Meet the Monte Carlo team

John Lomas – Driver
A Lifelong Riley fan (with the odd diversion of a 1928 Humber 9/20 and a 1975 MG B GT V8), the challenge of a long road trip has always been a big draw. A 12 day 10 continent European adventure for my dad’s 80th birthday and a 1,100-mile excursion in the Imp to the Le-mans classic in 2014 only fuelled the fire for long distance driving trips.

When the details of the Monte were first put before me I knew this was an event that I wanted to be a part of, this desire was only re-enforced upon learning the Riley family and company’s pre-war involvement in the event.

The planning for our 2016 event started back in October and has started to become a bigger part of each working day. I’m looking forward to enjoying a big glass of something fizzy upon our arrival in Monte Carlo, although with some of the weather forecast a big mug of home-made soup might be a better option.

Even getting to the start line will be a real team effort, with Ian and the workshop team preparing the car, Gordon spending hours and hours pouring over maps and route calculations and Duncan being the voice of reason in all aspects. I can’t wait to get started and see if a 2016 team can replicate those early Riley pioneers such as Rupert Riley himself.

Gordon McAllan – Navigator
A retired teacher of English and Depute Head Teacher, I have been nuts on cars since my Glasgow-tenement early years, if only because we didn’t have a car! My first car, at the age of 9, was a 1935 BSA Scout 3-wheeler, which my pal and I dismantled and re-assembled, with only 2 bolts left over, thus charting the course my motoring madness would take in life. Courtesy of a visiting enthusiast, I fell in love with that other Coventry marque, in the shape of a vintage 12/50 Alvis. My father acquired a 1936 Riley Monaco, intending to learn, but never drove; that car is awaiting restoration. After collecting several “projects”, my wife Liz and I bought a 1935 22T Falcon in 2007 and by 2008, it was our first road-going Riley, though still under coachwork restoration. Unexpectedly, a year later, we found ourselves responsible for a 1936 Kestrel Nine (I suffered near-lifelong infatuation with Kestrels, but never dreamt that we would own one) and after some work, she is our main Riley transport at the moment, taking us swiftly to Le Mans (and back), in 2014.

I’m passionate about our family and our country, Scotland – a good place to be. Apart from proper cars, and Rileys in particular, I enjoy the Arts, cycling, hillwalking, sailing, travel, archaeology, dowsing, model railways, DIY (we are restoring our 350-year-old cottage) I’m a founder member of The Strathaven Balloon Festival, of our local community museum and of Strathaven Cycle Town (all volunteer-run). There’s more, but my main hobby is finding time for it all – sometimes difficult, since I also compile and publish the monthly Newsletter of The Scottish Riley Enthusiasts!

Duncan Whyte
Duncan is a member of the team that Riley owners and Blue Diamond customers will all be familiar with. He helped Blue Diamond with their first two major shows as a new company, namely Riley Register Coventry and VSCC Prescott. Always on hand to make a cuppa, offer advice to customers and BD staff, Duncan is a vital part of the BD volunteer team. Some would say that the regular supply of Tunnocks Tea Cakes to the workshop keep the productivity rates up……Duncan will be supporting Gordon and John from the comforts of the BD van, well we wouldn’t want those Tunnock products being too chilled, would we??

Duncan has been a Riley owner since 1983, his first Riley was a 1951 RMB and he then moved onto various pre-war Rileys, although he also has a penchant for 1.5’s having owned 3. His Grandfather was the Chairman of the Royal Scottish Automobile Club and he flagged off the Monte Cars from Blythswood Square in 1949. This was the first post war rally and the entrants included 5 Rileys amongst the 47 cars leaving from Glasgow.

We are just weeks away, we hope you’ll continue to follow us on our journey to Monte. #MonteBD