Sunny Sunday… at Goodwood of course!

The sun generally seems to shine at Goodwood and after a few rather horrible weeks weather wise, last Sunday proved to be no exception. We set off fairly early for us but not for most Breakfast Club participants – Brunch Club would be much more our thing! It was a lovely morning and the great thing about driving Mario is the open road in front, just don’t look behind, especially when going up Goodwood Hill…We had a pass for circuit access and were soon parked up with the usual crowd gathered around. The theme was Classic Sunday and is our favourite Breakfast Club of the year. It was very busy with a good and varied collection of vehicles.This Opel had been opened since new. James was pleased to see this what appeared to be an Original Jaguar C-type, he was pleasantly surprised about the lack of ‘Kit Cars’ in attendance, far less than other breakfast clubs.Mario found a distant cousin in this rather lovely Fiat 500 Giardiniera, hopefully we’ll be seeing it again in the Fiat 500 Parade at the Revival. Having restored a Mini Moke for a client a few years ago, James was very interested in this prototype Moke, very rare and unusual in makes the production More look positively luxurious!We loved this cute Fiat 850 Coupe which brought back ‘happy’ memories of the standard 850 that Jane learnt to drive in – called ‘Tetley’ as it had 1000 little perforations, you need to be a certain age to understand that or a connoisseur of TV adverts! The picture is on the morning of Jane’s 17th birthday and the start of her first driving lesson. A rather colourful section of the displayAfter Breakfast Club we drove up to Goodwood House for the GRRC Open Day. This great ‘action’ shot of Mario was taken by fellow member Helen Sanders.
The open day consists of a friendly, public judged Concours. It was won, slightly surprisingly by a 2017 Aston Martin which to be honest I didn’t pay much attention to and didn’t take any photos off. My choice of the day was between two entries…

A 1955 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint, a very early example from a pre-series production. It ws originally sold to Swedish GP Driver Joakim Bonnier. A ten year restoration has led to the beautiful car on display.
My other choice was a close relation of Mario – a gorgeous 1959 Fiat Abarth 750GT. Using a 600 floorpan and with Zagato’s lightweight aluminium Coachwork and Abarths’s modified engine and exhaust. The type won its class at Le Mans and the last Mille Miglia in 1957.
James was nostalgic, seeing an Austin Westminster Rally Car – he rallied many times in his (Police) Westminster many years ago, until he overtook a snowplough and crashed into a gate post. The awards were made by Lord March.

So a lovely relaxing day in the sunshine, chatting to old friends and looking at old cars – couldn’t ask for much else, other than a great drive home in Mario.

A motoring catch up – 2017 so far…

We’ve been rather lapse with posting so far this year so here is a quick pictorial catch up of what we’ve been up to so far…

London Lisbon
In April James navigated on the London to Lisbon Rally for Michael Moss in the Fiat 2300 which started from Brooklands Museum. The first leg took in roads very near our home, in fact the first regularity finished just a few hundred metres from James’ workshop! Maybe local knowledge helped as they had a great first day. The first coffee stop was at the fantastic workshops of vintage Bentley specialist William Metcalf. After the first day in the UK they took they ferry to France for a further 8 days of intense rallying through France, Spain and Portugal in all conditions from snow to blazing sunshine. They had a great week with a pretty respectable top 20 finish in a car that was rather large for many of the tests.

Haslemere Classic Car Show
At the end of May it was time for the Haslemere Classic Car Show which we organise. This was the ninth year and it grows in popularity every year. Places for the tour and show were ‘sold out’ weeks before the event. We had great gathering of pre-1973 cars, around 90 of which were waved off by the Mayor on our morning tour of about 60 miles with a coffee stop at Lasham Gliding Club. Mario was there in a very useful capacity helping to transport lots of stuff about. He spent the day being admired peeking out between the stands. This year saw the launch of the HCCS Haslemere Hog – a charity event in Haslemere where 60 Pigs have been decorated by different organisations and then sold/auctioned to raise money. RoadHOG is great fun with his illustrations by Derek Matthews and his flying helmet and accessories. Mario even features on one side! A few of his ‘Hoggy’ friends also turned up in a Peugeot pickup to help support the event.

Our two competitions – Best Dressed Car and Crew and People’s choice produced some deserving winners. It was just a shame that after 8 sunny years the show ended a little early with a ‘Monsoon’!


