Catching up on 2019… Part 2

To think we were worried that we were so behind and hadn’t got round to posting last years events… it was just as well as we would have nothing to post in 2020!

Typically when we’ve had a spell of such beautiful weather, we haven’t been allowed to get out and about due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Poor Mario has been safe and sound but not used since the Revival last year. Regie had swopped garage with a clients car to make space for James to work on a long-term project and James has been (luckily) been incredibly busy and so hasn’t had time to get them checked over and on the road.

So we are going back to this time last year and the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019

The Cartier Style et Luxe is always one of our favourite areas of the FoS, we were excited to see that one of the classes in 2019 was ‘a sting in the tail – 70 years of Abarth‘ and there were some fantastic entrants, all of which would have made great garage mates for Mario!

First up was the Abarth 750 Sperimentali ‘Goccia’. Design for Vignale by Giovanni Michelotti in 1957, this car featured in the first of our ‘Cars we love but can’t have’ series in 2016 and it was very exciting to see it at Goodwood.

Next up was this 1957 Fiat Abarth 750 GT Spider by Zagato. A topless derivative of the acclaimed ‘Double Bubble’ GT Coupe, just six examples were built.

The Best in Show prize went to this 1950, Abarth 250 Monza.

Below are some more pics from the Cartier Lawn and a couple of the judges – Model David Gandy and David Linley (Earl of Snowdon). The Interior of the Avions Voisin was extrordinary and led to a project which we will write about very soon!

We went to the Festival on the Thursday which is the quieter day and on the Saturday evening we went to the Kennels to watch the Festival Ball fireworks which as always were spectacular.

We went back on Sunday when unfortunately in the morning it was rather damp. It was interesting to be beyond the start line to watch the Formula one cars get ready to go up the hill. A great assortment of cars from past and present and drivers from the great Jackie Stewart, through my Hero Damon Hill – those eyes staring from his helmet brought back memories – to modern day drivers such as Daniel Riccardo and the new British hopeful Lando Norris.

We had a good couple of days mooching around, othing things we found interesting included seeing Mario’s Doppelganger the concept VW electric bus, some interesting stuff in the FutureZone and the classic Renault Riffard Tank World Speed Record car from 1956 which was built on a 4cv chassis like Regie and has just been restored by Renault and was on it’s first public outing. The central feature as always was awesome, celebrating Aston Martin and there was an impressive outdoor fireworks display and parade of iconic Astons to celebrate.

The Hill Climb Shootout took place on the Sunday and is always exciting. The quickest car up the hill was electric – the Volkswagen ID.R driven by Romain Dumas with a time of 42.32 secs, getting pretty close to the twenty year record of 41.6 held by Nick Heidfeld in a McLaren MP4/13. Romain did beat the time in practice on Saturday with a run of 39.9 seconds!

So that was the FoS, we will try to be back soon with the rest of what happened in 2019.

Festival fun – a quick look round the 2017 FoS…

Due to a previous commitments (well OK a party in Devon) we could only make one day of this years Goodwood Festival of Speed. To be fair we weren’t that concerned as these days FoS has become rather modern and Drift cars, Monster trucks and the like don’t interest us. However I wouldn’t want to miss it completely as there are always a few gems hidden away.

The Cartier Style et Luxe is always our favourite and first point of call and although not a classic year there was a class ‘Cheeky Cinquecento’ celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Fiat 500 with some unusual versions.

First up this early first series 479cc Nuova 500, one of the first 15 built it is believed to be the oldest-surviving Nuova 500 in the world! I didn’t realise that the 500 is the only car given exemption from Rome’s ban on older high-emission vehicles entering the city.

