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A big trip for little tike: Brothers to drive 5000 miles in memory of baby Rafferty

Jonathan Kelly (drivers side) with Philip, his brother , will be travelling to Morocco in the Banger Rally in September to raise funds for CHAS in appreciation of the treatment his baby boy Rafferty got when he died age three weeks from a terminal spinal condition. (Wattie Cheung)
Jonathan Kelly (drivers side) with Philip, his brother , will be travelling to Morocco in the Banger Rally in September to raise funds for CHAS in appreciation of the treatment his baby boy Rafferty got when he died age three weeks from a terminal spinal condition. (Wattie Cheung)

IT has been the first car for generations of drivers and the jaunty red and yellow motor is a famous around the world.

Now the £45 Little Tike toy car is about to set off on a 5000-mile round trip to the Sahara, bolted to a lookalike Smart Car.

It will take part in one of the world’s wackiest car rallys, from the UK to Morocco.

At the wheel are brothers Jonathan and Philip Kelly, who have five days to make it through France and Spain then over to Africa.

The Little Tikes Cozy Coupe and its doppelganger will take part in the Banger Rally with dozens of other weird and wonderful motors.

Interior designer Jonathan, 34, from Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire, said: “We are game for anything that involves driving.

“The Smart Car was bought in London for £500. That’s the maximum value of a car allowed to take part in the rally.

“I hit on the idea to turn it into a Little Tike and we went ahead with the paintwork.

“The toy Tike came from an appeal on social media. Until recently it was lying unused in someone’s garage.

“Now it’s going on the biggest adventure of its life.

“There are 50,000 miles on the big car’s clock and probably just a couple on the Tike – if it had a clock.

“As for the Smart Car, it can reach a maximum speed of 60mph and we get about 50 miles to the gallon.

“It’s been a fairly easy ride so far, so here’s hoping that continues.

“When we are out and about heads do turn when we pull up at traffic lights.

“All going well, we will arrive in Gibraltar with the rest of the cars.

“From there we jump on the ferry and head to Morocco, to the foothills of the Sahara.”
Jonathan’s other cars are a Volvo and classic Mercedes and undersea engineer Philip, drives a Lotus.

“It’s different from anything else we have driven but the most fun, by far,” Jonathan smiled.

The journey is inspired by the loss of Jonathan’s baby son Rafferty.

Jonathan and his wife Lynne 34, were heartbroken when he passed away when he was only weeks old.

“He was born four weeks early in July 2014, and passed all his new-born checks.

“After four happy weeks his muscles became floppy. We were living in London at the time and took him hospital.

“Tests revealed he had type-1 spinal muscular atrophy. A family friend put us in touch with CHAS (Children’s Hospices Across Scotland) and Rafferty was offered a bed so we returned to Scotland.

“They made it possible for us to spend three precious weeks with Rafferty before he passed away.

“We just want to help other families by raising £10,000 for CHAS.”

The couple have two other sons, Drummond, aged 2, and Wilf, nine months old.

Jonathan Clegg, CHAS community fundraiser, said: “The rally is a beautiful way to fundraise in Rafferty’s memory. We wish them the best of luck on their trip.”

The rally sets off from St Austell, Cornwall, in September.

Donate at justgiving.com/fundraising/teamcozycoupe