Al Capone car heads for Driffield rally

A past Steam Rally road run
A past Steam Rally road run

Over the past three years, the annual Driffield Steam and Vintage Rally has been noted for the quality of its Steam Car Section and this year’s event, to be held on 10 and 11 August, promises to be the best yet.

Included in the line up are cars made by Doble, White and no fewer than nine different types of Stanley steamers.

The most unusual of these cars is the sole surviving Doble D2, the oldest Doble in existence.

It was built by Abner Doble in 1921 and the chassis used as a mobile test bed before being sold in 1922 to his boiler shop foreman who had a four seater tourer body fitted. Capable of 80 mph, it can be driven off in 30 seconds from cold.

This beautifully restored car, owned by Barry Herbert, of Little Weighton, will be having one of its very rare outings at the rally.

Another unique car appearing will be the 1930s American Hupmobile converted by the Cole brothers to steam power using a Jowett engine. Mr Phil Rounce, of the East Riding Engine Club, said: “Presently undergoing restoration, it is not thought to have been seen in public for over 40 years.”

A car again to be on display at Driffield is the Stanley Model 740D which belonged to a member of Al Copone’s gang involved in the 1929 ‘St Valentine’s Day Massacre’ in Chicago. It is now nearing the end of its restoration by owner Richard Marriott of Brigg.

Many of the steam cars will be given an opportunity to show off their paces on early morning runs around the East Yorkshire countryside before returning for display and ring events at the Driffield Showground. On the Saturday night, they will form part of the traditional road run of rally exhibits into Driffield town centre which helps to raise funds for Yorkshire Cancer Research.

Last August’s rally was the most successful in the event’s history and meant that the Club was able to make record donations totalling £10,200 to local charities. Chairman, Harold Bell, said that this was a significant amount for a small club and something to be very proud of. Cheques were handed to Driffield Branch of Yorkshire Cancer Research, British Heart Foundation, McMillan Nurses, Fire Service and Police Benevolent funds, St John Ambulance, Kirkburn Church, Nafferton Millennium Committee, Dove House Hospice, Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Driffield Old Folks Tea. Yorkshire Cancer Research collected £2400 from public donations during the Saturday night road run.