Mario joins in on a glamorous night out…

Last night Mario did a prom run and took the Daughter of one of his human’s friends and her mates to the Woolmer Hill Prom Night at the Lythe Hill Hotel. It was a shame that after a few lovely warm days the weather changed just as the evening was approaching.

However the damp conditions certainly didn’t dampen the excitement of the ‘big night out’! We picked up our very well turned out passengers just after six thirty and after photo taking we were waved off by the equally excited parents! After a short journey of just a few miles in which Mario was filled with chatter of hairdressers, make-up and frocks we arrived at the hotel. The whole front of the hotel had been cleared so the cars could swing round and deposit their passengers in style in front of quite a large crowd of spectators.

Mario’s guests got out and had their photo’s taken outside the car, maybe Mario will get in the local paper again. Job done, Mario set off for home leaving the passengers to enjoy their last night with their school mates before going onto local 6th forms.

We only saw a few other students arrive but there was certainly a wide and eccentric collection of ‘Taxis’, including a ‘James Bond’ style silver Aston Martin DB5, Americana, vintage Rolls-Royce and various other classics, I hope Josephine and her friends realised how unusual and rare Mario is. Proms are big business these days and are as accepted and important as they have been in the states for years. We have been asked to do prom runs in the past but this is a first for a friends daughter – scary as it seems only five minutes ago she was a baby and now she’s such an elegant young lady!

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Brooklands Double Twelve and a present…

Last weekend was the Brooklands Double Twelve, as ‘Regie’ the Renault had been to press day we were asked to take him back to compete in the driving tests and so Mario had to stay at home again.

We only went on Sunday (Saturday had been the sprint part of the event for original Brooklands Cars. First stop was scrutineering, pretty basic and once we got seen it only took a few moments, lots of entrants had forgotten to secure their batteries and were sent off to sort them. We met up with several friends including Walter Heale in an Amilcar.DSC09832 After coffee and a pastry our class – short wheelbase saloon cars – was the first off on the tests on the museum site. First test was the Test Hill, this is the view at the start. Regie had no trouble making the hill and the marshall at the top said we were ‘spirited!’DSC09841There were four tests in the morning, one after another on the banking and finishing straight. The pics here show the forth test which is the parking test, involving taking the quickest route into five ‘garages’, you can see our marked up and corrected instructions as we decided on the best route, we thought we’d done quite well but a friend said he didn’t think we went far enough into one garage so we might have got a penalty – we wont know until we get the results in the post. Other competitors tried some very odd routes including starting and finishing in reverse.IMG_0189IMG_0188test4After the tests we parked up to be judged for the concours part of the proceedings, it didn’t seem to serious but then we weren’t a serious contender.DSC09843 DSC09853 After lunch the next three tests were held over at Mercedes Benz World. Test four involved a ‘Le Mans’ start with James having to stand behind a straw bale and then sprint to the car, start the engine and go, Regie was quite good for this with the suicide doors an advantage and we could have the keys turned on in the ignition so all James had to do was press the start button. Not sure he put all that much effort into the sprint though! The final test was called the Rabbit Warren, I’ll say no more but you can see the instructions.DSC09858IMG_0186test7 As we were out early on the tests we came back and watched some of the vintage competitors doing the museum tests, including a beautiful Alfa Special which had come from Italy for the event, look at the fabulous pedels.DSC09860 DSC09865 DSC09869 DSC09877 DSC09918 We then had a chance to wonder around the museum, including the aircraft  and look at some of the other entries before the awards.DSC09939 DSC09940 DSC09942 DSC09944 The results of the individual classes and competitions are not released on the day but the top twelve overall scores are brought into the main paddock and the team of judges debate and award the overall Double Twelve Prizes. The 1935 Aston Martin MK II of David Bracey was victorious following consistently strong performances in the Driving Tests and Concours. Fellow VSCC member, Mark Garfitt took second in his 1937 Frazer Nash/BMW 319/55 Sports, a Brooklands winner in 1937 whilst the 1962 Jaguar E Type of Neil Manley came third.DSC09957 DSC09960 Unfortunately more Mario had to stay at home again but he was cheered up with a present, we found this lovely set of original 60’s unused luggage in a matching shade to Mario’s interior. The two hard cases, lined in quilted and frilled cream fabric (James thought they looked like an italian coffin!), shoebox and wash bags mean that Mario will arrive at Goodwood in style in September.DSC09963 DSC09968
PS THE RESULTS  The results for the event have just been published online and once you manage to decipher them we (well James) and Regie did very well, especially in the driving tests. We won our combined 5/6 class and by my reckoning we were 16th overall in the Driving Tests which is amazing considering the cars we were up against and we did get a penalty on the garages and they only counted 6 of the 7 tests, ignoring the Rabbit Warren which we were very quick on. In the Concours we didn’t do as well but then we’ve never had concours type cars and we were in the Grand Tourer Post War class alongside the Bentley Continental and the overall third placed E-type, we had a score of 66 (HIghest score of the day 89). In the overall competition for the Double Twelve award, we came a very respectable 24th, high up the leader board and only a few points behind the winners, so a result to be proud of.

