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 80s and 90s.

Mrs Rainey, aged 60, of Wickhamford, near Evesham, planned to make the 2,820-mile trip across America with husband Trevor Hulks in 2009 but he fell ill with prostate cancer which led to his death. 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 and her doctors surgery is backing her appeal.

Mrs Rainey will be travelling from Los Angeles to Florida in a 1904 curved dash Oldsmobile which will be shipped to America ready for Joy to begin the epic journey on April 13. But before she sets off on her adventure Mrs Rainey showed off the car at Abbey Medical Practice in Evesham. She was accompanied by her main sponsor, Jim Carr of Durite in Colchester, and two mechanics, Mark Riley and Nick Cooper.

There are no spare parts for vintage Oldsmobiles so all spares have to be individually manufactured. The seven horsepower ‘horseless carriage’ runs on a single cylinder and a chain and carries just three gallons of fuel.

It has been specially adapted for Mrs Rainey and will cover a total of 2,826 miles in four weeks across 6,400ft mountains and blisteringly 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 so I feel passionately about raising funds to research metastasis – cancer spread.”

Dr Irene Henry from the Abbey Medical Practice in Evesham, said: “The spread of cancer is responsible for 90 per cent of cancer deaths.”