Why it is time for classic car fanatics to rejoice

Why it is time for classic car fanatics to rejoice
If you happen to be the lucky owner of a classic car (define that as you wish: it could be a rusty Lancia Delta or a pristine Aston DB5, or, my very own personal favourite: a passable early Eighties Austin Metro, complete with parcel shelf and rear windscreen wiper, which would make me a VERY happy driver), then rejoice, for ’tis the season for organised classic-car tours.

I love a tour. Just got back from a four-day Lamborghini owners’ tour in Italy, although this was for newer models.

It was quite something, based in Rimini, 30 Huracans and Aventadors, plus the odd Gallardo stretching its legs, set off every day into the foothills behind the coast, zooming from medieval village to medieval village, stopping for coffees and a short sharp injection of culture. Good times.

Back in Blighty, I’ve got my eye on another tour that leaves Goodwood on September 12.

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This is an 18-stage coastal drive round Britain for Jaguar E-types.

Ross Brawn will be driving his the two days that the tour is in Scotland, and Derek Bell, the five-times Le Mans winner and all-round good bloke, will be waving the drivers away.

Classic Car Insurance

Classic Car Insurance from just £86 a year*

Among the cars taking part are an Eagle Low Drag GT and an original aluminium Lightweight E-type (only 12 were built) with a special low drag body. So it’s a serious tour, but also with a serious point - the whole event is raising funds for Prostate Cancer UK. A win-win, and they’re looking for more entries…

Staying in Blighty, perhaps the most sumptuous owners’ tour beings in Gloucestershire at the end of this month.

The Great West Tour is the prelude to the Concours of Elegance at Windsor Castle this summer. It’s a rather hush-hush affair; the tour starts at the famous Prescott Hillclimb, follows the River Severn and ambles along to the Windsor, where it ends the evening before the Concours starts.

Entry includes a parade for owners into the royal grounds. Blissful.

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Blissful, but not something proud owners of Austin Metros can take part in.

What we need is a groundswell of tours for minor classics, or cars where the term “classic” is merely a substitution for “old and knackered”. Events where the food is pork pies, and stop-offs at other owners’ houses.

I’m now going to be deluged with emails saying these already exist, but what about a week in the manner of Drive It day, where everyone is encouraged to organised a two- or three-day tour? Come on, let’s galvanise the troops and do it! The whole country goes on tour.

It would have to be August, obviously, but France shuts down then, so why can’t Britain? I already have nothing in my inbox but out-of-office replies until mid-September, so let’s stop the pretence and make it official: in August 2017, everyone will down tools and pootle round Britain.

To stop the jams, we’ll have to set up clockwise and anti-clockwise coastal rotations, plus one cutting straight through the middle, south to north, and one east to west, in the manner of the Coast-to-Coast walk. I’ll even allow one just for the M25, for those who don’t like to stray too far from home.

Something for everyone, then: the ultimate motoring democracy. I’d even allow a bit of car-swapping en route, for the kicks. What’s not to love? Sign up here.

* £86 cover based on a car club member over 30, with no claims or convictions in the last 5 years of driving a car, built pre-1977, valued less than £2,500 doing 1,000 miles per year and stored in a private locked garage.