Catching up with Wheels Day

Been slack at posting again – too much to do with the car show coming up. So in order to catch up here’s a mainly pictorial post on the annual Wheels Day.

Wheels Day is the annual show organised by the Surrey Street Rodders and has been taking place for over 40 years. Always held on Good Friday the show took place at Rushmoor Arena near Aldershott. There must have been the best part of 1000 cars on display ranging from Hotrods and Customs to Classics. Personally I feel it’s a shame that there are modern souped up cars on display but each to their own I suppose.

Mario had an entry, although we were a little late turning up after celebrating a friends birthday the night before!

Loved the Woody and Buzz hanging off this pick-up
The picture looks red but this was soooo orange! Great Matt paint finish Couldn’t decide about this. Had it just been pulled out of a barn/field or very carefully made to look destressed? Tiny, Baby Airstream – would look great behind Mario! This Cosmotron had been completely handcrafted on a BMW Z3, very comic book, space age.

Magnificent time at Member’s Meeting

Mario had his first outing of the year a couple of weeks ago when we went to the 75th Goodwood Member’s Meeting. Not working this time, Mario had a parking space at the Chicane Parking so he was part of the event and we had a ‘giant’ locker for picnic stuff, refreshments and extra layers of clothing. The event held in mid March is famous for it’s Daffodils and last year all GRRC members were sent a daffodil bulb as a mailer to grow for the meeting. We grew ours in an old Castrol Oil can and they bloomed in perfect time for the event and to be entered into the competition at the meeting. The meeting is a greta change for us after the Revival as we actually get time to look around and watch the racing. MM is far more relaxed, much like the early years of the Revival and much less crowded. It can be quite ‘nippy’ on an airfield in March but we were lucky and it stayed dry all weekend, as the saying goes ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing’ so we wrapped up well in lots of layers and stayed snug all weekend. 

The Revival is for cars from the era when racing originally took place at the circuit – 19948-1966 but the member’s Meeting widens that and includes cars from the turn of the century up to the 80’s. Our favourite race of the weekend is ‘the Edwardians’ or the S F Edge Trophy for specials that raced up to 1923. These are amazing, aero engined fire breathing beasts, including the awesome ‘Beast of Turin’ – Duncan Pittaway’s superb 1911 Fiat S76 which e saw racing for the first time.
Saturday was practice and qualifying with a race into the twilight, the Bonham’s auction and then the MM75 party into the night. With a fairground, all sorts of illuminated entertainment and a spectacular fireworks display. Sunday was race day, a chance to poke around the paddock admiring the amazing detail of some of the cars and watch some exciting wheel to wheel action. As well as Mario there were some interesting and varied cars parked around the circuit. We thought the Porsche might have been specially painted for the meeting as it was in the cream and pale blue livery of the MM. Little GRRC hot water bottles were on sale and you could get them filled up at the tea stalls, this was a brilliant idea that certainly helped to keep the hands warm. we also went prepared with toasting forks and crumpets to toast on the fire pits. It was a great social weekend and Mario certainly enjoyed a little spring attention.

Wonderful Wales – tour in ‘Regie’ the 4cv

As usual when it comes to holidays, Mario gets left at home and ‘brother’ Regie the 4cv convertible gets to play, no offence to Mario but Regie is just a better car for touring, the 850 Dauphine Gordini Engine means we can keep up safely with modern traffic on the road, it’s more comfortable for longer journeys and hasn’t got a roof, which hopefully is a good thing!

This year we had decided to go on an organised car tour – Watton’s Wander, organised by one of James’ rally pals. It was a relaxed four day tour around South Wales.  As this was to be our holiday for 2016, we decided to make the trip West worthwhile and spent a couple of days visiting other motoring friends in Devon and Somerset on route. We had a lovely couple of days and Regie spent some time with one of his Girlfriends – Bluebelle a Morris Minor convertible, although he wasn’t so impressed with being left behind while Bluebelle’s humans took us for a ride to the seaside. It was fun and interesting to experience the differences between the two fairly similar classics.

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On a rather wet Monday morning we left our friends and set off for Wales. Our first stop and meeting place was The Plough Inn just outside of Llandelio, Carmarthenshire. We arrived in the early evening and had soon joined old friends and fellow entrants in the bar. By the morning the bad weather had cleared and we set off on out first adventure.

