Thousands turned out in Paisley this evening to see cars set off for Monte Carlo Classic Rally.
An estimated crowd of around 10,000 turned out to see these magnificent machines and their crews gathered before the start of the race.
A total of sixty-six vehicles set off from just outside Paisley Abbey on the 2,688km trek to the French Riviera - and Paisley the only UK start leg of the world-famous event.
Drivers of their lovingly-preserved Porsches, Triumphs, BMWs and Mini Coopers happily mingled with the public, who seemed enjoyed getting up close to the vehicles.
Irish rallying legend Paddy Hopkirk – who won the rally 50 years ago – joined Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall to wave the cars off on their journey.
The ceremonial first car over the ramp was driven by 1960s female rallying trailblazer Rosemary Smith, partnered by Douglas Anderson, chair of the Rally Start Committee.
Paisley was joined by Stockholm, Oslo, Barcelona and Reims as a host venue as start legs set off from throughout Europe.
Renfrewshire Council closed off part of the town centre to allow the crowds to line the streets and get the best view of the cars.
We also had a link with Renfrewshire’s car-building heritage, with a display of Hillman Imps, built at the former Rootes car plant in nearby Linwood.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “Paisley is fast building a reputation as a venue for top-class town-centre events – and successfully hosting the Rally is just the latest boost to that. “We were delighted to see the Renfrewshire public get behind the event in such numbers and am sure they enjoyed the spectacle of the occasion.”
Douglas Anderson, chair of the rally start committee, said: “Once again, the response from the public has been incredible. "This is a truly international spectacle and we hope to bring the event back to Scotland in 2015.”
So, all in all a great night for motor sport and Paisley.
Before the Start
Colourful Cars at Paisley Abbey
1968 Volvo 122S
MG - At the Ready
Time is of the Essence
Friends Ready to Go in Their Triumph TR3A
Rosemary Smith - Paddy Hopkirk - Provost Anne
Singer Chamois Starts Off
Ready for the Off
More images are available at - www.dougie-coull-photography.co.uk - better resolution and options to licence.