Marlow’s historic Thames-side hotel, ‘The Compleat Angler’, was the venue for last Friday’s launch of the 2003 programme of events from classic car touring operator; the GTO Organisation. GTO’s principal, Richard Morgan, explains, “This year’s programme will take participants on forays into mainland Europe, complemented by our regular tours with a few additions.”
“We aim to provide VIP access to major motorsport events, and blend this with a touring assembly to take you there, I’m also delighted to announce a new media partnership with ‘Classic Cars’ magazine, who’ll be promoting and participating in all our events this season.” So said Morgan to the assembled gathering of journalists and many representatives from the world of racing, car clubs and motoring heritage, such as the Brooklands Museum. Not to mention several potential tourers.
Outside the hotel, named after Isaak Walton’s famous treatise on fishing in the 17th century, were a selection of suitable ‘Grand Touring’ cars including several Aston Martin DB7s, a hot Porsche 911 Carrera, replica D-type Jaguar and a delightful Dino Ferrari. The Dino, it transpired turned out be owned by Chris Murphy of classic car hire specialists Beau Ideal, who was on hand to explain one did not even have to own a classic to take part in the fun – he would be only too happy to provide anything from an Aston Martin DB2 to a 1957 Bentley Continental (via the Ferrari of course). The first event of 2003 is the Motoring Heritage Sports Tour, which is finishing at the Brooklands Museum on the Saturday of the ‘Motorsport Weekend.’
Other destinations in the year include a European foray to the Mille Miglia retrospective, as well as visiting Donington Park circuit in June for the VSCC race meeting, which also features a round of the Shell Historic Ferrari Maserati series.
The full list of 2003 events is as follows –
15 February – The Motoring Heritage Sports Tour – A choice of two pleasant drives via control points to Brooklands in Surrey, parking in the GTO Paddock, ten ‘slow-as-you-like’ laps of the Brooklands Circuit, return to the GTO Paddock area before joining Motor Sport Weekend Feature Parade, exclusive to Classic Car/GTO entrants. You are invited back to Brooklands on Sunday to enjoy VIP display parking(like our own car show) and participate in the Test Hill Climb and Autotest on part of the original circuit. 27 April – The Cotswold Classic. This tour sets off from the tranquil elegance of The Compleat Angler in Marlow, and drives through picturesque scenery to arrive at Bourton on the Water and view the classic and vintage vehicles and memorabilia of The Cotswold Motor Museum. After taking lunch, we drive to arrive for tea at Sudeley Castle, before returning to The Compleat Angler for the prizegiving and Dinner. 22-25 May – The Red Arrow Tour. The Mille Miglia in Italy is one of the most spectacular historic road races ever staged. We invite you to visit this retro event with us and enjoy the routes and the cars, along with privileged access to Italian automotive history. 21 June – The Sporting Cars Tour. This year we visit the Vintage Sports Car Club’s major classic race weekend at Donington Park, featuring the Shell Historic Ferrari Maserati Challenge. We’ll enjoy taking to the track for a session reserved exclusively for GTO drivers and VIP access to the race meeting and the Donington Grand Prix Collection. 30 August – The Touring Track Classic. Considered by many to be the leading ‘trackday’ for classic and sporting vehicles, we again return to Castle Combe for that distinctive blend of touring and track driving that makes this an ‘Action Day’ not to be missed. 18-23 September – The Remparts Retro. A tour that revels in the nostalgia that pervades the celebration of historic motoring that is the Circuit des Remparts at Angouleme, France. Take part in the Concours d’elegance and Concours d’Etat, the commitment of driving in the Road Run, and thrill to the sights and sounds of classic racing trackside, or from the viewpoint of the pits or paddock. 15 November – The Classic Charities Cash Dash. Our annual fun fundraiser to the International Classic Motor Show at the NEC, combines the pleasure of a touring route with a visit to Shelsley Walsh hillclimb, and then onto this prestigious Show, whilst raising money for the charity of your choice.