Ecurie Ecosse

The Ecurie Ecosse Tour this year headed to the North of Scotland and Inverness for three days of driving with nice cars and interesting people.

The tour brings together a number of invited friends with interesting cars and this year those who came with open cars had fairly mixed weather but it did not seem to matter as the event was a great success.

It was good to see a D-type Jaguar back competing on the event, not an ex-Ecosse car but XKD 545 which had a successful racing career in the United States. It first raced at Sebring in 1956 with Russ Boss at the wheel but once it was sold to George Constantine it was a frequent winner and stayed with Constantine until 1960 when he sold it to that great Canadian enthusiast – and racing car builder in his own right – Bill Sadler.

Outside Badachro Inn near Gairloch Eddie Maquire relaxes after all those Highland roads.

Outside Badachro Inn near Gairloch Eddie Maquire relaxes after all those Highland roads.

The car eventually came back to Britain thanks to Peter Ashworth but shortly afterwards it was exported again to Australia and Peter Briggs’ collection. However, in 2007 the car came back to England and was bought by Tony Pickering and Roger Earl. These days it is raced successfully by Tony’s son Gavin but it was Tony and Roger who brought the car on the Tour. Both are Lloyds underwriters and the car ran like clockwork on the entire event. A D-type is not the best road car and as can be seen in the photograph the passenger was sitting about a foot higher than the driver.

Back in 1984 when Hugh McCaig took Ecurie Ecosse back to Le Mans after a long absence one of the gang pulled together to fettle the car at the race was Ted Rollason, better known as a successful competitor in the British Hill Climb Championship. Ted arrived for the tour with a modified Jaguar XK150 Coupe but had problems with the electrics that were solved in the hotel car park. However, on the event Ted was out of luck. He stopped at a petrol station and when he went to pay the bill forgot that the handbrake was not on and the Jaguar rolled forward and hit a lady’s car. This is why in the photo Ted and his friend Dr Martin Smith are covering up the damage to the front wings!

Another competition car on the event was Aubrey Finburgh’s C type Jaguar and he and his wife Felicity came well prepared with waterproofs. There was also a lot of interest in Tom Corfield’s Shelby Daytona Coupe. This was one of a small series of “retrospective” cars built by Shelby and was imported into Britain. There was a nice touch when Tom saw a young lad admiring his car and told him that if he was in the car park on the Wednesday afternoon after it was all over he would take him for a run. True to his word Tom took the youngster for a run up the A9 in the Cobra.

The most stylish car on the Tour. The Lancia Flaminia Zagato of Antony MacLean.

The most stylish car on the Tour. The Lancia Flaminia Zagato of Antony MacLean.

Eddie Maguire is a well known historic racer with his six-cylinder Gordini sports car but for the Tour he elected to bring his Speed 6 Bentley with banker Paul Denman. It was quite a sight to see the huge Bentley on some of the narrow roads in the North of Scotland but Eddie seemed to enjoy himself. For the writer, however, the most interesting car was a very rare Lancia Flaminia Zagato berlinetta brought by Antony MacLean from Switzerland.

Categories: EE Tour, News

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