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Ledbury to Le Mans in 1929 vintage Ford
A FATHER and son team plan to drive a 73-year-old Ford car from Ledbury to Le Mans in France and back, to raise £2,000 in sponsorship for the Midlands Air Ambulance.
On Thursday, July 5, John Dobson of Dymock and his son, James, will pin their faith on 1929 technology for a 500-mile marathon trip, a figure that does not include the ferry crossings.
James said: “Hopefully the car is up to it. We shall find out.”
The Dobsons have picked the air ambulance as their cause because James’s girlfriend is an event rider and he himself takes part in downhill mountain bike races.
He said: “The air ambulance turns up at a lot of events.”
With a top speed of 50mph, the Dobsons’ car is still using many of its original parts, although a life on an Argentine farm means it has had some unusual repairs in that time.
The one thing that isn’t original is the braking system.
James said: “We decided that being able to stop the car in traffic was probably a good thing.”
The first milestone on the journey will be Swindon in Wiltshire, which will mean that Eva, the name they have given to the vintage vehicle, will have managed to go 50 miles or so, one-tenth of the total journey, without mishap.
James said : “If we can make it to Swindon, we’ll probably be OK. Eva should be OK in modern traffic, it’s the open top and the British summer I’m more worried about.”
The car was displayed at the Dymock carnival earlier this month raising more than £300, and will at other local events leading up to the trip.
Originally from Argentina, the car was imported to the UK in 2001.
With help from Rob Davis of Saturn Industries in Bromyard the Dobsons restored the car as cfar as was possible to its original specification.
James said: “Much work has been necessary – the Argentinean farmer who previously owned the car was using blacksmith technology to keep it running, with interesting results.
“Mechanically it’s very simple, it has a robust 3.3-litre, fourcylinder engine and three-speed gear box.
“And it’s fun to drive!”
Anyone wishing to contribute to the Dobsons’ fund-raising total should go online to http://fundraising.midlandsair ambulance.com/ledburylemans classic.