Beaujolais Run fun for Essex father-son duo

Nick and James McCaffrey, from Essex, with their Beaujolais in France

Nick and James with their stash of Beaujolais - Credit: The McCaffrey family

A father-son duo from Essex took their 1963 Jaguar E-type to France in a 48-year-old competition.

Nick and James McCaffrey took on the Beaujolais Run - a series of motoring challenges which begin in London and end in the French Rhône Valley.

The Wimbish pair worked out the shortest route between RAF Northolt and the commune of Beaujeu using map navigation only.

Their adventure won them tasting of this year's Beaujolais Nouveau before it was released to the public.

The wine is celebrated because it does not keep for long periods of time.

Nick, 60, and James, 28, completed the Run in honour of James' late grandfather, Wing Commander Harold Manuel, and have raised more than £1,500 for the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund in the challenge to date.

A military parade on a runway in front of four vintage cars

A parade to mark the Beaujolais Run, which raises money for the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, with Nick and James' Jaguar E-Type on show (second from right) - Credit: The McCaffrey family

Nick said: "We had a fitting start to our run at RAF Northolt in London at a highly guarded, top-secret launch.

"We toured the RAF 32 Squadron hangar with Wing Commander Paula Willmot MBE, where the RAF's VIP flights are based.

"We were privileged to have a full RAF drill display and a guard of honour for our departure from Northolt as we headed for France."

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Nick and James drove through Champagne, Bourgogne and Macon en route to the Beaujolais wine region.

They reached Beaujeu in time for Beaujolais Nouveau celebrations at midnight on the third Thursday in November.

A 1963 Jaguar E-type in France

Nick and James' 1963 Jaguar E-type in France. The first E-types were manufactured 60 years ago, in 1961 - Credit: The McCaffrey family

Nick said: "A race to the square and we had made it.

"At this point, we had covered over 800 miles in our E-type, and it hadn't missed a beat.

"On the way home, everyone on the run was invited to Chateau de la Marquetterie, owned by the Taittinger wine family, where James and I were delighted to win the coveted L'Espirit du Cours (Spirit of the Course) award.

"From there - back to Blighty!"

A bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau and a prize for winning the Beaujolais Run L'esprit du Cours on a 1963 E-Type

Precious cargo - a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau on Nick and James' 1963 Jaguar E-Type after winning the L'esprit du Cours - Credit: The McCaffrey family

The run began as a private challenge between two wine columnists in the 1970s, Joseph Berkmann and Clement Freud.

It is now a charity event.

Nick said he and James want to thank everyone who has donated to their RAF Benevolent Fund fundraiser.

Nick and James' fundraiser is online: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/teamgingerbr2021