css menu bar by Css3Menu.com
Use the dropdown list below to jump to the event review you want to read.
The first pub meeting of the year was a success. As mentioned in emails to the club members we planned on using the meeting to plan the events for 2010. We did manage a few ideas (have a look at the main events page for the results).
There are still a few events that have been mentioned but we haven't had decided wether to run them or not. So if anyone would like to help organise items on the list below please let us know:-
We decided to hold a more remote event from the usual Huntingdon pub meeting and asked for suggestions. One of the ones we got was 'There is a nice looking pub between Bury and Sudbury' - a very useful description. Fortunately a new member of the club Mark Pickess lives in Sudbury and when I asked him if the description meant anything to him he recognised it as the Rushbrooke arms.
So that was the venue sorted all we needed was some people to turn up.
After a bit of cajoling we managed to get enough people to commit to the day and then go ahead. So on a slightly damp Saturday I met up with Steve and Paula to go for the drive down to the pub. We went down the A1123 rather than the A14. The drive down was uneventful apart from the state of the roads after the winter - and the circumnavigation of a roundabout due to a sat-nav delay in telling us which exit to use...
Once there we met up with the others who had come:Alan and Eve Whale, Steve Tuck and Paula, Eric Johnston, Dean Adams and Carol, Mark Pickess and Jason (who is building a Robin Hood). We had a very nice meal with good service and good food.
After the meal we had a good examination of the cars. During this Mark found that his clutch cable was on the wrong way round - which might account for the problem with the lack of adjustment he was having, and learnt a few other things about his car.
For some reason we thought it would be best to go back via the A14 - this was a big mistake. There are roadworks outside Huntingdon on the A14 west and we were diverted onto the A428, after two hours we made it to the A1 and then finally home it took me 3 hours to drive 67 miles in total...
It was good to have a meeting and meet some new faces all too often when we have these events the same people always turn up. So come on to the rest of you find a local venue and drop an email to Mike Finch and we will arrange something down your way next time. It was just a pity the weather wasn't quite as good as the previous few days but we can't do anything about that.
The Detling show is always a good season opener - and provides everyone with an excuse to get the cars out and take them for a blast. Which is my case is a 270 mile round trip... I had thought we would get a small convoy of about 5 cars together in the end due to circumstances (and the weather) there were only 2 of us but we made fairly good progress down and arrived to almost sunny skies!
So after parking up and chatting to a few people initially we went to have a browse around the stands. My brother was especially taken with the MEV tR1ke which is an exoframed 3 wheeler (see picture below). He thought it was very nice until he found the price £ 4500 for the base kit - without the powdercoating to the chassis, wheels, tyres, gearshift, doner parts etc...
Once we went past that there was a nice looking Cobra by Parallel Designs. This used BMW 5series running gear and had a straight 6 instead of a V8 - fair enough but they then reckoned you could built it for £ 11,000! Maybe you could but I doubt anyone would get it to the same standard as the show-car for much less than £ 15k.
There wasn't really much else new in the display halls, but one that stood out was the sole prototype Gilburn T11, which was 38.5" tall - not surprisingly the owner was under 5'6" any taller and he wouldn't have fitted.
Outside there were some strange trikes, and more unusual cars - during the day some more EATOC members arrived so there were some strange people there as well!
The weather cleared up as well and we ended the day with the sun out to make it warmer so it was a good way to end the day - roll on the next show!
The April pub meeting fell on an evening which was dry, relatively warm and even light until about 8:30 in the evening. In fact it is the first time I have driven the road from the A14 to the pub in daylight. This showed up a few things, one in daylight the road can be taken a lot faster than at night, and two it is so rough that you need to slow down again otherwise you risk damaging the car!
Still, journey down completed and we actually got a fairly good turnout. We had 4 Tigers and a Magic. So a big thanks to Paul Browning, John Holmes, Steve Tuck, Alan and Eve Whale and Simon Bunker for making the journey. The main topic of discussion was as you might expect the upcoming Fish and Chip run which you will find all the details on later in the newsletter.
