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Petrolheads flock to Fife for Bacon and Brakes at Rhynd Café

Paul Bracey with the inaugural Bacon and Brakes trophy and his 1986 Land Rover.
Paul Bracey with the inaugural Bacon and Brakes trophy and his 1986 Land Rover. Pic: Alan Richardson.

Fife has become a monthly magnet for car fans as enthusiasts hit the road again with their pride and joy after the pandemic.

And it means all roads lead to the Rhynd Café, near Leuchars on the first Sunday of the month for its Bacon and Brakes gathering.

E-Type Jaguar
A visitor admires a stunning Jaguar E Type. Pic: Alan Richardson.

At the weekend the latest event drew an eclectic turnout ranging from a late 1920s Austin to hot-rod American V8 pick-up trucks and modern era supercars.

The interesting array is exactly what Rhynd owner and self-confessed car nut Ed Foster hoped it would become.

Looking under the bonnet of one of the Bacon and Brakes arrivals.
Looking under the bonnet of one of the Bacon and Brakes arrivals. Pic: Alan Richardson.

Farm diversification

Motorsport journalist Ed juggles writing for magazines and helping at events such as the famous Goodwood Revival and Festival of Speed with running The Rhynd.

In a major diversification of the family farm near Tentsmuir beach, it is now a thriving cafe and busy events space hosting weddings, parties and other celebrations.

The Rhynd Cafe is filled with motoring memorabilia.
The Rhynd Cafe is filled with motoring memorabilia.

The cafe’s motoring theme is strong, with rare memorabilia adorning the walls and cutlery contained in classic pint oil jugs.

And Ed manages to fit in time to fettle his own collection of cars.

It includes a thunderous Chevrolet Impala US motor racing legend Dan Gurney took to within two laps of victory in a Silverstone British Saloon Car Championship race in 1961.

Lancia Stratos
One of the striking machines at Bacon and Brakes. Pic: Alan Richardson.

Back in gear after Covid

Bacon and Brakes got into gear in 2019 before the pandemic stalled its initial success.

And Ed says he’s pleased to see it taking off again as the wider business moves through the gears in its coronavirus recovery.

Coffee and cars-style events are common south of the border and across the world, but Ed felt there was an opportunity to do something for folk from Fife, Tayside and further afield.

The Rhynd
MGs, Mustang, VW Beetle and Austin in the line-up Pic: Alan Richardson.

“I love cars and it’s really cool to be able to do something car-related here at The Rhynd,” he said.

“The wonderful thing about having a regular event like this is that owners just love to meet and talk to each other.

“This isn’t a concourse show for vehicles which never get out of the garage.

“It’s chance for owners to bring whatever they have to The Rhynd to meet other enthusiasts and share their passion.

“The stories behind the vehicles which come here are what fascinates me.”

And it means an interesting line-up of two and four wheels.

Bacon and Brakes takes place from 10am to noon on the first Sunday of the month.

Rhynd cafe
Bikers also bring their machines to Bacon and Brakes. Pic Alan Richardson.

First Bacon and Brakes award

The weekend saw the first Bacon and Brakes Best in Show prize handed out as a recognition of the event’s growing popularity.

I was privileged to be invited to pick a winner from the dozens of cars and motorcycles.

And with such an impressive selection it was no mean feat.

But in the spirit of the event, one 4×4 was by far a standout.

Paul Bracey receives the award from Graham Brown and Ed Foster of The Rhynd.
Paul Bracey receives the award from Graham Brown and Ed Foster of The Rhynd. Pic: Alan Richardson.

Since 1992, Paul Bracey from Perth has been the owner of a 1986 Land Rover 90.

But its uniqueness is that it was just one of 14 made – and only two from the UK – for that year’s gruelling Camel Trophy race.

Sometimes called the Olympics of 4×4, the event took competitors through the world’s most hostile terrain.

It included the jungles of Madagascar and Papua New Guinea to the desolation of Mongolia and Siberia.

The 1986 Camel Trophy ran from Cooktown in Queensland to Darwin.

“This vehicle came third overall,” said Paul.

Only three owners

“I am only the third owner of it, after Land Rover and (US tobacco firm and Camel owner) R J Reynolds.

“In one day of the event alone the teams completed 750 kilometres.”

The Land Rover remains in its distinctive original sandglow paint.

Paul Bracey with his Bacon and Brakes award
Paul Bracey with his Bacon and Brakes award. Pic: Alan Richardson.

And carries the specialist kit added to get competitors out of any tricky situation.

Paul, 62, said: “One of the best things about owning this vehicle is the people you meet along the way when you take it anywhere.

“I love driving it – it’s unique and has such a good story.”

Paul is currently restoring a 1983 Land Rover 110 and also has a 1960 Jaguar MK II and 1977 Triumph Dolomite Sprint in his collection.

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