New invitation-only luxury car events 'to boost tourism'

Cars at Candacraig House Cars with a combined total of £15m at Billy Connolly's Candacraig House

A new series of invitation-only events for car enthusiasts next year will bring a boost for Scottish tourism, organisers and VisitScotland have said.

Called The Cognoscenti, the road trips and hotel stays are restricted to owners of sports, luxury and historic cars produced on, or before 1973.

An inaugural event was held this year at comedian Billy Connolly's Candacraig House in Aberdeenshire.

Cars brought to that event were worth more than £15m in total.

Next year's events will be held across Scotland.

'Great endorsement'

Owners of an AC Coupe A98, which took part in 1964's Le Mans 24-hour endurance race, and a 1924 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost once owned by an Indian maharaja have expressed interest in taking part.

Described as a luxury brand, The Cognoscenti has been set up by businessmen David Goodwin and Raymond Gray.

Mr Goodwin sold a telecoms business last year, while Mr Gray has sold rights to intellectual properties such as children's animations Little Monsters to the BBC and Microscopic Milton to Disney.

Mr Goodwin said: "The response from our first event has been somewhat overwhelming.

"It proves that there is a desire from discerning classic car owners to join like-minded people in pursuit of their passion."

VisitScotland chairman Mike Cantlay said the events would benefit from Scotland's "plethora of great driving roads and breathtaking scenery".

He added that the events would act as a "great endorsement" of Scottish tourism.

Minister for Tourism Fergus Ewing said: "It is encouraging to see owners holding these popular events in Scotland providing a boost to our tourism industry in the process."

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