Hopefully the numbers at the meetings should increase - however it turns out that a motorbike club also meets there on a Tuesday so in the summer it could get very crowded but we shall see what happens.
Stoneleigh, the biggest kit car show in the world (as it is billed). Well this year I don't think it was as big as usual due to the rather poor weather. Actually that is a bit harsh the weather was probably the same as last year's show but the week before we had 20C+ temperatures, clear blue skies and all it did was go back to normal!
I had planned to drive down with Malcolm but unfortunately some family commitments meant that for the first time in 5 years he was unable to make it. So I ended up driving down on my own. Now I drove my usual route (Peterborough, Corby, Market Harborough, A5, M6 etc) and got there in the dry with only a few spots of rain seen. It appears that I was lucky - other club members from St Neots got a good soaking on the A14 as did others on the A47 - so it looks like I hit the clear band between two rain storms!
Anyway enough of the weather what about the show itself. Well I didn't get to see that much of the club stands as I went looking for a pair of seats to replace my existing ones. Steve Tuck was also looking for some and the seating search took an hour. Finally we have both ordered the same type - Intatrim Rangers in completely different colour schemes. Hopefully they will be delivered before the end of the month.
Onto the show itself; there certainly seemed to be a good selection of cars on display, Tiger and Southways (the new owners of the Cat range) had stands opposite each other, so if you turned up at the wrong one they just pointed you across the aisle. I also had a discussion with Southways about what could do with being tweaked to make it easier to build. I don't know if they will take notice but I did try!
Other cars of interest included the relaunched Vortex (Phantom) GTR, it is one of those timeless designs but in the silver that they had chosen to paint it the car looked rather bland. Put it in a darker shade or even two-tone and it would lift it completely.
The other kit launch that caught my eye was the Typhoon Sportscars Valdris for the first time someone has produced a KTM X-Bow replica, the car was only completed on the Saturday morning before the show and was still a bit rough around the edges - you have to get the allen keys out to check the oil. I have to say I had an interest in this as my BMW was in at Typhoon for a replacement door and working on the kit meant the BMW wasn't finished on time!
Another significant car (and one I failed to get a photo of) was the Westfield iRacer. This had to feature the most aerodynamic (and impractical) wheel covers I have ever seen. They hugged the ground and you couldn't even see a fraction of the rubber contained within. Fine on an ultra smooth indoor track but take it on the road and a pebble would cause damage to them.
There were some strange omissions from the accessory stands though. I went (as usual) with a small shopping list and apart from the seats and some tubes of Autosol came away almost empty handed. Nobody was selling boxes of latex gloves - normally you are tripping over suppliers of these at every corner but for once - nothing.
There was one accessory I hadn't planned on getting that I got though - Typhoon were selling oil catch tanks for a good price (£ 30) and although I didn't get one on the Sunday I did ask Niall Turner to pick me one up on the Monday which he did.
A clear dry and warm weekday evening - something has gone wrong with the weather!
Seriously though the weather was perfect and we had a good turnout of cars for the meeting. We even recruited a new member to the club on the night so that was a plus. In total 8 cars made it, 5 Tigers, an Elise and a Magic so not a bad turnout.
There is a slight problem though, throughout the winter we have noticed a few bikers using the pub for a meeting. Well this month they were out in force - it turns out they have a meet every tuesday and in the summer can expect 150+ bikes on an evening. Now the carpark can easily accomodate that number of bikes, but if we have 15+ Tigers (as we have done so in the past) then things are going to get very crowded so there might be changes afoot. Watch this space and the events listing closely.
We arrived early at 'The Crown Inn' to find we were the first there. Eventually Giles Cooper turned up, then Mike Finch in his tintop, but because of problems selling his Tiger he said he wouldn't be joining us on the route but would meet us at Dunwich. Then John Holmes arrived, but unfortunately in his wife's car as he thought the event was on Sunday and had booked the Tiger in for its MOT on Saturday! We then set off.
