In July one of our own was involved in the 2019 Hero Summer Trial. Hero Events run a huge range of historic rallies, and the HERO Summer Trial was established to encourage entries from people new to classic rallying or to appeal to those with limited free time whilst still maintaining a sufficiently competitive element to appeal to the more competitive crews. The concept clearly worked and each year the event attracts newcomers whilst retaining its core of enthusiastic supporters.
Classic Car Story entered a Sunbeam Rapier IIIa that has been in competitive use since 2003. Rapiers enjoyed considerable success in tough rallying in the late 1950’s and early 60’s, and were a popular choice for the largely amateur competitors of the day. These days they are something of a rarity, especially with the distinctive gold colouring ours wears.
The Peak District provided a perfect mixture of terrain and road surfaces to challenge cars and crew – not surprisingly steep ascents and descents were a regular feature, and the narrow lanes and tracks the perfect environment for rally prepared vehicles most of which were at least 50 years old. Convoys of elderly cars through the picturesque towns and villages surprised the locals and tourists alike and groups gathered along the route to enjoy the spectacle and encourage the crews on.
Over the 3 day event the Rapier crew were doing well, until brake issues on day 3 set them back. The Hero support crew got the car back on the road, but the time lost put the car back to the bottom of the class . . . .
The challenge of taking an old car on an event like this is not inconsiderable, but is hugely enjoyable and highly recommended. The mix of cars, and the camaraderie of the other entrants are a big part of making these events the success they are.