Four Claas UK directors are about to swap tractor for taxi as they attempt to recreate the 1969 classic movie ‘Monte Carlo or Bust’, driving from Saxham to Monte Carlo and back in under 48 driving hours. However, instead of the film’s 1920’s-era rally cars, Claas UK CEO Trevor Tyrrell, CFO Thomas Spiering, retail director Richard Vaughan and property director Paul Butcher will be driving a 16-year-old black London cab that cost £900 and has 350,000 miles on the clock.
‘Team Claas’ are doing the challenge in order to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation, and the taxi, which has been nicknamed ‘Little Nellie’, will depart from Saxham on Thursday evening (August 30), the first anniversary of the very unexpected death of a well-known and respected colleague Patrick Wells, following a heart attack aged just 62. The challenge will be started by Patrick’s wife Karen and the aim is that ‘Little Nellie’ will travel through six capital cities and eight countries.
The team will drive through London and Paris on their way to Monte Carlo, Monaco. Travelling through six capital cities and eight countries, the return leg will then see them pass through Italy, Switzerland, Germany, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Belgium. The plan is to arrive back at Saxham on Sunday morning September 2.
The Black Cab has been nicknamed ‘Little Nellie’ in recognition of the James Bond autogyro that featured in ‘You Only Live Twice’ and the fact that Monte Carlo and the surrounding area has often been used as a location for Bond films. The team will also aim to follow the road taken by James Bond in ‘Thunderball’ and ‘The Golden Eye’.
All told, the team will travel over 2,000 miles. However, fully laden ‘Little Nellie’ only has a cruising speed of just 65mph - on the flat, so the Alps will prove a challenge, as will the need to keep refuelling her in view of her fuel consumption of just 25mpg!
The original target was to raise £10,000 for the British Heart Foundation and their cardiovascular research and work towards improving the treatment of heart conditions. But such has been the support from within the agricultural industry and those who knew Patrick, that this has already been doubled.
Claas UK plan to sell off Nellie after her epic journey to raise further funds, if anyone has a serous bid for the taxi then the number to call is 01284 763100.
Heart and circulatory disease causes more than a quarter of all deaths in the UK. On average 420 people die each day from the condition. Donations can be made using the team’s JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/claas-fundraising-montecarlo
Picture: From left to right: Claas UK CFO Thomas Spiering, retail director Richard Vaughan, property director Paul Butcher and CEO Trevor Tyrrell, with ‘Little Nellie’.