A RETIRED superintendent from Alva who shared a passion for classic cars with his late wife is preparing to take part in the annual Monte Carlo rally in her memory.

Gordon Best, 72, 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 pensioner promised Moira he would still take part in the event in her memory, and last January he drove more than 1,300 miles in the couple's classic car.

This January Gordon, who served as a police superintendent in South Africa before moving back to the UK, is preparing to take part in the rally again, raising money for Scotland's Beatson Cancer Care Centre and Strathcarron Hospice.

Grandad-of-five Gordon said: "Moira was my soulmate. She passed away 50 years to the day we first met and we always dreamed of completing the Monte Carlo rally together.

"We bought a 1960 Rover P4100 in 2014 and we planned to enter the Classique rally in January last year. We worked together on the car to get it ready for the event – Moira worked on the interior and I worked on the mechanics.

"Moira had been diagnosed with a rare form of melanoma in 2013 but everything seemed to be under control. But then in August 2016 she had a bit of a seizure and it all started to go downhill.

"She was given 24 hour home care by the Strathcarron Hospice and she passed away in October 2016. She made me promise to enter the rally.

"She wanted me to fulfill our dream, and she wanted me to try and raise money for the amazing healthcare professionals who had supported her in her final days."

The Rallye Monte Carlo is organised each year by the Automobile Club de Monaco, which also runs the Formula One Grand Prix in the area and the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique.

The rally now takes place along the French Riviera in the Principality of Monaco and southeast France.

Last January, Gordon drove from Paisley to Monaco in the couple's classic car, and fuel additive company Redex funded the cost of the petrol.

The firm is sponsoring Gordon again this year as he takes on the journey for the second time.

Gordon said: "Redex are simply fantastic. They sponsored me for the cost of the fuel and gave me free product, so it was a great help. I am so grateful for their support."

A spokesperson from Redex added: "When we heard Gordon's story we were keen to help out in some way.

"Gordon and his wife were keen car enthusiasts throughout their lives, and taking part in the Monte Carlo Classique rally was their shared dream, so we were determined to help him get there.

"We are incredibly proud to be sponsoring Gordon as he takes on the journey for the second time and wish him the very best of luck."