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Day one –  Pembrokeshire Coast and secret coves

After skirting Carmarthen, our first stop off was Laugharne, the home of Dylan Thomas. The Castle looked lovely but their was a very high tide and the area around it was flooded!

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A few miles further on was the famous Pendine Sands, unfortunately the high tide meant we couldn’t see the vast sands used for motor racing but we spend an interesting time at the Babs Museum. Babs was a land speed record car from the 20’s, the driver John Parry-Thomas was killed on the sands in Babs and the car was buried in the sand dunes until 1969 when it was exhumed and restored. The car spends much of it’s time at Brookland’s but luckily for us it was at Pendine.

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We had a lovely picturesque drive along the beautiful coastline, stopping off in St David’s to see the Cathedral and then the Llys-y-Fran reservoir and dam, which was also a Hill Climb course – obviously we had to have a drive up it.

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This trip is all very relaxed and not competitive, the benefit of which is you can go off route if you wish. It was disappointing not to see the actual sand at Pendine so we made a detour on our return route. We were hoping to get Regie on the beach for a picture but unfortunately the barrier was locked.

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Day two – the Black Mountains and Valleys

A rather chilly and grey day but dry and we were still ‘roof down’. The morning started in the valley’s with some rather tricky map reading designed to take us through a series of fords and some rather bleak mountain roads. Even James who is an experienced rally navigator found the instructions rather unfathomable but with James Mann and Tracy in the Vintage Lagonda we made it through to Llangadog and found a lovely pub for lunch, not long after most of the group joined us. ‘Josephine’ the Lagonda was was originally brought by James Mann’s grandfather in the 30’s and he competed in the Monte Carlo rally in 1936. James and his Brother took Josephine back on the Historic event last year on the 80th anniversary.

We were very impressed that the Welsh farmers had painted the sheep to match Regie!

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Towards the end of the day we stopped off at Talley Abbey. The weather was closing in and it looked very dramatic against the dark sky, we weekened for the last few miles back and put the roof up!

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Day three – The Brecon Beacons Valley’s and Hidden treasures

It was a beautiful morning as we packed up and left the Plough, for a stunning drive into the Brecon Beacons. The scenery was breathtaking as we traversed a series of mountain roads. Most of the group stopped off at the Penderyn Distillery, there wasn’t enough time for a tour but we stocked up on the lovely Brecon Gin which we had been drinking in the hotel.

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Stopping off for lunch at the Mountain Railway and afternoon tea in Brecon itself, we were soon crossing the famous Epynt ranges, home to many well known rallies.  The land is owned by the MoD, the army were very much in evidence and we just sneaked through before they began ‘Live firing’! It wasn’t much further to our second hotel the Lake Country Hotel and Spa at Llangammarch Wells.

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Day Four – The lakes of the Cambrian Mountains

Our final tour took us back West, the route up through the Elan Valley and the series of reservoirs was truly stunning. At one point a difficult spot of navigation went a little wrong and we ended up through a series of beautiful farms and tiny tracks until arriving at a gate – luckily unlocked and we managed to get through and join the original route.

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Lunch was at the seaside in Aberystwyth, fish and chips on the prom in the sunshine. Another stop at at railway drew quite an audience who wanted to know all about Regie and Josephine.

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The final drive back to the hotel took in lots of famous rallying roads, through forests, around reservoirs and across moors including this well known remote phonebox ‘Tregarron 262’ where, historically, road rally competitors would phone for instructions.

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The cars on the event were a mix of old and new with MG’s, Porsche, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Lagonda and more. Regie performed well and kept up with the Lagonda, everyone was very surprised at how well he went. It was the first time we had been on a trip like this and we really enjoyed it. The event finished with a great dinner at the hotel and a few drinks!, we’d had a fun week with old friends and made some new ones.

The following morning we set off for England, spotting this rather large group of Hillman Imps along the way. We saw quite a few groups of cars or bikes during the week as it is a perfect area with good roads for classic motoring.