Goodwood Breakfast Club – Soft Top Sunday
Obviously Mario doesn’t have a soft top so Regie had a day out. It was a lovely sunny morning with a good turn out of convertibles at the Circuit. We had a pass and so got to show off at the end of the grid. It was the first time we’d taken Regie out in a while and you forget how much fun he is to drive. RoadHOG who was raffled off at the car show was won by friends of ours who took him along in the back of their Sunbeam which created a lot of interest. Also of interest was one of the 60 new Caterham Seven Sprints, a new car but built in a retro style. It was such a lovely day that we went on down to Bognor.  GRRC Members Drinks – Kennels PhotoBomb
Every month we meet up with local Goodwood Members at the Kennels, it has become quite a tradition at the June meeting to bring our classic/interesting cars along and have a photoshoot in front of the clubhouse. For once it was a lovely summer evening so we had a great ride down in Regie. So that’s us fairly up to date, there are several motoring things coming up including a day at the Festival of Speed tomorrow…











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

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.

Goodwood double…

At last an outing, well two actually, for Mario. The first Sunday in August, luckily a lovely sunny day was the Goodwood Breakfast Club – Thoroughbred Sunday and also the Goodwood Road Racing Club (GRRC) open day at Goodwood House. Mario had a pass to park on the grid so we had an early start as we were instructed to be at the circuit by 8am! Rather a struggle after a very busy week and a good night out the previous evening.

 

The circuit wasn’t as busy as I’ve seen it but for once it was a great collection of pre-66 cars rather than looking like Sainsbury’s carpark. We were park up opposite the pits and immediately had a good crowd around us.DSC03719DSC03717DSC03718DSC03720DSC03694 DSC03695 The Fiat Arbarth was lovely, thought the engine would look good in Mario.DSC03697DSC03729Keeping on an Italian theme, my favourite car on the grid was this beautiful Cisitalia, recently back from competing on the Mille Miglia it looked stunning in the sunshine.DSC03700 DSC03701 DSC03703 DSC03704 This Mini might look a little scruffy but it is very very original and has been to our car show. The collection of period accessories is also great.DSC03705DSC03711 This little Fiat 850 Coupe was fab, could see myself nippy to the shops in it but guess it would put Mario’s nose out of joint.DSC03708 DSC03709
DSC03712 DSC03713 DSC03715 DSC03716DSC03723 DSC03725 We’ve decided that Mario looks like an upside down Minion! Might have to dress up sometime.DSC03726
DSC03735 DSC03744 DSC03745 DSC03747After an enjoyable wander around and meeting up with friends for a natter, we left the Breakfast club around 11.30 for the short run up the road to the house. We hadn’t entered this year so we went to the public carpark which was full of lots of lovely cars. The successful entrants were parked around the carriage circle and were as varied as usual.DSC03750 DSC03754 DSC03755 DSC03757 Bella, one of Mario’s girlfriends, was on display and looking fab. The 1955 Fiat 500C Belvedere Estate is really cute and attracted a lot of votes.DSC03759 DSC03760 This AA Badge was quite unusual with the flag on the top.DSC03763 DSC03765 DSC03768This E-type was a very early pre production model, you could tell by the bonnet catches which were on the outside,DSC03784The car I would most like to take home was this fabulous 1954 Studebaker Commander Starliner Hardtope. `Known as the American Car with the European looks, it was awarded a medal by the New York school of fashion in 1953. This was this particular cars first outing in nearly 40 years!
DSC03769 DSC03772DSC03781 We met up and picnicked with a group of GRRC members who we have a monthly meeting with.DSC03778 DSC03780While not brave enough for the Helter Skelter (worried about the embarrassment of getting stuck) we did have a go in the Hall of Mirrors, liked this one which made us look tall and thin.
DSC03789By mid afternoon we were starting to feel rather sleepy and so set off for the lovely drive home back over the downs. It was great to be out in Mario although he still isn’t running right. We have ordered a carburator repair kit so hopefully he will be 100% fit for the Revival which is getting ever closer.

A fun filled weekend at 73MM

This weekend was the 73rd Goodwood Members meeting, the second in the modern day format, a continuation of the 71 club meetings run in the 50’s and 60’s for BARC members and it was another triumph for the Goodwood team. Poor Mario was left at home as unlike last year we hadn’t been able to secure parking within the circuit and it didn’t seem worth getting him out of hibernation to sit in a field, plus the lights are useless and it would be dark for both journeys home.

Yet again the Goodwood magic worked and for a March weekend the weather stayed dry and fairly bright although the wind was perishing on Saturday, forward planning and lots of layers meant we managed to stay reasonably comfortable. The circuit looked amazing with an ever increasing number of daffodills surrounding the track.