The weather was really good and the next stop was Fourwentways Services where we were joined by Alan and Eve Whale. The route then took us through Claire and Cavendish and on to Long Melford where we were due to stop on the green. But to my surprise the Fair was in town, this was not really a problem as Eric Johnston, Steve and Cath Valentine who had arrived before us had parked on the opposite green and were now waving frantically having heard us approaching! By now the sun was very hot and we were all glad of a chance to stretch our legs and cool down. When I asked for comments about the route so far Steve queried one particular section of the route from Long Melford to Chelsworth. As he had grown up in Long Melford he knew of a shorter route, so I let him lead us.
All I can say is that this section was very memorable. A short while later Steve's radiator bottom hose clip came loose with obvious consequences, which he fixed and met up with us at Dunwich. We had one final petrol stop before heading off to Dunwich.
Arriving at 12.30, Julie Abel and her family, who had arrived earlier in their tintop, due to the fact that they would not all fit in the Tiger, had managed to save us a couple of tables out in the sunshine.
The other surprise was that Guy Gomes, from Portugal, had seen the flyer for the Fish and Chip run, in the EATOC newsletter and as he was over here had come to meet up with us.
Once we had all enjoyed our Fish and Chips, and some had indulged in ice cream sundaes, we then drifted on to the beach where Mike Finch had already dipped his feet in the sea. After some time socialising and chatting about the Tigers we all headed off, with the sun still shining, about 4pm.
As he was leaving Giles realised that when he had parked his Tiger he had managed to ground the passenger side due to the uneveness of the car park.Luckily no harm was done. This was a great day out thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Well the first thing to write here is - where was everyone? I know this was held on the same weekend as Le Mans but we had decent weather and barely any owners turned up.
Anyway for those that did make the effort to come to the event it was good to see some different faces. We also had some more unusual cars turn up - including the magnificently green Storm. I know you can't tell that from the pictures in the newsletter but have a look at the website where I will assure you the colours have not been enhanced in anyway. The following EATOC members also made it: Myself, Malcolm Brown, Malcolm Keeley, Simon Bunker, Stephen Walsh, Richard and Adam Wilkins.
For Tiger themselves it looked like being a quiet day until near the end. A woman turned up, looked around a couple of cars asked if there was any boot space in the Avon and then walked up to Laura and said "I want a factory built Avon, how much and when can I have it!"
I think Jim and Laura were rather pleased by this! Linda Monk who was the mystery person has now joined the club and will hopefully get her new car in about 10 weeks.
OK for anyone who was confused by the assorted messages going out about last month's pub meeting I will apologise now. Basically items crossed in the post and the wrong destination got sent.
However we got through to some of you and a few cars managed to find the pub. We did end up chasing people round the tiny hamlet of Holywell as they were getting lost (it is only one road but...). So for those of you coming this month please ignore the satnav when entering the hamlet. As you approach the T-Junction turn LEFT and then Right at the end of the road. You will find the pub about 100yds from the corner with a sign announcing the carpark.
Still we managed to get 8 cars to the meeting and have plenty of space for more people to come along. p.s. they also serve good food
Newark show, one of the more unusual shows on the calendar. This is mostly due to the fact that it brings the oddball kit owners out of hiding where they don't seem to like coming to the more mainstream events.
From the turnout point of view we got a lot more Tigers on the Sunday (when I went) compared to the Saturday (when Malc went).
There was also a strange new car with the most bizarre sales price method I have seen.
MEV launched the Exocet 'build a kit car for under £ 2000' - or so claimed the advert. However the kit was £ 2500, the donor car estimated at £ 700 (MX-5) and then you sell the unneeded parts from the donor for £ 1200 to get the £ 2000 build cost. Don't know what the rest of you think but that doesn't seem exactly honest marketing to me......
Other highlights included seeing Triking and a few of the more 'unusual' kits. and the Battery vehicle society which I will just leave you to find the pictures for....