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On the way back we detoured to Blaenavon, a world heritage site of Industrial Landscape. It was a great place and although we didn’t have time to do most of the attractions we did go to  the Ironworks which was an amazing place and well worth the visit. This is somewhere we will try to go back to in the future.

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The Road to Wembley 1966 – Goodwood Revival 2016

Better late than never, finally here we are looking back on the 2016 Goodwood Revival.

The Revival is Mario’s favourite weekend of the year and definitely his hardest. We were back again as part of the GRTC Goodwood revival Transport Corps working as period taxi’s to help keep the event working successfully. Our task is to move people between the circuit, Lavant Corner, the Kennels, Goodwood House and the Hotel. Mario was all spruced up for the event and wearing his rather splendid new roof rack.dsc01398The weekend started with the annual drivers cricket match at the house which always has a great collection of classics including this wonderful Autobianchi. It also has one of the best flying displays of the weekend.dsc01399dsc01400dsc01401dsc01403dsc01404dsc01429dsc01434

For the second year running we were working a new shift pattern which would allow us more time to enjoy the event. I don’t think this means that Mario works any less, just that it is crammed into a smaller time frame. The hours we were driving – on Friday we did 1pm until 8.45pm we just didn’t stop and over the weekend travelled around 300km. Mario was very well behaved this year and didn’t put a foot wrong, although he did need some work after the event to replace failed lights and part of the suspension!, it’s fun doing the taxi’s but it is hard on the cars and the drivers! Most people loved having the chance to ride in Mario and really enjoyed the experience although one rather grumpy lunch passenger did say that they “used to have cars ‘like these’ before they could afford a proper one” – rather rude we thought!dsc01550dsc01553dsc01554

The extra time for us, failed to materialise though, as we we had been invited with Mario’s ‘brother’ Regie the Renault 4cv, to take part in the daily ‘Road to Wembley’ parade which took up most of the mornings. It was fun though to go round the track and gave us an opportunity to take friends on a special trip. We had to decorate Regie for the occasion with scarfs, rosettes, World Cup Willie, Union Jacks plus replica programmes, tickets and of course wooden rattles to wave.

The whole Revival was themed around the 66 Football World Cup final with crowds of supporters, police horses, banners etc and there was a pitch hosting ‘the match’ at the drivers club. The parade was for cars that could have been on the road in 1966, driving to Wembley with English and German fans. It was good fun and even the Marshalls got into the spirit of the day playing football on the side of the track, out at St Mary’s.dsc01360 dsc01391dsc01395 dsc01396 dsc01453dsc01560dsc01467 dsc01470 dsc01474 dsc01483 dsc01488 dsc01490 dsc01494 dsc01499 dsc01502 dsc01504 dsc01508 dsc01510 dsc01511 dsc01515 dsc01524 dsc01527 dsc01532 dsc01537 dsc01541 dsc01542regie-at-goodwood-friday-9-sept-2016 On Saturday the weather was terrible, which made the parade a bit of a washout, roof up and it made you very aware of how bad the conditions were for the competitors with very poor visability.dsc01578 dsc01579 dsc01580 dsc01593 dsc01596 dsc01599 dsc01601 Poor Mario got absolutely filthy working the afternoon shift, the roads surrounding the circuit were dreadful and covered with mud from the carparks.dsc01617 dsc01619 dsc01620dsc01463dsc01610dsc01626 dsc01627 Sunday however was glorious and sunny – proper Goodwood weather. We managed to have a look around the site before and after the parade.dsc01636 dsc01637 dsc01638 dsc01641 dsc01644 A great area was the tunnel linking Piccadilly Circus and Green Park undergrounds, it had been built with great attention to detail (I spent 20 years travelling through Piccadilly Circus) the ‘staff’ were superb and there was even an original ticket machine.dsc01645 dsc01648 dsc01650 dsc01652 dsc01656 dsc01658 dsc01665 The sunshine made Sunday’s parade more fun.dsc01696 dsc01700 dsc01706 dsc01714 dsc01719 dsc01728 dsc01735 dsc01738 dsc01746 dsc01758 dsc01759 dsc01761 dsc01765 The Setterington Cup for Austin A40 Pedal cars is always popular.dsc01778 dsc01783 dsc01788 dsc01799 We even managed to get a quick look round the paddock.dsc01807 dsc01808 dsc01810
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And the Freddy March ‘Spirit of Aviation’dsc01813 dsc01814 dsc01816 dsc01817 dsc01820 dsc01822A brilliant desert display of military vehicles was a special exhibition to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the SAS Regiment in 1941dsc01825 dsc01826dsc01830dsc01832 dsc01834On duty driving between the hotel and circuit through Goodwood Estate gives you a wonderful view of some of the flying displays.dsc01842 dsc01843 dsc01844 dsc01846 dsc01850 dsc01852 dsc01857 dsc01861 dsc01862 dsc01863 dsc01872dsc01840So, we’re sorry for the lack of pictures of the racing or the rest of the stuff going on at the circuit but with working, the parade and the rain, we just didn’t get to see that much else of what was going on. We had a great weekend though with friends old and new and are looking forward already to Revival 2017.

