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Rochdale Olympic Championed by Driving Ambition

Rochdale Olympic champions gear up for Hospice fundraising drive.

A local classic car enthusiast and owner of one of the only remaining 55 road registered Rochdale Olympic classic cars is gearing up to raise money for Hospice Care as he takes on a journey and challenge to drive from Rochdale to Mallorca in a fifty year old car.

It’s 10 years since Dot Butterworth died at Springhill Hospice, so along with co-driver Bob Daniels, Bamford resident, Martyn Butterworth, is taking on a 1300 mile journey to remember his late wife, in aid of patient care at Springhill Hospice. 

Both keen drivers, Martyn and Bob,  who have been supporting Springhill for years through various events including having a table at the annual Man of Rochdale luncheon, are gearing up for a journey of a lifetime, to drive from Rochdale to Mallorca in a renovated 1963 British classic sports car.

“The care that my wife Dot received at Springhill was amazing, they looked after her and the family with kindness, care and compassion, so I’d wanted to do something special to mark this 10 year anniversary to help other local people who are in need of end-of –life care’ explained Martyn.

Martyn and Bob’s week long trip will be in the “comfort” of Martyn’s renovated sporty, two door, coupe a1963 Rochdale Olympic Phase ii which was manufactured by local firm Rochdale Motor Panels. 

The Rochdale’s were fibre glass sports cars made and developed by Rochdale Motor Panels between 1948 and 1973. The company was founded by Frank Butterworth and Harry Smith in a mill on Hudson Street and are best known for producing the Olympic Coupe between 1959 and 1973. The Olympic model was named after the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. The Rochdale compared favourably against Blackpool's TVR and  Lotus  and forged a reputation for quality and pioneering design that remains outstanding today among classic car enthusiasts and was the world’s first true Monocoque design.

Their journey will start at The Elephant and Castle, Bury Road, from there the intrepid pair will be driving to Portsmouth, catching a ferry to Caen in France where they’ll be taking a little diversion to the home of long distance motor racing Le Mans. From Le Mans onto Angouleme.They will then be motoring south through France, taking in some breath-taking scenery including the stunning views as they cross the world famous Millau suspension bridge in southern France.  The autoroutes of France will give way to the Spanish autopistas before the pair swap tarmac for decking to take a ferry from Barcelona to their final destination on the island of Mallorca.

Looking forward to their adventure,  Martyn explained,  “This will be a week to remember for so many different reasons. Myself, Bob and this little piece of Rochdale history, will be helping to raise money to help care for others, at the same time as being a wonderful way to remember Dot, as Mallorca was a very special place in her heart.  We’ve received so much support and encouragement from family and friends who have so far pledged over £1,000 in sponsorship in our First Week, all of which will benefit patients at Springhill Hospice”.

Barring breakdowns, the pair, who are ready and able to carry out any running repairs, will arrive in Mallorca just in time to show off the best of Rochdale Motor Panel’s classic car design when attending the Club De Cotxes , Mallorca Classic Car Club’s annual show at Port Adriano. The Committee having scrutinised pictures and the history behind Martyn’s Rochdale Olympic car, the club will be welcoming Martyn and Bob as special guests to their annual dinner, the members all having agreed that this ground breaking  little green sports car is certainly a real classic worthy of their attention.

Martyn and Bob are funding their memorable journey meaning all the sponsorship they receive will go directly to caring for patients at Springhill Hospice.  If you’d like to sponsor the pair, motor on to their Just Giving page ww.­justgiving.­com/­fundraising/­martyn-butterworth and if you’d like to witness the start of Martyn and Bob’s classic journey for yourself, make sure you’re at The Elephant & Castle on Bury Rd @ 10.30 am on Monday 17th September to give them a wave and a Springhill Smile.