It was dry and warm - after that shock (have a look at the event reports for previous years on the website to see what we mean) onto the event report...
Yes the day dawned dry and bright and stayed that way - I was the first to arrive closely followed by Mike Finch (Super 6) and Dave Aston in an original Mk1 Escort. Seeing as I now had a group of (un)willing volunteers we got the gazebo and the flag put up so that people could find the parking area.
For the next few hours we gradually had more and more cars arrive until we had 16 EATOC cars and a Caterham that snuck in when we had our back turned.
We also had one new club member join on the day so a welcome to Rob Bryan.
As usual there were all sorts of cars present ranging from the smallest (shortened minis) to huge American cars (with equally large drivers) and most things in between. At midday we held the AGM and you will find the details of that separately.
Finally after everyone had a good time we all went home.
The second pub meeting held at the Old Ferryboat was another success. We had several new members to the club turn up as well as both Tom Ede and Chris Laycock making it to their first EATOC meeting. The main topic of discussion was the forthcoming Derbyshire run with several people putting names down for that - although I am still waiting for a few of these to turn into deposits....
Also I had both Liz Haggie and Eve Whale asking about why we hadn't booked a Christmas Lunch yet... it is only July and I am trying to organise an event in September! Incidentally a date is reserved in the calendar (10th December) for a meal just need the venue to be decided.
We had a good meeting with the following members turning up: Giles Cooper, Paul and Mark Browning, Dave and Jane Sams, Tom and Daniel Ede, Steve Tuck, Simon Bunker, Chris Laycock, Tony and Liz Haggie, and Mervyn Garner.
This has to go down as one of the wettest events that I think the club has ever attended.
The show started early for me as I had arranged with Jim to take the Aviator to the show and give it some publicity - so on Friday evening I got a lift and made the short journey over to Thorney to pick the car up. The weather there was torrential rain - after about 30 minutes it went down to a medium downpour but I decided to take the chance and get driving home.
The drive home was interesting - driving a car with no weather gear, 190bhp on R888 tyres with huge puddles on the road. Added to the fact that every truck that passed on the other side of the road caused my helmet visor to go opaque - interesting drive yes, fun - no.
The morning of the show was damp and I loaded the Aviator up with a gazebo, literature, cameras etc and set off. All went well until I got to the field entrance - the overnight rain had turned it into a mud bath, and no matter how slow I went the Aviator ended up plastered in mud from front to back.
It then started raining so I put the gazebo up over the car to try and keep it relatively dry, then borrowed a bucket and rinsed most of the mud off using a convenient lake.
Now came the wait for all the other club members to turn up. About 10:30 Tony Haggie came up in his Cub - followed by Liz who had decided that the weather was too poor to risk the Tiger, we then rinsed his car off as well as that was mud splatted.
I had a wander round in the morning but there wasn't that much to see - due to the weather the number of cars was well down on last year. According to official figures 140 cars made it to the show - I think last year there were in excess of 300 attending.
We spent most of the morning fielding enquiries from various people about Tigers in general and also the Aviator itself - I don't know if as a result of this Tiger have directly sold any cars but the publicity should be well worth it. Several people enquired about factory built cars and others were interested in the second hand vehicles that are on display outside the factory. Also Mervyn Garner turned up in his Elise, as well as Linda Monk who is still waiting for her Avon to be ready - not long now...
During the afternoon it decided to rain - horizontally! It was raining so hard that we had 4 or 5 people hanging onto the gazebo to stop it lifting off as the retaining pins had lifted 6" out of the ground. I think the rain only lasted about 10 minutes but it seemed a lot longer to us.
The rain / showers kept on for most of the afternoon finally stopping about 4PM - at this point we had had enough so everything was packed up and away and we could make the trip home. There was one last hazard waiting for us.