Perfect day for a picnic and cars…

Last Sunday was the Goodwood Road Racing Club Open Day at Goodwood House. A perfect summer day. We took Regie the 4cv Renault for two reasons, firstly we could have the roof down and secondly Regie needed a pre-revival (and holiday) test drive, as he has lovely newly restored cream wheels which look good and have solved a wobble a certain speeds. We spent a lovely relaxing day with friends, looking at the displayed cars and enjoying a picnic.

The selected cars to exhibit in front of the house, were the usual mixture of old and new, exotic and everyday. DSC01198 DSC01199DSC01201The Saab was lovely and beautifully restored.DSC01204 DSC01205 I really fancy having one of these Volvo P1800’s.DSC01207 Our friend Richard’s 1999 Dare Ginetta G4 and is a modern recreation of the 60’s Ginetta G4 sports. Dare is run by the designer of the original G4.DSC01208 Personally my favourite of the day, this lovely 1967 Autobianchi Biachina Panoramica. Have always wanted the convertible version as driven by Audrey Hepburn in ‘How to steal a million’ but loved this estate version which I hadn’t seen before.DSC01211 DSC01213 DSC01216Cleo and Robyn from The GRRC had fun trying to sort the votes for the car of the day.DSC01200The winner was this rather impressive Alfa 6C but I wish we had got everybody to vote for the 3 wheel Reliant Robin, as the winner is going to be displayed in the RAC club in Pall Mall London for a week and I’d love to have seen their faces when the Robin turned up!DSC01227There were free funfair rides for the kids, including this wonderful Austin J40 car ride. James was especially interested as he’s in the middle of restoring a J40 pedal car for the Setterington Cup at the Revival – he could have done with acquiring a few parts!DSC01217 DSC01218 DSC01219 DSC01220 DSC01221 DSC01222At Wheels Day earlier in the year James had bought me a lovely vintage individual picnic set to use as a ‘Gin Box’, this was it’s first outing, using the flask for ice and there was enough room for a couple of doubles with garnish. Think this will get well used.DSC01230 DSC01236

Early start on the grid for Thoroughbred Sunday…

The August Goodwood Breakfast is traditionally a ‘Pre 66’ Revival theme, although rather confusingly called Thoroughbred Sunday. We had applied and received a grid pass, so it meant an earlier than usual start for us – not what we are used to on a Sunday. After what had been a glorious sunny Saturday, we awoke to drizzle and fog. Mario was ready and waiting so off we set through the low clouds hiding Trundel Hill by the racecourse.

Although we were running slightly late and arrived after 8am we were parked nice and centrally on the pit straight. Mario was immediately surrounded by fans and we left him to it, while we had a much needed Bacon and Egg roll and tea!

