Classic MG’s MotoFest road trip to drive charity fundraising initiative
A classic car enthusiast whose family owned 60 year old MG sports car is helping to drive fundraising efforts for the Alzheimer’s Society is set to make a poignant trip to this year’s Power Maxed MotoFest Coventry.
Birmingham based James Davis will drive his 1959 MG A Series Twin Cam to MotoFest Coventry, as part of a road trip to raise funds for and awareness of the Alzheimer’s Society.
It’s a cause close to his heart as it forms an integral part of a car ownership story that spans five decades of his family’s life.
James’s father Robert Davis first bought the MG in 1963 and went on to own it for 53 years before it was sold in Canada two years ago to fund Robert’s long-term Alzheimer’s care.
With over 50 years of happy family memories associated with the car, James sought to track it down and after browsing ‘classic cars’ on eBay, he discovered it had been reimported back into the UK.
After arranging to meet the dealer, James bought the car back and with it came the idea to use the MG as a fundraising vehicle to tackle the disease that had taken his father and the car away from him in the first place.
James, who lives in Edgbaston and works for Cox Automotive as a Customer Strategy and Insight Director for Commercial Vehicles, said: “When I first bought the car back I felt a mix of emotions. I wanted to tell Dad the good news, I wanted to ask him questions about the work I planned to do.
“However sadly by then his Alzheimer’s had rely taken hold to the point where he did not recognise me anymore. That’s when the legacy idea came to me. I decided that when I am no longer able to drive the car, it will be auctioned off and every penny donated to the Alzheimer’s Society.
“Until then I want to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s and use the MG to help raise funds to find a cure for this cruel disease. The car has already been to various shows and MotoFest Coventry will be the next stop on our fundraising journey.
“It’s really exciting to be attending such a hugely attended event and I hope those visiting MotoFest Coventry enjoy the car as much as my family and I do.”
Alzheimer’s Society Community Fundraiser for Birmingham, Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire, Ryan Stanley, welcomed James’s decision to help raise money for the charity.
Ryan said: ““We are incredibly grateful to James as he intends to leave his family owned, 60 year old MG sports car as a gift in his Will to Alzheimer’s Society. This generous gift will help Alzheimer’s Society go on to continue supporting people with dementia and their carers and loved ones through our dedicated services and continue to raise awareness of this cruel disease.”
“There are around 70,000 people living with dementia in the West Midlands, and around 4,000 people with dementia in Coventry. Dementia is now the UK’s biggest killer, with someone developing the disease every three minutes.
“Dementia devastates lives, but dementia won’t win. Until the day we find a cure we will be here for anyone affected by dementia, wherever they are, whatever they’re going through. We need more people like James to join us now and unite against dementia. Unite now at alzheimers.org.uk.”
The car itself has a fascinating history. First registered on the 2nd October 1959, it was initially owned by a 27 year old Italian commercial artist called Renato Fratini.
While owning the car he produced his most famous work, including film posters for Carry on Films, From Russia With Love, Barbarella and Waterloo. He also courted and married his girlfriend Gina Fratini, who went on to become a society dress designer with clients including Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Diana.
As well as the MG, another treasured family favourite celebrating its 60th birthday with a road trip to MotoFest is North East Scotland based Mike Wakelin’s, 1959 Humber Hawk.
With only 73,000 still on the clock, the Humber Hawk will embark on its longest ever journey as Mike drives the car from Turiff, in Aberdeenshire, to his first ever MotoFest event.
From even further afield, Norwegian Jaguar car enthusiast Geir Folke Olsen will again set out on an epic 1,200 km road trip from Norway to Coventry, to complete a hat-trick of appearances at the festival.
Geir will make the journey from his home in Lesja, in the Oppland County region of Norway, to Coventry in his 1962 ivory coloured Jaguar E-type, which he will run on the MotoFest circuit. For this year Geir will have a special guest passenger joining him on his circuit run, whose identity will be revealed before the MotoFest weekend.
James Noble, Power Maxed MotoFest Coventry Festival Director said: “We are very pleased to have dedicated classic car enthusiasts such as James, Mike and Geir at MotoFest, as they epitomise what the event is all about.
“They represent fantastic automotive and human stories that illustrate our love affair with cars. With James Davis’s MG, it’s also about utilising that story to raise awareness and funds for an incredibly worthwhile cause such as the Alzheimer’s Society, which we are delighted to support at this year’s event.
“With Coventry BID’s backing we again look forward to an incredible ‘show within a show’ that will showcase classic cars and bikes that celebrate over 100 years and more of automotive heritage.”
More than 1000 cars and bikes are set to feature at this year’s event on June 1 and 2. Various classic vehicle enthusiasts, car and bike clubs across the UK are due to attend to play their part in making Motofest Coventry 2019 the best classic car and bike show the city has seen since the event started six years ago.
Power Maxed MotoFest Coventry is a two-day festival dedicated to the city’s motoring heritage.
As the largest free urban motorsport festival in the UK, it brings live motorsport, including official championship rounds of various race series, classic and performance vehicles, and the cutting edge of automotive innovation right into the heart of the UK’s Motor City, free for everyone to enjoy across the weekend. For more details visit www.coventrymotofest.com.
Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s leading dementia charity, working tirelessly to challenge perceptions, fund research and improve and provide care and support. Too many are facing dementia alone without adequate support. We urgently need to find a cure, improve care and offer help and understanding for people affected.