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
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!).

Classic Cars Sports Cars Charity Childrens Sporting Bears Driving
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