My favourite and the car I would most like to take home was this wonderful 1964 Neckar Weinsberg Coupe. One of many 500 derivatives made under license around the world. Made in Germany by NSU, they were made from partly assembled 500 bodies with different panels and rear lights from the Fiat 1100. The rather strange but quirky 1967 Ferves Ranger. Built by Ferrari Veicoli Speciali (FERVES), it was unveiled at the 1966 Turin Motor Show. The compact off-roader was designed to be used in vineyards and olive groves. Less then 50 have survived. A one-off fun car the 1969 Zanzara Zagarto (Mosquito) was designed by Ercole Spada who also designed the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato! The planned limited production series never happened. The logo is fun. You couldn’t have a display of 500’s without the iconic beach car – this 1960 Ghia Fiat 500 Jolly was known as La Spiaggina in Italy. It cost almost twice as much as a standard 500 but was mainly purchased by the rich and famous to use as golf carts and yacht tenders.
A 1968 Fiat Gamine Vignale, the open top roadster often known as a ‘Noddy’ car. 1957 Steyr-Puch 500, made by Austrian company and adapted to suit local demands. A 16bhp flat-twin engine was more suited to the mountainous Austrian roads. This car is chassis number 3, a pre-production prototype. A later developed model the 650TR won the 1966 European Rally Championship. Another car in the Cartier which I rather liked was this impressive Aston Martin DB5 Shooting Brake. Originally designed for David Brown who wanted more room for his polo equipment for his personal use, customers soon wanted one too., Coachbuilders Radford were commissioned to supply the demand as the factory was too busy. Only 12 were built.On the BMW display was this fantastic 507, built from 1956-59 it was originally a model destined for the USA, it was too expensive and only 252 were made. Owned by celebrities including Elvis and Bernie Ecclestone. I would quite like one but it’s rather out of my price range, well into 6 figures! Each years Festival is defined by the Central Feature. Once again designed by Gerry Judah this years was rather unique as it honoured an individual rather than a brand – Bernie Eccelstone. Celebrating the life and career of Bernie the display represented the different eras of his life as a Driver (Connaught), Manager (Jochen Rindt’s Lotus 72), Team Owner (Brabham BT49), Impresario (Ferrari F2001) and Legend (Mercedes W07 2016).

Unfortunately it was rather overcast on Thursday so it didn’t show the sculpture off to its best but it was still pretty impressive and had some great angles – just would have been nicer with blue sky behind it.

We noticed this rather lovely van in the paddock – A Renault Saviem SG2. Produced from 1965-1982 it was beautifully restored.Finally the new Alpine A110 a lightweight turbocharged sportscar from the legendary French marque. I don’t like new/supercars much but we saw the prototype of this at last years festival and thought it was lovely and had still managed to retain the look of the original Alpine. This model is pretty close to the full production model which will be available in 2018 and was making its world debut although I believe it will cost over £50k so it won’t be joining the family! There wasn’t much action on the track on Thursday as it is the Moving Motorshow day but we had a look round the Paddocks with the normal display of current F1, a special class to celebrate Tom Kristensen’s career and some pre-war vehicles which were interesting. We didn’t have time to get to the rally stage which is normally worth a look. There were lots of supercars and newly launched production models which didn’t interest us but made a lot of 6 year old boys very happy!

So all in all we had a pretty good day, no problems with traffic, just a couple of very light showers and it was pleasantly warm and we met up with several friends. But one or maybe two days is enough these days, it’s all a bit new and corporate for our liking – bring on the Revival and then Mario gets to play.

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.

Motoring for the Museum

MM-logo1-screenFollowing on from the Haslemere Classic Car Show we have just organised a new one-off event – Motoring for the Museum – a fundraiser for the Haslemere Educational Museum. The independent museum has been in Haslemere for over 125 years, we can remember visiting it as children and you can still see the bear and the Mummy with it’s toes sticking out today. It’s a fabulous local institution and has won several awards. The ‘Museum in a Million’ appeal is raising over a Million pounds to set up an endowment fund that will enable the museum to meet the day-to-day running costs of the Museum and safeguard the Museum for future generations.2015-07-05 09.39.102015-07-05 09.56.03

We ran the day along the lines of the popular ‘tour’ at the car show but opened it up to classics and thoroughbreds and so introduced newer cars. The cars met at 9.30 in a local carpark, the 1268 (Haslemere) Squadron Air Cadets helped with the parking and everybody wandered over to the museum to sign on and enjoy a simple breakfast of pastries and coffee while meeting their fellow entrants and have an opportunity to look round the Museum galleries and collections.

At 10.30 the cars started to leave on the outbound leg of the tour. Navigated by tulips, pictorial representations of the route, first used on Dutch rallies in the 1950’s, James had devised an interesting route of around 37 miles, mainly on smaller roads, some of which we’d never been on before! The route went from Haslemere to Lickfold, Fernhurst, Milland, Rake, Greatham, Oakhanger, Binsted and Frensham before finishing at Churt where we had been given access to a private car collection. 

