19th Feb, 2020

Classic cars urged to gear up for Not the Donkey Derby

Felix Nobes 16th Aug, 2019

CLASSIC car owners are being urged to revv up for charity.

Organisers of Coventry’s 51st annual Donkey Derby – now known as ‘Not The Donkey Derby’ – are appealing for more vintage vehicles to take part in the new ride out for a £10 donation to charity.

More than 70 cars have currently signed up to take part in the ride on Sunday September 1 which will see the cars leave from Coombe Country Park at 10am and drive around Warwickshire villages before parking up at the War Memorial Park for the general public to view until 5pm.

All of the cars will also be judged and the winner will receive the Maurice Smith Memorial Trophy – launched in 2017 in memory of local automotive businessman Maurice Smith.

Coventry Leofric Lions, the organisers of the derby, are hoping to boost vehicle numbers to around 250 come the day to replicate the city’s Shakespeare Run which ran for 16 years at War Memorial Park.

Nick Button, immediate past president of Coventry Leofric Lions, said: “We want this car run to evoke the breadth and depth of Coventry’s motoring heritage, so we are on the lookout for any type of car manufactured or designed in the city or that has a connection with Coventry.

“The current holder of the Maurice Smith Trophy is a Hillman Imp owned by John Halford – a small economy car that was built in Coventry in the 60s and 70s – and we are hoping for more vintage rides such as this.

“A strong contingent of car enthusiasts have already confirmed their attendance but we know there are others out there who perhaps aren’t aware of the opportunity.

“Although only cars with a connection to Coventry are eligible to win the trophy, any classic car or motorcycle – being more than ten years old – can take part in the run.”

Organisers of Not The Donkey Derby sprung a surprise earlier this summer when they revealed the event’s name change after 50 years to reflect the event’s donkeys would be retiring from racing and offering rides instead.

The event, which raises around £20,000 for local causes each year at the city’s War Memorial Park, takes place this year on Sunday, September 1 from noon until 5pm.

Visit www.leofriclions.org.uk for entry details.

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