The entrance road which was muddy when I had entered had got worse as 500 odd vehicle movements ground the mud up. With trepidation (as a car with 3" of ground clearance isn't renowned for off roading) I inched the car through at barely walking pace until I got back to the tarmac. There was then a slow section out of Maxey as the tyres needed to clean themselves of mud before I risked more than 30mph and the short trip home. As can be seen from the picture there was a little bit of mud splashed up from the wheels - ok there was about a cubic foot that fell out of the wheelarches.
Here we are double the event reports - two club members went to the show and both submitted event report so you have two to read now. All the pictures were taken by Paula Tuck.
Sunday 29 August 2010 was overcast and windy. We got our meagre possessions together (not a lot of room in a Super 6) and strapped ourselves in.
It only took 45 mins to get to Little Gransden from Milton Keynes, we found the right entrance and parked up at our allotted area. In total there were 5 Tigers, one buggy and a Caterham. There were stalls of all kinds ranging from handicraft to aircraft, model trains, hog roast and hoopla.
There were lots of classic cars and the air show was brilliant. Despite the weather they still managed a good turn out. There was an autogyro that was buffeted by the wind and other small planes that looked too fragile to cope with the winds. What was even more scary was that the engines in some of the planes were smaller than the ones in the cars! We saw a Vampire, Fokker, Red Hawks and Mustangs to name but a few.
In all we had a lovely day out, thanks to Mike for organising the event - we did see him from time to time during the day but he was busy keeping things in order.
Our Super 6 got us there and back with no problems. It was a joy to ride in and made for a great day from start to finish. We met some other club members and had a fabulous day - I highly recommend it for next year.
We managed to assemble 5 Tigers, 1 Caterham and a Beach Buggy. Nothing like a bit of variety. Steve & Paula Tuck, Simon & Sue Bunker, Niall Turner, Eric Johnston and myself made up the Tiger contingent with Dave Johnson and his VW Beach Buggy plus our mystery Caterham owner. Unfortunately I was also a steward for the event so I did not get much opportunity to chat with the EATOC members.
All together there were over 220 classic cars in the car park with an incredible mix of vehicles.
The weather unfortunately played us a dud hand as the wind did its best to interfere with the flying and the rain also played its part. Fortunately these fly guy's are not easily thwarted and the display was as good as ever. The spectacle and the noise are some thing special to behold.
It was a busy day for us stewards but it was worth all the effort and hard work just to watch the expressions on the faces of the crowd members as the planes flew over at what seemed like head-height.
I am not sure what the total takings were but there was a suggestion that numbers were down on last year, due only to the weather I guess.
My thanks to all the Tiger owners who attended, let's hope we can increase the numbers next year.
The big question this year was whether the 2010 run would be as popular as the 2009 one. There were several factors to consider -
We weren't going to drive the Cat And Fiddle road - and this could have been one of the main draws for people but since the installation of specs cameras it rather spoils the run.
We had changed the venue for lunch - but this should have been for the better after the meal we got last year.
We didn't know what the weather had in store for us. Well I think it did work out quite well but as you may see it had a few well... quirks to the day.
The first problem greeted me when I woke up on Saturday morning - Peterborough was covered in patchy thick fog. This is never a good sign for a day out - the weather forecast had said it would clear but with fog you are never too sure of when and by how much. Still everything had been organised and I made my way over to Peterborough Services arriving about 7:45AM where I waited for the others to turn up.
The departure time from Peterborough was planned to be at 8:15 with a few minutes lee-way built in to allow for holdups - at five past eight the first cars arrived. It was Adam Wilkins in his Riot, along with Richard Wilkins in his Super 6 (Adam's dad). Richard had a passenger as well Harry (his grandson). I said he had a passenger as Harry immediately jumped ship and decided to spend most of the day as a passenger in my car. These two had started off furthest from Peterborough (Sittingbourne in Kent) and were the first to arrive.
Five minutes later Tony and Liz Haggie arrived in their Cub, followed closely by Dave and Jane Sams in their Super Cat, and then Linda Monk in her 1 week old Avon (which had already done 300 miles...)
