Yesterday was the annual open day for the Goodwood Road Racing Club. This year Mario’s Brother ‘Regie’ the Renault 4cv was given an invitation to display. It was lightly raining when we left home but by the time we arrived at Goodwood House the sun was shining and it stayed for the rest of the day. The 48 display cars were parked around the carriage circle and all given a board telling a bit about their history. There is always a wide range of cars belonging to members from all over the country and this year even one couple who came from Holland!
We had a chance to met and talk to the other entrants over a coffee, the goodwood news website and forum fortyonesix.com were there filming and interviewed our friend Mike about his De Dion Bouton, the oldest car there and the one which we have been on the London to Brighton on. The chosen cars ‘humans’ were all invited to have lunch in the house which was superb in a lovely setting, especially the dessert, a plate of tiny really fruity jellies, and macaroons sandwiched with fabulous gooey chocolate.
Lord March himself was there to look at the cars on display and we had a opportunity for a nice chat about our cars and working at the Revival, we even let him in on the ‘big surprise’ being planned for the Revival but you will have to wait for that!
This is always a fun family day out with entertainment for the children and people picnicing in front of the house, lots of people arrive in their classic and sports cars but unfortunately we didn’t make it to the car park to see what wonders were on display.
People voted for their ‘car of the day’ which was won by a bright orange Lamborghini Miura, the owners were presented with champagne and laurels from the GRRC team, who also revealed that there is a new event being planned for 2014 and to keep the last weekend in March free – lets hope it’s not snowy like this year!
After the presentations we left for a lovely sunny drive home, stopping off to give Mario a wash ready for his important outing tomorrow, this involves the press but we can’t tell you more at the moment… watch this space.
I loved the VW ambulance, we had lunch with the owners who had acquired it after the previous camper they owned and restored was destroyed by fire on the way home from Le Mans.
I normally have a little sulk if I get left at home but on Sunday I was very pleased to stay tucked up safe and warm while my ‘humans’ set off on the annual London to Brighton Veteran car run, for which of course I am far too young!
After leaving home at the unearthly time of 4.45am, the morning was absolutely dreadful with torrential rain and so cold it was sleeting from time to time. It was still pitch dark when unloading the car, a 1900 De Dion Bouton in Hyde Park. The cars depart in age order so the De Dion had a fairly early number – 66 and corresponding start time of 7.10am.
James and the De Dion’s human, Mike set off for the start while the (sensible) girls left in the tender vehicle to find a suitable spot on route to wait for them to come past. We stopped between Redhill and Crawley at a spot where the locals provide water for steam cars and refreshments. The rain had been heavy now for hours and there was a lot of surface water and some localised flooding. The cars started coming past all looking very wet and cold but most managed a wave and smile at the equally wet spectators who had turned out in the bad conditions to watch the run come past.
By the time we arrived in Brighton it was dry and the sun was starting to shine, although it was so windy you could hardly stand up. The Pier looked very dramatic with huge rolling waves and sea mist.The cars started to arrive shortly before ten-thirty, although the bulk didn’t get there until lunchtime and beyond. The cars that were last to leave often arrive first as they are ‘newer’ and faster. There were several celebrities on the event including Sir Stirling Moss, Jochen Mass, Nick Mason and Charlie Boorman. An ultra-marathon runner did the entire 63 miles on route, running against a friends car with a prize of the loser buying the ice-creams – his time was faster than James and Mike! The final car crossed the finished line as the sun was going down shortly after 4.30pm.
James and Mike arrived at 1pm, under six hours from leaving London and the fastest time Mike had ever completed the event in. The De Dion had performed very well, much better than last year but then much tinkering has been done in the last twelve months. After some warming soup at the finish it was time to hit the hotel and a set of dry clothes before preparing for the post event VCC dinner.
In the late afternoon we took a walk up the pier, after the appalling start to the day there was a beautiful sunset and it was much calmer, in fact Monday was typically a glorious sunny day but then if the weather had been better there wouldn’t have been so much to talk about, for many years, the entrants will be talking about the ‘wet run of 2012!’
Mario spent today working hard at the local Charter Fair to promote the forthcoming Haslemere Classic Car Show which his humans help to organise. After a rather damp set-up and start the sun finally came out and a good afternoon was had by all. Sharing the stand with a 1900 De Dion Bouton, Mario was the bright young thing and did a great job doing what comes naturally – creating attention. Lots of people were given leaflets about the event to be held at the end of May which will hopefully mean we have a big crowd at the show.
Mario and the De Dion on the stand – Mario respects his elders and let the De Dion use the gazebo!
Parade of Town Criers from all over the country who were here to take part in a Town Crier competition.