I am 99% sure we have now cured the problems with the Alpine………fingers crossed! Dirt in the petrol tanks seem to be the main problem but it is hard to say if that is a result of the poor petrol in France last year, or just old age. The car ran perfectly on a local motor club event recently, BUT unfortunately another problem arose.
The exhaust manifold is now blowing so the car won’t make it on to the HIGH ROADS TOUR. I will have to use my new toy instead, see below. The Scirocco is a very pretty car but hasn’t quite got the performance I expected, although I am assured this is just due to modern technology. The power comes in differently to the old Golf supposedly in the interests of economy and emmisions?!
However, I believe this can be improved by re-mapping/chipping. We will see at some point in the future. It performed quite well in Ireland and it may be just a case of getting used to a new car.
The MOUNTAINS AND GLENS TOUR went very well with 12 cars and generally good weather except for the day we visited the Giant’s Causeway and Carrick a Rede rope bridge. The Antrim Coast and Wicklow Mountains provided some spectacular driving routes and a visit to a private car collection (more than 60 pre-war classics) provided the icing on the cake.
The High Roads Tour has a good entry and Scotland is virtually full. There are still some places left on the AUTUMN TOUR but that too is filling up steadily. Plans are also being formulated for 2017 and it looks like Portugal is go! There has been a lot of interest in this and I have put the first steps in motion, but I don’t want to divulge too much information at this stage. Other events in the provisional calendar for next year include the previously mentioned, DALES TO WALES, and maybe CARDIGAN TO CORK, SCOTTISH BORDERS and NORFOLK/SUFFOLK.
I didn’t have time to write a ‘blog’ in May as I spent most of the time in Ireland. Firstly a combined recce for the JEC Lincs Tour and the Mountains and Glens Tour was hard work, but worthwhile.
The actual JEC Tour suffered from a lack of entries, several people having to pull out at the last minute. Those who did make it and completed the course were treated to some fantastic weather and there were parts of the route I had never seen before.
It was third time lucky in the Slieve Bloom Mountains which have always been shrouded in fog on my previous visits. The National Stud and Guinness Storehouse visits went down well but the surprise of the tour was the amazing tappas lunch at Roundwood House. A lovely un-restored country mansion and a superb, if unusual meal. I was so impressed I tried to book the Mountain and Glens Tour in straight away but unfortunately it doesn’t look possible due to a clash of functions.
The JEC N.Lincs group were so pleased with the tour they have provisionally booked for next year, although probably ‘tagging’ on to the Dales and Wales Tour (date to be fixed.)
The Barbon and Bowland Tour was also well received despite terrible weather at Barbon on the Saturday. Sunday was surprisingly sunny until late afternoon but more than ¾ of the route had been completed before the heavens opened over Denthead. Fortunately several CCT(MK) regulars joined the event otherwise it may have been cancelled due to lack of interest form the local motor club. (Although in their defence it may have been a lack of publicity?). As we did get at least one new customer who was very enthusiastic I may chance running another local one day event, sometime?
At the moment I am just getting ready for Ireland again. I don’t think the Alpine will be fixed in time, (the fuelling problem occurred again on the B+B tour). I won’t feel happy about taking it if the problem isn’t definitely cured. The RS is making progress but is unlikely to be on the road before the last tour of the year in October. It is now on its wheels and has all the panels attached and is nearly ready for painting – although I keep saying that!
As for a new car, I was very taken with Roger Marriott’s new MAZDA MX5 on The Barbon and Bowland Tour – but, I don’t think I would like it as an everyday/work horse sort of car. *
As for the remaining tours this year – the High Roads is virtually fully booked, there are a couple of places left for Scotland but some interest from Europe, which might be encouraged by the current exchange rate!, could see it fill very quickly. So if you are interested, don’t hesitate, book now. The tour already has an international feel with bookings from Belgium and Switzerland and an enquiry from Latvia.
There are plenty of places on the Autumn Tour but it too is filling up steadily.
*STOP PRESS There will be a new car on the next tour…………………..
What a brilliant start to the 2016 motoring year.
We experienced all the seasons, enjoyed fantastic scenery and the company of a good group of like minded people.
Thank you for organising it so well.
We look forward to meeting up again for the Ireland Tour.
Best wishes Ruth and Ray
Once again another superb tour, excellent hotels and food, the route planning and road book were imaginative and without fault. The hard work you put into your tours cannot be over estimated! Chris and I look forward to seeing you and friends in Scotland. Best regards Chris & Derek Tucker.
I think I can say the COTSWOLD AND CYMRU TOUR was a success.