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The Lewis’ have a spectacular collection of cars and automobilia and very generously offered it to us to help the Museum. The entrants were able to spend a couple of hours looking around the unique exhibits and picnicking in the adjoining field.DSC02952DSC_0362 DSC02980 DSC02987 DSC03011 DSC03014 DSC03022 DSC03010 DSC03009 DSC03004 DSC03000

After lunch the cars left the collection for another tour, a little shorter at just under 25 miles to wind their way back to Haslemere via Elstead, Puttenham, Compton, Hydestile, Brook and Grayswood. To finish the afternoon we held a BBQ in the grounds of the Museum.DSC_0399 DSC_0402 DSC_0413 DSC_0418 DSC_0423 DSC03054 DSC03062 DSC03067 DSC03077DSC03099IMG_3373

We had a great collection of vehicles on the event from the 1920’s up to 2015! They were an eclectic mix of vintage, sportscars and everyday classics, mixing with modern supercars. Alongside the more popular MGB’s and Triumphs were a Hadfield-Bean, Aston Martin DB5, Alfa Romeo Montreal and a team of Jenson Interceptors.DSC03079 (1)

Mario was obviously very pleased to help out on the day and after we had signed everybody on and distributed the route and information, we set off to leapfrog the route and take pictures in the very beautiful village of Binsted. We created a lot of attention with the villagers coming out to see what was going on. We had unknowingly clashed with a cycling event and we really confused them as they thought we were there to take photos of them! Several of the cyclists stopped to have a good look at Mario. We then followed the last part of the morning route to the private collection before a quick dash back to Haslemere to take pics of the entrants coming past the museum. Mario was in fine form following his recent ‘repairs’ and the handling was much improved as he flew along the lanes.DSC02946The day was a great success, everybody seemed to enjoy driving their cars and we raised in excess of £2500 for the museum. Keats, a local independent estate agents very generously sponsored the event and paid the majority of our costs and they joined in the fun, bringing a VW camper on the event.

There are loads of photos of the day online

Festival fun… Part one

This weekend was our annual trip to the Goodwood Festival of Speed. We are lucky enough to live quite close to Goodwood so it is easy for us to get there without the cost of having to stay. This year I took my 81 year old Father, a lifelong motorsport fan, on Thursday to the Moving Motor Show as part of his birthday present. On Friday James and I went to the Bonham’s auction as James (a classic car restorer and broker) was looking at a car for a client. Saturday we had a day at home but popped down in the evening to see the Festival Ball fireworks and on Sunday we had another day at the event with a friend.

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Regie the 4cv Renault in the enthusiasts car park, looks like we are at a country fete! Today this would be just off the cricket pitch right in the middle of the event.

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The F1 paddock 1994

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Stripy tape hold the crowds back in 1994

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Many of the cars were parked outside the house.

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Just a single row of short bales line the track

The event has changed a lot since the first one in 1993, in the early days it was very relaxed and a great opportunity to get close to famous drivers and see extraordinary cars never seen before in the UK. Unfortunately over the years the event has been a bit of a victim of it’s own success and the daily crowd of around 50,000 means it is very busy and good old ‘health and safety’ has meant more barriers and less access.

There used to be more older vehicles but since the addition of the Revival meeting in 1998 the Festival had gradually become more modern and technically based. While I enjoy being able to see the F1 and rally cars I’m really not interested in super cars and the crowds of excited ‘boys’ gathered round them. In the ‘old days’ one could actually meet and chat to the great drivers of yesteryear but now the modern F1 ‘stars’ are kept hidden away in hospitality and protected by minders, unfortunately rather necessary with the gaggle of team-wear clad fans clambering for autographs.

We are probably rather spoilt as we have been able to go to all but one of the 22 Festivals and hence there isn’t much new to see these days but don’t get me wrong, we do have a good time and it’s a great social event and an opportunity to catch up with our motoring friends far and wide. Despite the forecast the weather was good and sunny most of the time, I’d love to know what Lord March does to ensure such favourable conditions for the event, although it’s most likely just down to a micro-climate at the base of the South Downs.

Central Feature
Every year a manufacturer is celebrated with the sculpture outside the house, this year was Mercedes and it went right over the house. Not one of my favourites but it did grow on me over the weekend.DSC03188 DSC03191 DSC03212 Goodwood-Festival-of-Speed-2014-Roof-Shots-Friday-16055

Bonhams Auction
The Bonhams auction is very prestigious and attracts a large number of very valuable cars and automobilia. The sale achieved £22.6 million including a World Auction Record for a Ferrari Sports racing car when the 1954 Ferrari 375-Plus sold for £10.7 million. A 1902 De Dietrich sold for astounding £998,300 and one of the most iconic sports cars of the 20th Century – a 1975 Lamborghini Countach LP400 ‘Periscopio’ Coupé – sold for a new world record £953,500.

