Taxi challenge to Monte Carlo in memory of colleague
Inspired by a classic movie, four friends are to travel 2,000 miles across Europe in 48 hours in a London black cab taxi as a tribute to a former colleague.
Thomas Spiering, Richard Vaughan, Paul Butcher and Trevor Tyrrell, who are all directors at CLAAS UK, will drive the 16-year-old cab, 'Little Nellie', from the company's base at Little Saxham to Monte Carlo and back to raise Â£10,000 for the British Heart Foundation.
It will mark the first anniversary of the death of their colleague Patrick Wells, who passed away suddenly aged 62 from a heart attack last August having worked for the company since 1971.
Mr Wells was an avid car racing enthusiast and the challenge is inspired by the 1969 movie 'Monte Carlo or Bust!', which follows a car rally across Europe.
Mr Tyrrell, CEO of CLAAS UK, said: "Patrick was a very young 62, fit and healthy and looking forward to retirement with his children and grandchildren.
"Everyone was really shocked at his passing, it was really unexpected and it made everyone realise the fragility of our lives.
"Our employees chose the British Heart Foundation as our charity of the year in conjunction with Patrick's family, so it would mean the world to us to meet our target.
"Everyone is behind it, and this event, on the anniversary of Patrick's passing, will be very relevant to us all at such a sad time."
The black cab has 350,000 miles on the clock and the only spare part the team will take on the trip is a fan belt.
This event, on the anniversary of Patrick's passing, will be very relevant to us all at such a sad time - Trevor Tyrrell
Mr Wells' wife Karen will fire the starting gun at 5am on Friday, August 31 and the journey will take them through six capital cities and eight countries.
Mr Tyrrell added: "Driving all day and night to the south of France at 60mph without air conditioning will be interesting, but the toughest part will be coaxing Little Nellie to climb the Alps between Italy and Switzerland - we may need some rocket fuel to give her a boost, or some french wine for us in case we have to push."
Dawne Hart, fund-raising manager for the British Heart Foundation, said: "The team at CLAAS UK have set themselves a really tough and exciting challenge, and a fitting way to remember their colleague.
"Every pound raised by this event will be used to help fund new ways to help treat, prevent and cure heart conditions."
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/claas-fundraising-montecarlo