Candacraig Classic Drive

September, 2012

The Cognoscenti Classic Drive and Private Lunch was a huge success and we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to such a memorable day.

Great company, great cars, a unique venue, superb cuisine and fantastic late-summer weather all resulted in an unforgettable experience.

Two groups of cars assembled at Perth and Aberdeen for morning coffee before a drive through dramatic Highland scenery to Candacraig House, Billy Connolly’s Scottish home in the Cairngorms National Park.

Empty roads and breathtaking views make Scotland one of the few places in the world where these cars can be enjoyed to the full and this was certainly the case on our drive to Strathdon.

Mechanical casualties were few, Syd Fraser’s Ferrari 250 GT Ellena and Dougal Fisken’s Bentley 3/4.5 Litre succumbed to fuel and electrical maladies respectively (luckily before they left home) both owners switching to their modern Ferrari’s instead. Ian Fisken’s beautiful Bentley S1 Convertible failed to proceed close to Ballater due to a faulty condenser but Russell Jordan gallantly stepped in and towed the stricken Bentley to safety with his Austin-Healey 100M, which resulted in a very stylish towing equipe…

The Cognoscenti events are open to owners of pre-1973 prestigious or historically important motor cars, a policy that resulted in a stunning collection of machinery. Most prestigious marques were represented, including Ferrari, Maserati, Bentley, Jaguar, Alvis, Austin-Healey, Porsche and Aston Martin. Highlights included two AC sports racing cars of Bill and Barrie Bird that competed at Le Mans in 1958 and 1964 respectively and the stunning 1922 ex-Maharaja Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost of Blair Bonar-Campbell.

On arrival at Candacraig, the cars were ushered into position in front of the house and guests were welcomed with refreshments. We all then took the opportunity get to know one another whilst taking in the magnificent views from the lawn.

Lunch was signalled by a lone piper and seats were taken in the dining room and library for a superb three-course meal made from the best quality Aberdeenshire produce.

After lunch, the house and grounds were ours to enjoy for the remainder of the day, to relax in the drawing room, explore the walled garden or stroll by the private Loch.

At the end of the day goodbyes were said and the cars headed into the fading sunlight and home.