- 44 of the most iconic and valuable classic cars in the world, collectively worth in excess of £25m, assembled last weekend for a charity rally, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity WeSeeHope.
- Incredible cars, including a Ferrari 250 SWB, a Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing and a stunning Aston Martin DB2, were donated by generous owners for enthusiasts to drive on a beautiful route from historic Brooklands to Beaulieu in the New Forest.
- 13 top companies, including Alfred Dunhill and Bremont, sponsored the event enabling 100% of funds raised to go to the charity’s projects supporting vulnerable children in Southern and Eastern Africa.
- The social media reach of the event was over 1.5 million people, with 800,000 Snapchat views and 11,600 Instagram likes through Beautiful Destinations.
- Celebrity support came from For the Love of Cars presenter Ant Anstead, official presenter of the FIA Formula E Championship Nicki Shields, leading female motorsport and automotive TV broadcaster Amanda Strettonand Williams F1 team test driver and Mercedes-AMG DTM Team ART driver Gary Paffett.
The Hope Classic Rally raised £300,000 for charity this weekend, with celebrities and car enthusiasts driving some of the most special classic cars in the world, from historic Brooklands to Beaulieu in the heart of the New Forest.
The Hope Classic Rally is held annually in aid of the charity WeSeeHope, which raises funds to empower children in Southern and Eastern Africa. It is 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.
13 top companies sponsored and partnered with the Hope Classic Rally this year, with financial support coming from ADG Holdings, Corfield Morris, Icon Solutions, Joe Macari, Qlik, Tourism Ireland and Signify, as well as iconic British brands Alfred Dunhill and Bremont.
Fabrizio Cardinali, CEO Alfred Dunhill, said:
“Alfred Dunhill has an incredible history of creating the very finest in motoring accessories since the 19th century, so to be featured alongside some of the most iconic and special classic cars in Britain felt like a perfect match. dunhill feels privileged to have supported this event which will benefit some of the most inspirational young people and communities in Africa.”
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 beautiful and rare cars from famous manufacturers from all around the world, with a Ferrari 250 SWB, two Ferrari Daytonas and a Mercedes 300SL 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 stunning 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 stunning photoshoot, which perfectly illustrated the breadth and beauty of the cars taking part. In total, 44 iconic and treasured cars took part in the event, with a collective value in excess of £25m.
The route wound its way through the Surrey countryside on stunning roads, and included a brief pit-stop for the drivers to enjoy some refreshments, live music and spend more time getting close to the cars. Beautiful Destinations, the world’s largest travel influencer on Instagram with over 10 million followers, captured drone footage of the cars at the pit-stop and engaged their audiences on Instagram, and in real time on Snapchat, giving the event a reach of more than 1.5 million people.
The weather stayed largely clear, and the few light showers were short enough that the many 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 inspirational speeches from a variety of participants to end the day.
Quotes from participants in the Hope Classic Rally 2016:
Nicki Shields,official presenter of the FIA Formula E Championship, who completed the route in a 1955 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing, said:
“The Hope Classic Rally is an incredibly special weekend and it was an absolute pleasure to be part of it. When else can you drive through the beautiful rolling hills of the English countryside in a Mercedes 300SL Gullwing, sandwiched between a Ferrari 250 SWB and a concourse winning Aston Martin DB2? The Friday dinner and entertainment was the perfect start to the weekend – great fun and raising money for a remarkable charity. It was inspiring to hear the success stories of WeSeeHope and see how our help directly impacts children and their families who have so little.”
Amanda Stretton, leading female motorsport, classic car and automotive TV broadcaster, who drove a 1970 Ferrari Daytona, said:
“It was an absolute honour to be involved with a team of such passionate and enthusiastic people, who are making a real difference to vulnerable people’s lives through WeSeeHope. The whole Hope Classic Rally ran seamlessly from start to finish and was hugely enjoyable. This event is an amazing way for all those who are passionate about classic cars to come together for a weekend of fun that also makes a lasting difference to children who have had the toughest of starts.”
Ant Anstead of BBC2’s Building Cars Live and Channel 4’s For the Love of Cars, who took part in a 1951 ex-Duncan Hamilton Jaguar XK120, said:
“Last year’s maiden Hope Classic Rally was sensational and somehow this year they managed to top it. It was the perfect blend of beautiful cars, scenic roads and generous people. Bear in mind that each car is donated by the owner, allowing supporters of the charity to drive the car of their dreams. At the end of the rally we were shattered but with huge fixed grins across our faces, and already talking about next year! It was a truly sensational weekend for a deserved charity. What a great way to celebrate the Great British roads, the world’s rarest cars, and raise funds for WeSeeHope.”
Phil Wall, Co-Founder of WeSeeHope and Co-Founder of the Hope Classic Rally, said:
“‘I am again humbled by the kindness and generosity of the classic car community. The Hope Classic Rally is an amazing event that celebrates the old stories of classic cars, and in retelling these stories, makes it possible for the young Africans WeSeeHopeworks with in Africa to write their own new stories. Truly inspiring.”
Mark Glen, CEO of WeSeeHope, said:
“I’ve been involved in every day of WeSeeHope’s sixteen year journey and not a single day would have been possible without the generosity of individuals, companies and events like the Hope Classic Rally. The inaugural event raised an incredible £218,000 for WeSeeHope, creating genuine momentum and impact and we were able to start twelve new projects to support some of the most vulnerable children in the world. We are just so grateful to the Hope Classic Rally team, for putting on another fantastic event in aid of WeSeeHope this year, and are overwhelmed by the fundraising total of £300,000, which will enable us to make a real difference to many more children’s lives.”