CLAAS ‘Monte Carlo or Bust’ fundraising challenge


On Thursday 30th August, four Directors from CLAAS UK will be swapping tractor for taxi as they attempt to recreate the 1969 classic movie ‘Monte Carlo or Bust’, driving from Saxham to Monte Carlo and back in under 48 driving hours.

However, instead of the film’s 1920’s-era rally cars, CLAAS UK CEO Trevor Tyrrell, CFO Thomas Spiering, Retail Director Richard Vaughan and Property Director Paul Butcher will be driving an iconic 16-year-old black London cab that cost £900 and has 350,000 miles on the clock. The taxi has been nicknamed ‘Little Nellie’.

‘Team CLAAS’ are doing the challenge in order to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation.  The BHF is CLAAS UK’s chosen charity for 2018, and the taxi will depart from CLAAS UK on the evening of Thursday 30th August, the first anniversary of the very unexpected death of a well-known and respected colleague Patrick Wells, following a heart attack aged just 62.

The challenge will be started by Patrick’s wife Karen and the aim is that ‘Little Nellie’ will travel through six capital cities and eight countries. The team will drive through London and Paris on their way to Monte Carlo, Monaco. The return leg will then see them pass through Italy; Bern, Switzerland; Germany; Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and finally Brussels in Belgium with the aim that they will arrive back at Saxham on the morning of Sunday 2nd September.

The Black Cab has been nicknamed ‘Little Nellie’ in recognition of the James Bond autogyro that featured in ‘You Only Live Twice’ and the fact that Monte Carlo and the surrounding area has often been used as a location for Bond films. The team will also aim to follow the road taken by James Bond in ‘Thunderball’ and ‘The Golden Eye’.

All told, the team will travel over 2,000 miles. However, fully laden ‘Little Nellie’ only has a cruising speed of just 65mph – on the flat, so the Alps will prove a challenge, as will the need to keep refuelling her in view of her fuel consumption of just 25mpg!

The original target was to raise £10,000 for the British Heart Foundation and their cardiovascular research and work towards improving the treatment of heart conditions. But such has been the support from within the agricultural industry and those who knew Patrick, that this has already been doubled.

You’ll be able to follow the progress of this epic journey on – each stage of the journey will be recorded in photos and video by the 4 directors.

CLAAS UK plan to sell off Nellie after her epic journey to raise further funds, if anyone has a serous bid for the taxi do please contact CLAAS UK on 01284 763100.

Dawne Hart, fundraising manager for the BHF, said: “The team at CLAAS UK have set themselves a really tough and exciting challenge, and a fitting way to remember their colleague.


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