This year we had the added interest of our friend Adam having an entry in the Bruce McLaren Trophy in his 1964 Huffier-Chevrolet Genie Mk10. This class for the real beasts of motorsport were the fastest on the track with the front runners breaking the lap record. The big benefit of being part of his ‘team’ was that we had access to the pit wall.IMG_5874Saturday was mainly practice/qualifying interspersed with some high speed demos and the first three races. It was great to see the high airbox Formula One cars from the early 70’s on the track.DSC09225 DSC09226 DSC09257 DSC09268 There was also a shoot out between  a 1971 Mercedes Benz W109 300 SEL 6.8 AMG, the brand new Mercedes-AMG GT S and the 2013 Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 WD4. There was a handicapped start with the idea that they would all cross the finishing line together but it all went a bit wrong. However it was great to see the modern F1 car on the track the first time a ‘current’ F1 car has been on the track in a generation – it was amazing how many people had to be involved to get it going though!DSC09289 DSC09291 DSC09295Emanuele Pirro our team captain for Torbolton watching the grid line up for the Gerry Marshall Trophy.DSC09333DSC09324 It wasn’t long before we were in the holding paddock with Adam waiting for his qualifying session. Ex Marussia F1 driver Max Chilton wandered through, he also raced at the Revival last year.DSC09353 Adam’s car is pretty unique and a bit of a beast – a very noisy one! He only got it quite recently and has only driven it a couple of times at slower circuits. The car is also a 1964 in a class open to 1966, development was so quick in that era that the Huffaker is quite slow in relation to a lot of the field. Adam managed to have an uneventful session while several of his competitors pulled out.DSC09355DSC09316 DSC09381 DSC09397 DSC09419While we were waiting for Ad to change, Mario’s mate Jochen Mass came along and posed for a quick pic, he was out qualifying in the Salvador cup in a Mercedes 300SLS Porter special – unfortunately he was involved in a very large smash with a Lister Jaguar. We didn’t see the incident, at the entrance to the pits but luckily both drivers were uninjured, although it was the end of their racing for the weekend and I certainly wouldn’t want the repair bill!FullSizeRender 2 crashThe accident delayed proceedings and being March, the light started to fade quite early, so the last race of the day, the Graham Hill Trophy took place as it was getting dark. I love Goodwood in the dark, the paddocks are very atmospheric and the Gulf McLaren F1’s looked fantastic illuminated with LED’s.DSC09427 DSC09451 DSC09456 DSC09459 The big difference with the Members Meeting is that on the Saturday evening there is a party open to all, held on the edge of the airfield and utilising the ‘Great Hall’ and other hangers it it a colourful noisy burst of fun with rides, wacky entertainers, music, food and bars. This year you entered through an ‘enchanted forest’ of light trees which was quite magical. Although still very cold the wind had dropped a little and there were fire pits to sit round. The evening finished with a most spectacular fireworks display.DSC09467 DSC09470 DSC09476 DSC09478DSC09421IMG_5924DSC09519 DSC09521 DSC09540 DSC09556 DSC09559 DSC09561 DSC09582 DSC09595 DSC09603 Sunday morning dawned with bright skies and less wind, making it much more comfortable for everyone. We watched the Sopwith Cup for 50’s saloons, a great battle between the Jaguar Mk1 of Andy Wallace and the Austin A40.DSC09637 DSC09661 DSC09668 DSC09683Followed by a group C demo and another wander round the paddocks.DSC09696 DSC09703 DSC09713 DSC09734 DSC09737 DSC09743 DSC09746As the High-box F1’s came out for their second demo there was a public grid-walk, a great opportunity to get close to these magnificent 70’s cars that we followed in our childhood. Particularly poignant were the Hesketh’s, one of which was driven by James Hunt’s son Freddie, who looks so much like the F1 Hero.
DSC09759 DSC09761 DSC09763 DSC09765 DSC09767 DSC09775 DSC09785 DSC09788 DSC09793 DSC09810 DSC09818 DSC09851 DSC09860 We spotted Salvage Hunter TV presenter Drew Pritchard who had been driving in his beetle, wonder if Lord March has let him have a rummage around Goodwood House!DSC09868 Next up was the Earl Howe Trophy for pre 1935 Formula Libre cars, we watched from the infield towards Madgwick, an area you can’t view from at the Revival, these beautiful cars looked amazing emerging from behind the daffodils.DSC09871 DSC09875 DSC09917 DSC09924 DSC09927 Then it was back to the paddock to prepare for Adam’s race. We spotted this board at one of the Porsche pits, continuous racing history since the car was new in 1966.DSC09939 DSC09951 DSC09967 While Ad went to the holding paddock, I went down to the Chicane to get a good spot to watch and photograph the race. I saw the end of the Gerry Marshall trophy and the McLaren F1 demo while I was waiting.DSC09979 DSC09991 DSC09994DSC00006The shadows were just starting to lengthen as the Bruce McLaren field came out on track but the sun was still shining, much to Ad’s astonishment as he said it always rains when he goes on track! This group were the fasted cars on track with the leaders reaching speeds of 175mph down the straight. Starting from near the back Adam had a good race, kept out of trouble and brought the car safely home having had a good weekend, there’s not much more one can ask for.DSC00012DSC00018DSC00020DSC00093DSC00097By now the circuit was getting quiet and as the sun started to set many people had left. I had a birthday to celebrate so it was a bottle of champagne and then the prize giving in the Great Hall where we were served Bull Shot (Vodka and Bovril) which was lovely and warming.DSC00184So the end of another great Goodwood weekend, it was a shame Mario wasn’t there and it still seems a little strange being a pedestrian rather than driving but it’s a brilliant start to the season, blew the cobwebs away and next week Mario will be making an appearance at Wheels Day on Good Friday, 2015 motoring is well underway…

