THERE’S only one way to get to Monte Carlo as far as Simon McDonald and Matt Wilson are concerned.
They are preparing to set off in May in a restored 1999 Porsche 996 Carrera, joining a 1,000-mile run across six countries over five days in aid of charity.
Thirty-five classic cars will leave London for Monaco in ‘Monte Carlo or Bust’ – tempted by the prospect of winding roads, breathtaking scenery, fine cuisine, five star accommodation and a finale gala dinner.
Organisers describe it as a taste of the James Bond lifestyle.
The spin-off will be raising money for organisers’ charities Help The Heroes, National Osteoporosis Society and the Mara Rianda Primary School – and Simon and Matt also want to help Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.
Simon bought the Porsche at auction for £11,500. “I have spent a lot of time messing about with cars and this was an insurance write-off,” he said.
He rebuilt it with the help of friends, including Steve Wills, who was a body panel repair specialist.
But it was all kept secret from Matt, for whom the trip was to be a surprise Christmas gift courtesy of wife Karen.
Simon, aged 36, who lives in Laughton en le Morthen, near Rotherham, is a partner with Sheffield-based accountants The McDonald Partnership and met Matt, aged 35, of Swallownest, through computer and IT support company ITS Sheffield.
They had long wanted to join the drive to Monte Carlo and decided “to take the bull by the horns”.
“I have driven abroad but I have never had the chance to drive through six countries in five days,” said Simon.
As for the Porsche, “it’s fun to drive and we’re certainly looking forward to driving it on a long run”.
And what will happen to the Porsche after the run? “I’ll keep it and perhaps do other charity runs,” said Simon.
The duo, who are paying £4,550 to join the adventure, are looking for corporate sponsorship to help boost their charity fundraising efforts.