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Well we chose a good day weather wise! Possibly the worst rain this year - unfortunately it had stopped raining as I was about to leave and having just checked the BBC weather forecast I decided to take the Tiger.
Big mistake - flooded country lanes and small sportscars don't mix and I ended up completely soaked. At the time of writing (6 days later) the carpets are just about dry although not yet fitted into the car.
Besides the weather what actually happened, well for a start after some 'interesting' dialog via email we still had a good few members turn up: Tony and Liz Haggie, Russell Morgan, Mark Bristow, Adrian Gibbons, Steve Tuck, Reg Williams, Mike Finch, Paul Browning, Malc Brown, John Holmes and myself. Amazing that abysmal weather and more people turn up than we had before Christmas!
There were plenty of interesting discussions with quite a few about plans for events, what the club is planning for this year - all of which is still up for discussion so it is not too late to put a suggestion or two into the pot - just email the club and all comments will be listened to.
No photos from the meet though as I don't think a camera would have survived the journey down.
Have we upset someone.... First the January Pub Meeting was a slight washout. The February one was fog bound. The fog was so thick that on the way down you were down to 20mph or less when trying to find the road you wanted. Chris Davison and Mervyn Garner reported seeing someone drive off the road in the fog on the way down!
However a few of us did make the journey, Alan and Eve Whale even managing it in their Tiger (braver than me!). We also met a new member of the club David Benson who had made the journey as well.
We did get a reasonable turnout despite the weather and plenty of stuff was discussed.
However I did hear of something rather strange after the meeting. Apparantly a non member came down to the meeting, sat in the bar for an hour or so and then left having failed to locate the Tiger owners (despite having seen one in the car-park).
So to all of you who haven't been to a meeting before - if coming to the monthly pub meeting then just ask at the bar as we have been going to the same pub for a couple of years and they should know who we are!
Hopefully next month will be dry and starting to get lighter so we shall have a load of Tigers in the car park and we may even be outside.
I don't know what happened we had a dry, clear evening for the pub meeting! For the first time this year we had a decent weather wise evening. It should be said that we also had a total of five tigers in the car park:- myself, Niall Turner, Dave Sneesby, Alan Whale and David Benson.
As a result of this (and including those who could have turned up in their Tigers) we had one of the best turnouts for a long time with a total of 15 people present. Although it was a dry and clear evening it wasn't quite enough to persuade people outside for more than a few minutes. Plenty of topics were discussed most importantly getting a good turn out for Duxford on the 30th March.
The weather is now on the improving front (I wrote the notes for this on Wednesday and it has spent the Easter Weekend snowing! so not the best thing to write). However the next meeting should be dry and lighter so we can see what happens then.
First off here are some of the pictures of the cars taken during the display.
Now go back and count up the number of Tigers present. You will find a grand total of 7 yes 7 tigers out of a club membership of 84 cars made it. Now there were two Tiger owners who didn't make it in their cars; Ian Brown who sold his the day before the show and arrived in his Focus instead, and Chris Davison whose Tiger is not on the road at present so came in his Lotus Esprit.
I know that some people couldn't make it due to other commitments or broken cars but last year we had over 30 Tigers - was it really that bad an event in 2007.
Also due to the non show of the person who said he would organise it I ended up having to collect the money from the people there so that we would have something to pay duxford with when they bill us for the event.
Fortunately I had the foresight to ask the East Anglian BMW club to attend the meeting and they bought along 13 cars, also the Fakenham Auto Club managed to bring along 7 so there were a few more. If I hadn't asked these two organisations then we would have had a pathetic display.
Sorry if this reads like a rant but I am not overly happy with the outcome.
However on the good side we had spectacular weather with it being warm, dry and sunny all day and the revised location by the American Air Museum was a lot better than being out by the entrance as anyone heading towards the land warfare hall had to pass between the cars to get there so we managed to get more foot traffic.
Detling is always a good season opener to the show calendar. I had arranged to meet up with Eric Johnston, Russell Morgan and Niall Turner. Once we had all met up then a quick blast (obviously staying within speed limits) down the M11 to Basildon where I would pick up my brother for the rest of the journey into darkest Kent.
All went to plan until we arrived at the showground. After nipping off for a "comfort break" I came out and discovered it had started to rain, oh well I put the roof up on the car and the heavens opened. So it was back into the show halls. Unfortunately this was to continue for the rest of the day.