At 8:25 Steve and Paula Tuck arrived and we had everyone who was meant to meet at Peterborough together. A quick fuel run for those who needed it and by 8:30 only 15 minutes later than planned we were on the road to Langham. We now had a convoy of 7 cars.
Ten minutes later and we pull off the A1 onto the A606. This is good we are making up time on the journey as I know the roads around Rutland water will allow us to gain a few minutes back. Or they should do normally - the fog here was thicker than on the A1 and somebody had decided to run a cycle race - in fog with no signs up to inform people and a bunch of cyclists who didn't care that other road users were there. We finally got to Langham at 9:15 the same time we were meant to be leaving it....
At Langham we met up with three more cars, Niall Turner and Gavin Manning in Niall's Cat, Donny Williamson in his Locost and Tom and Daniel Ede in their cat. After a few minutes of rest we then continued on the journey leaving about 9:30 (so we are a good 15 minutes behind schedule).
As I drive over the railway bridge into Melton Mowbray a glance into my mirrors and there aren't any Tigers behind me! I was the lead car and there should have been another 9 cars in view. Now anyone who has driven from Langham (or more likely Oakham) to Melton Mowbray will know there is only one main road with very few exits on it - so where was everyone? Puzzled I pulled over into a parking space just after the bridge and waited and waited. After about 5 minutes Steve Tuck came into view first followed by the rest of them and we continued on. I later found out that the people behind got separated and decided to wait for everyone to catch up - obviously I hadn't kept a close enough eye on my mirrors to notice the lack of cars behind me.
The one-way system in Melton always presents issues when you take a group of cars through as it is mostly traffic light controlled and with 10 cars it can be difficult to get people through cleanly. However this time it worked and everyone made it out and onto the correct road. From here it is a straight run along some great twisty A-roads to Kegworth and then up the M1 for a few miles to the wonderfully named Trowell Services...
At Trowell we met up with three more cars Simon Bunker in his Super 6, Robert Bunker in his Magic, and Peter and Bella Conner in their Cat. For long term members you did read that right - Simon B has bought a Super 6 and sold the Magic to his brother Robert.
At this point one of the cars suffered a 'serious' mechanical fault - the pipe feeding the twin air horns on Richard Wilkins car had fallen off leaving him hornless! But using the collective engineering skills of the entire group we soon fixed that minor disaster. Now bear in mind we were running late before we arrived at the services, after everyone had had a quick break, taken photos, had a chat and filled up with fuel we didn't actually leave until 10:45 which means we should have a little time deficit to catch up.
So at 10:45 a 13 car convoy left the services and headed over to Ripley arriving after an uneventful drive. At Ripley we met another three cars, Ian and Pat Welch in their cat, John Raper in his cat, and David and Alana Meenan in a Robin Hood. As an aside David Meenan was the only person who responded to the publicity given in Complete Kit Car to the run.
I handed over lead car duties to Ian Welch as being a local he had the expert knowledge to guide people through the run. Full credit must go to Ian for helping to plan the route out. After a drivers briefing on the likely location of speed camera vans and what to look out for, we left for the pub to get some lunch around 11:45 - as the original plan said to depart about 11:10 you can see the schedule was slipping somewhat.
We then had a very entertaining blat around the Peak district roads staying off the main routes until we had to pick up the A515 to get to the pub - there were a couple of wrong turns by a few people but nothing too serious that caused us to lose anyone. We arrived at the Bull I' T' Thorn about 12:40 a little later than planned but not too bad. The pub food and service were superb - everything turned up promptly and nobody had any complaints apart from 'I can't eat all of this'. I had a Lamb shank well I think it was biggest lamb in the area as there was just too much for me to eat but it was good...
We finally left the pub about 2PM and headed over to the Winnats pass. This is fantastic scenery and well worth a trip over to see, however the roads were crowded and as we went downhill I think I barely touched the throttle pedal on the whole run, spending most of the time on the brakes instead. Obviously I couldn't take any photos on the road...
