Nailsea man completes Europe road trip for hospice
PUBLISHED: 20:00 23 October 2017
A Nailsea man has raised thousands of pounds for charity after completing a European road trip in memory of his grandad.
Dan Wright’s grandad, Dave James, died on Easter Sunday in 2015 after a long battle with cancer.
After moving to France around 15 years ago, Dave bought a Citroen 2CV and agreed to restore it with his grandson.
But the project was never completed and the car wasn’t used again, until Dan and university friend Alex Williams decided to take it on a 2,000-mile trip around Europe to raise money for Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) – the chosen charity at Dave’s funeral.
Dan, aged 24, said: “When Dave passed away Nan gave me the car and of course I had to complete what I had promised and restore the car.
“The car was near Bergerac in France completely stripped down to a bare shell, so we arranged for it to be shipped back to the UK where I could easily work on it.
“While rebuilding the car I had decided to take it on a European road trip and raise money for the hospice.”
The trip saw the pair travel through five countries and stop off at some of the most iconic racing locations on the continent, including the Nurburgring in Germany where he met up with a Top Gear presenter.
Dan added: “While on the trip, I decided I wanted to take the car around the Nurburgring Nordschleife, a 13-mile race track nicknamed the Green Hell.
“When racing is not on, it is a public toll road with no speed limits. Basically, a pay-as-you-go race track and a completely unsuitable place to take a 2CV, but as Dave was someone who was always up for a challenge it seemed a fitting tribute.
“While we were there we met Sabine Schmitz, the current BBC Top Gear presenter made famous for being one of the fastest people around the circuit.
“She made a personal donation and supported everything we were doing.
“In total, we covered 2,000 miles in seven days in a car designed simply to carry a basket of eggs across a ploughed field.”
After the weekend in Germany, Dan and Alex returned to the UK via Le Mans.
Dan has since visited CHSW’s base in Wraxall, to hand over a cheque worth more than£4,200.