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March Blog

WRC SHAKEDOWN

WRC = WRECKED RALLY CAR

Having just completed a major gearbox, clutch and head gasket rebuild we felt it might be a good idea to give the old Alpine a ‘shakedown’ before doing the LONDON-LISBON RALLY next month, so we entered a small local airfield rally i.e. a series of tests around bollards etc. Well I can certainly say it was a successful shakedown – in that we shook everything to pieces!

On the way up the M6 to the start, the diff, which normally whines, started to downright grumble. We continued regardless and arrived to find that not only was the handbrake not working but also the starter wouldn’t – start that is.

The handbrake was quickly fixed, the seat belt had just got tangled round the lever which is on the right hand side of the drivers seat, neatly squashed in between the seat and the door, so not terribly good for handbrake turns. We resigned ourselves to push starting and just hoping the diff didn’t get any worse.

The first test was just a sea of cones. A bit of a baptism of fire after a four year lay-off from competitive events. However we got round without any mistakes and the time wasn’t too far off the pace. Test 2 was on a loose surface and great fun but I was a bit cautious being so out of practice and I was on a new set of tyres I had never used before. Again the time wasn’t un-respectable and so I was gaining confidence and starting to enjoy things, that is until the next test which included a 200 yard water splash. Bearing in mind we had no starter motor I took it very steady to avoid having an embarrassing stop in the middle of the water. This resulted in a time some 20 seconds off the pace but at least we were still going and hadn’t got wet feet.

The next test included some very tight 360’s and we were warned not to go wide onto the grass. Again, not sure of how grippy the tyres would be and with effectively no handbrake, I took it a bit steady and almost forgot to complete the 360 at one point. Not a good time. The last test of the first group was a relatively fast slalom which I thoroughly enjoyed although our time wasn’t brilliant, but the car seemed to be going well. That is until we drove back to the rally base to hand in our time card. The diff now sounded like a bag of hammers in a washing machine!

We reluctantly therefore decided to call it a day and try to limp home.

It was a tense journey home but we made it. It was a great shame to end the day like this but at least it was better than having the problems in the middle of Spain or Portugal. We now have six weeks to fix everything – AAAAGGHH!

 We were actually lying 10th when we retired, which with all the problems wasn’t too disappointing, mind you, there were only 12 historics, the rest of the field were in the modern “Targa” event.

FOOTNOTE; The car is 50 years old this year – what a birthday!

 

We have since removed the diff and it is beyond repair. It was remarkable that it got us home. I have sourced a ‘new’ second hand diff but as I don’t know its history I have decided to get it overhauled. Four and a half weeks to go now, even bigger AAAAARGGGH! There is a chance it will make it to East Anglia for another ‘shakedown’ though. Hopefully that won’t be as demanding!

Meanwhile the Escort is still in the paint shop! AAAGHH again!

In amongst all this I have managed to do a complete recce for East Anglia AND Dales to Wales AND the first bit of Cardigan to Cork. Everything went fairly well and I am pleased with some of the route. However we did have to do some re-planning for East Anglia as we found that several of the planned venues for coffee/lunch stops were not actually open until April 1st, some not until Easter and some are only open on Sunday, so this has meant a little shake-up of the advertised itinerary. Some days have been re-shuffled and alternative venues have had to be added although the basic routes are as originally planned. It wasn’t possible to organise a tour of the Lotus Factory for Monday after the tour as they only do ‘Heritage Tours’ that day, which are a rather exorbitant £79 per head. I didn’t think people would be that interested. Also I didn’t find them terribly helpful over the matter. Like a lot of places these days the ‘stock answer’ to any query is “Oh, do it on-line”. Great! Except that it is never that simple! It is highly frustrating when you are stood at the reception desk and are told to go 200 mile home to make a booking on the internet.

 

January Blog

THE DALES TO WALES TOUR IS NOW FULLY BOOKED

With over 20 entries already I have had to close the bookings for DALES-WALES. The hotels must be pretty fed up with me adding names to the rooming lists on a daily basis! (Although, no doubt they are as glad of the business as I am).

The first tour of the year, The East Anglia Tour is also into double figures but I could probably take a couple of ‘late entries’. The other tours still have plenty of spaces but in view of the above I wouldn’t leave it too long to book any of them. I now seem to have several customers who are aiming to do the full calendar and are bringing friends with them. Great! I don’t want to put off any newcomers, who are always very welcome, but it does seem to be getting more like a club with everyone meeting up on the various tours.

