A very important engagement…

We’ve been hinting for a while that Mario was about to do something special… well last weekend, he was a Wedding Car for the first time.  Amazingly in the 18 years or so that Mario’s been in the family, he’s never done a wedding.

That all changed last year when Lucy, the Daughter of Ross – a great friend who Jane has worked with for 30 years – announced she was getting married and enquired, could we could find her a ‘wedding car’. After some discussions about whether she wanted ‘Downton or Dallas’ she tentatively asked if Mario could be roped in for the job. Having known Lucy since she was born, we were delighted to be part of her big day and the date May 14 2016 was put in the diary.

IMG_1162The day before started with some serious pampering – the local (brilliant) hand wash company gave Mario a good wash and brush up, paying special attention as requested to the rear seats! Then Mario was decorated with ribbons and flowers on the front and more fresh flowers on the parcel shelf. Our job was to collect Lucy and her Father from their hotel in Guilford and deliver them safely to Loseley Park a few miles away. I have to say that in all the years of driving Mario and all the ViPs we’ve had on board, this was by far the most traumatic drive we’ve ever done – not helped by Ross, who a couple of weeks before, asked the question “the car will get there, won’t it?” having had a nightmare about breaking down on route!

DSC08966DSC08969DSC08970We were at the Harbour Hotel in good time and waiting in the glorious sunshine for the bride to appear. Mario as always attracted lots of attention and even the regular taxi drivers didn’t object to him blocking their drop-off point. The Bridesmaids appeared and we were delighted to spot that their dresses matched Mario’s ‘top half’ perfectly. Then finally, Lucy emerged from the Hotel, looking totally stunning and seemed very relaxed, certainly more so than us! Getting in wasn’t all that elegant, although Mario has plenty of space the rear seats are a long way back from the door but soon Lucy and Ross were settled and we set off through the Guildford Saturday morning traffic. DSC08971DSC08974DSC08976DSC08978

We certainly created a sight with firstly people spotting Mario and then realising that he was carrying a beautiful bride. Mario behaved perfectly and soon we were travelling up the long impressive driveway of Loseley Park, and Lucy was delivered in style to marry Carl.DSC08979

DSC09022With the hard work over, Mario was quite at home sitting outside the impressive house. Built in the reign of Elizabeth I, Loseley Park stands in ancient Surrey parkland with stunning views towards the North Downs. Still the home of the More-Molyneux family, it is remarkably unchanged since 1562 when Sir William More laid the first stones. The renowned gardens are very impressive and after the ceremony the new Mr & Mrs McKenzie led their guests through the grounds for the reception.

Basking in attention throughout the proceedings, Mario was a great attraction and it was most amusing in the following days, seeing guests posts on social media with everybody taking turns to sit in him and have their photo’s taken. We thought we’d lost Mario for ever when Lucy’s little Niece Scarlet was not at all happy about being removed from the back, shouting ‘My Car!”

It was lovely being part of such an important day and as always Mario did us proud!

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Cars we love but can’t have… No 3

As Promised in the Soft Top Sunday post we’ve done a bit of research into the ‘Heinz 57′ Wolseley Hornet Convertible.DSC08601

We spotted this great little car at the recent Soft Top Sunday Breakfast Club at Goodwood and were rather intrigued by the fact that it had been made as a competition prize.

Food manufacturers Heinz had run lots of competitions over the years with cars as prizes but in 1966 they run their “Greatest Glow on Earth” soup competition and commissioned Crayford Engineering to produce 57 bespoke Wolseley Hornet Mini Convertibles for prizes. Crawford had already received great acclaim for their new Mini Convertible and it was decided to base the ‘competition special’ on the booted Mini or Wolseley Hornet so that they would be totally unique to the promotion. The competition was judged by Heinz, Crayford and TV personality and food critic Sir Clement Freud.

wolseley_heinzCompetition FormThe 57 prize cars were produced in two colours, Birch Grey or Toga White with red trim. They were fitted out with special accessories including a built-in insulated food cabinet, electric kettle, tartan rug, picnic hamper, radio and an under-dash make up tray, complete with Max Factor cosmetics. All 57 vehicles had consecutive registrations.

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There were over a million entries to the competition. Today 41 of the original 57 survive around the world with it is believed, around half of them on the road.

One of the survivors was on display at the Goodwood Breakfast Club, Soft Top Sunday and still appeared to have most of it’s accessories. It’s a lovely little car and the story makes it so special. Unfortunately we never got to meet the owner and hear it’s personal story.

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DSC08602 DSC08604 DSC08605 DSC08606 DSC08607 DSC08608 DSC08609 DSC08610 DSC08611 DSC08612So, another rare car that we like although this one is a little more affordable. One example sold at Auction in 2013 having been in the original winners family until 2004. It sold for only £17,500.

A busy May Day Holiday…

We’ve had a good but busy May Day Bank Holiday weekend. Saturday was ‘work’ day, Mario and Regie were taken to the Workshop to be fettled and polished. Mario’s brakes were sorted although they are going to need a major overhaul soon. He was also given a good polish in preparation for an special event in a couple of weeks. Regie the Renault had his newly painted wheels fitted, the cream or ‘Landrover Limestone’ as the paint is known, looks very smart and is much better than the silver they were. Unfortunately there are some balancing issues with them so they will have to be professionally balanced to stop the wheel wobble at speed.IMG_1116Regie-wheels

Sunday morning was the first Goodwood Breakfast Club of the season and as it was ‘Soft Top Sunday’ Sunday Regie was the one to go. After all the dismal weather we’ve had recently, it was a glorious if a little chilly morning. We aren’t very good at getting up on Sundays – the rest of the week is so busy – so we didn’t arrive until just after nine and some soft tops were already leaving, wish they did Goodwood afternoon tea and gin club!IMG_1119IMG_1118IMG_1117

An early leaver played into our hands and we were able to sneak into a spot close to the main grid display and closer to the action, there were cars parked all the way between  Madgwick to beyond Woodcote corners plus in the paddocks. Regie was a great display and helped to advertise the Haslemere Classic Car Show we organise at the end of the month. Convertible’s old and new were on display – let the pictures tell the story…
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DSC08617The most interesting thing on display in our opinion was the fantastic little Heinz 57 Wolsley Hornet, it’s story is so good it deserves it’s own post so watch this space…DSC08599

We were one of the last to leave the circuit and took a lovely cross country route to Southsea. Regie misbehaved slightly and we had to have an impromptu stop for a new set of points. We had the points with us but no tools, so luckily we had stopped right by a tool shop. It was a lovely day and great to finally be ‘topless in the sunshine’.DSC08615

On Monday’s bank holiday  it was our local Charter Fair. Haslemere was granted a Charter to hold a weekly market by Elizabeth I in 1596 and still celebrates with a bi-annual Fair. We took Regie and Mario along to promote the car show and had a great afternoon meeting lots of car enthusiasts.Charter FairDSC08619