Classic convoy on its way

Manchester to Blackpool Car Run at Stanley Park.

Manchester to Blackpool Car Run at Stanley Park.

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Petrol heads are gearing up for a prestigious trip to Blackpool behind the wheel of a vintage piece of motoring glory.

A convoy of Jaguars and Rolls Royces will cruise into Stanley Park’s Italian Gardens on Sunday as the 52nd Manchester to Blackpool rally finishes in the town.

The traditional rally, organised by the Lancashire Automobile Club, is open to all cars manufactured before December 31, 1981, and was a favourite of Les Dawson during his heyday.

The convoy will set off from Manchester’s Worsley Old Hall around 9am and arrive in the park around 1.45pm.

Organiser Nigel Whittaker said: “We’ve got some cracking cars.

“The people that enter do this because there’s no other event like it in the world.

“People come from far and wide to take part.

“The people who enter this are not the same as the people who go to Cleveleys Car Show. They are driving enthusiasts and want to drive these cars.

“We have been trying to get the finish in Stanley Park for years, and finally sorted it because it’s a beautiful setting.

“We have the Art Deco cafe as a backdrop for it and it looks really nice.”

Car enthusiasts first set off on the rally in April 1963 to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the Lancashire Automobile Club.

Among the Blackpool cars taking part are a 1968 Jaguar E-type, Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s 1959 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud and a 1952 Jowett Jupiter.

The oldest car taking part is a 1924 AC Royal, while driver Ted Newbould, from Preston, will take part in his 52nd rally in his 1926 Austin Iver.

The event was first run in 1963 when the oldest car taking part was built in 1896.

There have been various Blackpool finishing points over the years, which have included Stanley Park and the former Royal Lancashire Show Ground, Norbreck Castle Hotel, Sandcastle Centre, the Pleasure Beach, Princess Parade , Middle Walk, Arnold School and the Village Hotel.

The event will finish in the Italian Gardens with cars arriving throughout the afternoon.

Presentation of prizes will be carried out by the Mayor of Blackpool at 4pm.