As a result of this I didn't get to wander around the car displays much and spent most of the time in the show halls, Tiger had a small display with just the ZR6 although the car did look very impressive.
However I did get one important part for the Tiger - a windscreen washer bottle due to the fact it hasn't had any washers for the last 7 months after doing some other repair work and not refitting it!
Myself and Piers decided to leave earlier than normal as the rain was putting a bit of a dampener on the show. On the way back I kept hearing strange noises culminating in an almighty rattle coming from the gearbox whilst going through the Dartford tunnel. These noises continued in every gear except 5th after dropping Piers off and a quick consultation by phone with some other owners it was sounding like imminent gearbox failure - and I was 90 miles from home.
I continued back to Peterborough fairly gently not wishing to put the box under too much strain and finally made it despite the best efforts of a hailstorm to hinder me. After the show I went and bought some gearbox oil (and molyslip) the 'box needed 1.2l as a Type 9 from dry uses 1.25l I think I was a bit low. The car now sounds a lot better and appears to be doing more MPG, certainly it went from Peterborough to Silverstone and back on a single tank of fuel - around 130 miles.
Today was always going to be a chance with the weather forecast as it was (heavy showers) but it was bright and clear when setting off. The plan was to meet up with Malc and Mervyn just outside West Deeping and continue on the back roads through to Stoneleigh. All well and good but we hadn't factored in Network Rail!
Just outside Tallington is a railway crossing where I think they had decided to sweep the track - well whatever it was they were doing it very slowly, after 15 minutes of waiting the level crossing finally opened, only for us to find Mervyn's car wouldn't start as sitting in traffic the engine gets rather warm and the starter motor gives up.
That minor problem solved it was a quick and uneventful run to the show. At this point I disappeared off to a very interesting technical lecture of making bits out of fibreglass. Once that was over it was back to the car to put a rain cover on it and take some photos of the assembled Tigers - I haven't got everyone in but I think there were over 40 cars at one point - certainly we overfilled the parking area and ended up using the road as well. Although I am sure that we had a bigger area last year...
There seemed to be a lot more people there than last year and certainly there was a good bit of interest around all the cars and displays. So hopefully the sales figures for the manufacturers are going to increase. Maybe people are now deciding to invest in cars rather than houses?
Tiger had a very nice simple stand of five silver cars, the ZR6 (supercharged), ERA 30, RS6 (fresh from racing), R6 and a Super or XL cat as I can't remember which it was!
Other stands of note were - Complete Kit Car which featured a car in special camouflage paint (all you could see was a sign on the floor - it had broken down on the way) and the Brabini featured in the magazine recently - it was interesting but not really to my taste.
The big Cobra manufacturers were out in force as usual along with some interesting replicas of various cars.
In terms of owners cars there, five Phantom GTRs were parked up all of which were stunning examples of this rare kit.
There was also a good range of accessory stalls for once as for someone like myself who has a complete car these are one of the main reasons for going to the shows, although the one tool I wanted (a two handed wire brush) seemed to be unknown and since getting home and just before writing this I have found that Screwfix stock them!
Finally having got what I wanted I got round to leaving and left all the happy campers to what looked like a rather damp evening!
Well after a week of "indifferent" weather the Sunday for the open day turned out surprisingly well.
The day however was a bit quieter than previous open days - I don't know if moving it to a week later than normal was a factor or not.
However I had a good time and met some prospective new club members and a few of the existing members who I haven't seen before...
On the other hand it was a good day for Tiger, they sold an ERA30 after taking in a Super 6 in part exchange, an R6, and best of all someone popped into the garage to buy a bar of chocolate and left with a very nice Cat that had been for sale (worlds most expensive bar of chocolate?)
There were around 30 cars in the car park, although this number fluctuated throughout the day so I am not entirely sure of the number. Certainly the turnout far exceeded the show at the same time last year where I think we had 4 due to the rather inclement weather.
A fine dry and relatively warm meeting greeted us for the pub meeting. We had a reasonable turnout with 10 Tigers making the journey down. Even better was the fact it was still light and dry for the initial journey so the fun factor was much improved once off the A1.
Alan Whale managed to make it after having the fuel pump fail on the way home from the open day just two days ago.
Many things were discussed and a few more tickets for the Sporting Bears were given out.