I thought that this Bonnet Mascot by Antoire Bofill from 1910 must have been seen by the creators of Shrek’s Puss in Boots.DSC02996PussbootsVettel’s Helmet as worn at the 2013 Monaco Grand Prix and uniquely painted for the event was sold for charity and went for £20,000.
DSC02991 Mario loved this Golf cart moulded from a original Fiat Jolly. It was made in 2008 and used by Lord March at the 2008 Revival. Fiat looked into manufacturing a limited number but changed their mindDSC02987 1935 Aston Martin UlsterDSC02855 My personal favourite was this 1939-40 Aston Martin Atom factory prototype concept car.DSC02858In the middle of the auction marquee we saw this box in the floor protecting a rare orchid growing underneath.DSC03010Manufacturers
Since the demise of the London Motor Show, Thursday’s Moving Motorshow has taken it’s place and perspective buyers can test drive new cars up the hill climb. Most of the major manufacturers attend and all vie with each other to attract the publics attention. Many new models are launched at the show and various concept cars are on display. The manufacturers stands have become very luxurious with multi stories and interactive features to entertain the family. Several of them have exclusive areas for owners on presentation of your keys. We had great hospitality from Jaguar including lovely little pies.DSC03110 Not so sure about a concept crossover Jaguar. Look at the size of those wheels!DSC03105 This Nissan concept was the result of a competition run around the world for young designers. Nissan were so impressed with the London teams designs that they had this concept built in three weeks.DSC03099 Another Nissan concept produced from the top results from a project where people around the world were asked to interactively design a car by making selections while wearing an virtual reality headset. Quite an interesting result with a retro feel but why in ‘hearing aid’ beige?DSC03097 Great lengths were taken to hide new cars to the moment of their unveiling but driving a covered car blind seemed to be taking it to new extremes.DSC03087Formula 1
One of the big things about the FoS is that most of the F1 teams come along and run their ‘almost’ current cars. This year a bigger ‘pit lane’ had been added with more space which made it easier to see the cars although we didn’t venture anywhere near when the drivers were around. McLaren, Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, Williams and Renault were on all display. It is very interesting to see how the cars have developed and until you see them together what you consider being a modern formula 1 car such as this 1994 Benetton Ford, that Schumacher drove, now looks very old fashioned and many of them look incredibly wide.

DSC02769 Even at the festival, lots of kit was required.DSC02765 Current F1 cars are extremely complicated.DSC02756DSC02713 DSC02730 It was nice to see that Williams have a tribute to Ayrton Senna on the nose.DSC02729 While the Mercedes has a rather cute little grill.DSC02715
The ‘garages’ are very slick.DSC02711 The F1 cars attract the most attention, the worlds journalists and photographers gathered around the Ferrari awaiting festival newcomer Kimi Räikkönen!DSC03431Part two to follow tomorrow (hopefully)…

 

What is a ‘supercar’?

This morning was the first Goodwood Breakfast Club of 2014. Rather later in the year than previous, due to the 72 members meeting being held in March. The theme was Supercar Sunday, normally one we try to avoid, personally not having much interest in the subject matter and it is always so busy. However this was the only BC before the car show we organise so in the spirit of marketing (handing out leaflets) we decided we’d better make an effort.

Although many of the attendees arrive at ‘stupid O’clock’ in the morning, we left Haslemere at a much more leisurely pace and had a lovely sunny drive over the downs to the Goodwood Motor Circuit. Being a bit later we didn’t have our usual ‘super traffic jam’ behind Mario but we did see several cars making their way back northwards, amazingly between Midhurst and Goodwood we saw 5 Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale’s, so hardly unusual!

DSC08315Although we and many of his fans consider Mario to be a ‘Supercar’, for once we parked in the public car parks, a bit of a shock for Mario but we left him in a very prominent position covered in posters and fliers advertising the forthcoming Haslemere Classic Car Show – if Mario didn’t attract attention, nothing would!

As we said we personally have very little interest in what are loosely described as Supercars, as James put it most of them are ‘footballers daily transport’ and quite of lot of them you’d be as likely to see in Sainsburys than at Breakfast Club! Still we persevered through the crowds of excited eight year boys jumping up and down at shiny red Ferraris and Grey Porsche’s and did spot a few more unusual gems…

