A VINTAGE car dating back to the earliest years of the 20th century was a surprise visitor to Cumbrae this week.

There was much excitement as the 120-year-old car was spotted parked up on top of a trailer waiting to go on the ferry on Tuesday afternoon, before it headed off on the 10.5 mile trip around the island.

And one of our camera club members, Eric Marshall, managed to capture the magnificent machine, which first hit the highways in 1903, as it headed along Ferry Road.

The sight brought to mind a classic photo of the first ever motor car to arrive in Millport in 1922.Largs and Millport Weekly News: The car in the above black and white picture, taken outside Mossbank, Marine Parade, was the first visitors’ car on the island.

It was a Godfrey Nash, the forerunner of all the British sports cars, which was owned by the Reverend John A. Swan of the Ramshorn Kirk in Glasgow.

If you look closely, two boys can be seen in the picture. One is Donald Swan, who went on to run Cumbrae Pottery, and the other is Donald's brother Ian, who later would become the mayor of Clarenville, Newfoundland.

Donald gave late Millport photographer Walter Kerr the old negative - and in turn, Mr Kerr supplied the picture to the Largs and Millport News in 1974.

Without the roll-on, roll-off ferries of nowadays, the motor car would have had to be shipped to the island, and lifted off the ship and on to the pier.

Six years after the photo was taken, the municipal car park at Largs seafront was built in response to the increase in motor car numbers.

Millport also hosts a very popular classic car festival which takes place at the Garrison grounds, run by Jimmy and Eleanor Newton, and attracted more than 100 cars.

The next classic car show on the island takes place on Saturday, May 11, 2024.