 

All change at the Goodwood Revival Taxi Rank…

Regular readers will know that we have been part of the GRTC (Goodwood Revival Transport Corps) for many years, in fact we have been driving at the Revival since 1999. As the event is supposed to be a complete ‘step back in time’ there are no post 1966 vehicles allowed within the circuit and so a large group of volunteers bring their pre-66 cars along and run a service to support the event. This year as usual I took Mario, James was in ‘Regie’ the Renault 4cv and our friend Craig with ‘Kato’ the Subaru 360 – it’s always fun to see people amazement at how much room there is in the ‘little’ cars.badgeDSC06090DSC06070

When we first started the event was much quieter and we were based on the infield but over the years as the event has grown and evolved and the GRTC with it. Several years ago we were moved from the infield to the outfield and a location alongside the Circuit shop in a staged set with the ‘Glam Cabs’ with us as ‘Speedee Cabs’ from the Carry on Cabby film from 1963. Of course the Glam Cabs just posed and entertained the crowd with their Ford Cortina’s while we did all the work!posterThis was pretty successful and carried on for a number of years but we knew that recently with the huge crowds, good old Health & Safety weren’t happy about working vehicles mixing with the public and with more people needing to be transported, that things were going to change…

This year we were moved to a new ‘taxi rank’ the other side of the main public entrance with our own gate so we didn’t have to drive through the crowds. Using a large tarmac area with a tree in the middle that acted as a roundabout to keep the traffic flowing. We were still just about within the circuit but barriers were erected so the public couldn’t get in to see the cars close up which was a shame, as talking to interested people about Mario, Regie and Kato was always one of the fun things about the event and is what led to this blog and Mario’s Facebook page, as so many people became fans.DSC06081 DSC06083 DSC06088DSC06341 DSC06346

Goodwood had done a top job in ‘dressing’ the area with a great ‘Speedee’ cabs office and waiting room, a bus and the Glam Cabs just outside, with all the cars parked round the edge of the rank it made quite an impressive sight. The Glam Cab Girls, part of the Goodwood Actors Guild or GAG, did a brilliant job all weekend entertaining the passengers as they arrived and trying to poach Mario and me for their ‘business’. In the early years most of our ‘rides’ had been within the circuit, especially for me taking the press out around the perimeter road but this has also changed, we now go out of the circuit and run between the House, Hotel, Kennels and Lavant, sometimes with drivers and ViP’s but more often taking people to lunch at the Hotel and Kennels, a bit of a shame as we now feel less involved with the event.DSC06222DSC06078DSC06400 DSC06402

The number of taxi’s has swelled a lot this year with a collection of Jowett drivers, traditional London cabs plus a selection of other vintage and classic vehicles as well as the Jeeps based outside the circuit who mainly carrying mechanics and equipment. However there still seemed to be more to do and Mario completed over 300km/200miles an increase of 50% on last year which was already a record run. The new setup worked very smoothly but the downside was that the cars never had a chance to stop and hence cool down between runs, as once you were on the ’roundabout’ you needed to keep moving.

