Bit delayed in writing this – sorry.
Easter is often recognised as the start of the Classic Car season and our regular outing on Good Friday is to Wheels Day, organised by the Surrey Street Rodders. This show which started for Hod Rods and Custom Cars 41 years ago, now encompasses classics from all areas. After last years show which moved to Dunsfold, where they had problems with huge numbers and traffic jams, leading to totally unacceptable online bullying and insults to the organisers, it looked like it might not happen again. However with a bit of time to reflect on things, SSRs decided to move back to Rushmoor near Aldershot and limit the numbers, so this year you had to apply and the organisers selected 500 or so to be able to buy a pass. Mario was one of the lucky ones.
Unfortunately Good Friday was rather wet and horrible but we set off anyway and had quite a good run over, although Mario still seemed a little under the weather and the power was dropping off the longer we were running. There was no queue at all at Rushmoor Arena and we were swiftly into the show field which was less than half-full. We sat in Mario while the heavy rain went over but then it brightened up and we were able to have a good look round. We subsequently found out that only half of the pre-entered cars had turned up due to the inclement weather. There were a few interesting vehicles there (and some hideous ones!), we met up with some friends and James was able to buy lots of workshop stock from the traders. I loved this single person picnic set, thought it would be perfect for lunch at the Revival, however it seemed quite pricey and had been left out in the rain but I’ll keep a look out for one. We bought Mario a present – some little extra driving lamps, we have a real problem driving Mario at night as the lights are so poor, we tried these and thought they looked quite good, so for the Revival this year we’ll be able to see where we’re going! Didn’t really want to take a photo of this as it might be thought of as encouragement but it really was the most ugly thing I’ve ever seen. It’s owner obviously loved it though and was busy polishing it, so each to his own!We left in the early afternoon as it was rather damp, Mario was still rather sluggish on the way home, he really hasn’t been right since last years Revival.
The rest of the Easter Weekend turned out rather better – well certainly sunnier. We were going to try a new monthly meet on Sunday afternoon at Alton but as it was James’ birthday we went on a trip round the Bombay Sapphire Distillery at Laverstock instead, very enjoyable and interesting plus delicious cocktails.
Easter Monday is the Goodwood Road Race Club sprint, so we thought a nice sunny drive over the downs in Mario would be a pleasant way to spend a bank holiday. However Mario had other ideas and less than a mile from the workshop was behaving very badly, we noticed water around the head and so took him immediately home. We swopped to a modern car, a shame as it was such a beautiful day and Goodwood Circuit looked absolutely fabulous, the Daffodills looked even better than they had been for the Members Meeting. We had a wander round the paddock and watched some of the timed runs. We saw the Catterham spin as it came out of the chicane and go sideways into the barrier quite hard. After it had been recovered there was an almost perfect impression of the car! So what about poor Mario – well the ‘Doctor’ has examined him and there is low compression on the 4th cylinder, caused we think by the seeping head gasket. The Water pump also isn’t too clever which has probably caused the engine to run too hot and hence the damage to the head gasket, hopefully not too serious. The next thing is to source the replacement parts and James will have the head off and check the valve seating as well so hopefully Mario will be back fighting fit before too long.