The big event of the year is obviously the PECOS-PORTO TOUR in September. I have already into the teens of ‘provisional bookings’ or enquiries and several deposits paid, so it definitely looks viable. I recently received some more information for our recce trip in April and I can now start to confirm some parts of the itinerary and will be making enquiries with the hotels shortly. Several people have asked for time to visit Santiago de Compostella so I have shortened the route to the next hotel so that there should be time to spend the whole morning there. The afternoon route will then be more direct (not via the coast as planned) and should be approx. 100 miles. The following day may be slightly different to originally advertised with a night stop near OVIEDO rather than Ribadisella on the coast. This makes this a slightly shorter day but a slightly longer run into Santander the following day. As the ferry doesn’t leave until the evening this should not be a problem and will allow us to make a small detour into the foothills of the Pecos mountains again. I won’t be able to finalise the actual route through the Pecos until April – but I do have a plan, as usual. Similarly I can’t finalise the route into Porto just yet but we will either be visiting a fascinating old car museum on the way, or making a separate trip there during our stay in Porto. The route will probably take us through the Duero Valley, famous for Port Wine, but there may also be the option of a train or river boat ride through the valley. Again, these are things I will be researching in April. Gosh it’s a hard life etc. The cost should be as advertised (£3400 per car) as long as the exchange rate doesn’t crash dramatically. (This price is based on the exchange rate at the end of January).

 

DAY ONE TUESDAY 19th SEPTEMBER

 

Sail from Portsmouth 17.15

DAY TWO WEDNESDAY 20th

Arrive Santander 18.15. Overnight SANTANDER

(HOTEL BAHIA NEAR FERRY) ½ mile.

DAY THREE THURSDAY 21st

Drive over the Pecos Mountains. Overnight LEON. Approx. 150 miles

(PARADOR DE LION)

 

DAY FOUR  FRIDAY 22nd 

 

Drive through Spain to south west.

Overnight PUEBLA de SANABRIA (tbc) Approx 175 mls

DAY FIVE SATURDAY 23rd

Drive south through Sierra de Nogueira via Villa Real.

Overnight PORTO      Approx   160 mls

DAYS 6-8 SUNDAY 24th – TUESDAY 26th 
Free/rest days. Possible organised tour of Duerro Valley and vineyards. Visit to motor museum and harbour village.

Overnight  PORTO  (4 NIGHTS AT SHERATON HOTEL tbc)

DAY 9  WEDNESDAY 27th

Drive north through Sierra de Geres via Ourense

Overnight  SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA             Approx 180 miles

(GRAN HOTEL LOS ABETOS)

DAY 10 THURSDAY 28th

Morning in SANTIAGO then cross country to VIVEIRO

Overnight VIVEIRO                            Approx 105 miles

(THALASO CANTABRICO LAS SERENAS)

DAY 11 FRIDAY 29th

Drive along north coast of Spain with a detour into the mountains.

Overnight near OVIEDO                    Approx. 180 miles

(LA CASA CAMILLA)

 

DAY 12 SATURDAY 30th

 

Drive through Pecos to Santander, sail 20.30   Approx 160 miles (40 on m-way)

 

DAY 13 SUNDAY OCTOBER 1st

 

Arrive Portsmouth 19.45

Optional overnight in Portsmouth.

All Hotels to be confirmed.

 

Approx cost, depending on exchange rates;  £3400 per car, 2 people, inc. ferry.

 

Frustratingly, I have no more news on the car front. I was hoping both the Alpine and the Escort would be on the road by the end of the month but it seems for various reasons work ground to a halt over the Christmas period and has taken some ‘kick starting’ again, If things don’t move soon I will be doing my own ‘kick starting’!! In the meantime I have taken to long walks when the sunshines

Late December blog

BEST WISHES TO ALL CCT(MK) CUSTOMERS PAST
AND PRESENT AND FUTURE

SEE YOU IN 2017

PLEASE NOTE

Since the brochures were sent out, I have made a slight change to the first tour of 2017. The EAST ANGLIA TOUR will now start on THURSDAY, MARCH 30th, not 31st as advertised. However if this is inconvenient  there would be no problem starting on Friday, morning or night. The Thursday start will include a tour of the Aviation Museum at Duxford and then a run into Suffolk and Norfolk as per the itinerary on this website.

I am pleased to say bookings are already coming in at an encouraging rate and the DALES TO WALES TOUR is already into double figures, so if you are thinking about this one it might be advisable to book soon. Despite the change of date which disappointed some people, the PECOS TO PORTO is potentially also into double figures, if everyone who has shown an interest actually confirms their booking. I hope to be able to ‘flesh out’ the itinerary a little in the new year and give a provisional list of hotels and a better idea of the final cost.

 

CAR NEWS;

The Escort now has the engine installed in a bright shiny newly painted engine bay, and should be receiving its final external coat of paint very soon. We are making progress! The Alpine still needs re-assembling after a clutch, gearbox and cylinder head overhaul but I may have a choice of car for the first tour of 2017.

