Not having been in the Mantis for a few weeks, the fantastic clear blue skies of Boxing Day 2023 were too good an opportunity to miss, so after press-ganging my daughter into coming along for the ride, it was off out into the Cheshire lanes for a very pleasant drive out.
A good few things still needing to be done on the car, with future funding sources unclear, but for the time being it was just nice to get out. Given how infrequently I am now driving the car, with negligible commuting & other demands on the old bank balance, I really must try & get a dash cam sorted for 2024 so I can get some driving footage. An aide memoire for the car when the grey cells start failing might be rather handy!
What else for next year then? Well the chatter at the Marcos Christmas Dinner was that we might go to the Youngtimers event at Gawsworth Hall on the second May bank holiday as a group, rather than a independent owners. Other than last year, this was not something I have been previously available for as I am normally at the Hay (Book) Festival with my son, however sadly he has grown up & looks to be elsewhere from now on. We will probably continue to gather on the Sunday of the Oulton Park Gold Cup as our NW race-based meet. The big news perhaps is that we may consider going back to Tatton Park, which we attended for over 25 years before falling out with the new owners, Morton Events, over their ill-informed & ill-advised insistence that we attend on two days across the show weekends. Hopefully after five years running the Tatton Parks shows they now understand that owners clubs of low volume, rare sportscars can’t necessarily get the vehicle numbers to cover more than one day. We will see….
Armistice Day today, & a truely glorious Autumn day – clear blue skies & sunshine. Foolishly I have not gone out in the Mantis, even though it’s been on the trickle charger & I haven’t put the hood back up yet on the off chance of a quick spin out. Maybe tomorrow if the Met Office forecast proves completely wrong (currently black cloud with double rain drop icon… Oh dear! 🌧️).
In the meantime I have been told there is a picture of my Mantis adorning the Marcos Owners Club stand at the Classic Car Show. What excellent taste! 🤣👌😎
A very enjoyable Sunday at the Concours of Elegance, held once again at the ever impressive Hampton Court Palace.
I am actually taller than this suggests… A classic ‘rose between two thorns’ picture, surely? A reminder that as well as the cars, Hampton Court Palace is rather splendid in its own right! The Marcos Mantis 2+2 was voted car of the show by the Classic & Sportscar magazine voters. The commentators seemed rather bemused. 2023 saw Marcos placed to the right of the palace.
What a monumental fuckwit Sadiq Khan is. If you’re going to create a completely bullshit tax to get more money into your Inner London coffers to spend on your divisive policies, at least spend taxpayers money on a decent payment website. What a bag of spanners the user experience is…
A good trip down to the White Hart Hotel with the ever entertaining Doug in the passenger seat. Travelling down from Manchester with the Morrisons, sadly still without their LM which, having been converted to a coupe, is still awaiting paint. As ever, nice to see the Essex mob again, sadly without Geoff now.
As the owner of an “ordinary” Mantis, I am honoured to be in the presence of a supercharged Mantis at the White Hart Hotel today. 🤣😂🤣 Yes RJP, you know who you are!
Time flies. MOT time & a very welcome pass! As usual the chaps at Altrincham Tyre and Exhaust were brilliant & took the time to point a few things out that I might want to look at sooner rather than later. Mainly wear & tear on the rear bushes, & suspension.
Also less than 1300 miles last year. Food for thought.
Battery changed, car working. Chance conversation with a neighbour & it was off to the Youngtimers event at Gawsworth Hall on the last May Bank Holiday.
What a fantastic venue. No stalls or vendors, just cars parked around the amazing Gawsworth Hall itself. Plenty of nice motors (Ferrari etc) but also many less exotic classics. Everyone was up for a good chat in the sunshine.
Never having taken the Mantis to Gawsworth before, I was intrigued to be directed to the Chamomile Lawn, which turned out to be a great spot near the Panthers & Corvettes. Paul & Gilly, seasoned attendees, found me in their Mantula so we had a Marcos stand… Kind of! 🤣
Beautiful autumnal sunshine meant vehicle selection for a short trip to Manchester was a no brainer. I unhooked the CTEK battery charger & jumped in the Mantis, only to find that the car would not start. How can that be, with a CTEK trickle charger & an Optima Yellow Top that is meant to be able to withstand years over-wintering out on the Russian Steppes?! (Well, you know what I mean!). Anyway, not wanting to miss out on the drive I jump started the car with the Noco GB70 starter & headed out. Alas, when I stopped for fuel (it happens!) the car wouldn’t start again, which is a worry after an 8 mile drive. Wringing the last juice out of the Noco, I bailed on my trip & went home. A shame on such a lovely day & the end of a few (relatively) trouble free months. Now I need to find someone to help identify the parasitic drain on the battery, & also figure out why the CTEK charger isn’t doing the trick. I hope the Optima battery is not screwed as it was not cheap… Yikes. Anyway, tucking the car away for a while I guess. Oh well.
A nice get together with some of the North West Marcos owners over Sunday lunch today, courtesy of the Fox & Hounds in Northwich. A good turn out with 17 of us but only one Marcos, & alas, it wasn’t my Mantis. The weather forecast was so bloody awful, everyone left their cars at home, but more fool us for trusting the Met Office’s £500 million super computer. Inevitably it was OK & I wish I had taken the Mantis. I must be getting soft in my old age. Anyway, great company & decent nosh so another triumph for Debbie Morrison, epic Marcos North West event organiser.
Down at Donnington Heritage circuit today, courtesy of a lovely bequest from Barry Martin who wanted some fellow Marcos owners to get together & have some fun when he was gone. Barry loved his Marcos, and had a few of them over the years, most recently an in-your-face green LM400. In fact, the car was guest of honour in the reception building – a nice gesture from the current owner. There must have been a good 30 plus cars there – a lot of familiar faces, & plenty of familiar cars. Some people I haven’t seen for ages, including Lynn Marsh, Dave & Mandy Chivers. Never enough time to properly catch up…
So, first time at the Donnington Heritage circuit. It’s cloudy with spells of light rain, so the circuit is damp but very little standing water. After the safety briefing we get a few laps of the circuit, one car at a time only. After a couple of sessions, I realised this was a great opportunity for my son, Bertie, to safely get behind the wheel & have his first drive of the car. He’s a pretty decent driver, but I think both of us were rather surprised! Anyway, he was up for it(!) & after a couple of very sensible questions about how the car drove, off we went with him in the driving seat. Suffice to say he was great, & the grin was well & truly worth it.
Having been unable to attend either annual rally this year, & failed dismally to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Mantis I thought it would be nice to get a group picture of the Mantis in attendance. You can see the results for yourself below (although the parking was a bit random). Inter-generational no less!
Mantis line up from Barry Martin’s Donnington day. How many Mantis owners does it take to park in a straight line? Not this many apparently!