A classic car aficionado was left ‘speechless and grinning from ear to ear’ when a collection of vehicles from different eras turned up outside the door of his Dorset nursing home.
Knowing of his long-standing hobby, team members at Colten Care’s Newstone House in Sturminster Newton arranged the surprise birthday treat for resident Jim Atkins.
They contacted local owners’ club Sturminster Newton Car & Bike Enthusiasts who brought along nine of their much-loved vehicles to display at the Outstanding-rated home.
The models included a beautiful early 1950s Alvis limousine, various cars from the 1960s, a Normandy Landings US army jeep and a Porsche 911 sports car.
Jim was especially taken with a red Sunbeam Alpine, a British marque made famous in popular culture through appearances in 1960s films such as the James Bond blockbuster Dr No and the Michael Caine-Shirley MacLaine comedy heist caper Gambit.
Weymouth-born Jim, a retired farmer, has been a classic car enthusiast all his life with a particular fondness for red models, so the Sunbeam was a definite draw.
After touring the collection and speaking with club members, Jim said: “There were so many cars I wanted to drive them all. It was wonderful. Thank you so much to everyone who helped to make this happen.”
Club founder Chris Spackman, who arrived in the Porsche 911, said: “It was an absolute pleasure and very rewarding for us to meet and bring pleasure to Jim and a fellow resident, and for them to have the opportunity to enjoy our vehicles.”
Karlene Duffy, Companionship Team leader at Newstone House, said: “Jim always talks about car shows he has been to, and he has a passion for classic cars, with lovely memories of red ones in particular.
“When the owners’ club kindly offered to bring some of their collection over for Jim to see we thought it would be a lovely early Christmas present for him and a chance to rekindle memories of driving on the open road in years gone by.
“We weren’t disappointed – Jim was speechless for most of the time and grinning from ear to ear.”