Day out at the fifth Haslemere Classic Car Show

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Apologises for being absent here but the ‘Humans’ have been rather busy organising the Haslemere Classic Car Show. The show took place on a glorious sunny sunday and obviously I had pride of place (although I wouldn’t have been allowed to win anything!)

In the morning there is a tour of about 60 miles through the beautiful local countryside, this year the route took the 80 or so cars through Lynchmere, Milland, skirting Petersfield to the picturesque village of Buriton. From here the tour climbed onto the Old Winchester Road with an incredible view to the Isle of Wight and beyond before dropping down to Warnford for a refreshment stop and the George and Falcon. The route home via the Meons, Headley and Grayshot brought the entrants back to Lion Green to join the show participants in creating an awesome sight on the green.

With in excess of 150 pre-73 style classics and stalls selling local produce, crafts, art, vintage and classic car related goods there was lots to see and do. Entertainment was provided by the George Regis Jazz band who had the audience dancing in the sunshine while others enjoyed a WI cream tea in the ‘Lion’s Corner House’.

This year we also held our first Bake-Off competition with a great selection of delious cakes being judged by the WI and ex ITN news correspondent Michael Nicholson. The winner received a K-Mix stand mixer donated by Kenwood who also supplied their period van for the event.

There were competitions for ‘Best Dressed Car and Driver’ and the ‘People’s Choice’ vote. Everybody seemed to have a great time and hopefully it will all happen again next year!

DSC09181 The cars line up for the tour offDSC09184Breakfast was served from a Citreon H VanDSC09217

The Stanley Steam Car gets a top up of water from the pond at BuritonK7003622

Mario’s friend BlueBell the Moris Minor ConvertibleK7003699K7003697K7003684K7003631Image 29The Old Winchester RoadIMG_4528IMG_4551IMG_4541DSC00592K7003806K7003769

The green from the top of the bouncy castle! (The photographer got a friction burn)DSC09260

HCCSTJudging the Bake-OffDSC09249DSC09235

One exception to the Pre-73 role but who can turn down the chance of the original Carlos Sainz Lancia Delta Intergrale being at the show!DSC09458The winner of the best dressed car and driver competition, Andrea matches her car perfectly.DSC09329

The People’s Choice was a very close run thing with the immaculate Cortina 1600E just beating the totally original ‘Scruffy’ a 3 litre BentleyDSC09432DSC09444

Two special prizes from the shows American Supporter Rockauto went to the 1932 Ford Model B Roadster and the huge Chevrolet Station Wagon.

DSC09440 DSC09438There were all sorts of weird, wonderful and vintage things to see, including ‘Wilton’ a month old lamb on display with his owners period caravan.DSC09368Finally he couldn’t be left out – Mario and Jane…Image 1

…and his new ‘best friend’ a beautiful Fiat Belvedere recently adopted by friend Jan, expect to see them out together soon.DSC09174