A quick catch up…

Hello strangers, we’ve been very lapse at posting recently, so this will be a quick catch up to date and then hopefully normal service will be resumed.

After the Goodwood Revival and our Wander in Wales with Regie things went a bit quiet on the car front as they often do as winter approaches.

The first Sunday in October though, was the Italian Breakfast Club at Goodwood and Mario had a pass. It was a bright but chilly morning and the circuit was packed with a great selection of Italian cars, including Mario’s ‘girlfriend’ Bella a beautiful Fiat Belvedere, an ‘estate’ version of the first Fiat 500 Topolino and Lord March’s fantastic Lancia Aurelia.

dsc02792dsc02779 dsc02783 dsc02785 dsc02765dsc02768dsc02788Mario was as popular as ever and it was a lovely day for a drive in the countryside.

Later on another lovely sunny day in October, Mario was back on duty as a wedding car – having never done a wedding in all the time we’ve had him, in 2016 we did two in quick succession! This time it wasn’t to be as nerve racking as driving the bosses daughter!

An old friend going back to primary school days asked if Mario could be her wedding car and we were delighted to oblige. Picking up Sarah and her Italian brother-in-law (who obviously loved Mario) from her home locally and taking them to Guildford Registry office and then driving her and her new Husband Chris back home. Chris was really excited to be in Mario and we had a lovely afternoon helping them celebrate.
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After such a happy day the rest of the year took rather a downturn with the loss of one of our best friends Victor. Victor had been a big part of our ‘classic’ life as we first met him at the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club when James first had his Mark 2 Jag 30 years ago. Over the years we had become very close friends and took part in lots of car related activities together including importing the two Subaru 360’s from Japan and going on the Leige-Brescia-Leige and Micro Marathon microcar rallies, plus of course many visits to Goodwood and various shows. We will never forget him with so many fantastic memories.

Victor’s funeral on Armistice Day was sad but very uplifting with the church overflowing with friends, a very large number of who knew him via the classic car world. Many people took their classics and Victor was accompanied on his final ‘road trip’ by his own collection of vehicles including the Subaru, his Jaguar D-type replica, Daimler, Mini Cooper, Austin A40 and what had been his last acquisition – a Bedford army truck!360team Col du Tourmalet DSCN0207.JPG DSCN0244.JPG DSCN3175.JPG img_0770 img_0771 mm_0795

We were both poorly over the Christmas and New Year period so we didn’t get to any of the New Years Day car meets – the weather was atrocious too, so I don’t think we’d have risked either car even if we had been feeling well.

So here we are in January 2017. James is currently in Europe, navigating on the Winter Trial with Herman in the Volvo Amazon. I’m at home trying to get the information for the 2017 Haslemere Classic Car Show up together and update the website but I keep getting interrupted by emails asking ‘how to book’ so I guess it’s going to be a popular event again! We are behind and only have 4 months to go but hopefully in it’s 9th year it will organise itself – I hope.

Events are already planned, Mario has a Chicane Parking spot for the Goodwood Member’s meeting in March, we have applied for a place at Wheels Day on Good Friday and we have a signed contract to be back taxi driving at the Revival. So already it looks like it’s going to be a busy year. We have lots of material in the wings to blog so hopefully there won’t be such a big gap between posts.

A belated Happy New Year to all our readers.mario-bubble-front

UPDATE

You might remember reading the first part of our ‘Weird and Wonderful’ series about the Corvair Futura Concept – we didn’t know where it currently was… anyway we received an email from Scott in the US, who had read the blog, letting us know that it was still owned by Wayne Carini and he had seen it there in January covered in dust – hopefully it will find a new home soon.

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.

Normal service will soon be resumed…

Mario would like to apologise for his absence, just don’t know where time has gone. We’ve had a very busy few weeks…

Starting off with our favourite weekend of the year at the Goodwood Revival, a great time was had as part of the period taxi rank and ‘brother’ Regie the Renault 4cv got to take part in the Daily ‘Road to Wembley’ Parade.dsc01615regie-at-goodwood-friday-9-sept-2016

The following weekend the Humans went on holiday, taking Regie as he’s a bit more practical and goes up hills, important as they were on a classic tour in Wales.dsc02215Mario was out and about again at the October Breakfast Club meet at Goodwood – Italian Sunday.
img_1393And on duty last weekend for an old school friends wedding.dsc02802Watch this space for more on all these events coming (very) soon!

