Suffolk businessman to complete classic car journey to raise money for charities close to his heart
- Credit: Archant
A Suffolk businessman who survived a heart attack 30 years ago is set to complete a lifetime ambition – a classic car road trip to raise money for two charities.
Chris Withers, from Walsham-le-Willows, will drive a Ferrari 308GTB – which he will have spent 22 months restoring to its former glory – to see old school friend Roger Borrell, who lives at Karystos on the the Greek island of Evia.
Sadly, Roger has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and so Chris has pledged to raise money for both the British Heart Foundation and Parkinson’s UK as part of the planned Suffolk to Greece road trip in July 2019.
Chris hopes to raise £20,000 for the charities through sponsorship via two JustGiving pages.
The epic journey of more than 2,000 miles will see Chris, accompanied by wife Ros, drive through France, stopping at Reims and Dijon race tracks, then into Italy via the Mont Blanc tunnel and on to Monza, Imola and Pescara before driving down to Brindisi and catching a ferry to Greece.
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The trip is expected to take around four weeks with Chris and Ros arriving in time to celebrate Roger’s 70th birthday.
Chris said: “It’s something I need to do. I promised to make a donation when the GP and the NHS saved my life 30 years ago.
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“I was only 38 at the time and had everything to live for – my wife, my two children and my career. Since it happened I have made some good life decisions – set up my own business and started another business from my hobby of classic car restoration – and now I want to drive across Europe to see and help out a friend who has himself now been affected by a debilitating disease.
“It’s my aim to raise as much money as I can to donate to these two great fund raising bodies because as time goes on these diseases will be beaten by research. It’s just a matter of time and money.”
Chris is restoring the Ferrari 308GTB at the business he and his son, Mike Withers, now manage – GTB Restorations of Cotton, Suffolk.
Chris added: ‘The restoration of this classic car has been on my bucket list of things to do for some time now. It will take thousands of hours to do but it is a beautiful car to work on.”