Here is UMG 662 being checked aboard the ferry at Dover on its way to France on the Monte in 1954

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