The weather was a bit ‘iffy’ at times but the visibility was generally good and the Welsh scenery looked its best at all times. The quiet smooth flowing roads were also very popular and the Lake Vrynwy Hotel made an excellent base. Look out for “DALES AND WALES” in 2017!
If the tour was a success, the repairs to the Alpine weren’t quite so successful!
The fuelling problem experienced in France
last year occurred again on more than one occasion. The general consensus of opinion is dirt in the system?? I am seriously considering buying another car – not that I would ever part with the Alpine – but it is covered up in the garage at the moment while I reboot my enthusiasm for it!!
STOP PRESS – EXTRA EVENT
I have just been out ‘topless’ for the first time this year and the sunshine has inspired me to organise an extra event! I had been thinking of a ‘Drive it Day’ tour, but as there are so many around the country I thought it may not be worthwhile, especially with the state of our local roads. However it was brought to my attention
that I did a ‘Barbon and Borders Tour’ acouple of years ago in connection with Barbon Hillclimb, so as I am free for the Barbon weekend this year, I thought, ‘Why not?’
For those unfamiliar with Barbon – or hill climbs, Kirkby Lonsdale Motor Club and Liverpool Motor Club run two speed hill climbs every year, at Barbon Manor just outside Kirkby Lonsdale. The course is up the short (1/2 mile) but very picturesque manor drive through scenic parkland overlooking the LuneValley. It makes a good day out for everyone, petrol heads or not. All sorts of cars compete from single seater racers to historic racing cars and rally cars.
The hillclimb is run on Saturday June 11th so the plan would be; visit the hill climb and display our cars on Saturday and then do a tour on Sunday. (Displaying your car gets you a free entry to Barbon – otherwise £8 per person!)
THE BARBON AND BOWLAND TOUR
Cars will meet on Saturday at Barbon as above. Accommodation can be arranged for non-locals and then a 120 mile tour will start from the Crooklands Hotel on Sunday morning. The route will go south through the LuneValley and on to the Trough of Bowland. A small scenic loop will then take us to the Wild Boar centre for coffee.
From here the route would take in Longridge Fell with views over the Fylde and RibbleValley, before climbing back over the fells to Slaidburn and north again through GisburnForest. Lunch will be at the Watershed Mill in Settle.
A slightly shorter afternoon run takes us up to Ribblehead Viaduct, then on to Denthead, down Dentdale and over Barbondale, passing the hill climb course on our way back to Kirkby Lonsdale. A short run through some familiar back lanes will then bring us back to the Crooklands.
Entry Fees ; £30 PER CAR (2 PEOPLE) to include; coffee at start, souvenir medal and rally plate AND Entry to BARBON HILLCLIMB on Saturday provided the participating car is displayed at the venue.
ACCOMMODATION ; Contact organisers. MIKE KIRK 01539 728832
CROOKLANDS; FROM £90.00 B+B
HEAVES HOTEL £85 B+B
MARCH ’16 (Just!)
The sun has come out – for a while at least, and some of the bridges and roads in the Lakes have been re-opened at last. (In time for the Easter holiday, and some are only temporary repairs, but it is progress of sorts.)
Having taken part in several tours organised by other people recently I am pleased to say that everyone makes mistakes!! No further comment would be appropriate.
The Alpine performed faultlessly and even completed a couple of days recce after the RACE RETRO show and tour. A subsequent recce trip in Wales with the Golf was also very successful but our decision to return home via the M6 wasn’t quite so successful.
Three hours in a queue near Stoke rather spoilt the trip and meant we missed our afternoon pint at the local! I still haven’t decided on a new road car but almost bought another rally car – fully prepared having already done a run to Rome. The vivid green clashed a little with the Alpine and a missing front wheel rather put me off.
The Escort has made a little progress. All the welding is done and it is being prepared for painting but it is still some way off being on the road.
I am pleased to say all tours are filling up. There may still be one place left for the Mountains and Glens of Ireland and there is still room on the JEC Irish Tour May 21-29, any car will now be accepted. There are still a couple of places available on the High Roads Tour but I would need to know soon as the hotels are getting booked up – similarly with Scotland.
The trip to RACE RETRO with my old friend, Mr Capstick, might have paved the way to an interesting tour next year. We may be doing an “intense recce” in early 2017 in an area we have never been to. The Alpine tour is still a strong possibility but may be postponed to 2018 – then I might retire in 2019, just 20 years since my last retirement!
Apologies to regular readers for lack of a ‘blog’ for some time. This has been due to the terrible weather and the consequent problems with local roads meaning I haven’t been out and about much recently. So, there hasn’t been much to report. I am pleased to say we have just had a few nice days so I have commenced my route noting for this years tours.