Yorkshire Figaro Rally wins NEC Classic Car show award

Our clubs Yorkshire Figaro Rally 2017 outshone even California in the category Best Club Run/Rally at the Classic Car Show awards on 10th November at the NEC.

Left to right – Dave Youngs – Car Club Manager of Lancaster Insurance, Kevin Fagan – Figaro Owners Club Founder, Jane Ellison-Bates – Member & Rally Organiser and Ant Anstead – co-presented of Wheeler Dealers with Mike Brewer.  Picture by Marti Port of Classic & Sports Car

The calibre of our annual rally caught the attention of the Classic & Sports Car magazine award judges, overtaking shortlisted contenders including TVR and the Sunbeam Tigers tour to the sunshine state.

In June, 120 members of the club from the UK and Europe travelled to the Yorkshire Dales for the rally, which ran as smoothly as the 59 vintage engines. Our colourful convoy made its way up and down the dales for 4 days following a route and packed itinerary planned by Yorkshire yellow Figaro owner, Jane Ellison-Bates. The rally showcased the Yorkshire Dales National Park, taking in parts of Wharfedale, Nidderdale, Coverdale, Wensleydale, Littondale, Malhamdale, Ribblesdale and The Three Peaks.

The Classic Car Show fills five exhibition halls at the NEC, with 253 clubs exhibiting and competing for the prestigious annual awards. Collecting the Best Club Run/Rally award at the ceremony, Jane Ellison-Bates was thrilled to have the rally acknowledged among its classic car peers. She commented:

 “Six months of largely sleepless nights in the planning was all worthwhile, but ultimately none of it would happen without the tireless support of our club founder, Kevin Fagan and the fun-loving, enthusiastic Figaro friends that come together to make the rallies rather special.  The Yorkshire Dales are a perfect backdrop for driving the cars and it was a joy to show off this wonderful landscape.”

Kevin was equally delighted with the award which followed our success in winning the Best Club Magazine award at the show in 2015. “We thought we might be in with a chance when the judges contacted us a few days before to offer us tickets to the awards and asked for a high resolution image of the rally, but it was still a great surprise as with such stiff competition we had thought we would be runners-up”.

This is a verbatim excerpt from the presenter’s script on the night:

Now the best thing for any old car – or not so old car, in fact – is to use it and there were several excellent entries for the Best Club Run/Rally. We were impressed by the TVR Car Club’s Back Home, New Home tour – taking in Blackpool, of course, and the firm’s new base in south Wales – and loved the idea of the Sunbeam Tiger Owners’ Club’s California tour. They marked 50 years since the end of Tiger production by shipping six cars to the States for an epic 1700-mile route that took in Laguna Seca and San Francisco.

Our winner, though, was much closer to home, through some of Britain’s most breathtaking scenery – and organised by a one-model club with a really enthusiastic following. This brilliantly organised long weekend comprised various drives – up hill and down dale – of 40 to 80 miles. Not that challenging for relatively modern cars, you might think, but some of the 59 cars taking part had come from the continent. And they’re all getting on for 30 years old. The main draw, though, was the spectacular Yorkshire Dales National Park, which about half of those taking part had never visited before.

Best Club Run or Rally goes to the Yorkshire Dales Figaro Rally, co-ordinated by Jane Ellison-Bates of the Figaro Owners’ Club.

TV motoring celebrity Ant Anstead of Wheeler Dealers and For the Love of Cars presented the award alongside Dave Youngs, Car Club Manager of sponsors Lancaster Insurance.

Watch Video
A flavour of the rally, including aerial drone footage of the convoys is below…

Browse some pics from the evening

Published on 16th November 2017