Paisley start for Monte Carlo rally

THE glitz and the glamour of the Monte Carlo classic car rally is coming to Paisley.

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Up to 100 vehicles, some dating from the 1920s, will gather in the town centre on January 23 before heading for the French Riviera.

Paisley is one of five departure points, along-side Barcelona, Stock-holm, Oslo and Reims.

Classic cars will set off from outside Paisley Abbey on the 1670-mile adventure, which goes via the Channel Tunnel and the French Alps.

Since the event returned to Scotland in 2011, more than 30,000 spectators have seen cars such as Imps, Triumphs, Porsches and Bentleys leave for France, bringing a £4million boost to Scotland's economy.

Renfrewshire Council leader Mark Macmillan said: "We are delighted to welcome this presti-gious event and would like to thank the organ-isers for bringing it here.

"Being chosen to host an occasion of this calibre is a major thumbs-up for the area and the latest boost to Paisley and Renfrew-shire's fast-growing reputation as a venue for top-class events.

"Our events strategy, is helping to drive the regeneration of the area."

Competitor and spokesman for the rally start committee Douglas Anderson said: "Since we brought the rally start back to Scotland in 2011 it has surpassed expectations.

"Paisley will be an excellent location as it has a stunning back-drop with the historic Abbey and Town Hall. It also has quick access to the route's first stages."

A week-long series of events will be held in Renfrewshire to co-incide with the rally, and celebrate the area's links to the car industry through the former Hillman Imp factory at Linwood.

Competitor Paul Coulter said: "This year is the 50th anniversary of the production of the first Hillman Imp in the area and 2014 will be 50 years from the first time Imps took part in the rally. It is fantastic to mark this anniversary with the rally starting from the town."

vivienne.nicoll@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Automotive

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