However not all the cars made it home under there own power. David Benson's Six despite already running without one of the front mudguards (due to a dodgy weld) suffered with the alternator bracket failing - the same problem occurred last year with Mervyn Garner's R6 and he was at great lengths keen to emphasise and put in the mag that his isn't the only car which suffers breakdowns at club meetings! (Sorry David)
Finally at the end of the night everyone left for home - with David's car on the back of a transporter. Although the car would run without the alternator for a while, it certainly couldn't without the water pump and as they are both fed off the same belt nothing more could be done.
For the first time in 5 years I actually went to this show. I know that sounds strange as it is the second closest show to home but with Le Mans and other events getting in the way I just never got around to it...
Once there I found the Tiger parking area (which wasn't very large but then it didn't need to be due to the lack of cars) and then headed off to have a look around the show halls whilst avoiding getting blown off my feet due to the wind. Although there weren't as many manufacturers exhibiting as you get at the major shows there was still an interesting assortment. Tiger had a large display with three cars on the stand, and one of the Lamborghini replica manufacturers had a three car stand as well. MEV were showing off their new 3 wheeled electric car which was interesting,
However there was a very funny moment. Richard Wilkins decided to come up from Kent and set his Sat-Nav to Newark ....... Peterborough and not Newark-on-Trent. It took him a bit longer than he thought to get there!
There was however a dearth of trade stands. I had gone with a small shopping list of things to buy (nuts / bolts / screws / cooling fan etc) and hardly got any of the stuff on the list due mainly to there being nobody who I could buy from. I did get a nice quality mat to lay on when working on the car though, this will save sitting on concrete.
Also both the CKC £ 500 challenge cars had made it. There was a box on the roof of one of them to vote for your favourite. However there was a small dispute at the end of the day when the votes were counted. Ian Stent was convinced that in some way the votes weren't fairly cast (he lost and Adam won). However the Zimbabwe electoral commission was called in to check the voting procedure and everything was found to be in order.
To be honest this was a very quiet show which is a pity as we had good weather (apart from the force 10 gale) and it almost seems to be a forgotten show.
Being a subscriber to the CompleteKitcar magazine this event had over the last couple of months seen some decent advertising. Even better was the fact that Bruntingthorpe was less than 10 miles away for me so I was determined to get to this show especially as I had just missed Newark.
The forecast for the entire weekend was poor, heavy rain showers both days so I decided to leave the Tiger at home and I took the wife and kids along in the tin top.
We went on Saturday arriving around midday and the man on the gate only charged for 2 adults (£ 15 each), allowing the kids free entry which was generous. I parked our family car in the designated parking area and if there were 30 cars there that was it! What was going on? Was I in the right place? Sadly, yes. It quickly became evident that this event had a serious lack of punters there. I could not believe how quiet a show it was considering the advertising.
There were about 8 trade stands in total and because there were no punters walking around two of the traders packed up by 1PM because of no business! It was literally extremely empty of punters except for all the exhibitors. There were only a handful of exhibitors there - Vindicator, Marlin 5EXi`s, Raw, AGM, Z cars, Quantum, Gardner Douglas, SDR. The WSCC was the only members club on display with about 7 cars. I spotted just the one Tiger in attendance. There were also 3 guys on motorbikes doing stunts to keep the `crowd` entertained.
I spoke to one of the 'CompleteKitcar' magazine bods on their stand and they were bemused why no one was there. Surely it couldn`t be just down to the weather forecast. In actual fact in the 3 hours I was there it was glorious sunshine with a nice dry track. Only a handful of cars were taking to the track. Being so quiet there was plenty of track time available if anyone fancied a blast around the track at an additional cost.
Big Thunder had three Ariel Atoms there for which you could pay £ 25 for 3 passenger laps. I signed myself in at 1.30pm and saw that I was only the 7th person of the day to sign up. That just shows you how quiet the show was. Big Thunder had only been given an hours slot between 12:00pm and 1:00pm in which to take people around the track but because it was so quiet they were doing rides all day long to get the business. As for my ride in the Atom, that thing is amazing, the G force on the bends is unbelievable and it was only a baby with a Civic type R engine producing just 160bhp which equates to about 320bhp per tonne as the Atom weighs just 500kg.
The weather on Sunday was much worse, torrential downpours and thunder. The organisers will be well and truly out of pocket on this one I guess. A couple of pals with other kits attended late on Saturday afternoon and this is what they had to say on their club forums ...
