The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 10 August 2007

New major classic car event Culzean Autoclassica
attracts worldwide interest

The launch of the new classic car event Culzean Autoclassica at Culzean Castle in Ayrshire, Scotland next month (21-23 September) is attracting major interest from owners of prestigious sports and exotic cars from throughout the UK and abroad, with exhibitors already booked from as far away as the USA.

Marques such as Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche, Jaguar and Aston Martin, to name but a few, have already signed up to be part of special displays that will be sited around the Castle Courtyard and within the main event field.

Owners of historic, vintage, classic, racing, sports and touring cars and bikes and prestigious sports performance cars have all been invited to participate, and clubs representing any of the above categories will be especially welcome.

Invitations have also been extended to vintage commercial and tractor vehicle owners, and to capture the castle’s unique ambience and its magnificent location, the event will adopt a traditional theme where participants will be invited to enter into the Autoclassica spirit by arriving in period costume reflecting their particular era of transport.

Legendary motoring historian and motor sports presenter Graham Robson will be the commentator for this year’s launch of the Autoclassica. A recognized authority on many aspects of classic cars and motoring, he is a prolific author, having more than 130 published books to his credit with another four publications due to be completed this year.
Organisers Autospirit Ltd in partnership with the National Trust for Scotland who are holding the event, have intimated that interest has been generated worldwide via their ever expanding website, and articles regarding the launch event are currently being published in countries as far apart as America and China.

The event will be open to the general public on Sunday 23 September with a wide variety of activities, including a street concours d’elegance, special marque displays, club enclosures and trade village, live music, a fashion show, and not forgetting the magnificent Culzean Castle and country park itself, which was recently awarded a five-star rating by Visit Scotland.

The award has been announced by the National Trust for Scotland, who said Culzean is their most visited property. The report states: "The visitor experience is excellent with a wide range of attractions and facilities to ensure an enjoyable day out." It also praises the friendliness of staff and highlights how much there is to see and do at Culzean.

Autospirit Ltd. and the National Trust for Scotland have also teamed up with the nearby five-star Westin Turnberry Hotel to provide accommodation packages for launch visitors, which include as an option on Friday 21 September, a limited number of spaces for a round of golf on the famous Ailsa championship course, venue for the British Open in 2009. This is intended to give a flavour of the planned Culzean Autoclassica Classic golf tournament which will form part of the first Culzean Autoclassica in 2008, and is a marvellous opportunity to play one of the worlds finest golf courses.

For more information on the launch event, telephone Les Hannah +44 (0)1655 750384 or visit

About the organisers - Autospirit Ltd

Autospirit is a new company formed bringing together a specialist management team who have been involved in the marketing and the presentation of car events for over twenty years. They include well-known names from event management, motor clubs and motor racing.

The principals of the business have a passion for all things automotive combined with a commercial awareness derived from many years in business in their own right.

Tony Flint, a retired Ayrshire businessman with a lifelong passionate involvement in motorsport, high performance sports and classic cars and representing manufacturers and clubs, founded Autospirit. Tony has many successful years organizing international Porsche events at venues such as the late Princess Diana’s home Althorp House. Amongst his many other interests he had been planning a major event down in England when he was approached through mutual friend Norman Geddes, senior partner at Ayr-based Frazer Coogans Solicitors, and by Mike Schafer, the National Trust for Scotland’s Culzean Castle manager. Mike, an avid Porsche enthusiast asked him if he would consider organising a motoring event at Culzean Castle Country Park.

Excited by the huge potential The Culzean Autoclassica would have, the name that was to become adopted for the event, Tony had no hesitation in enlisting the help of long time friend and fellow Marcos owner and car enthusiast Les Hannah. Les has a successful record as a major event organizer and was production director of the locally held International Guitar Festival. The company Autospirit was registered with Les as a director, and in partnership with Mike Schafer of the National Trust for Scotland they began planning an event destined to be different than anything ever hosted in Scotland.

Tony and Les recognised Culzean Castle was a five-star venue, however immediately noted it was not the only Ayrshire venue with similar status in the locality. The Westin Turnberry Hotel with its famous Turnberry golf courses on the doorstep could provide five-star international hotel accommodation and facilities for their high profile event. The added bonus was that the Westin Turnberry owns what remains of the old Turnberry Race Track, completing the dream scenario Tony and Les had planned for the Culzean Autoclassica, to celebrate Turnberry as being the only Scottish track to host a race in which a Formula One team had competed.

The Westin Turnberry Hotel reacted favourably to becoming involved with the Culzean Autoclassica and the exciting prospect of those GP cars appearing again at the old Turnberry racetrack will become an integral part of the event.

Early additions to the event team include Maserati owner and enthusiast Norman Geddes. Norman will provide an all-important link with local Ayrshire businesses. Others in the team include Robin Donovan, fourteen times Le Mans driver and corporate event and sponsorship expert and Fred Hampton, ex-chairman of Porsche Club Great Britain and a recognized classic and sports car display guru.

Tony has approached other friends and associates from the world of motor racing and journalism, and indications are we can expect one or two more very well known and respected names joining Team Autoclassica.

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Monday, 6 August 2007

Elite Ayrshire firms run for local charity

TWO founder members of the recently formed Elite Ayrshire Business Circle have completed a charity run in aid of Ayrshire Cancer Support.

Picture shows: David MacKay of MacKay Corporate Insurance Brokers, Ayrshire Cancer Support administrator Shirley Macmillan and Stephen Wilkie of Sinclair Scott Chartered Accountants.

Stephen Wilkie of Sinclair Scott Chartered Accountants and David MacKay of MacKay Corporate Insurance Brokers ran 10 kilometres and raised a magnificent £1275.

Stephen Wilkie said: "We are delighted to have raised money for a local charity and wish to thank everyone that sponsored us. We aim to participate in this 10K run each year and continue to raise money for Ayrshire Cancer Support."

David MacKay said: “I would echo Stephen’s comments, and hope we can be as successful next year.”

Ayrshire Cancer Support administrator Shirley Macmillan said: ‘We are very grateful to Stephen and David for raising this money all of which will benefit the people of Ayrshire."

Ayrshire Cancer Support has operated in Ayrshire since 1982 providing emotional support and practical help for cancer patients, their families, carers and the bereaved. Their aim is to ensure that help is readily available for everyone who needs it.

The Cancer Support Centres in Ayr and Kilmarnock were opened in 1997 in response to an identified need for counselling and support services. The centres provide a drop-in facility for cancer patients, their families and the bereaved and provide a range of services including counselling, support groups and complementary therapies.

The Ayrshire Cancer Support silver jubilee fun run/walk will take place at 1.30pm on Sunday 30 September and is open to all ages, fancy dress, pets and prams.

The 6K route starts at the Citadel Leisure Centre, Ayr, along the seafront promenade to the Doon estuary and return to the Citadel.

Entry forms can be obtained from the centres at Kilmarnock (01563 538008) or Ayr (01292 26988) or by e-mail to

Every participant will receive a commemorative Silver Jubilee Medal.

Ayrshire Business News