Some of you may recall a post I put up a few weeks ago entitled “Lets all try to make this a very special day for one true SAAB enthusiast.” http://www.saabsunited.com/?s=Castle+Coombe
Well the day of the event came with six of our Dragon Saab members driving in convoy from Wales to the venue at Castle Coombe. We arrived early morning with great anticipation about how many Saab’s would turn up on the day. The morning saw a steady flow of cars arriving from all over the UK until it’s climax where we had a fantastic display comprising of 51 SAABS!!!
During the morning the sole person this gathering was organised for, Mark, arrived and was totally overwhelmed by the incredible turnout. The weather during the week leading up to the event had been truly awful with continuous rain, even through the night prior to the big day. But even that worked out well for us with sunshine and a few clouds but other than that a completely dry day.
Despite this being a previously arranged track day at Castle Coombe organised by the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club, when the organisers heard of our story and what we were trying to do they accommodated us extremely well by not just giving us a fantastic display area for all our cars but even finding time to halt the days’ track events and allowing us to have a SAAB parade around the track for our dear friend Mark Ovens aka Parish for whom the whole day was dedicated. Mark rode up front with David Dallimore in his concours 99 Turbo 2 door. Expecting to maybe being allowed two laps of the circuit we were given time to have FIVE full laps! At one point with each car being spaced out we had the spectacle of the entire track from start line to finish being occupied by the amazing sight of nothing but SAABS!!!!!
During my many years working at SAAB dealerships I had acquired two bottles of champagne specially bottled for SAAB to commemorate both the launch of the second generation 900 and also a Lauren Perrier bottle marking 50 years of SAAB in the UK. These had been hidden away at home since the nineties while I often wondered what to do with them. This day seemed to be the perfect opportunity to make good use of them. I gave one to Mark and his wife to take home and decided to try a raffle for the Lauren Perrier. I thought if we could raise somewhere nearing £50 I would be delighted with all proceeds going to the Forever Friends Appeal. We decided to not put a price on the ticket but instead for people to buy one for whatever they felt they could manage. From the sale of the very first ticket we knew the success of this raffle was going to far exceed £50. The generosity of our gathered friends raised a staggering £241!!! All of which went to Mark and Karen to donate to the Forever Friends Appeal, the hospice who are providing cancer care for Mark.
The winner of the raffle, our great friend and well known Dr Oz Reid has since decided to once again raffle that bottle of champagne at the forthcoming Neo Bros open day, again, with all proceeds going to the same appeal. I think that gesture alone sums up what a wonderful spirit of camaraderie still exists within our family.
To summarise, the entire day went perfectly, one could sense the feeling of warmth and sensitivity surrounding it. I can tell you that Mark and Karen were staggered by the turnout and Karen told me that thankfully Mark just happened to have one of his better days and so was able to see the entire day out to the end.
On behalf of Mark & Karen, I would like to say a huge thank you to the organisers at Castle Coombe and all who turned up on the day with their many beautiful SAABS. A great and very memorable day was had by all. Our continued best wishes go out to Mark, Karen and their family.
Please check out the links below for some great pictures and videos.
http://gallery.bristolpegasus.com/2014/Castle-Combe-Track-Day/i-sVGWfNG http://s653.photobucket.com/user/Naranto/slideshow/Parishs%20Day%20Out?sort=6 https://www.flickr.com/photos/27487434@N04/sets/72157646640502519/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4g2f5x7SkcM Click here to view Castle Combe 2014 Edits_