All the best for the new year

 

 

 

DECEMBER  BLOG

MERRY CHRISTMAS

TO ALL CCT(MK) CUSTOMERS PAST AND PRESENT AND FUTURE

SEE YOU IN 2017 

PLEASE NOTE

Since the brochures were sent out, I have made a slight change to the first tour of 2017. The EAST ANGLIA TOUR will now start on THURSDAY, MARCH 30TH

Not 31st as advertised. However if this is inconvenient  there would be no problem starting on Friday, morning or night. The Thursday start will include a tour of the Aviation Museum at Duxford and then a run into Suffolk and Norfolk as per the itinerary on this website. 

I am pleased to say bookings are already coming in at an encouraging rate and the DALES TO WALES TOUR looks particularly popular, so if you are thinking about this one it might be advisable to book soon. Despite the change of date which disappointed some people, the PECOS TO PORTO is potentially into double figures if everyone who has shown an interest actually confirms their booking. I hope to be able to ‘flesh out’ the itinerary a little in the new year and give a provisional list of hotels and a better idea of the final cost.

All the best for the new year 

2017 CALENDAR

PLEASE NOTE These are provisional ideas, things may evolve as time goes on! (And/or demand requires).

March/April  30-2nd      EAST ANGLIA TOUR

3 Days in Norfolk and Suffolk. Based near Norwich, Starting at Duxford.

May 21 - 27th               DALES TO WALES

Start in Derbyshire/Staffordshire Dales, through Peak District and into Cheshire.

(Jodral Bank, Anderton Boat Lift, Delamere Forest.) One night near Whitchurch then North Wales (Worlds End, Llangollen, Pontcysylite Aqueduct, Horseshoe Pass), then 3 nights at Lake Vrynwy.

June 10/11th  BARBON AND LITTLE DEVILS TOUR

Saturday at Barbon Hillclimb. Sunday tour following some old Devils Own Rally routes, including some un-metalled but smooth roads and several fords.

June 26 - July 2nd  CARDIGAN TO CORK

Start near Welsh Borders, through Brecon Beacons to Cardigan. Ferry from Fishgaurd to Rosslare. Cross country to Clonmel then 3 nights in Kinsale.

July 31st – August 5th  BORDERS AND NORTHUMBERLAND

Start in Lake District, South West Scotland, Borders ( Jim Clark Rooms, Floors Castle, Ettrick Valley), Northumberland (Cheviot Hills, Alnwick Castle) finish Lake District.

August 30th- September 1st  AUTUMN DALES

Start near M6. Pendle Hill, Ribble Valley. Then one day in Dales and one in Trough of Bowland. Based at Coniston Cold. (Skipton)

September 2nd  - 3rd THE PASSOVER TOUR

Option to carry on from Dales Tour through Northern Dales to Buttertubs Pass and Hartside Pass to Ullswater. Sunday all the Lake District Passes in one day!

September 19th – October 1st.  PECOS AND PORTO ** Dates  confirmed

Ferry to Santander, through Pecos Mountains and across Spain to Porto. ‘Rest days’ in Porto then return run around coast to Santander via Compostela de Santiago.

 

Kirkby Lonsdale Motor Club
in association with
Classic Car Tours (MK)
present

STUFF THE TURKEY

Treasure Hunt/Classic Car Run

Wednesday 28th December
start Royal Hotel, Kirkby Lonsdale
finish Station Inn, Oxenholme

Entry fee £10 - includes Mince Pies and Coffee

 

cryptic and 'observational' clues
30 mile scenic route
prizes for classic and/or 'topless' cars
N.B. to book an entry please phone, text or e-mail Mike Kirk
07795 204 533 e-mail mikekirkrallying@aol.com

 

This year's Christmas Treasure Hunt will take a slightly different format. the devious srypice clues and a scenic route will be the same but in order to open up some new routes and find some even more devious clues, the start will be from the Royal Hotelm Kirkby Lonsdale. the finish will be at the Station Inn, Oxenholme. (The other slight change is that it is the day before my birthday this year - but the usual rules still apply!)

Regulations
Event Definition
1.1 The Stuff the Turkey is a non-competitive "Touring Assembly" for all road going classic cars of any age. All vehicles must be correctly registered, currently licensed with a valid MOT Certificate and be in roadworthy condition. trade plates are forbidden. Cars may be scrutineered for compliance with the RTA prior to the event.~
1.2 The event will run on Wednesday 28th December 2016
1.3 The event will be exempt from the genaral regulations of the RACMSA Ltd. Entrants need not be members of any MSA recognised motor club, nor possess an MSA Competition Licence. Drivers must posses a current and full driving licence, and have valid insurance in accordance with the requirements of the road traffic act.

