Steam Packet Company supported teams raise more than £6,000 at 'Italian Job' rally


A group of local ‘Italian Job’ enthusiasts have raised more than £6,000 for a children’s charity, and claimed a top spot on the podium, after competing in a fundraising driving rally in their Classic Minis.

Mary and Ian Sims (Team 9), Pete Rothwell and John Tarrant (Team 10), and father and son Richard and Charlie Henthorn (Team 12), travelled from Douglas to Imola in Northern Italy, with travel support from the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.

Once in Italy they met with fellow ‘Jobbers’ from around the world to compete in The Italian Job 2019, which has raised in excess of £2.5 million for children’s charities in the 30 years it has been running.

Out of the 64 vehicles that took part in the driving adventure, venturing as far south as Rome, Richard and Charlie (Team 12) took the victory, with Team 9 close behind in fourth and Team 10 in 14th position. Team 9’s 1966 Morris Mini Traveller also won an award for being the ‘Oldest Mini On The Job’.

All three Minis ran well and, despite Team 10 finding themselves at the end of a towrope in the centre of Rome after losing all power, they managed not to blow the doors off. Team 9, Ian and Mary, had a blocked windscreen washer hose and the winning pair Richard and Charlie - Team 12 - managed to fix a loose passenger seat, which kept reclining spontaneously, by wedging a box of Italian wine behind it for the remainder of the event!

Participant Ian Sims explained: ‘We had a few minor issues but overall the Minis ran brilliantly. In total, we (Team 9) covered 3,892 miles, the others doing similar mileage, which is great going for three classic cars. Before we set off we ran a ‘Guess the Mileage’ competition, which was won by Ross and Maria from Douglas who guessed 3,894 miles – just two miles off!’

‘We’re delighted to have raised more than £6,000 for the charity Buttle UK between the three teams, which will be used in the Isle of Man to help vulnerable and underprivileged children and young adults. Thanks once again to the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company for its generous support, providing return ferry travel to and from the UK. Thanks also to our many other generous supporters for enabling us to achieve such a fabulous fundraising amount’

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward added: ‘We are pleased to have supported the teams and their fundraising efforts for such worthwhile causes. Congratulations to Team 12 for their overall win and for the amount of money raised by all six competitors.’

The three teams ahead of their voyage to Italy

(L-R) Peter Rothwell and John Tarrant (Team 10), Mary Sims and Ian Sims (Team 9) and Charlie Henthorn and Richard Henthorn (Team 12) on Marine Drive