Weird & Wonderful No 2… The Astra-Gnome “Time and Space Car”

I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for the “love them or hate them” Nash Metropolitan’sNash-Metropolitan-1954So I was very excited to see some images pop up on the internet of Nash’s only ‘Concept Car’ The 1956 Astra-Gnome “Time and Space Car”, a weird and wacky custom development of the Metropolitan. The ‘Astra-Gnome’ made it’s debut on April 28th at the 1956 International Auto Show in New York. It created headlines all over the world and featured on the front cover of Newsweek on September 3rd 1956.publicity1 Publicity2 Publicity3publicity4Autoshow-1956newsweekNewsweek-cover

The Astra-Gnome is a ‘dream car’ designed by Richard Arbib & Company and manufactured by Andrew Mazzara Custom Body Work (New York) on a Nash Metropolitan chassis. The futuristic space age design was created in 4 months with many aesthetic elements borrowed from science fiction of the time. The almost invisible undercarriage gives it a hovercraft or spaceship effect, with a panoramic view from the bubble top and changeable coloured aluminium panels.1956-Astra-Gnome4astra-gnome-street

American Motors commissioned leading industrial designer Richard Arbib, famous for designing the Hamilton asymmetrical watches and boats as well as cars, to design his vision of the future and the result was a vehicle which represented what an automobile would look like in the year 2000. It was never intended to be a production model but to raise awareness of how cars could look in the future.

Among its many features is a Hamilton “celestial time-zone clock permitting actual flight-type navigation. The acrylic glass bubble canopy also served as a sound chamber for the car’s high fidelity radio and record player. Also included was air conditioning and wrap-around bumper protection to the same height of other car bumpers. The 6-foot (1.83 m) width of the concept car was much greater than comparable cars of the time and allowed for extra interior room, as well as storage and luggage spaces that included six pieces of matched integrated luggage. The company at the time said

“A host of features, are here and now in the Astra-Gnome, but it will only be a matter of time until in some form they appear in future production cars. These features are not concerned with high horsepower or competition car performance, because as product stylists we do not believe the primary task of the appearance designer is a mechanical one.

We believe our job is to create new and exciting shapes, textures and colors in a functional car.  In the Gnome a totally new driving sensation akin to flying has resulted from this kind of esthetic exploration.  The “Space” element in the Astra-Gnome is almost self-explanatory, for the designer of the “personal” car is dealing with a space problem from the very beginning”

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BrochureBrochure2Amazingly the Astra-Gnome was discovered in 1980, sealed up in a New York high-rise office. It has been faithfully restored to perfection and kept and displayed at the Metropolitan Pit Stop in North Hollywood, CA. 1956-Astra-Gnome 1956-astra-gnome2 1956-Astra-Gnome31956-astra-gnome5 Astra-Gnome-badge astra-gnome-badge2There’s a video doing a ‘tour’ of the car, in the museum.

The Astra-Gnome even featured in this fashion feature for Esquire Magazine.
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So here we are in 2016 and unfortunately, that 1950’s ideal of what cars would look like in 2000 never materialised, the roads would certainly look more interesting if they had!

We still have Mario though and he’s busy getting himself and the humans ready for next weeks Goodwood Revival. We will be in attendance as usual with ‘brother’ Regie the Renault 4cv, doing taxi duty all weekend. If you are coming along make sure you say hello. We’ll be reporting all the adventures we have, here in due course.

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

Weird & Wonderful No 1 – Chevrolet Corvair Futura Concept

The first in what will hopefully be another little series, featuring the weird, wonderful, unique and just a little wacky…

The Chevrolet Corvair Futura Concept

Corvair-concept4Corvair-concept2 Corvair-concept3Corvair-concept5 Corvair-concept6 Corvair-concept-interiorCorvair-concept-interior2When we first saw pictures of this ‘Futura’ concept, I thought it looked a bit like an angular Multipla and certainly had the feel of some of the chopped Multipla Beach Cars. However this isn’t a carefully preserved concept car designed by the factory but is a one off made by an enthusiast.

