What is Driving for Kids?

Based on similar events in the UK, Driving for Kids is the Colorado version of a British Reliability Run. Begun in Britain when cars were first introduced, these reliability runs like the London to Brighton Run were quite a challenge for the newfangled horseless carriage. Now it is more a nostalgic tribute to the spirit of “Motoring”. Driving for Kids is a multi-day drive for charity in British cars plus a few that carry the spirit of the old British car. It is not a race, and is run on public roads at posted speeds. It is not a rally: there are no checkpoints or deliberately vague instructions. It is an endurance test of sorts, intended to be challenging but fun for the participants, and to see just how reliable these supposedly “unreliable” British cars really are. Driving for Kids is a fun weekend with fellow owners of old British cars plus a few that fit the spirit of “Motoring” as opposed to the “mad dash to get there” and with all the camaraderie/security that comes with such a group.

How do I get involved?

E-mail Driving for Kids Chairman Ross Robbins at lotusross@comcast.net for more information.

What will it cost me to participate?

Each two person team pays for its own expenses, so figure 750-800 miles worth of fuel, modest hotel rooms at discounted group rates for each day, and meals or roughly $700-800. Beyond that, each team pays a $85 fee for registration that supports the infrastructure of the run: things like the magnetic rally boards and window clings the cars wear, the route guides, and the cost of promoting the run itself like this web site, etc.

Do I really have to solicit donations? Is the $500 number a requirement?

It is a goal for each team to raise $500 for the partner charity, Roundup River Ranch. The $500 number is a goal, not a requirement though we are Driving for Kids, remember. Most have raised more, some less, though hopefully every team will be able to contribute something to this worthy cause. All donations made directly to the charity or website, are 100% tax deductible and go 100% to the charity.

How is the run conducted? Do we all stay together?

Each team will get complete route instructions at the starting point on Saturday morning, along with names and cellphone numbers of the other participants. We will make scheduled group stops for fuel, rest, etc. per the Routebook. Teams are encouraged to break into groups of several cars that run at a comfortable speed for you. Always be with another car (at least two cars to keep a support “buddy”.)

Can I join or leave the run in mid route?

Yes, some participants may join us for the visit to Roundup River Ranch and some may only be able to spend the weekend with us and leave the Run in mid route. Contact Ross Robbins by e-mail at lotusross@comcast.net for more information on that.

Do I need a co-driver, or can I run the route by myself?

You can run the route by yourself if that's your wish. Several teams are solo efforts, but it will be a lot more fun to share the weekend with someone.

Is GPS allowed?

Of course it is, but you shouldn’t need it as the Routebook will be easy to follow. We will be posting GPS co-ordinates and routes you can load into your GPS on the Route page.

What if I break down?

In an old British car? What could possibly go wrong? In actuality, there have been few problems on the run that could not be fixed at the side of the road by the participants, but in that unlikely event, there will be a support vehicle provided by Driving for Kids towing an open trailer to recover the fallen entry. But let’s just assume that won’t be needed, shall we?

Will my car be wearing numbers? Will I have to stop at checkpoints?

No numbers, no manned checkpoints. This is a fun run for the kids at the Ranch and the kids at heart in the cars. You will have your team name and Driving for Kids windscreen name to put on your car to signify your participation in this great event.

Can I use the Rally as an excuse to drive real fast?

If that's your strategy, sure, but remember that this is a fun run. Arriving too early just means waiting for your friends. Being on time is what it's all about. Also, you're responsible for any speeding tickets you might collect; we won't come to bail you out of jail if it comes to that. Just so you know...

Does the sweep vehicle have the ability to do repairs to my car?

If you anticipate an enclosed trailer with a lift and staff mechanic to be available "just in case" as is found on the “Grand” rallies, you might have found the wrong event. Unlike the luxury classic tours, our event is designed around having an adventure...and a staff of mechanics just doesn't seem very adventurous. We don't have a staff mechanic; we have Ted Ax, a wonderful veteran mechanic of all things British and a pure volunteer. We do, however, offer a sweep vehicle with extra seats, so if the car is terminal Ted can transport you. The sweep vehicle carries some fuel and tools but does not stock that Lucas coil or SU fuel pump you now need desperately. We are counting on you to bring spares for your own car. Great stories come from roadside repairs, and we hope you'll do your best to continue. If you're not able to, however, we will take you back to the start point. Even if you don’t have towing recovery assistance, you will be covered for this event by Hagerty Road Side Assistance, which provides towing and other services to you, thanks to the fine folks at our sponsor Hagerty Insurance.
You will find that DfK has plenty of 'shade-tree' home mechanics who are just as eager as Ted is to help. Trouble on the side of the road is often just a matter of asking for help, and perhaps offering some adult refreshments as thanks at the end of the day.

Do I need to have Hagerty Classic Car insurance?

While we think Hagerty rocks, we're happy to accept entrants who have their cars insured with anyone. You do need to show proof that your vehicle is insured. We hope after you experience how much support Hagerty provides our events and the classic car community in general, you'll take a look to see how they could help with your insurance needs.

Will you transport my luggage?

Unfortunately, if you own a Lotus 7, Mini Moke, or pack as though you were taking a cruise in the 20's, we don't offer a luggage transport service. It's a perk we understand the $1,500 a day rallies offer, but it just isn't in the budget for $85 entry fees. On the plus side, we don't require a black tie or evening gown for our dinners...so far less luggage is required. Just the savings in extra shoes is significant.
If you do have a problem, there are certainly solutions. For every tiny-car-without-a-boot in the starting parking lot, there is probably a vehicle with a boot that could swallow a Mini Moke. We suggest walking over, introducing yourselves and offering drinks at the day's finish in exchange for luggage transport. We suspect you'll have both new friends, and dry clothes, at the end of the first day. If all else fails, find Ted Ax at the sweep vehicle and beg nicely. I believe he prefers Guinness.

What kind of pace will we run on Driving for Kids?

We encourage you to enjoy the road at your own pace and we give you the freedom to drive as you normally would if you were on your own. In practice, most drivers seem to settle into groups of 2-5 cars, travelling along the route at a similar pace. Usually on the first day friends from various clubs tend to stick together, but by day two or three you travel in wonderful mixes of automobiles that embrace the same pace that you do. Again, remember that we are “Motoring” not sprinting and even the more modern cars that we have allowed to join us need to embrace that ethos.
Drivers are reminded each morning at our 'drivers' meeting that we're traveling on open roads, where other traffic, animals, kids and law enforcement might be found around every corner. We employ what we like to call the "Your mom is in the car behind you" method to ensure folks don't drive too briskly, and to date have not had a major issue. Thankfully, it seems, most folks recognize the best thing to do is drive in a manner which means we can run the event again next year! Don’t be “That Guy”!
The Routebook schedule is planned so that if you are driving at the speed limit you have some latitude to make the fuel stops and lunch easily even if you stop for a few photos. Drivers who stop more frequently or longer for photos (You know who you are, Rod!) may find they arrive with less time to eat or fuel before the group departs again. Our schedule contemplates arriving at the hotel approximately 1.5-2 hours before the start of dinner. That is certainly enough time to enjoy a parking lot visit or hang out in the bar to relive the day, and then do whatever preparations for dinner you require. Remember, this is all about having a fun weekend…oh, and helping the kids!
Thanks to Classic Car Adventures for some key content