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.

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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

 

Best laid plans…

…Last weekend we had planned to take Mario to Goodwood breakfast Club and a small car show but it wasn’t to be.

Mario has been poorly since his overexertions at the last Revival. After his last run at Easter ‘Doctor’ James had diagnosed the problem, and after some research we ordered the new parts – a water pump and Head Gasket from a company in Holland. The delivery was expected before the weekend so Mario was taken apart last Thursday and with due efficiency the package arrived on Friday lunchtime. The plan was to fit the new parts on Saturday so we could take Mario to Breakfast Club at Goodwood on Sunday and a small car show on Bank Holiday Monday…DSC06406 IMG_0857James worked on Mario, all day on Saturday, the water pump fitted just fine but once the head and block was cleaned it revealed that when Mario had got hot, the head had distorted slightly and left an area that water would still seep from and so the head would need skimming. Not a major disaster but a set back, as James’ mill wasn’t large enough to do the job and being a bank holiday weekend we wouldn’t be able to get it done elsewhere until after the weekend, hence the change of plans.

The head before cleaningIMG_0860 Block before cleaningIMG_0861 Cleaned head, you can see the damage bottom rightIMG_0862 New gasketIMG_0863

Breakfast Club was ‘Supercar Sunday’ not a favourite of ours by any means as modern ‘supercars’ really don’t do much for us, Mario hadn’t got a entry pass anyway (can’t understand why as he’s a super little car!) so our main reason for attending was to promote the Haslemere Classic Car Show which we organise. However the forecast was terrible and for once accurate, and Sunday morning was very wet and grey. The posters and fliers, we were hoping to hand out would have got very soggy, so we decided not to go! From Goodwoods pictures it looked like quite a lot of people and cars did brave the horrible conditions and cars such as La Ferrari and the Lamborghini Miura were among the exotica on display. (photo’s from Goodwood forum). From social media after the event it certainly looked as though one Supercar driver didn’t enjoy his day, with pictures posted of a new McLaren in the undergrowth! The drivers over enthusiasm or is there an issue with the McLaren – there have been several reported incidents of them leaving the road without any other vehicles being involved?Goodwood-1 Goodwood-2 Goodwood-3 Goodwood-4Oops

Rather than wasting the day, we took the opportunity of some extra time to continue plotting the route for the Haslemere Show’s tour. 90 pre-75 vehicles are signed up to do a drive of around 55 miles through the beautiful local countryside in the morning before the show. It is difficult to chose the route as we try to find roads we haven’t used before and this is the sixth tour we’ve organised! We also have to find a route that is; interesting; safe – we often find lovely roads but they are too narrow, plus we avoid difficult junctions etc; have a place of interest/refreshments for a halfway stop; the correct distance in a circular route to finish back at the show. We generally go out two or three times trying variations and then have a final run through to make sure all the instructions are clear. The route is written using ‘tulips’ – first used by Dutch rallies in the 1950’s – which are pictorial diagrams showing directions plus written instructions and distances.


tulip-120884_Copy20890 tulip-220890 tulip-320893 tulip-420896

 

 

1.Straight on  2.Turn right  3.Second junction at roundabout 4.Turn left at T-juction, pub on left, take next right turn

Example below
1 You have travelled 1.5 miles from previous instruction, 2.5 miles travelled from the start, tulip – straight on past hotel on right
2 Travel another 0.8miles (total 3.3) take a right turn, signposted to Lurgashall Winery, Take Care.
3 Travel another 0.6 miles (total 3.9) Keep left on same road, ignoring a turning on the right.

Route 201120900_Copy20928

The sun came out and the route looked very pretty with lots of wild garlic in bloom and fields of little lambs, hopefully it will be sunny when when run the tour for real in a couple of weeks.

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Monday was a small car show at the Frog and Wicket pub in Eversley near to where our friends live. As we didn’t have Mario to take we just popped over inn the afternoon to see what was going on. The pub was very busy with lots of people enjoying the sunshine and quite a good showing of cars. Our friends had taken their whole collection along to the show – a Daimler, Mini, Jaguar D-type replica and ‘Kato’ the other Subaru 360 which we imported with ‘Nippy’ our 360 and did the Microcar rallies with.DSC01046 DSC01047 DSC01048 DSC01049 DSC01050 DSC01051 DSC01054 DSC01056 DSC01057 DSC01058

On Tuesday morning James was back in the workshop and took Mario’s head to the engineering shop to have it skimmed, 6 thousands of an inch being removed. It’s been previously welded up in a couple of the waterways and the passages need opening out again with a mini grinder to increase the water flow. In the evening he put the engine back together again and so far so good it looks like it’s working, although there now seems to be an issue with the electric fuel pump which seems a bit intermittent, so we are going to try using the original mechanical pump which is still in position and just needs plumbing in to see how that works.IMG_6038

A test drive will now be required to see how everything is working. At least it looks like Mario will make it onto Lion Green for the car show on the 24th, it wouldn’t be the same without him being there…

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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