Not a great deal seems to be known about it. The design, it would appear is based on some drawings produced for Kaiser Aluminum in the late 50’s. To persuade the American Auto Industry to use more aluminium, car designers Frank Hershey and Associates were commissioned to produce a portfolio of aluminium car designs to feature in promotional literature. The designs included a targa-top convertible and a station wagon. The one design that stood out was for The ‘Waimea’ a sort of van cut down to station wagon height. The design was credited to a Rhys Miller.
Waimea-ad

So lets jump forward to the mid 90’s when a slightly eccentric gentleman called Harry Larson of Minnesota decided that after restoring 5 cars in wanted to create one. He had a file of the Kaiser Ads from the  60’s, pulled out the Waimea and set about constructing one. He started with a Corvair Greenbrier Sportswagon from 1960. Greenbrier

The Waimea was designed to give the driver as much vision as possible and so had the driver sitting in the middle with centre steering and a fully enclosed glass front area and glass sunroof. The car turned up at shows in Minnesota in the 90’s but then disappeared to be put up for sale on eBay a few years ago. In 2013 it was apparently brought by Wayne Carini from the TV programme Chasing Classic Cars, although it hasn’t featured in any of the programmes that I’ve seen. In 2014 Wayne wrote in an article for Hagerty called Buyer’s Remorse…

“Another car I have mixed feelings about is the Kaiser Aluminum Corvair Futura. It started as a Corvair Greenbrier Sportswagon, but has center steering and an all-new nose with stacked headlamps. When you’re talking about a one-off concept car, there isn’t much you can do with it. They’re rarely fully developed for driving, there are few eligible show classes and they only attract a special kind of buyer. I’m not thrilled about the purchase, because I don’t know what to do with it now that it’s mine.”

CariniIt isn’t known if Wayne still owns the car or if he has sold it where it has gone. Despite quite a bit of research this was all the info I could find and the only pictures, which appear to come from the original eBay posting.

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

Edwardians star at 74th Members Meeting

PrintA couple of weeks ago we spent the weekend at the 74th Members Meeting at Goodwood. This much lower key event was revived in 2014 and is intended to be a recreation of the original seventy one Members Meetings that were held at the track in it’s heyday. It’s a treat for us, as we actually experience a weekends racing, it’s much less crowded and more accessible with no corporate hospitality then at the Revival later in the year, when we are busy working as part of the period taxi fleet.

Taking place in mid March the potential downside is the weather, luckily it stayed dry but it was rather chilly as it is an exposed airfield. However as James often says “there is no such thing as bad weather just bad clothing” and so we prepared well. With lots of layers – I could hardly move and looked like a Michelin Man – hats and warm boots, we stayed toasty all weekend. We saw some very stupid people who didn’t dress for the conditions and obviously weren’t enjoying it and the numbers thinned out quite quickly in the afternoons.

