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Hope Classic Rally 2015 – Report and Photos

Hope Classic Rally 2015 at Blenheim Palace
Hope Classic Rally 2015 at Blenheim Palace

The inaugural Hope Classic Rally was held 10-11 July, 2015 from Mercedes-Benz World in Brooklands, Surrey to Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.

The Hope Classic Rally 2015 featured more than 40 automobiles in an effort to raise money for the charity HOPEHIV. All the funds raised will go directly to projects run by HOPEHIV, a charity which empowers children isolated by poverty, and often orphaned by HIV and AIDS, in Southern and Eastern Africa to create a better future for themselves.

Kicking off at Brooklands on the afternoon of Friday July 10th, a line-up of classic cars assembled overlooking the Mercedes-Benz World track. The line-up was donated by many generous owners and included a host of Ferraris; from a 250 GT SWB Berlinetta to a pair of 365 GTB/4 Daytonas, a 288 GTO and a 550 Barchetta. The display also featured a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, several Aston Martins (including examples of the DB4, DB5, V8 Vantage and V8 Vantage Zagato), two Porsche 911 2.7 Carrera RS, a Lamborghini Miura, a Lotus Elite, an ex-Roy Salvadori Jaguar XK120 and ex-Duncan Hamilton XK120 and several Jaguar E-types.

The Friday’s gala dinner saw guests mingle with a host of stars, including ex-England rugby player Lewis Moody MBE, ex-Top Gear Stig and 007 stunt driver Ben Collins, Infiniti Red Bull Racing Formula One team’s chief technical officer Adrian Newey OBE, Le Mans legend Peter Blond, fashion tycoon Karen Millen OBE and Ant Anstead from TV’s For The Love of Cars, many of whom took part in an entertaining panel discussion. Capping the evening was a charity auction led by Bonhams auctioneer Charlie Thomas. Lots going under the hammer included a signed Lewis Hamilton race helmet and a VIP Goodwood Revival weekend experience.

On the Saturday, all of the cars were waved off from Brooklands by presenter of the Classic Car Show, Jodie Kidd. Entry to the event was by way of a suggested gift donation to the charity with many generous participants even donating vehicles for other guests to drive. Celebrity guest drivers who were lucky enough to drive thanks to donations from owners included Ben Collins in an ex-Duncan Hamilton Jaguar XK120, Lewis Moody at the wheel of a 7-litre Aston Martin V8 Vantage and Ant Anstead piloting a Ferrari Daytona.

Participants drove through the Surrey and Oxfordshire countryside, stopping briefly to meet with Anthony Worrall Thompson at his Greyhound pub near Henley-on-Thames to change drivers, arriving at Blenheim Palace where all of the cars assembled on the Great Court at the World Heritage site.

Ex-England rugby star Lewis Moody MBE said, “The work that HOPEHIV does is so inspiring. I’ve been lucky enough to be involved with the charity since 2007 and have visited Africa to see how the money helps children who live in unbelievably tough conditions. The Hope Classic Rally was a fantastic event, using our love of classic cars to build awareness of the charity and raise an incredible amount of money to help vulnerable children.”

For more information on the rally, visit

Hope Classic Rally 2015 – Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture)