A charity set up to encourage youngsters to have a go in – and fall in love with – classic cars has appealed for donor vehicles to help its mission. Founded in 2017, StarterMotor, whose aim is ‘putting the next generation in the driving seat’, is based at and backed by Bicester Heritage and has strong links with the Heritage Skills Academy that is working out of the former RAF base. The charity is accumulating a small fleet of 15-20 classic vehicles to be restored, maintained and used by the apprentices on the scheme. They will also be encouraged to use the cars to spread the message far and wide.
But StarterMotor also liaises with colleges, companies and other apprenticeship schemes to organise driving days on which youngsters can try out a classic car for themselves and see what is so special about them. One hugely successful day was held earlier this year at Bicester, where the youths were encouraged to have a go in a selection of Alvises.
Newly appointed chief executive of StarterMotor, David Withers, explained: ‘Our passion is to see the next generation of young people driving, maintaining and enjoying historic cars. We are more aware than ever that if nothing is done, then the world of classic motoring will change irrevocably.
‘StarterMotor is determined to ensure a big welcome for young people to the historic motoring community by supporting them in their ambitions and promoting access to classic cars. To help do this we will be hosting young drivers’ days, supporting classic vehicle apprenticeships throughout the country, and providing cars for learning, restoring and using from our own collection.’
Now, the charity is trying to encourage some ‘turnover’ in its fleet (once it is quorate it will be one-in, one-out) and has appealed to philanthropic owners to help out. StarterMotor is looking for ‘vehicles in need of TLC’ that owners feel they might never get around to restoring and which can be contributed to the greater good. Specific models that would be appropriate are: Triumph Herald/Spitfire, Austin A35, Vauxhall Viva, Ford Escort Mk1, Vauxhall Chevette, Fiat 126, Austin Seven, VW Beetle, Austin 10, Austin A40, Austin Cambridge/Morris Oxford, Ford Cortina Mk1/2, Ford Consul Mk1, Renault 4/6 and Talbot Sunbeam/Horizon.
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