After going through the pass the plan had been to stop off in Castleton but trying to find parking spaces for 16 cars on a Saturday afternoon in the same place proved to be impossible. So we skipped Castleton and continued to Bakewell for a rest stop. Here we did find spaces in one of the car parks so that people could go and stretch their legs. I called a break stop then for 30 minutes to allow a respite and then we would continue on the last leg home.
At this point people started peeling off the main convoy to head their own way home. Richard Wilkins having reclaimed his grandson from my passenger seat head off back to Kent. Adam Wilkins headed off to Grantham and Barkston Heath to do a sprint event the next day. John Raper, Ian Welch and David Meenan all made their way home as well. As did Peter Conner who needed a bump start due to a flat battery so we got him on his way as well.
After about 30 minutes at Bakewell we all started off again and stopped at a nearby petrol station to replenish supplies. For some reason we lost Niall and Donny which I found out later was because Donny's wife had called him and that delayed both of them.
We passed through Matlock and Matlock Bath and then just as I passed through a set of traffic lights I saw Peter Conner in a pub car park. Only when I passed him did I realise he had broken down but with double-yellow lines for the next mile couldn't stop to render any assistance. The problem with his car had been the wire came off from the alternator warning lamp and then the car drained its battery. Some bikers helped fix the wire and then a car owner gave him a bump start so he was on his way in under 20 minutes.
We then travelled back up to Ripley and rejoined the M1, as we left the M1 Simon and Robert continued down to Milton Keynes and the rest of us retraced the journey home, before leaving the others on the A1 as myself and Linda turned down on the A47.
It was at the A47 we hit the only significant holdup of the journey as we encountered all the traffic leaving Burghley Horse Trials, before finally making it home a mere 12 hours and 230 miles after setting out.
Pictures below are in order of cars joining the run
Well I can sum the show up in one word - rubbish. However that doesn't really make an article so I will have to go into a bit more detail...
The first problem occurred when getting towards the site where the show was being held. Anyone who has been to Stoneleigh, Detling or Newark is used to seeing signs for the show about 10 miles before the showground so you know you are on the right road. What did the Stafford show have - nothing. It was so badly signposted that there wasn't even anything on the road outside the gate. Instead there was a big notice for an antiques fair - had we got the right location?
Into the showground and someone directed us over to a grass parking area. No club areas were marked out and it was only by luck that Linda (who I was following) spotted another two Tigers. Once parked up a quick look around outside as there wasn't that much to see and we made our way to the hall. There were two halls in use - the first we came to was the antique fair. It turned out that the hall for the kit car show was round the corner although again it wasn't signposted very well.
When we got to the entrance we had to pay a £ 10 entry fee. I later found out that by saying you had come in a kit car got some people a reduction down to £ 5 and others got in for free. A clear pricing statement might have helped here. I don't object to paying an entry fee for a show provided the show is of decent quality inside but....
The first stand we stopped at was Tiger with Gary in charge. On display was the newest Aviator. This is in a striking lime colour with extra black detailing over the top of the side pods and the rear wheel-arches. This makes a huge difference to the appearance and it means the car actually photographs a lot better. Also on display was the Avon rolling chassis which Gary had sold a few of over the weekend.
Of other manufacturers on display MEV had brought their entire range of cars to the show and took up a good proportion of the hall space, Chester Sportscars (now an agent for Southways) had the most bizarrely equipped Cat with 9 dials on the dashboard - including an extremely optimistic 220mph speedometer, 14 warning lamps - none of which were labelled, and 11 rocker switches plus column stalks! The only Cat I have ever seen that requires an instruction manual for the dashboard!
Vindicator had brought some 'interesting' cars along - two of the family (4 seater) model including one fitted with a tent sorry a roof and 4 doors. It looked more like a trailer tent than a sports car. Other interesting cars included Noddy's new car a Deauville, a 7 which was being built with a Mazda rotary engine, and finally the road legal Typhoon Valdris(SP).
