Non Standard Awards: now supporting Nick Mason and the Allard Chrysler Action Group.

  • 20th October 2009

    Performance Direct insurance has launched the second wave of its Non-Standard Motoring Awards with a match-funding initiative for the Allard Chryler Action Group. The scheme aims to raise £5,000 towards the restoration of Europe's first dragster, the Allard Chrysler, now owned by the National Motor Museum Trust at Beaulieu.

    About the Non Standard Awards

    The Non Standard Awards is a unique scheme that identifies and offers cash sponsorship to motoring enthusiasts who are proud to be different.

    Performance Direct, one of the UK's leading independent insurance brokers, is well known in the insurance industry for being able to help customers with more unusual insurance requests.

    As well as standard motor insurance, Performance Direct caters for the drivers of what the industry calls 'non-standard' vehicles – classic cars and motorcycles, imported vehicles, modified and high value vehicles. They help so-called ‘non standard drivers' too – to the insurance industry this doesn't mean anything unusual; the self employed, drivers with points on their licence or individuals who use their car for work are all ‘non-standard'.

    Proud to be Different

    Through Performance Direct's work with car clubs, classic, modified and prestige vehicles, the company often identifies individuals with unusual motoring ideas and dreams. These include vehicle restoration projects, original road trips, record attempts, charity events and challenges. In many cases, however, these ideas remain untried, often because the individuals lack the basic finance to make the idea happen.

    With the creation of the Non Standard Awards, that's all changed.

    The Latest Non Standard Awards Winner

    Built in the winter of 1960/1961, the Allard Chrysler dragster was first fired up in public during the summer of 1961. The sound of its blown and injected 354 cubic inch Chrysler V8 engine, along with its strange sleek looks, became the siren for the sport right up until 1964 when it ran during the Drag Racing Festival organised by Sydney Allard. It was the inspirational car for many British and European enthusiasts who set about building their own machines for standing start quarter mile races, and the car sowed the seed for what has now become a professional sport right across Europe – the sport of drag racing.

    A part-restoration of the car was carried out by Brian Golder in the 1980s, and after his passing the Allard Chrysler dragster was bequeathed to the National Motor Museum Trust, a charitable organisation dedicated to preserving and promoting motoring history. As well as a world famous collection of vehicles and associated motoring items on display in the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, the Trust has an educational mission. As such it cares for a large collection of objects, images, documents and books in its Collection Centre that is located close to the museum.

    In 2008, a group of drag racing enthusiasts from the past and the present decided to form the Allard Chrysler Action Group (ACAG) to raise the funds and provide the expertise to complete Brian Golder's restoration of the dragster. The ACAG is approved by the museum's Trustees in this role, so that eventually the car can be fired up and paraded at special events. Thus Sydney Allard and his dragster's place in history will be secured, and the sound as well as the sight of the car will be accessible to all.

    Patron of the ACAG is Pink Floyd's Nick Mason. He is a Trustee of the National Motor Museum and a keen collector of classic cars that he races whenever he can. Nick said,

    "I'm so pleased to welcome Performance Direct as a backer of our efforts to restore the Allard Chrysler dragster as a working exhibit for the Museum. The ACAG has worked tirelessly to build awareness in the restoration and we have so far raised funds via selling ACAG shirts, limited edition prints, paintings, holding auctions and accepting donations. Hopefully this Performance Direct contribution will inspire other companies to become involved in this very exciting project".

    Matthew Collett, Marketing Director of Performance Direct, said:

    "We're delighted to be supporting Nick Mason and the ACAG team in their efforts to get this iconic dragster back on the road. They're a highly professional team and we're pleased to able to add the Non Standard Awards to their prestigious list of supporters.

    We also hope that by offering to match the funds the Group raises between now and the end of May 2010, we'll help to encourage more donations and more interest in this fascinating project."

    Chairman of the ACAG Brian Taylor said,

    "This is another important step towards getting the Allard Chrysler dragster up and running again. We have nearly raised enough funds to place an order for the engine. Improvements in our website hosted by make it easier for people to become involved and donate money. We now have a Pay Pal facility and our dedicated website address of My personal ACAG email address is now Furthermore we have recently opened a Facebook page for the car to keep people informed and exchange views. Already the dragster has many friends in the USA who love the idea of restoring such an important quarter mile machine"

    The Non Standard Awards: How they Work and How to Get Involved

    Whether you have dreams of driving from Lands End to John O'Groats in a tank, restoring a classic vehicle to drive to Borneo, or painting your motor to look like the Sistine Chapel, if you need assistance to help realise your driving ambitions or slightly mad projects, then apply for a Non-Standard Award from Performance Direct!

    The more different the idea the better – we don't want anything irresponsible or dangerous – just original, achievable ideas (they should be associated with motoring and if there's a charity element that'll be good, although it's not essential).

    Performance Direct will need to know exactly what finance is required, why you need it and you'll also have to persuade the expert judges that you'll be able to carry out your idea. The judging process will be rigorous, so forget it if you can't deliver!

    How to Apply?

    Applications for the next round of the Non Standard Motoring Awards will be accepted until 28th February 2010.

    In the first instance, click here to apply.

    This should explain, in no more than 200 words, your idea and the amount of money required to make it happen.

    Then, also in less than 200 words, we'll also need to know about you. We'll obviously need proof that your idea is realisable and, as far as you can, that you can ‘pull it off'! Please include any supporting photos or information with the application.

    Every application will be acknowledged and an initial shortlist will be sent out by 31st March 2010. Short listed candidates may be asked to attend an interview with an expert judging panel in London (Some Terms and Conditions will apply).

    Performance Direct is prepared to receive applications for up to £10,000. However, applications for smaller amounts will be looked upon favourably. There is no minimum application and we are happy to act as a co sponsor of an idea.

    Become a Non-Standard Motoring Award Winner with Performance Direct.

    Remember, you need to apply by 28th February 2010.

    Back to Performance Direct Insurance Public Relations.

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