Went to ‘Cars in the Park’ today, a PistonHeads event in the NE held at Bolton Abbey, & organised by one of their regulars, Chris. As he’d taken the trouble to track us down to the Forum & post an invite, it seemed rude not to turn up! Anyway I’ve never been to any of these types of gathering, so I was a bit curious. The weather was pretty miserable this morning (hood up! Gasp!), but improved after I collected Cazzer & his other half in his red LM500, & followed them on a very obscure (but picturesque) route over to the Abbey. When we (eventually) found the correct car park, there was loads of space reserved, and about another ten or twelve cars already present, mostly TVRs. Nice setting by the river ‘n all! V scenic but snapped the cars instead! Doh!A couple of people wandered over to chat about the cars, most saying that they had heard of Marcos but never actually seen one; as usual I was able to answer the truly challenging questions like ‘What colour’s that then?’… ‘Green’…’Oh. Right’. The more technical stuff ie anything else I fobbed off on to Cazzer! Heh! Heh! Between twenty and thirty other cars trickled in over the next few hours, including five Ferraris who dropped by, but it was obvious that the poor weather in the morning had put a lot of people off (and they have roofs! Tsk!). TVRs outnumbered everything else, and as the BBQs came out it became obvious most people knew each other from the PH forum. Had a quick look at what had turned up but being enamoured with Marcos rather than cars in general it got a bit samey. All wasted on me! Nice enough people at the meet though. Spent half an hour looking at the Abbey itself then set off back home mid-afternoon. Cazzer went directly back to his place in Lancs & I took ‘A’ roads back home which still get the opportunity for a bit of a ‘blat’! Hurrah! An interesting experience, but a long day, so it is unlikely I will go to many of these things, as I am just not ‘petrol-headed’ enough!
Ho hum. Good news and bad news. Things are now confirmed for the Le Mans parade – I have a list of cars & reserves, and have mailed full details & photos to the organisers as requested, so Marcos will definitely be represented in the parade, which is fab. The bad news is that the organisers would like to see as wide a variety of Marcos models as possible, as the parade is, after all, for the benefit of the spectators. Why is this bad news? Because, rather unbelievably considering that only thirty six examples of the ’97 Mantis were ever made, there are three examples (two Spyders and a Coupe) in the list of entrants ie more than any other model . The Coupe will have to stay in because it is one of only three ever made (so… er… quite rare then, eh!), and the other Mantis is the amazing red one belonging to Richard Partridge, therefore bound to be in absolutely stunning nick – thus being more appropriate for the parade. Having gone to quite a lot of trouble personally to collate info & talk to the organiser etc, I can’t quite believe that I am not going to be in the parade! Unless someone drops out (not unheard of for a Marcos!), or withdraws (unheard of for a Marcos owner!) then I am buggered. Arse. Arse. Arse. Arsey arse arse.
On a brighter note, there are eighteen, yes eighteen confirmed Marcos going to Le Mans this year! This is great as I have shyed away (as far as possible) from organising things again this year, but still we all know who is going, & will be able to link up for the odd cruise, and definitely the odd beer! There are even a few baby convoys travelling down together, as people talk to each other about travel arrangements – I for one hope to be going all the way from Cheshire to Le Mans & back along with Cazzer in his cool LM500, and have the legendary Mr Partridge in his Mantis with us from the Chunnel onwards! Whoohoo!
The Spring issue of the CMI magazine arrived in the post this morning. I had been looking forward to this as it contains my article on last years trip to Le Mans (a modified version of this article from the website). It stretches to about twelve pages, fifteen includes pictures, and Isobel the editor has been kind enough to put it in uncut. I can’t imagine ever being knowledgeable enough to write a technical article for the magazine, so it was always going to be an ‘experience’ type piece, and I am pleased as punch to see it there in print! Kindly queue for autographs on the left please…
I cleaned the car yesterday & finally got round to attacking the leather. Oh the shame! I had not fully appreciated quite how grubby the transmission tunnel had got until I put on some Autoglym leather care gunk. Wow! Talk about ‘before & after’ . Anyway I lashed it onto all the leather & gave the headrests (which bear the brunt of the weather with my penchant for open top motoring!) & the gearstick gaiter (which just gets bloody dry with all the heat from the transmission) seconds & thirds. It all soaked in & came up nicely, and I feel happier that it is all protected again. As usual the rest of the car took about five hours to clean & polish, and it was dark before I finished (out on the street, under a lampost – I must get a house with a garage…), so no time for wax. At least I didn’t start off meaning to clean it then just go for a drive instead, like the previous thrity or forty attempts!