The Typhoon had just passed IVA and had recently been taken for a test drive by a certain Adam Wilkins - in the words of Stuart (the designer) he went around a corner at 85 in the wet where I thought it I was doing well at 65 in the dry on the same corner. Stuart was rather shaken and Adam just passed a comment that it had a bit of bump steer but was a good car otherwise!
During the afternoon we met up with Niall Turner and Steve Tuck who were on their way back from Llandow where they had both done a track day on the Saturday. When they turned up it was just mine and Linda's cars as the only Tigers left. Emerging from the show halls at about 3:30 (just over 2 hours after getting there) the parking area was empty. It was so quiet that at 2pm MNR packed up and went home and at 3:30 everyone else was. Considering the show didn't end until 4:30 this gives an impression of how good the exhibitors thought the show was.
So in summary - would I go again, No. If the show had been of decent quality then maybe but to be honest it didn't cut the grade. All the little things added up to a disappointing day out, signposting, inconsistent entry fees, lack of exhibitors, poor support for owners clubs etc. I don't really like putting shows down as they are a valuable resource for punters and manufacturers alike but the organisation (or lack of it) of this one lets it down considerably.
Not much for me to write about here. So I will let the pictures do the talking. The only thing to note is the strange occurance that happened. On a cold(ish) September evening we got 9 Tigers and about 18 people to turn out - even though everyone had to come and leave in the dark. But in the summer when it is bright and clear we only get a few cars turn up....
Any ideas why this happens?
Well it took a bit of planning 2 different routes and almost got cancelled (twice) due to the weather but we did manage it.
The idea was first raised at the Christmas meal where it was discussed doing a run between Christmas and New Year. So after some inquiries on who would be interested I sat down and came up with a route - Peterborough to the Black Cat roundabout, back to St Neots and then up to Chatteris, March and back to Peterborough around 90 miles in total.
It then snowed... and looked like we were going to have to cancel the run. However on Boxing Day all the snow had melted away - so we were back on again, until the fog came. On the 29th December we had very thick fog with visibility down to 100 feet or less. Hoping the weather was going to improve I decided to do the run and get people organised.
A couple of people dropped out due to double-bookings and illnesses so we were slightly down on numbers but those who did the run enjoyed it.
Firstly Niall Turner came over to mine and we both drove down to the Black Cat Roundabout - a nice easy drive with very little traffic and no fog. When we got to the Little chef we had a quick break and met up with Tony and Liz Haggie, Chris Laycock and Neil Anderson. Incidentally Neil chose this run as the first time to come on a club organised event.
When we left the Little Chef we were overtaken by Chris who had somehow managed to get out of a different exit onto the A1, and ended up waiting at the A428 exit. Once onto the A428 it was a fairly simple drive up through Potton and across the A14 (rather than putting a wheel on that hellish road). Once we crossed the A14 we continued up until we turned into St Ives.
As we passed a BP filling station I noticed Steve Tuck sitting on the forecourt who didn't appear to have noticed us going by, so a U-Turn with 5 cars later and we all ended up on the forecourt - he had seen us but was joining the end of the convoy so we looped around a bit.
The remainder of the run was a simple drive past RAF Wyton and then onto the A141 where we continued up to March and then Ring's End before getting onto the Guyhirn Straight towards Peterborough. The weather in a couple of places was a bit misty but fortunately we didn't encounter any fog this is one of the advantages of staying on the main roads which are a bit higher than the surrounding farmland.
We stopped of at Tiger where I had arranged for us to see the new Historic Super 6 that Tiger have started building. This is a car based upon a Triumph spitfire or Herald, it utilises the front suspension, engine, gearbox and instruments from the Triumph with a Ford Escort Mk2 rear axle. The styling is designed to copy the original Lotus shape and includes such details as the fully enclosed rear wheels, chipcutter front grille and the cycle wings that stay put whilst the wheels turn under them. We spent an interesting couple of hours at Tiger before everyone separated off and headed for home.
Usage of this website is subject to the terms and conditions which can be found here