With the factory just down the road there was a smattering of Rolls Royce on the grid, personally wouldn’t want one but did like the colour and the numberplate!DSC08317DSC08318 DSC08320 DSC08322 After musing about which car we would take home if we’d won the lottery, we came across this rather spectacular Bristol, the bodywork and interior was spectacular and it was definitely the car I’d have taken home.DSC08323 DSC08324 DSC08326 Parked next to the Bristol was this rather scruffy looking Jaguar, in fact I overheard somebody say ‘it looked like it had been dragged from a lake’, however the paperwork revealed it was actually rather special and was one of the few XJ40’s fitted with a V12 and truly was a super car of it’s time.DSC08329 DSC08332 DSC08333Aston Martin Lagonda – probably the ugliest car of the day although I’m sure it’s owner loves it, a real ‘Marmite’ car with it’s 70’s styling.DSC08334James always get rather annoyed about the number of ‘kit cars’ at Breakfast Club but if you are going to have one it might as well be a rather fun and good looking Vanwall look-alike.DSC08337 Or if I was going to have one – a Porsche Speedster kit, with it’s beautiful almost illustrated cartoon sportscar lines.DSC08341 Or a bright yellow ‘GT40’.DSC08342 Slightly hidden away in the paddock was a lovely Piper, a specialist car built in the 60’s and 70’s. Only around 80 road cars were made.DSC08344 and the 80’s ‘Back to the Future’ DeLoreanDSC08346 On the grid, next door neighbours demonstrated the change in super cars over the years with an Arial Atom parked alongside a Ferrari Daytona.DSC08349 Finally hidden away amongst the bikes parked in the Chicane carpark was the real treat of the day – Gordon Murrays Rocket, an ultra-lightweight, open cockpit roadster powered by a 1-litre motorcycle engine, which has an appearance similar to that of a 60’s era Grand Prix car. Looking like a pure single-seater, it actually could accommodate a passenger in tandem with the driver. This seat was located beneath a removable cover. Only around 50 were ever made and as of the lightest road cars ever conceived, weighing in at under 400kg, at the time of its launch in 1992, it was one of the fastest accelerating cars in the world.

Just maybe lurking in the background away from the crowds we had seen a true super car?DSC08352 DSC08357 DSC08358PS Whatever you think about super cars everybody (us included) seemed to have a good time, other than the poor chap in his Aston Martin DB9 whose emergency anti roll bars seemed to have deployed accidentally through his rear window – oops!

oops

‘Brother’ Regie has a day out at Brooklands

Today Mario’s ‘brother’ Regie, a 1958 Renault 4cv Convertible was invited for a day out as part of the Brooklands Double Twelve Press Day. Regular readers will remember that Mario had a great day at the Double Twelve event last June. The event is one of Brooklands biggest weekends of the year and a good selection of cars was invited to be on display around the club house and take journalists on a couple of sample tests and to have a go at judging a concours to give them a taster of what was going to be happening in June.

The weather was fairly kind to us, quite bright and not quite as cold as it has been and really rather pleasant as long as one was wrapped up warmly, Regie isn’t really the best car for this time of year being convertible and having no heater, the engine’s in the back so you don’t even get any engine heat.

DSC06905 A couple of lovely Bentleys – a unique R type fastback special and a 1930 4 1/2.DSC06907

This row were used for journalists to play at being a concours judge – they were given tips for what to look for. The Mini Cooper S won, it was immaculate but has only driven 150 miles since it’s restoration.DSC06909A beautiful Aston Martin and our friends Vauxhall 30/98, both marques are celebrating centenaries this year and will be represented at the Double Twelve.DSC06910A Lagonda and the Bentley Pacey Hassan Special which has just returned to the UK and will be competing in the Double Twelve event.DSC06916 Two AC’s, Brooklands is home to AC Heritage and the original AC’s were built locally and raced at the circuit.DSC06917 A special Mini de Ville, this period mod was done by Radford and was a very rare ‘hatchback’ version with lots of extras.DSC06920 Mike getting ready for his test on the hill climb.DSC06929 DSC06937 This is a ‘recreation’ of the famous Mercedes 300 SLR as driven by Sir Stirling Moss on the 1955 Mille Miglia and had been built using original Mercedes parts.DSC06942 DSC06945 DSC06950 James taking Mario on the second test, a mixture of the speed and agility of the car (very good) and the ability of the driver to remember the route!DSC06967 The Barbara Cartland room in the museum.DSC06976 A beautiful Hare mascot on an Alvis.DSC06984 This wonderful 1920’s Rolls Royce had a hidden ‘toy cupboard’ in the running board. All the ‘little’ boys were fascinated and wanted a play.DSC06997 Your author wrapped up against the cold watching James do the Hill Climb test in Regie, picture by our friend Guy Loveridge.IMG_5359 Regie outside the clubhouse.DSC07011

We had a great day and hope we can take some of the cars back to compete in the Double Twelve Event in June, just need to find a class that they are eligible for. Hopefully Mario isn’t too jealous of Regie’s day out, he’ll get his first outing of the year on Sunday at the first Goodwood Breakfast Club of the year.

A few more pics online.