AN ALVA man who took part in a Monte Carlo rally to honour his late wife will bow out next year after describing the conditions as “brutal”.

Gordon Best and his wife Moira had dreamed of taking part in the rally throughout their 47-year-marriage and planned to enter last year’s event, but Moira sadly died three months before at the age of 69.

The Clacks husband promised her he would still take part in the event in her memory, and in January 2017 he drove more than 1,300 miles in the couple’s classic car.

He never thought that he would do it again until his son Duncan started “bending his ear” to do it again, so that he could do it with him.

Gordon said: “Last year I said I would never do it again because it is non-stop driving. Even though you have a partner, one of you has to navigate while the other drives.

“I did it last year because I promised Moira as we were going to do it together. The only reason I did it again was because my son kept bending my ear, so he did it to honour his mum.”

Gordon said this year’s rally was a much more challenging race than last year due to the conditions with snow taller than himself towering above the car.

The 72-year-old said: “It was brutal. Really challenging this year. Going down, we hit the biggest pothole I have ever seen. It knocked all sorts of things out the car, which all had to be repaired, but we just had to keep going.

“The snow was awful, at one point we were going at 10mph. There are five Scottish cars still over there that crashed."

Gordon, who served as a police superintendent in South Africa before moving back to the UK, part in the rally to raise money for Scotland’s Beatson Cancer Care Centre and Strathcarron Hospice.

The grandad-of-five and his late wife bought a 1960 Rover P4100 in 2014 and worked on the car to get it ready at his daughter’s farm, where she opted to stay rather than join her dad and brother on this year’s rally.

Going from Paisley to Monaco, the race took its toll on Gordon, although he says they were well looked after with a “tremendous” gala dinner after the event.

Last year, Gordon raised a little more than £7,000 for the charity, but says that they have raised a “couple thousand more” so far. However, he is reluctant to put a number on it yet as donations are still rolling in until March at various events.

While this may have been his final Monte Carlo rally, he has no plans to give up altogether.

He said: “That’s the last time I’ll do that, but I am considering entering the North Coast 500 – a road trip which takes in 500 miles of Scottish coastline.”