December 9 2013 Latest news:
Friday, September 6, 2013
Two veteran motoring fans, both aged in their 70s, are preparing to fulfil their boyhood racing dreams – by driving a 1994 Skoda estate across Europe.
Jack McMasters, 72, from Tittleshall near Fakenham, and Colin Currie, 71 from Briston, will be taking part in the 2013 Motoscape banger rally.
The event starts on September 7 in Saint-Omer in France and runs nearly 2,000 miles through Belgium, Austria, and Liechtenstein, and finishes four days later in Venice.
On the way, they hope to negotiate the Nordschleife circuit at the Nurburgring in Germany and the famous Stelvio pass near Bormio, Italy.
Mr McMasters is a veteran of the 2008 Global Enduro across India and the Czech Wreck Rally in 2010 – the event which prompted the purchase of his faithful Skoda, from eBay, for £256.11.
But it will be a new experience for his co-driver.
“It will be the first time for Colin, but he is just as crazy about motoring as I am,” said Mr McMasters.
“He did a little bit of racing when he was young, as did I. All I wanted to do was be a racing driver when I was in my teens. I did a couple of years of club racing in the 1960s but I was never able to carry on with it.”
The pair have known each other since they both worked in a car dealership together in the 1970s in Buckinghamshire.
Mr McMasters, originally from Missouri in the USA, became a design engineer making parts for ocean-going ships as well as road-going motorcars before retiring to Norfolk with his wife Georgina.
Despite his make of car being mocked by jokes in previous decades, Mr McMasters said he was more than happy with his choice of vintage vehicle for the rally.
“Skodas have always been one of the most reliable affordable cars going, so I am not particularly worried.
“Georgina has no objection to me doing this. Sometimes she looks at me a little condescendingly and says ‘boys will be boys’. But I think she enjoys it.”
The pair will spend part of their journey in fancy dress as The Blues Brothers.
Mr Currie said: “I have raced a little in the early 60s, but I’ve never done anything like this. I have always loved the motor business from the very beginning and I’ve had classic cars for most of my life.
“So this sort of thing is just in my blood. I’m looking forward to it.”
Any donations will be forwarded to the Rainbow Trust, a children’s charity which provides emotional and practical support to families who have a child with a life-threatening or terminal illness.