A smart owner has masterminded his own fundraising mission to Italy, returning with thousands of pounds for his chosen charity.
Nathan Kift, who was accompanied by his step-brother Craig Jackson, drove his 2003 smart fortwo pulse coupe over 2,100 miles to Venice and back in aid of Gloucester Royal Hospital's Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU).
Thanks to the generosity of well-wishers and the faultless reliability of his daily-driven smart fortwo, Nathan's 'smart2venice' run saw him and Craig recently present the hospital with a cheque for over £5,500 - the biggest single donation the Scoo-B-Doo charity has ever received.
The duo were inspired to take on the seven-day driving marathon after Nathan's son, Archie, was born weighing just 1lb 15 ounces in August 2007 and spent eight weeks in the care of the SCBU.
"The nurses saved Archie's life and it was experiencing their care that made me want to do something in return," explained Nathan, who lives with Archie and his wife, Kate, in Westbury-on-Severn, Gloucestershire.
"It was the nurses that actually gave me the idea as they were always looking at the smart and suggested I use it in some way. Once we'd decided on doing a run, Venice seemed ideal as Kate and I were really taken with it on a previous visit and I liked the idea of driving somewhere that is famous for having no cars!"
Despite having some reservations about how tiring the trip might be in his 600cc smart fortwo, Nathan's worries were completely unfounded.
"The smart was actually the only reliable part of the trip and even though we were driving for 12 hours a day, we were always comfortable and it performed superbly, especially when it came to fuel economy and crossing the Alps!" said Nathan.
"Through doing the run I've seen a level of generosity that I never thought existed and I'm certain that the smart's universal appeal played a major part in helping us to raise so much."Published 18 November 2008