Personally this is the best Breakfast Club of the year. The tightest theme to get a pass for isn’t always the best attended but everything is period and interesting…DSC01158

DSC01186DSC01187The first unusual car to catch our eye was this Sunbeam Harrington Le Mans – a special coach built body on an Sunbeam Alpine Series IIDSC01145 DSC01148 DSC01149 DSC01150 DSC01151 DSC01152 DSC01179Lovely A40 Roadster, built in conjunction with Jensen, now very rare and there were two in attendance!DSC01153 DSC01155 DSC01156DSC01175
DSC01161 Loved this Fiat Abarth 1000 Bertone PrototypeDSC01163 DSC01164 DSC01165 DSC01166 And this great Peugeot 402, full of character and took part in the Tour de France Parade at the Revival a few years ago.DSC01167 DSC01168 DSC01170 DSC01171 DSC01174DSC01177 DSC01178

By the time we left Goodwood the sun had come out again and In the afternoon on the way to visit friends we popped into The Checkers at Eversely for their carshow. For a pub event there was a great collection of cars including a brilliant Amphicar, Renault Alpine, an immaculate Vauxhall Viva and a rare convertible Jensen Interceptor.DSC01191 DSC01192 DSC01193 DSC01194 DSC01195 DSC01196 DSC01197

Festival of Speed 2016 – our highlights…

Sorry for the delay, sometimes life just takes over but in the last month we did manage to get a couple of days at the Festival of Speed. Local to us, we have been attending the FoS since the first event back in 1993 and boy has it changed… in the early years it was a glorified fete with fabulous cars! You’d sit by the side of the track with your picnic and enjoy the spectacular sight as the history of motorsport blasted past. These days it is all a little different, more corporate, more sales orientated, more modern. With the Revival and Members Meeting taking over the historical aspects, the Festival concentrates more on modern motorsport and supercars. As such it has become much less appealing to us but still worth a couple of days looking for the gems and socialising with our car loving friends.

This year we went on the Thursday to the Moving Motorsport day as we get free tickets with our GRRC membership and then on the Sunday. Although the weather wasn’t perfect we managed to avoid too much rain and with local knowledge made the trip without too many delays.

In more recent times the Cartier Style et Luxe concours d’elegance has been one of our favourite displays and although this year it seemed to be lacking in that totally ‘Wow’ display, there was still a lot to entertain us. Of most interest was the Alpine ‘Pass and Present’ class showcasing a selection of the Renault derivative Alpine Sportcars. This 1954 Prototype was based on the 4cv with a coach built body by Giovani Michelotti and had many similarities to our own ‘Regie’ the 4cv. This is the first of three prototypes built and is still owned by Jean-Charles Rédélé founder of Alpine.DSC09749 DSC09754DSC09743DSC09742 One of only 30 this lovely 1965 Alpine A110 Cabriolet is based on a Renault 8. Regie would love to have a set of the wheel spinners!DSC09946DSC09738DSC09729 DSC09945Without the money to develop the export market in the 60’s, Alpines were developed with partners abroad, this version with Willys Overland who built Dauphines in Brazil. Called the Willys Interlargos after the Brazilian GP Circuit. This one was restored for Retromobile in 2015.DSC09741DSC09750 A 1977 A110 SX Berlinetta, the last of the 7579 Dieppe Built A110’sDSC09739 Wasn’t that keen on the 1977 Mérignac, too wedge shaped for me.DSC09761For somebody who isn’t very fond of new cars this was fantastic, a prototype for a new Alpine going into production next year… I need one! The Alpine Vision was wonderful with some great details which unfortunately will probably never make it to the production model. Check out the wonderful logo shaped red key.DSC09734DSC09737
DSC09733 DSC09732 DSC09731 DSC09730Other classes included Pioneering Lancias which were lovely, especially the 1959 Lancia Flaminia 2500 Sport Zagato and the 1933 Lancia Pininfarina Cabriolet ‘Bocca’ both below; The Dawn of Motoring; and Legendary Lamborghini’s which are too angular for my liking although I liked the Green 1971 Miura SV which won the overall prize.DSC09765 DSC09764 DSC09763 DSC09762 DSC09758 DSC09756DSC09757While we are talking retro style new cars… I also loved this new Fiat Abarth 124 Spyder. Here at the Moving Motor Show you can see the original Fiat 124 Rally car and the new 300bhp rally version which will be built to customer order for competition in FIA’s R-GT class in 2017. Being test driven up the hill was the road going version of the small roadster. Based on a Mazda MX5 it was a seriously cute modern sportscar.DSC09842DSC09840DSC09843The defining feature of each years Festival is the central display, this year it was celebrating 100 years of BMW. As usual it was designed by Gerry Judah and this year’s was the biggest yet. The huge sweeping structure displayed the legendary BMW 328 Mille Miglia Roadster, the 1999 Le Mans-winning BMW V12 LMR, and the Gordon Murray-designed Brabham-BMW BT52 Formula One car which finished third in the 1983 championship.