Unfortunately for the first time in 16 years both Mario and Regie came home poorly in fact poor Mario nearly didn’t make it home at all and was running really badly, having got very hot. Unfortunately Mario doesn’t have a temperature gauge, only a light and although that didn’t come on, if it does, it is really too late. James and a GRTC friend Fabian spent a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon taking him apart and looking for the problem without much success, he just couldn’t cope with the extended running and James will have to do some further investigation to get to the route of the problem. Regie had a problem with the radiator, the top is soldered on and as the radiator in the 4cv is attached to the axle, as the car entered and left the rank the suspension articulated over the kerb and split the radiator, as this was on Sunday afternoon there wasn’t much we could do, so Regie had to retire from service after also getting extremely hot.DSC06406 DSC06407

Obviously this was the first year with the new setup and there were some teething problems, we have had a good debrief with Goodwood since we came home and I’m sure things will be sorted and improved before next years event.

Although we didn’t get to meet so many members of the public, we did give rides to some very interesting people who were in turn very interested in the cars and how we had got involved with the GRTC. Mario was a bit low on celebrities this year and we didn’t see many of our ‘regulars’ (several of them weren’t there) but we did see Max Chilton the current F1 driver and his touring car driver brother Tom, they nearly had a ride in Mario but choose to ‘pose’ in a convertible! We gave Darren Turner (former McLaren test driver and current Aston Martin driver in the FIA World Endurance Championship) a ride, Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams and several other owner drivers.DSC06063 DSC06067

Lots of passengers appreciate being able to travel in unique vehicles, in fact one gentleman said he’d be happy to spend the afternoon driving back and forth to the hotel in various cars! Mario also had some lovely comments from his passengers on his website, one saying that the ride was the ‘highlight of the weekend’ and of course we got to see lots of friends from previous years.DSC06347 DSC06348 DSC06349DSC06055 DSC06056 DSC06058 DSC06059DSC06156DSC06158DSC06410DSC06223DSC06224DSC06249DSC06098 DSC06142 DSC06153

Although we were so busy we had a great weekend, in our next blogs we’ll show you some of the things we saw when we managed to get a bit of time off, plus the creation of the 2014 ‘Mario’ frock.

The making of Cynthia…

You may have read in previous posts that Mario has a new girlfriend… Cynthia; a retro styled bicycle. We got interested in the idea of a ‘vintage’ bike when James did the Tweed Run earlier in the year. So James found me a bike on Ebay, the right style and most importantly with a basket! DSC01917DSC03546IMG_1167 She was collected rather inelegantly, returning from Swindon, upside-down on the back of the car. Although it looked pretty good in the photo’s it was a bit tatty around the edges and so a restoration to match Mario was plotted. There was a fair bit of discussion as to how she would look which I blogged about earlier.

We put some pictures on Mario’s FaceBook and our personal pages and got our friends to vote on the combination they preferred! James set to taking Cynthia apart and got on with preparing, priming and spraying the frame and other metal parts, using the paint we had left from restoring Mario many years ago – proving that two-pack paint keeps perfectly well. He also striped down the gearbox, cleaned it all and reassembled it which will hopefully solve the problems with the gears slipping and polished all the alloy frame components to a mirror finish.photo 2photo 1
10552512_730254053697077_6924704042527702638_nIn the meantime I set to work at home in the kitchen sink with bleach and brillo-pads and cleaned the wheels and tyres, handlebars, saddle etc. The handlebars went in the dishwasher which brought them up really well, they were then lacquered to seal them. I managed to get rid of all the little rust marks and although the chrome is still a little pitted it looks pretty good. DSC04183 DSC04185 DSC04187 DSC04188 DSC04191She was soon being put back together with the addition of some rather nice checker tape to match Mario’s bling. We had contacted Cicli Cinzia the original manufacturer to try and get some decals, they didn’t have any of the originals but very kindly sent us some from their current range of bikes, as the logo is quite retro looking which looked perfect and finished off the frame. It’s nice that you can still see the manufacturer especially as they are Italian. They also confirmed that Cynthia was originally manufactured in the 80’s (1986, marked on the gears) which is good news as Cynthia will be eligible for some of the vintage events. James also lightly sprayed the baskets blue which we rubbed back to give a distressed look and added some flowers round the front basket to complete the vintage feel. We also managed to get a perfect black and white elastic skirt guard which fitted perfectly in the holes on the mudguard.photophoto-3photo 3photo-2DSC04194 DSC04206 DSC04207 DSC04208photo 2-2 DSC04209

