Sunday 5 November 2017

Rally - A stranger calls

There was an unexpected (uninvited?) guest at the annual Scottish Car of the Year Awards on Friday at the Dalmahoy Country Club. No, not the one on the  left, the other chap. Turned out it was Jaggy Bunnet's long lost Mexican cousin, Jaggio Sombrero. The only reason he was there was to get a 'selfie' with Jim McRae.

As for Jim, he was there for a properly memorable and emotional reason. A couple of years ago, the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers and Bridge of Weir Leather, who are long time supporters of the SCoTY awards, thought that the Scots should have our very own 'Scottish Motoring Hall of Fame' selected by and voted by Scotland's motoring writers as opposed to that 'other' general Scottish Sports Hall of Fame instigated by sportscotland.

The Edinburgh based hoi-poloi will take sporting nominations from anyone for the Scottish Hall of Fame although an 'independent sports panel comprised of experts' will decide who gets inducted. Having said that there is a display of sporting artifacts in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh which is well worth a gander.

Anyway, for our own personal 'Scottish Motoring Hall of Fame' there were a number of nominations for the 15 Scottish motoring and motor sports journalists to consider. Jim Clark, Sir Jackie Stewart and Ian Callum were the original inductees, and this year two more were added to the illustrious list of Scottish achievers in the world of motoring and motor sport - Colin McRae and Moray Callum.

So that's why Jim was there. Hard to believe it's ten years since we lost Colin and it must have been difficult for Jim to accept the induction, but as he stopped up to receive it, the crowded room  erupted into spontaneous applause, cheering and a standing ovation.

By gawd I could hardly keep a dry eye myself. I think Jim managed it better than me, but I thought I could detect an added glint at the corners of his eyes, although I'm sure that was just the spotlights. He spoke well.

Moray (Ian's younger brother) is now Vice President of Design for Ford Motor Company responsible for all concept and production vehicles for the Ford and Lincoln brands worldwide, including the sixth generation Mustang and the 2017 Ford GT. Not bad for a boy from Dumfries.

There was another moment of emotion for Jim before the night was out - I fished out my wallet and bought him a large whisky. I thought he was going to keep it and preserve it, but no, he did manage to swallow the evidence.

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