About the club
The "Bears", as we are affectionately known, are a dedicated group of classic car and sports car enthusiasts with the primary aim - to raise money for children's charities through our own social and touring events, and to support other charitable events. It is to the club's credit that annual subscriptions support the club overheads thus allowing all monies raised from Dream Rides and other events to be directed towards the selected charities. Since the Club was formed in 1989 we have been very active and have raised over £1,500,000 for children's charities in the UK.
Who can join?
Although the club is open to the owners of all classic saloons and sportscars, as well as modern sports cars and kit cars of a sporting nature, we also have a number of members who do not own such cars but they enjoy helping the Bears to fund raise by assisting at shows and other functions. So - if you are interested in helping worthwhile causes then why not join us, whatever car you have.
Are there regional groups?
Yes. The Sporting Bears initial base was formed with members loosely based in the Cambridge/Midlands areas. However the club now has regional groups based in
- The Midlands
- Northamptonshire and surounding counties (Shire Bears)
- The North West
- Southern England (Koalas)
- South West England (Surfing Bears)
- North of England & Scotland (Polar Bears)
Each of these groups organises its own events in their local area. Club nights are also a regular feature, usually for a noggin and natter. Each member receives "The Bear Facts" which is the club's quarterly magazine containing items relating to interesting cars, stories about events that have taken place, and other motoring highlights.
What does the club offer its members?
A number of special events each year ranging from the much publicised appearance at the Classic & Sports Car Show where the Sporting Bears "Dream Rides" attract so much attention and raise significant funds to the more discrete "tours" around the country often with a place of special interest as a focal point, and the attendance at car shows.
Perhaps the most significant benefit the club offers is the knowledge that through the efforts of its members, the club helps charities in the most tangible way - through donating funds to such worthy causes.
How much does it cost to join?
The annual subscription is just £20 each year with additional family members costing just an extra £5 per head.
Why not JOIN us?
As a Triumph TR3A owner since 1975 and long-standing member of the TR Register - I had been involved with the Committee and the organising of national events for many years. It was time for a new direction, new aims and a new sense of achievement.
In the Spring of 1989, I wanted to organise a major classic car tour, with all proceeds going to a children’s charity. I was, at that time, a member of the Historic Rally Car Register and hoped to organise the tour under the HRCR banner. It turned out that this was to be a non-starter.
Chris Glasbey and Colin Mitchell explain the finer points of ‘understeer’ to Nigel Mansell at the
NEC where the Bears debuted the prototype Lotus Elise
I had to do something, the whole classic car scene was changing. I was bored with Shows and also disenchanted with a growing trend for organisations to run classic car tours as a business, profiting from the classic car owner.
The only option was to form a unique organisation with aims to raise money for charity.
I came up with a name very quickly:- SPORTING (for all classic cars and new sports cars) and BEARS (children’s charities) Motor Club. Pat (my wife) agreed with the name, but was not initially satisfied with the suggested logo. The car was fine. It is a Triumph TR3, used with permission from the letterhead of “Racetorations”, but substituting a man in the driving seat for a teddy bear. Perfect I thought!, but what took a while was for Pat to get the smile correct on the bears face. Incidently, the TR3 was chosen because of a similarity to a “Noddy” car (those of you who are old enough to know what that is!).
Pat Glasbey and Barrington at a cheque presentation to REACH in 1993
We had formed the Sporting Bears Motor Club (Classic & Sportscars, driving for Children’s Charities), and set about drawing up a set of rules.
Under the guidance of the MSA and also advice from the Charities Commission, the Rules and Guidelines of Sporting Bears Motor Club were drawn up by a select band consisting of Pat, myself, and some old friends (the first Committee Meeting). September 1989 saw the first local meeting held in Cambridgeshire, and throughout that year things progressed slowly, but surely, culminating in our first national day. This was held at the International Classic and Sportscar Show at the NEC in May 1990.
If I recall correctly, what with setting up, the running of the 3 day show and the clearing up day, this was a 5 day marathon for the few Bears members who collected £800.00 on that occasion for “MIND”.
Pat and I served as Treasurer and Secretary for the first 8 years.
Chris and Pat Glasbey