For many years going to a classic car show gave the public the chance to see their “Dream Car” in all its glory as part of a static display. In May 1994 at the NEC Show a new facet of “showing” the cars was introduced to owners and public alike. For the first time the Sporting Bears Dream Rides feature allowed the cars to be seen driven and for a fortunate few there was the opportunity of a passenger ride. Since that date Sporting Bears have continued to develop and use Dream Rides at many locations as a part of their charity fund raising.
“Dream Rides” is a simple concept where people making an agreed minimum donation to a named charity are offered a free passenger ride in the car of their dreams. The rides have historically been of up to 10 miles duration on public roads. The drivers cover all their own expenses and thus are not seen to be driving for hire or reward. Given the above the integrity of the drivers own insurance is maintained and thus normal passenger cover remains intact.
The club has provided “Dream Rides” at shows nation-wide. Locations have included, Brooklands, Kimbolton Country Classic, Dundee, Guernsey, Superacr Sunday at Gaydon, Mount Stuart on Bute and over recent years the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power in Cheshire. In addition around 6,000 enthusiasts have had the opportunity to ride in their dream car, from an Austin 7, Sierra Cosworth through to Ferarris.
Several celebrities have taken part in the activity including Johnny Dumfries (The Marquis of Bute & F1 driver), Robbie Coltrane, Stirling Moss and Ken Tyrell.
Sporting Bears members and friends regularly offer their cars for “Dream Rides”. We have been able to call on such super classics as Jaguar XJ220, Porsche 959, Ferrari Enzo, Lamborghini Countach, etc. and at the other end of the spectrum the Fiat 500. In addition we have had rally cars both old and new. In recent years several modern “classics” such as Noble, Ariel Atom and Audi R8 have been made available. We have also had support from Jaguar, Rolls Royce and Bentley with their latest donated production cars and we even managed to have a £263,000 Bentley Mulsanne donated where famously Jeremy Clarkson for Top Gear could not!
All the known necessary legal angles have been covered and the club’s legal advisors have been active in producing both a format for the operation of this activity and all the necessary indemnity forms for both drivers and passengers. The club has public liability insurance for £5,000,000 and are commended with several insurers for our activity.
The concept of Dream Rides has become a model for other car clubs and organisations to use both for charity fund raising and interest in their particular cars.
The Rides have, whilst aiding the raising of money for children’s charities, promoted the ideals of ownership and involvement in the classic car club field by bringing large numbers of the public into direct and meaningful contact with cars in use rather than as static exhibits on display.
No money raised at “Sporting Bears Dream Rides” goes to anyone other than the charities named – YES that is correct, 100% of public donations goes directly to the named Children’s Charity or Project!