First launched in 2017, the Rotary Club of Blairgowrie’s Classic Car tour is now seen as one of the premier events in the Classic Car calendar. The planning and running of the events brings the club together to raise funds for worthy causes. So far the event has raised nearly £ 74k for charities supported by the events.
In April 2017 the club held its first classic car tour, which proved highly successful, involving nearly 70 classic cars touring over 100 miles and raised around £18k for CHAS and Cancer Research UK. The event gave Classic car owners and their passengers the chance to see some spectacular Scottish countryside and enjoy Scottish hospitality and an opportunity to support two respected charities.
On the back of the success of the first event the club decided to broaden its horizons and took up the challenge of organising a two day festival over the weekend of 21st and 22nd April. Focused on three events, with a parade and display of 130 cars in Perth city centre, a Classic Car show at Scone Palace featuring several hundred vehicles and a tour by 80 cars of rural Perthshire and Aberdeen, including a drive along the newly launched Snow Roads. The event drew participants from all over the UK, featured some of the most spectacular classic cars in the country, welcomed thousands of visitors, attracted national media attention, with both TV and press coverage, as well as featuring in specialist car magazines. The event also welcomed Prince Michael of Kent who participated throughout the weekend. Nearly £28k was raised for Cancer Research UK, Alzheimer Scotland and Rotary Foundation.
The success of the 2018 festival was the result of many months of hard work by a dedicated committee of Rotarians from the club. The committee had support from a number of specialists from the car clubs, charities and traffic management; as well as Rotarians from 4 other clubs.
In the lead up to the 2019 event, in November 2018, in liaison with Morris Leslie, the club provided 200 car enthusiasts with the opportunity to view an exclusive collection of vintage and classic cars and other vehicles. The event raised over £5k for charity which was shared between Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance and Rotary to support local community groups and individuals.
By this time, such was the reputation of the event that within only a few days of the 2019 event website going live it was over- subscribed with a waiting list formed. On Sunday 28th of April the Club hosted its third Drive it Day car tour. Eighty cars took part, with entrants from across the UK and a great selection of vintage, classic and super cars from the 1920s onwards. The cars toured rural Perthshire, visited a classic car display and ended their day at Pitlochry’s Atholl Palace Hotel.
The event raised nearly £19k for CHAS and Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance as well as for Rotary to support charities.
Up until now the Rotary Club’s Drive it Day has raised nearly £74k for its chosen charities. Year four had been planned for Sunday 19th April 2020: that was until the pandemic intervened to make it impossible to undertake. The event would have seen an increase to 100 cars. It is hoped to now run the 2020 event in April 2021. The event will be held to raise funds for Alzheimer Scotland, Bowel Cancer UK and Rotary Club of Blairgowrie local charities.
Colin Stewart, is the Rotary Club organiser who has been, and continues to be, the driving force behind the events. He praised the work of his team who have devoted much time to ensure the success of the events. He also thanked the sponsors, participants who raised their own sponsorship, the Charities and the generous public who had supported the event and contributed to the fund raising activities.