While impressive it was almost too big and quite difficult to see the whole thing, especially when the event is so busy. The effect wasn’t helped by the inclement weather, I’m sure it would have looked better against a beautiful blue sky!
DSC09973 DSC09972 DSC09965 DSC09964 DSC09962 DSC09768 DSC09766Also from BMW were a couple of examples of their ‘Art Cars’. I must confess to not knowing much about these before but they were great. Introduced by French driver and auctioneer Hervé Poulin, the first one was commissioned in 1975 when American artist Alexander Calder painted the BMW 3.0 CSL that Poulain would race at Le Mans. Many famous artists have been involved including David Hockney, Frank Stella (below), Roy Lichtenstein (below) and Andy Warhol.

DSC09936 DSC09934DSC09937 Out and about in the paddocks and on the hill were a few gems. Perennial favourite the 1991 rotary engined Le Mans Mazda 787B, affectionately known as the Argyll Sock due to it’s distinctive paintwork.DSC09993Some amazing 1930’s Mercedes Streamliners, very difficult to photograph.DSC09808 DSC09806 DSC09794 We popped into the Preview on the Bonhams Auction. This 1948 Aston Martin DB Team Car was one of the star lots. After a distinguished racing career the car was waiting for restoration when it was stolen from a garden in 2002. It was ‘found’ and returned to the original owner’s descendants recently and fetched £679,100 at the auction.DSC09774A charity auction was held for this unique British Pop Art Bentley, this unique Continental GT V8 S Convertible was a collaboration between Bentley Motors and the godfather of British Pop Art, Sir Peter Blake. It raised £250,000
DSC09790Advertising a future sale this amazing 1929 Megola 640cc Touring Bike has a front wheel mounted engine. The bike is part of an extraordinary collection owned by the late Robert White which are being auctioned to raise money to create a new cancer treatment centre.DSC09772 As you will know we are not awfully fond of Supercars but I did quite like the look of the new Bugatti Chiron, the successor to the Veyron. Loved the way the chrome door surrounds reflected the ‘C’ in the logo, although I suspect the car was designed first and the name and logo came second!  The Aston Martin Vulcan also created quite a lot of interest.DSC09759DSC00239 This year the bikes were quite interesting. The totally mad Puma Gulf drag bike can go from 0 to 235mph in 5.8 seconds but couldn’t show that performance on the winding hill climb course. Filmstar Keanu Reeves created quite a stir riding the rather strange looking Arch KRGT-1 bike made by his own company. Unfortunately we never got to see the Yamaha ‘Triple’ on the track – a drag racer powered by three twin-cylinder engines.DSC00015DSC00008DSC09818Once again a star of the weekend was the magnificent ‘Beast of Turin’. The fiat S76 is huge and it’s massive engine spits flames. Even better the owner drives it to Goodwood from his home.DSC00181 DSC00179 DSC00162 DSC00156 DSC00154 One of the best stands at the Festival was Honda which was a ‘perfect’ full size reproduction of the classic 1970’s Fisher Price Toy garage.DSC09827 The Mercedes F1 car made a great ‘picture’ on the wall. We also had the rather surreal experience of seeing Nico Rosberg being interviewed – he’s the tiny figure on the right of the huge on-screen image.DSC09837DSC00104
DSC00019It wouldn’t be the Festival of Speed without an impressive firework display and they didn’t disappoint.DSC09911DSC09908DSC09868

Maybe FoS 2016 wasn’t a classic but we still had an enjoyable couple of days and saw some interesting stuff. So roll on September and the Revival – Mario is all signed up for taxi duties and is looking forward to meeting up with friends old and new.

The busiest day of the year…

May is always a very busy time for us as we organise the Haslemere Classic Car Show and tour in our town. 2016 was the eighth year we have run the show although it has grown considerably over the years. We launch the event in late Jan/early Feb depending how good we have been about getting our annual business accounts done! Luckily as the day is so popular we don’t have to do too much to promote it. We are limited in space by the size of the Green and this year for the first time we were full with advance bookings and even had a waiting list for the morning tour.

