A FORMER motor racing champion is gearing up to drive a 109-year-old classic car across America in memory of her late husband.
Joy Rainey, a racing driver of restricted growth, has already proved that size does not matter in the world of motor sport, scooping scores of hill-climb titles and speed records in the 1980s and 90s.
Mrs Rainey, aged 60, of Wickhamford, near Evesham, planned to make the 2,820- mile trip across the USA with husband Trevor Hulks in 2009 but he fell ill with prostate cancer which led to his death soon afterwards.
Now Mrs Rainey is determined to make the trip by herself to raise at least £20,000 for Cancer Research UK in his honour. The money will be channelled into a new project looking at how to stop cancer spreading through the body.
Mrs Rainey will be travelling from Oceanside, California, to Daytona Beach, Florida in a 1904 curved dash Oldsmobile which will be shipped to America ready for the epic journey on April 13.
Mrs Rainey showed off the car at Abbey Medical Practice in Evesham last Saturday.
She was accompanied by sponsor Jim Carr of Durite in Colchester and her mechanics Mark Riley and Nick Cooper.
There are no spare parts for vintage Oldsmobiles so all have to be individually manufactured.
The seven horsepower ‘horseless carriage’ has been specially adapted for Mrs Rainey and will cover a total of 2,826 miles in four weeks across 6,400ft mountains and hot deserts.
Mrs Rainey said: “Trevor and I were intending to make this journey together in 2009 but I put it off because he fell ill. Now it feels like unfinished business.
“Trevor’s cancer spread very quickly through his body so I feel passionately about raising funds into metastasis (cancer spread).
“Once the intricacies of how cancer cells spread and this most deadly secret is unlocked, scientists will be able to develop groundbreaking treatments to prevent cancer spreading and bring forward the day when all cancers are cured and change the future of cancer treatment forever.”
Dr Irene Henry from the Abbey Medical Practice is encouraging people to raise funds.
She said: “The spread of cancer is responsible for 90 per cent of cancer deaths so this is an enormously important project.”