Just back from a thoroughly splendid evening at Wroxall Abbey Hotel where John Brookes from the MOC had organised a memorial dinner to celebrate the life of Jem Marsh who sadly passed away earlier this year. I drove down from Manchester in the dark having got stuck in Friday traffic getting on to the M6, but once on the motorway it was chocks away with a decent run down to the venue. No other Marcos in sight in the car park, which was a shame but perhaps they knew about the weather coming the next time day… 😱. Got there about 15 mins before dinner started & managed to check in & get a beer in hand before we all sat down. Lots of familiar faces from the Marcos ‘family’ (and indeed the Marsh family who were there in force), plus quite a few from the older owners from the 60s, 70s and 80s (before my time!). Cleverly, the tables were organised with a model theme so obviously I was sat at the ‘Mantis’ table. Obviously the ‘top table’! The inimitable Mr Harman was sat to my left, but also on the table & to my right were Chris Marsh & his wife Sarah (who just goes to show what you can pull when you’re a racing driver! I believe the team technical term is “Smokin'”!). Food was great, wine flowed & there were a number of entertaining recollections from various people involved with Jem over the years. The highlights for me however were the stories from the three drivers at the 1995 Le Mans race. I finished in the early hours of the morning with a handful of us at the bar including Gary, Cor Euser & Chris Marsh who had some hairy stories about the development of the Mantis that were well worth staying up for!
After breakfast next morning I followed one of the other owners in their non-Marcos to the Birmingham NEC where the Classic Car Show was on. There were two stands as usual: one from the MOC & one from CMI. Both stands were fantastic with the quality of the cars on show outstanding and the Le Mans 95 car a big crowd pleaser. Bloody cramped when you are sitting inside it though!
Childcare meant leaving the NEC by 1300 to head home & as I left the weather got worse so the hood was up. The less said about the journey back the better… Suffice to say that the hood did little to keep the water out, & despite trying to wedge a cloth in the worst area, it wasn’t long before there was standing water in the door handles & on the passenger seat. With water also coming in at the front, top & rear of the windows (& through the windscreen seal!) onto both the dash & me, I am not impressed with what £900 has got me from Redline last spring. The list of things that need looking at is mounting… Heigh Ho.