"I'm guessing the "SHOW" was so quiet because they were charging £ 15.00 to get in even if you turned up in a kit, even after 3:00 o'clock! "
"The show was poor, I think even if the weather had been better, it would have still have been a poor show, charging kit car drivers £ 15 to get in, its the kit car drivers that make the show, they are the show. The other thing that annoyed me was the parts suppliers, Car Builders Solutions etc packing up and going home, I spoke to a couple of Locost builders who had attended the show hoping to pick up a few items, so an expensive day for nothing for them, if half the show is to pack up and go home, then the entry fee should have been refunded"
I suppose we`ll see just how successful or unsuccessful the show was in next months completekitcar mag review.
July's Pub Meeting was warm, dry, sunny and well attended!
That's amazing - we actually had 13 Tigers in the car park (I am not going to list all the names as I will probably miss someone out and get moaned at!). Loads of topics were discussed and a lot of people left very happy.
Can you guess I should have taken notes.... (as an excuse I had just come back from France only two hours before going there)
Well the first thing to say about this years Sporting Bears was it was 99% dry. Apart from one small shower during the morning the weather remained slightly overcast but fortunately rain free - as those of you who attended last year will no doubt be thankful for.
Having arrived nice and early I managed to erect the gazebo single handed and then went for a look around. I met up with a few acquaintances from the BMW car club and an old colleague who I used to work with. After a brief wander it was now about quarter to 10 and still my car was the only Tiger in the parking area. Worryingly the number of Robin Hoods across from us was filling up steadily....
Fortunately we did start to get some drivers coming in - Mervyn being one of the first and informing me that there was a huge queue on the entrance road as the marshalls were not as quick as they could have been. For the next hour or so we started to fill up the area until we had a total of 19 cars. There were several non-Tigers there, Ben Payne (Elise), Adam Wilkins (Riot), Rob Wilkins (MX5) Lee Forster (EVO) and a VW Combi Van carrying Mike Rose's children whilst he came in the Tiger!
However we were missing some expected owners.... Malcolm Brown has put his back into spasm (according to John Holmes by trying to lift his pay packet!) and was banned from driving by his osteopath. Piers Cooper was coming but decided the day was better spent rebuilding the engine of the race car he shares with Adam, and Chris Davison well lets just say he had a triumph of expectation over talent! With Malc missing in (tr)action it was left to me to run the AGM.
The number of cars on display was quite astonishing - and although there might have been a few less of some models the rest of the cars made up for it. As the pictures below will testify there was certainly a good range of machinery from the simple to the exotic and virtually anything in between.
Ben saw that they were doing "Dream Rides" and one of the cars on offer was a Lamborghini Diablo so he had to go for that. Lets just say that for the next hour it was difficult to get the grin off his face. This was despite thinking that the car was a replica when he saw it arrive in the morning - oops.
Finally in the middle of the afternoon there was a flypast of the Battle Of Britain flight with the Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire all present. After this happened most of the people started drifting away and I myself left around quarter to five.
Now thanks to a couple of people (neither of whom are directly club members but certainly known to most of the club) I got "nominated" to sort out the club parking area for the Peterborough show.
The usual parking area at a show for the Tiger Owners Club consists of - well lets be honest a patch of grass! So I thought I would do something better the original plan had been to offer burgers / bacon rolls however this is not allowed unless it is for your own consumption by the showground rules. So instead I settled for bringing the gazebo and flag and organising a prize draw for everyone who turned up in a Tiger.
The gazebo turned out to be a really good idea as the weather on Saturday was extremely rough. I went in the morning for a couple of hours and then left as I had other things to do and the rain was just starting. In the afternoon it was raining non stop.
On the Sunday I went back for a full day with the intention of looking around the show for myself. Certainly what I saw was impressive for a first running of a show. There were a lot of trade stands all of which seemed to be doing plenty of business and a good few punters wandering around looking at all the exhibitors. I was told that on the Saturday the number of punters was a lot fewer but with the weather we had that was to be expected.
Paul Dudley certainly entertained with a display of car control (and tyre smoke) in the afternoon and there was also a motorcycle stunt team there.
The prize draw incidentally was won by our chairman who was slightly shocked by the news (he was speechless...). Certainly this goes down as a good show and one which should go from strength to strength