For the 7th Lonville Classic we swapped our beloved Swiss/Italian playground for the vast lochs, winding roads and stunning mountains of the Scottish Highlands. Starting at Inverness the rally took participants for three days across all the best of the wide open Scottish country, visiting wonderful castles and country houses along the way.
Brilliant automobiles took to the beautiful roads in various timed regularity stages, interrupted by lunches, clay pigeon shooting, and possibly the best haggis we have ever tasted, courtesy of Colm House Hotel near Inverness where we stayed for two of the rally nights) . In the evenings we of course reminisced about the adventures of the day comfortably accompanied by good food and an occasional whiskey.
Classic cars and watches seem to have been made for the vast expanse of the untainted wilderness that is the Highlands. At times dark and broody, and traditionally wet, the landscape was ever alluring, but luckily there were ample amounts of sunshine to be found as well. Dotted along the route we found picturesque villages, spectacular views, many legendary Scottish distilleries and the occasional monster!
We visited Glenturret, Scotland’s oldest distillery and home of The Famous Grouse Whisky, as well as Glenlivet Distillery, home of the The Glenlivet (in 1824 Glenlivet was the first in the parish to obtain a licence and is the only distillery that can legally call its whisky “The Glenlivet”).
During the dinner on day 2 we took the rather unusual measure that for the first 1.5 hour section of day 3, each driver should find a different co-driver. This turned out to be a hilarious evening where drivers were bidding to obtain the most ‘interesting’ co-drivers. It certainly made for many laughs as well as some nervousness. Day 3 started like a dream and we all got to know each other even better. Who knows if this little bit of amusement makes it way back in a future edition of the rally.
On day 3, the rally finished with Lunch and the prize ceremony at the exquisite Cameron House Hotel. For half of the group of participants this was their first Lonville Classic, while the other half were previous participants. Friends, husbands, wives, lovers, fathers, sons; we had a brilliant mix of all ages and multiple nationalities. All this added to a unique atmosphere, that truly made this ‘far from home’ edition feel special.
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