Many of you who have cruised with P&O might know Al Clinton, Wine Host for Olly Smith onboard P&O’s Azura in The GlassHouse. I have known Al for many years, and it seems like many moons ago since June 2009, in Intermezzo onboard P&O Arcadia, that he first told me of his dream to restore and drive a replica Herbie Back to Monte Carlo. Did I think he was mad? No Comment, lol. This week that dream became a reality when he set of from Claire House Childrens Hospice in Liverpool for the drive through to Monte Carlo.
Herbie and the team will be making many stops en route and the first one was in Coventry where I was able to go and meet Herbie for myself. They will also drive through London and Paris and on arrival in Monte Carlo, Herbie aims to drive a lap of the Grand Prix circuit. The whole challenge is being filmed for a documentary.
But Al, Herbie and the team are not doing this just for fun – they aim to raise £53 000 for Claire House Childrens Hospice in Liverpool with the inspiration for their target being Herbies 53 on the bonnet. Al is passionate about what he is doing “Claire House is a remarkable place and this challenge has provided a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness and much needed funds for the hospice so that it can continue to provide invaluable care and support for the 160 children and their families who visit the hospice each year.”
Herbie underwent a full restoration in Ohio, USA by the wonderfully talented Dan Miller of Red Barn Restorations. A restorer of some repute, Dan has worked on many of the film Herbie’s. My Herbie has been transformed and modelled on the very desirable Porsche engine Herbie, used in the film ‘The Love Bug’. After two years of hard work, Herbie was shipped over to the UK in July 2011 to start his publicity campaign.
Herbie arrived in Coventry today escorted by 20 other VW Beetles, including two others bearing the 53 logo. I used to love watching the Herbie movies and today I felt like I had actually met the real Herbie. The attention to detail that Al’s Herbie has received during his transformation is remarkable.
To make a donation for this very worthwhile cause please visit http://www.justgiving.com/al-clinton0
Follow Herbie’s adventures to Monte Carlo on Facebook
and check out Herbies website HERE for the full story from restoration to Monte Carlo