The Route
2.1 The total route is approximately 30 miles, starting at the Royal Hotel in Kirkby Lonsdale and finishing at The Station Inn, Oxenholme.
2.2 There will be no timing. However, Entrants will be expected to reach the finish by 5.00pm.
2.3 Entrants will be given detailed route instructions at the start of the event. The onus on finding the correct route rests with the Entrant. The route will be defined by abbreviated instructions explained in the route notes, and 'cryptic clues' should be answered on the way around.
Entries
3.1 Entries will be accepted on the day, up to 12.30pm, but a phone call or text to 07795 204 533, or e-mail to mikekirkrallying@aol.com 24 hours beforehand would be helpful.
The entry fee will be £10 per car which will include: coffee and mince pies at the start. Bar meals will be available all day at the Station Inn.
Start
4.1 Cars may leave the Royal Hotel any time from 11.30am, subject to paying entry fee and obtaining route information.
Officials
5.1 Clerk of the Course: Mike Kirk  01539 728832
     Secretary of the Meeting: Mike Kirk
     Results: Mike Kirk (see below)
Results and Protests
6.1 The organisers decision will be final    However un-solicited gifts of alcohol may be taken into account.
Classes and awards
7.1 There will be awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd overall, based on the highest scores (see 6.1 above!)
7.2 Subject to sufficient entries there may also be awards for the best 'classic car', and best 'topless car' i.e. open top car that is driven with the hood down all day regardless of the weather.

NOVEMBER BLOG

Well you can’t please all the people all of the time, so I know I am going to upset somebody. However I have decided to revert to the original proposed September date for the Portugal Tour. One of the main reasons for setting up this business was to fund ventures that I wanted to do myself, so while normally business would come first, on this occasion I have decided to put myself first! The alternative October date for Portugal clashed with something I wanted to do at home – so decision made. Also, ironically I was speaking to someone from Porto the other day. Whilst she re-assured me that the weather would be perfectly OK in Porto in October there was some doubt about the conditions in the mountains and I didn’t think that most people, except the die-hard rally-ists, would appreciate snow covered roads. The lady in question also told me that Porto is a very lovely place worth spending a few days in. A very rough itinerary will appear shortly but I won’t have the full details until April when we have done a recce.

Itineraries for all the other tours are virtually complete and should be on the ‘itinerary’ page shortly. There are no other major changes except I have added an extra couple of days to the Autumn Tour which can be done as a separate event if required. 2017 brochures are at the printers and should be posted out before Christmas.

On a different note, the Escort has now been painted and just needs re-assembling! The Alpine will shortly have a new clutch and rebuilt gearbox – so get those deposits sent in I will need the money!!! (The other reason for running the business!).

2017 PROVISIONAL CALENDAR

PLEASE NOTE These are provisional ideas, things may evolve as time goes on! (And/or demand requires).

March/April  31-2nd      EAST ANGLIA TOUR

3 Days in Norfolk and Suffolk. Based near Norwich, Starting at Duxford.

May 21-27th                   DALES TO WALES

Start in Derbyshire/Staffordshire Dales, through Peak District and into Cheshire.

(Jodral Bank, Anderton Boat Lift, Delamere Forest.) One night near Whitchurch then North Wales (Worlds End, Llangollen, Pontcysylite Aqueduct, Horseshoe Pass), then 3 nights at Lake Vrynwy.

June 10/11th  BARBON AND LITTLE DEVILS TOUR

Saturday at Barbon Hillclimb. Sunday tour following some old Devils Own Rally routes, including some un-metalled but smooth roads and several fords.

June 26- July 2nd  CARDIGAN TO CORK

Start near Welsh Borders, through Brecon Beacons to Cardigan. Ferry from Fishgaurd to Rosslare. Cross country to Clonmel then 3 nights in Kinsale.

July 31st –August 5th  BORDERS AND NORTHUMBERLAND

Start in Lake District, South West Scotland, Borders ( Jim Clark Rooms, Floors Castle, Ettrick Valley), Northumberland (Cheviot Hills, Alnwick Castle) finish Lake District.

August 30th- September 1st  AUTUMN DALES

Start near M6. Pendle Hill, Ribble Valley. Then one day in Dales and one in Trough of Bowland. Based at Coniston Cold. (Skipton)

September 2nd  -3rd THE PASSOVER TOUR

Option to carry on from Dales Tour through Northern Dales to Buttertubs Pass and Hartside Pass to Ullswater. Sunday all the Lake District Passes in one day!

September 19th – October 1st.  PECOS AND PORTO ** Dates  confirmed

Ferry to Santander, through Pecos Mountains and across Spain to Porto. ‘Rest days’ in Porto then return run around coast to Santander via Compostela de Santiago.

 



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