Saturday is practice day and after a great journey down to Goodwood, we arrived about 10.30. Unfortunately we didn’t have circuit parking for Mario, unlike the first 72 meeting and so left him at home. New this year and what we were most looking forward to, was the SF Edge Trophy for Edwardian Specials raced up until 1923. These proved to be the total stars of the weekend. One of the first things we saw in the paddock was this fabulous fire breathing Darracq, a 1905 land speed record car which was totally awesome. The practice session was amazing with a field of unique vehicles, most of which looked positively dangerous.DSC07239 DSC07287 DSC07304 DSC07305 DSC07343 DSC07352 DSC07354 DSC07360 DSC07244On Saturday there was a special demonstration of two Championship winning Mercedes Benz W196’s from the 50’s. Driven by Jochen Mass and Mika Hakkinen. We almost missed them so only got a rear view!DSC07371 DSC07388 We popped in the viewing of the Bonham’s auction. Mario would have been pleased to see a couple of small Fiats. We loved the Mercedes Service van and wanted to take home the Autobianchi Bianchini, just as well it wasn’t the cabriolet version or I might have had a problem keeping my arm down!DSC07402 DSC07404 DSC07409 DSC07411 DSC07412 DSC07414 DSC07420 As it started to get dark the Alan Mann Trophy got underway with a field of 29 Ford GT40’s charging into the darkness.DSC07446 DSC07457Then it was time for the party. Unique to the Members Meeting, everybody is invited to an evening of entertainment, with fairground rides, high wire acts, fire dancing and parades. All finished off with a tremendous fireworks display which lit up the sky as far as the eye could see.DSC07466 DSC07471 DSC07485 DSC07503 DSC07553 DSC07556 DSC07625 DSC07630 DSC07672 Sunday morning saw another good run to the circuit and we made sure that we arrived in plenty of time for the Edwardian race. At the entrance was this lovely Speedwell Blue A35, just like my first car (sort of!). We discovered that the racing was already running very late, this was due to a horrid and freak accident in the first race of the day, when a car had rolled and ended up in the tunnel beneath the track. Amazingly nether the driver or any members of the public were hurt but unfortunately it put a damper on the day and heralded a day of incidents and red flags, including another massive accident in the afternoon, again under unusual circumstances. The driver although injured wasn’t as bad as feared. Goodwood keep a very low profile over major accidents and do not show or comment on them and so I will not dwell on them any further or add links to images and video. The result of all the stoppages was that several of the races had to be shortened and it did take the gloss off of the racing.  DSC07675

DSC07698The Edwardian race however was superb. Exciting, competitive and with no incidents. In vehicles that were difficult to drive and handle, the drivers showed tremendous respect for each other while racing hard. They are completely bonkers, racing as they do while perched high up, exposed and unprotected on tiny seats and with a huge difference in size between the cars.
DSC07715 DSC07718 DSC07721 A high speed demo by the group 5 sportscars, which had dominated the World Sportscar Championships in the 70’s, including the iconic Gulf Porsche was a spectacular sight.DSC07765 DSC07773 DSC07778 DSC07797 We set off for a trip out to Lavant and spotted this lovely Volvo P1800 which is a car I’ve fancied owning for a while.DSC07812 Part of the Members Meeting is all the other events which take place around the circuit for people to join in and earn points for their house. Out at Lavant Corner I had a go at Duck Herding – well I stood in the middle of a field and the sheep (duck) dog and ducks did what the knew how to! There was also Feret Racing.DSC07813 DSC07819 DSC07822We went back to the paddock area for a tasty pre-birthday Afternoon Tea in the Bill Wisdom Enclosure. Then we had a good look around the Edwardian cars, which are even more impressive (and oily) close up and great for some detail photography.IMG_1087DSC07681DSC07685DSC07865 DSC07871 DSC07872 DSC07877 DSC07878 DSC07884 We went infield beyond the startline, to an area which at the Revival is all hospitality, here we had a good view back to the start through the daffodil display. The Ground Effect F1 cars gave a good high speed demonstration, unfortunately we missed the grid walk as due to the incidents the timings were all over the place. It was a good viewing spot so we stayed there to watch part two of the Gerry Marshall Trophy for the Group 1 Saloon cars 1970-1972.DSC07894 DSC07897 DSC07983 DSC07985 DSC08007 The Parnell Cup is another favourite with pre 1953 Grand Prix cars, including ‘Remus’ the blue with yellow wheels ERA which made such an impression on us, in the first race, at the first Revival, way back in 1998 and started our love affair with motorsport at Goodwood.DSC08027DSC08017 As the sun started to set, there were still three races to go, these all had to be shortened and were run with no ceremony but they had a certain intensity and in the cooling conditions, the lack of ‘hanging about’ was rather welcome.DSC08031 DSC08037 DSC08058 DSC08092 DSC08113 So with the racing over, the remaining spectators and competitors, headed for the Great Hall for the prize giving. Warmed up with Bullshot – hot Bloody Mary’s made with beef consommé – the ceremony took the format of a school awards day with the Race Governors in their robes handing out the prizes. The four House Captains waited anxiously to find out which house had won – Methuen and Anthony Reid for the third year running, although it was our house captain Emanuele Pirro who had the last word, thanking Lord March for the weekend.DSC08121 DSC08130 DSC08138