There is a lot of organising to do in 4 months, booking in all the cars, sorting the stalls and food, producing a lucky programme, advertising, posters etc plus a FaceBook campaign and local press to let the public know about the event. People come from all around the area and this year we had several entries from further afield.

After a busy week of final preparations we spent the Saturday morning, marking out the Green with a cricket pitch marker to a very detailed plan we had drawn to scale. This was important as we had limited space and we needed to use it effectively. A friend of ours used a drone before and after the show so we could see how well our plan worked. It would have been very successful apart from the St. Johns Ambulance parking in the wrong place and blocking the carefully planned access road, which we didn’t notice until it was too late!IMG_1181DCIM100MEDIADJI_0073.JPGHomemade bunting using previous years rally platesK_100218After years of going to car shows ourselves, we have tried to make the HCCS the show we would like to go to. We like to drive our cars and so in the morning we organise a ‘tour’. Nearly 100 cars met on the Green for breakfast before departing on a 60 mile round trip through the beautiful local countryside of the South Downs National Park with a refreshment stop at the Goodwood Motor Circuit. We still managed to find some new roads that even the ‘locals’ hadn’t been down before.

DSC09189DSC09198IMG_0696IMG_0739K_100140K_100092K_100072K_100067IMG_0817IMG_0750The cars arrived back to meet up with the show cars and all parked up on the green to make a great display. The show is just an afternoon rather than an whole day and so people don’t get bored and the majority of the entrants stay for the duration.

Around the Green we have 50 or so quality stalls, selling crafts, local produce, vintage and classic car related products, together with a varied selection of hot and cold food, bar, cream teas, charities and local organisations. The Georges Regis Jazz Band entertains the crowds and there are amusements for the kids.

We hold a couple of competitions, the People’s Choice where the public vote for the car they would most like to take home and the Best Dressed Car and Driver, judged by James and show supporter Adrian from Keats Estate Agents. We also organise a ‘Bake-off’ competition for cakes that look good and taste good for adults and kids.

Yet again we were lucky and it was a glorious sunny day, the Green was bursting with fabulous cars, both the immaculate and the well loved. Mario was obviously on display. The whole day seemed to go very well with everybody enjoying themselves and we had lots of lovely comments. It’s just a shame that the day goes so quickly and we don’t really have the time to see everything and talk to everybody properly.

Organising the day just take a lot of hard work and effort which is all done voluntarily and in our ‘spare’ time but it is nice to give something back to your community and although we always go through a few moments of ‘I’m never doing this again’ we are already talking about how to improve things on 2017!

Mario chills in the sunshine with his friend BellaDSC_0005Three stunning cars from a local private collection caused great excitement. Lamborghini Miura, Lagonda Le Mans and Gullwing Mercedes.DSC_0007 Best dressed Car and Driver Winner Lisa Costello. Lisa only finished restoring this lovely Isetta 2 weeks before the show and a day before she used it to drive to her wedding!DSC_0012DSC09336DSC09340 Runner-up, Best Dressed – Richard Bourne from London in his immaculate 1965 Jaguar E-type Series 1 RoadsterDSC09393 This immaculate 1972 Ford Capri (my Dad had one just like it) owned by Gary Bartlett from Winchester won the People’s ChoiceDSC09426 Runners-up – Dean Lucas from Haslemere in his 1965 MGB and Bob Marchant from Brighton in his 1967 Austin A35 Police Van DSC09325 DSC09423IMG_3922 Busy stallsDSC09223 DSC09229 DSC09239 Town Crier Christian Ashdown was a Bake-off JudgeDSC09244 DSC09284 DSC09212DSC09288 Winners of the Bake-off, Mother and Daughter effort from Debbie and Kate ValentineDSC09298 Best dressed car and driver entrantsDSC09317 DSC09322DSC09344 DSC09348DSC09354 DSC09359 DSC09365 DSC09368 DSC09370 DSC09374 DSC09381 DSC09384DSC09406 Bright and colourful showDSC09351 DSC09195 IMG_3917 IMG_3919IMG_3938Time to go home…DSC09429

 

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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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