Oi mate, did you know that…

“… you had a flat tyre?” So sayeth the nice Caterham owner at Knutsford Services this morning. Given it was inflated to 26 PSI earlier, this was not good news & spelled the end of my travelling down to the Stoneleigh Kit Car Show, but more importantly to attend the CMI AGM. I knew I had a slow puncture on the nearside rear but until now it has been fine for a few days by reinflating it. I hung around to meet up with the Morrisons in their now-awesomely prepped LM, but then headed back home, tail between legs. As you can see, it was a typical Manchester day with drizzle (but not enough to merit putting the hood up).

Very disappointed to have missed Stoneleigh after many years of absence. Looking on the bright side (a definite pre-requisite for owning a Marcos!), the Mantis was already booked into Diverse Automotive Technicians in Chorley on Tuesday for the Two Gates alloys to be refurbished, & now a pair of Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5s at the back.

Just in time for my trip to Belfast to meet up with old Marcos chum, previous LM owner & currently New York based Marcos constructor, Cazzer.

Kitted out

Stoneleigh was great, apart from the bit on Monday, and I knew this was going to happen, when a bloke asked me ‘So, these are kit cars then?’. ‘Er… no, they’re all factory built.’ Then the awkward pause while he looked at me & I looked at him, with the unspoken words hanging between us; ‘Well, why are you at the National Kit Car Show then?’. Now, if he’d have come along on the Sunday, there were about 15 Marcii, and many beautiful kits amongst them. Alas, on the Monday there was just 3 Mantis & a Mantara, until a nice blue Mantula turned up towards lunchtime. I didn’t bother explaining…

So, a decent turnout on the Sunday, with a good few cars appearing & lots of catching up between the various members. Suddenly it was suppertime & there were only two cars left, myself & John & Pauline Cavanagh, in their rather cool looking black Mantara. I had hoped for a decent crowd of people and a BBQ but maybe everyone else knew what the weather was going to be like because the heavens opened Sunday evening. Ugh! Mind you, I have now road (field?) tested my tent for Le Mans, so that’s one worry less!

The bank holiday Monday was pretty gloomy right from the start. Only half the cars showing and half the people to see them compared with the day before. It had the potential to be a fairly miserable day until Dave Chivers turned up in a lovely looking purple Mantis Coupe (one of only two in the UK, and three ever made, no less!). I had been hoping to see Dave to thank him for talking to my garage in Sale, trying to resolve my current electrical hiccups. Seconds later, the bonnet was up on my car & Dave was having a quick nose round. What a top chap! Now, Dave had been followed (about 10 yards behind!) by Richard in THE MOST GORGEOUSMantis. Aaarrrghhh! Me want! Me want! It’s the same age as mine (‘R’ reg), but only done about 10K miles & is painted the most wicked red. Tan leather with red piping of course, and deep, deep red carpets. Richard being Richard the car was bloody clean anyway, but it reallywas nice. Apparently the colour is a one off, not off another manufacturer (not that I am complaining about my VW Dragon Green). The only other colour I have ever seen that is nicer is a deep red that seems to go on for ever, called ‘Brandy Apple Candy Wine’ and is on the display car for Phantom, who do a rather groovy looking kit called the Phantom GTX. The GTX is quite curvey, though not with the extreme styling of the Mantis, and this paint sets off these curves in the most amazing way. Richard liked it too, and took some snaps which I will have to grovel for & I’ll post ’em here, though it’s unlikely they can do the colour justice.

Hmmm… writing too much. Well, Stoneleigh had some nice cars, especially the GT40s, but most of all it was good to see lots of Marcii & meet the owners. One even got sold! A car I mean 🙂

Handed the Mantis back to the garage upon my return for them to continue trying to isolate the problem with the A/C blowing stuff. Four days & a couple of broken wires later, still no joy. Also discovered a bolt on my hoodframe has been rubbing through the hood since I bought the car. No washer & too long. I now have two nice holes in the hood on the offside – think I’ll add that to the list. Heh! Heh! The weather has been nice last couple of days though and I miss my car…