The club was started in 1989 by Chris Glasbey, ably assisted by his wife Pat.
Chris had owned a TR3A since 1975 and was a long standing member of the TR Register, but he wanted to do more than static shows and wanted to run a classic car tour to benefit a children’s charity. This was not to be and he was concerned that some classic car tours were being run as a business, profiting from the owners.
Deciding that he had to do something he came up with the idea of forming a unique organisation with aims to raise money for charity.
The name was conceived quite quickly – SPORTING (for all classic cars and new sports cars) and BEARS (children’s charities), and the logo is, of course, a TR3 with a bear driving, chosen in part for its similarity to a Noddy car (for those old enough to remember).
The club’s first local meeting was in September 1989, and the first national event was the International Classic and Sportscar Show at the NEC in May 1990. On that occasion we collected about £800 in donations.
The "Bears", are a dedicated group of classic car and sports car enthusiasts with the primary aim - to raise money for children's charities through our own social and touring events, and to support other charitable events.
It is to the club's credit that annual subscriptions support the club overheads, and the members provide the cars, time and effort at their own cost thus allowing all monies raised from Dream Rides® and other events to be directed towards the selected charities.
As the club has become known for what it does it has attracted more support from the public, and invaluable support from show organisers, and to date has raised approximately £2.3 million for children’s charities.
At last year’s Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show, with Discovery it raised over £16000.
Who can join?
Although the club is open to the owners of all classic saloons and sportscars, as well as modern sports cars and kit cars of a sporting nature, it also has a number of members who do not own such cars but they enjoy helping the Bears to fund raise by assisting at shows and other functions.
The members’ cars vary from a 1913 Ford Model T up to the very latest sports cars.
It also features something special or rare where possible. Last March at the NEC, for example there was a rare MG SVR, and last November had an equally rare Wiesmann GT and the latest sports car to arrive in the UK – the new Alpine A110.
Last March also debuted two traction engines for Dream Rides thanks to terrific support from members of the National Traction Engine Trust.
Find the Sporting Bears team in Hall 5.