Now everybody knows that many of the top automotive launches take place at Goodwood and so the GRRC Open Day seemed a perfect venue for Cynthia to make her debut. The first thing was to see if we could fit the bike inside Mario. With all the seats folded flat into the floor the Multipla has a huge load area comparable to it’s size and Cynthia just fitted. With some fiddling and strategic positioning of bungee straps she was very secure and we had a easy journey to Goodwood House. The previous posting tells of our day out at the Open Day but I’ll just say here that Cynthia went down a storm and made a beautiful pair with Mario, she even had her own little sign!
DSC04210DSC04213DSC04221DSC04225DSC04268DSC04303Layout 1We are delighted with the result and are looking forward to more seaside cycling and hopefully taking part in a few vintage cycling events in the future. Mario is just pleased to have a new friend.

Busy weekend and a debut in West Sussex…

Last Sunday was a busy weekend for Mario. After a fairly early start (for us) we went to Breakfast Club at the Goodwood Motor Circuit, the theme was Throughbred Sunday, celebrating the cars of the Golden Days of the Circuit; 1948-66. We had a circuit pass and so entered at Lavant and drove round the track (a little too fast for the Marshall’s liking) before being parked up at the Chicane. We immediately had a crowd around asking questions about Mario and ‘Cynthia’ the newly restored bicycle which was strapped down in the back. DSC04227

As the theme was a tighter brief there weren’t as many cars as there has been for say Convertible Sunday but they were all of high quality and at least it didn’t look like the supermarket car park. It’s one of the themes we most enjoy as we much prefer the classics. It was a lovely morning and we had a quick look up the grid and through the paddocks, bumping in to several friends along the way.

We’ve known this fantastic and very unusual Simca Aronde and it’s owner Julie for many years as we first met them at a French Car day when we first had ‘Regie’ the Renault 4cv.DSC04229 The Gordon Keeble is unusual but there were two of them on Sunday.DSC04232 DSC04234 DSC04235 DSC04236 The favourite of the day and the car I’d most liked to have taken home was the Humber ‘Woody’ a stunning beast, one of only 4 made and used by a Scottish distillery as guest transport, it would make a superb picnic car.DSC04238 DSC04239We didn’t have long a the circuit as Sunday was also the GRRC Open Day at Goodwood House and Mario had been selected to be exhibited around the carriage circle. We had decided that as so many new car launches take place at Goodwood that this was a perfect event for Cynthia to make her Debut. While Mario and Cynthia had the honour of being parked up on display the human’s had an invitation to lunch in the house. Very nice it was to, Champagne, a delicious three course lunch with wine, coffee and beautiful petit fours all served in the ornate splendour of the ball room. It’s a lovely opportunity to meet and chat with fellow members of the club, conversation flows as we all have a common interest.DSC04246 DSC04247 DSC04248DSC04467 After lunch we had a wander round the other exhibits. They covered a very wide spectrum of motoring history from Veteran bikes to modern super cars and even a Mini Metro. Personally our favourites were the Auburn boat-tailed speedster which had a fantastic alligator interior, a very original Jowett Jupiter with great patina, an Arbath Prototype, an unusual Innocenti and a glorious Alfa 8C. Visitors could vote for their favourite car of the day, third place went jointly to the Auburn and a Mercedes-Benz Roadster, second place was the Alfa and the winners a Volkswagen camper van which had been beautifully restored and was actually used for camping trips, although it did some to have a huge crowd of supporters all hustling for votes! We have it on very good authority that Mario was in the top ten.DSC04251 DSC04254 DSC04255 DSC04256 DSC04257 DSC04259 DSC04260 DSC04261 DSC04263 DSC04269 DSC04270 DSC04272 DSC04276 DSC04282 DSC04284 DSC04286 DSC04290 DSC04291DSC04292 DSC04294 DSC04299

Newly restored Cynthia created a lot of attention and the two together in matching colour schemes certainly made an arresting sight and will blog soon on her restoration. We took the opportunity to take some pictures outside of the house before we left. It was a most enjoyable day in lovely sunshine slightly marred by Mario getting very hot on the way home which is something that has never happened before – maybe he was having a bit of a sulk at Cynthia getting some of the attention – so that is something that will have to be looked at before the Revival.DSC04325 DSC04318 DSC04303

 

 

Glorious day at Goodwood

DSC02183Yesterday 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!

DSC02199We 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.

DSC02184People 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.

DSC02188DSC02201 DSC02206 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.

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