Sun shines on Selkirk rally - but will fortune too?

Last Sunday’s 20th Selkirk Vintage Rally at Sunderland Hall was hailed as a success, but lower ticket sales might mean it isn’t repeated next year.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 26th September 2014, 9:18 am

The weird and wonderful were on display in one of Scotland’s largest rallies, including a century of motorcycles, kit cars, military vehicles, crank engines, camper vans, tractors, and even a replica Buggati pedal car.

There was even a good showing of bicycles, such as an 1879 Boneshaker, a 1907 New Hudson Ladies Loop, 1940 James Arrow Ace to a 1984 Iteria Plastic Bicycle. Scottish car clubs also visited from as far afield as Ayrshire, Forth Valley, Tayside, Fife, Hamilton, East Lothian, Dumfries & Galloway, and Edinburgh.

Selkirk Rally chairman Gordon Edgar said the show, traditionally held on the third Sunday of September, was “a brilliant day. An absolute blast. There was sun all day”. Particularly enjoyable, he said, was the procession of cars in the main ring.

In the results, the trophy for ‘Veteran Cars up to 1918’ was won by George Muir’s Vauxhall Prince Henry, facing competition from a 1904 Peugeot Bebe Sport, and a Model T Ford from 1915. Mr Muir, from Kirkcaldy, was victorious again in the ‘Vintage Cars up to 1930’ category, with his Vauxhall 30/98, beating seven other entries including a 1927 Austin Seven Chummy and 1929 Lagonda Tourer.

Alastair Gunn’s Lagonda Continental cruised to victory in ‘Post Vintage Cars up to 1939’, leaving a 1937 MG Tickford, a 1938 Chrysler Wimbledon, a 1934 Wolseley Hornet Daytona, and 18 other cars in its slipstream. Just shy of 40 vehicles were entered in ‘Post War Cars up to 1960’, including a 1953 Morris Oxford Traveller, a 1957 Beardmore London Taxi and a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air, but this year’s trophy was picked up by Alistair Meldrum’s 1948 MG YT.

Jim Deas from Forfar impressed the judges with his 1969 Ford Lotus Cortina Mk2, which won the cup in the ‘Post war Cars up to 1970’ class of 59 entries, which included a 1963 Singer Gazelle Mk5, a Humber Sceptre, a 1967 Riley Elf, a 1969 Bond Equipe GT45 and a 1966 Sunbeam Tiger.

Finally Jim Todd’s Vauxhall Viva HC 1300L won first prize in the ‘Post War cars up to 1992’, beating 85 entries like a 1971 Lotus Europa, a 1972 Hillman Imp, a 1973 Triumph Stag and a Clan Crusader, a 1984 Morgan plus Eight, and a 1992 Rover Mini Italian Job.

Despite the 800 cars entered, Mr Edgar said this was down slightly on last year: “It’s less than half of what we used to get. Normally we get eleven to twelve hundred.

“We really appreciated the public coming. It was a bumper crowd, but we could have done better – we were competing against two other rallies.”

A statement on the rally’s website thanked all contributors, and added: “As to next year’s event, we will have to count the pennies and go on from there.” Funds were hit hard after the 2012 event was cancelled due to heavy rain, and increasing costs proved the biggest challenge in 2013.

“As the event has grown in size, so has the costs,” the rally’s website warned last year, “and make no mistake we need the public to support the event this year more than ever to secure the 2014 event.

“The committee took the decision to publish its accounts on this website in an attempt to show how close the event runs to failure.”

Mr Edgar said this year’s calculations have yet to be completed, but, he added: “I doubt we’ll get any in the bank, put it that way. We’ll break even. An event like that is dependant on big sponsorship.

“The sponsors this year were brilliant. We really appreciate local providers helping us out. Without them the rally wouldn’t go ahead.

“At the moment, we’re still not sure we’re going ahead next year.

“There’s a chance it will happen. We’ll have to look at the finances and volunteers.

“Nearer the end of October we’ll be able to determine whether next year goes ahead.”