The Hope Classic Rally 2016 was held 10-11 June, starting from historic Brooklands and ending in Beaulieu in the heart of the New Forest. The 2nd annual Rally raised £300,000 for charity, with celebrities and car enthusiasts driving some of the most special classic cars in the world.
The Hope Classic Rally is held in aid of the charity WeSeeHope, which raises funds to empower children in Southern and Eastern Africa. It’s a car rally like no other; generous classic car owners donate their cars to be driven by others, raising a substantial amount of money. This all goes directly to the charity’s projects thanks to full sponsorship of the event.
Nick and Giles English, Co-Founders of Bremont, said, “Bremont has a great appreciation for classic cars, which are an integral part of our brand’s rich engineering heritage. We were honoured to partner with the Hope Classic Rally and thrilled to participate in two Bremont auction lots, a flight experience with Co-Founder Nick English and a Bremont Solo watch, which raised over £10,000 for WeSeeHope.”
The rally featured many of the best-loved British classics, including an Aston Martin DB2, Aston Martin DB5, several Jaguar E-types, a Jaguar XK 120, a Mini Cooper, Land Rover Series 1 and an Austin-Healey 3000, and was a real celebration of the best of British automotive design, style and engineering.
As well as the British classics, the rally also featured a Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta, Ferrari 275 GTB, two Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytonas and a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing all taking part. The stylish support vehicle was a classic VW camper van with a vintage tandem bicycle on the roof, and the Mk1 Ford Escort Mexico that was restored by Ant Anstead and his team on Channel 4’s For the Love of Cars was another eye-catching participant.
During a gala dinner within the backdrop of Mercedes-Benz World on Friday night, rally participants each received a gold envelope revealing the car that they would be driving on the Saturday, which was met with great excitement. They also received a beaded keyring made by young people from WeSeeHope’s vocational training project in Kenya. Amanda Stretton chaired a panel event, discussing classic cars and motorsport with Ant Anstead, Gary Paffett and Nicki Shields, who shared fun anecdotes and took questions from the floor. Participants stayed a mere short walk away in the Brooklands Hotel, overlooking Mercedes-Benz World and its tracks.
Before setting off on Saturday, all the cars lined up on the Campbell Curve of the original Brooklands racetrack for a photoshoot. In total, 44 cars took part in the event. The route wound its way through the Surrey countryside, and included a brief pit-stop for the drivers to enjoy some refreshments, live music and spend more time getting close to the cars.
The weather stayed largely clear, and the few light showers were short enough that the convertible cars were able to complete the journey with their roofs down. The route ended at Beaulieu National Motor Museum where the cars were parked around the Beaulieu Abbey ruins, and guests enjoyed traditional English afternoon tea in a marquee, with speeches from a variety of participants to end the day.