A CLASSIC car enthusiast and one lucky passenger are to be the first to drive across the new Llanddowror bypass which is being officially opened today (Wednesday, April 16).

Welsh Goverment transport minister Edwina Hart will open the new 9.6km section of road on the A477 between Red Roses and St Clears. It is hoped the bypass will improve travelling times and safety.

Malcolm Powell, of Pembroke, and one lucky raffle winner, will drive over the bypass in Malcolm’s old Morris 8 two-seater tourer.

The classic car, lovingly named Mrs Jones, will be 77-years-old on Thursday.

“We threw a big party for Mrs Jones on her 75th birthday,” said Malcolm. “She was given cards and presents, even petrol tokens.”

In their four and a half years together he and Mrs Jones have been to many shows and enjoyed plenty of trips across the county with Pembrokeshire Classic Car Club.

But Malcolm is filled with trepidation for Wednesday’s grand opening. “I’m a bit nervous about the car letting me down,” he said.

“She’s not temperamental, she’s a nice little car and she’s going well but you can never tell.

“You always have it in the back of your mind that everybody will be watching and waiting, and she won’t move, like a horse at the races. I’ll be excited once it’s all over.”

But life is good behind the wheel. “The children love her,” he said. “People respect old cars on the road and they enjoy looking at her. I’m enjoying it and I want them to enjoy it.”

For the last seven years, Malcolm, who also owns a Morris 1000, has organised the classic car charity evenings on Wednesday evenings at Cresswell Quay.

This year’s events, which kick off in May, will be in aid of the Paul Sartori Foundation again. And there is even more fun to be had with new events on a Sunday afternoon at The Plough Inn, Sageston.