Twins' Italian job in memory of their dad

A set of identical twins are revving up for an emotional journey driving their dad's restored Ford Cortina to Italy in his memory.

Friday, 24th June 2016, 3:12 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 8:25 pm
Richard Barker, left, with his identical twin, Christopher.

Castleford businessman Roy Barker died aged 67 in 2014 after a battle with cancer.

Now after restoring their dad’s beloved 1982 Ford, brothers Richard and Christopher Barker will drive it in July to Cortina d’Ampezzo in Northern Italy, which shares its name with the classic car.

The pair have spent hundreds of pounds and countless hours refurbishing, painting and changing components in the half-century-old car to make it road-ready.

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The Ford Cortina.

Dad-of-two Richard, who lives in Methley, said: “It has been an emotional journey already for us and we haven’t set off yet. We have a lot of memories with the car. Both me and my brother learned to drive in it so there’s a lot of family connection. I wish my dad could be there with us but we will do it for him.”

He will be joined on the trip by his son Jake, 13, and nephew Evan, 16.

Mechanic and friend Graham Ellis will also take to the road on the journey, along with a family cousin.

They are also raising money for Yorkshire Cancer Centre, which is based at St James’ Hospital in Leeds, where his dad was treated.

The Ford Cortina.

Mr Barker, who owned The Washer Shop in Bridge Street, Castleford, was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney cancer in 2012 and doctors studied him to learn about the disease.

Richard added: “We feel raising funds might just help to give others a chance in the future of recovery that he never got.” They are aiming to raise £10,000 for the charity.

Christopher, who is assistant headteacher at Park Junior Academy in Castleford, is helping organise a summer fair fundraiser at the school.

Mr Barker bought the 44-year-old Cortina from Martin’s Garage in Oxford Street in 1982.