We’re delighted to announce that Barrie Haigh has had success in North Wales on the Three Castles Welsh Classic Trial. Driving with his son James as navigator, our client did even better than he’d imagined. He came first in class B3 (1940-1959 Sports and GT Cars) joint 26th out of 122 starters and, as if that wasn’t enough, won ‘The Most Perfect Car’ Award at the event’s Concours, too.
Approximately two years ago we completed a full restoration on our client’s vehicle of choice – a Jaguar XK 140 OTS (open two-seater). We gave this very good-looking 1957 roadster a mildly tuned engine with two-inch sand-cast carburettors and a modified, handmade exhaust manifold and system. Meanwhile, a JD Sport suspension system upgrade to period competition specification was installed to sharpen the handling a little. Modifications were also made to the cockpit by enlarging it slightly and fitting modified seats. All of which meant that Barrie needed very little encouragement when faced with the prospect of testing its mettle on an intriguing classic rally.
In its seventh year and dubbed Britain's most popular classic car adventure, the Three Castles aims to provide the excitement of longer, more pricey events in a special three-day (four night) format. What makes it unique is that it fuses hard core regularity rallying that test teamwork and accuracy with the appeal of advanced touring.
Owing much to its charm is its relaxed and friendly atmosphere and a growing reputation for being an extremely well-organised event. On top of which, the trial is said to be enjoyable in any classic car and ideal for first timers, social rallyists or even highly experienced crews. Smooth surfaces and non-damaging reputation attracts on-offs and irreplaceable treasures alike. This means there are no rough roads and no night sections.
Based around a single centre (Llandudno), drivers get to keep the same hotel room throughout, which everyone seems to appreciate. It’s become a bit of a phenomenon and a sell-out success since its inception, attracting over a hundred entries each year. So much so, the organisers had to limit entrants to 122 this time round.
The route unwinds around 500 miles of extraordinary scenery, with more sheep than houses or people in view. The challenge takes in the Menai Strait, the Isle of Anglesey’s long sea views, south to Snowdonia's wilder, high mountain passes and on to the gentler landscape of the Clwydian Hills.
Clearly, our client’s XK140 was more than up to the challenge, running trouble-free and clearly relished all aspects of the trial – even the steep, 1.75 mile adrenaline-stoking hill climb. So we were delighted to help deliver a rich and rewarding experience across four delightful days in May and as the opportunities arise, look forward to doing so again for years to come.