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At the start of the week the weather forecast for Easter Sunday was hot, dry and sunny. As the week progressed so did the forecast (the other way). Now to be honest the forecast for Sunday did not look that good but I decided to go anyway.
I met up with Eric at the Cambridge services and after a relatively uneventful journey - apart from a loose plug lead, and a few fuel stops we made it down by around 11:45.
There should have been a Tiger parking area marked out but it seemed to be rather poorly laid out so we just found a space and parked up before going and having a look around.
Although the show halls were relatively busy - I don't think people were buying that much and the array of machinery outside was certainly more inviting.
There were some interesting developments in the show halls the Vindicator F4 is getting closer to completion (and getting uglier if that was possible as well). The Storm Warrior is a lot larger than I thought... But the best looking car there had to be the Speedwell GT40 replica which was amazingly well finished.
Out of the cars outside there were some notable 'highlights' the first being a Banham X21 finished in Orange Metal Flake paint with Orange fur-trimmed seats as well. The car was for sale at £ 3750. There is a picture below.
Other cars of note were a strange Boat / Motorbike trike hybrid finished in Yellow. The picture should explain more.
There was also a car there called the Enigma - which to be honest defied description, there are some pictures below anyone care to try and identify them. It looks almost 7 based but is rear engined - anyone out there.
One of the nicest cars there had to be a Mclaren M6 replica.
The April Pub Meeting was a success with 7 tigers attending. The biggest turnout for a good few months. However the biggest shock of the evening was that John Holmes appeared at a club event....
BTW a certain owner had informed me he was SORNing his car for April and putting it back on the road for the first of May - until the weather turned good - time spent on SORN 2 weeks. Was it worth it?
Stoneleigh started off by meeting both Malcolm Brown and Mervyn Garner just outside Market deeping. Once we had arrived we continued up the road to the level crossing - where we waited and waited after 5 minutes the cause for the barriers being down slowly crept into view a train with the company name "Rapidline" on the side!
Once through then we kept on going until a quick halt for fuel (and to fit sidescreens to Malc's car), before arriving at Stoneleigh for around 10AM.
Now the main problem with Stoneleigh is that unfortunately quite a lot of Tiger owners know who I am - which means it normally takes me around an hour to get more than a few yards from where I have parked and to actually see some of the show. So after making an escape (you lot aren't that bad really) it was time to look around. I had a shopping list of various bits and set about it.
First off was a nice little LED Hi-Level Brake light unit a bargain at £ 8.50 from CBS, followed by some (black) mudflap material from another stall at £ 8. I could have had red or blue but they were £ 8.50 and the black suits the car better! Finally the last part was a rear view mirror as mine had the reflective coating breaking up only £ 12.
The shopping over it was time to look at the cars starting with the show stands in the hall. So what stood out?
On the good side Tiger had a nice display with the ZR6(supercharged), ERA30 and Paul Dudley's Race Car. They were also showing pictures of the new Aviator model. Westfield had a massive display with sprint / race and road cars. Also John Barlow is back on the kitcar scene (he designed the Royale series) with a 30's style pickup which looked very nice. Both Gardner Douglas and Dax had large stands as well. Dax's stand also featured a Nigel Dean built Rush V8 - you needed a pair of sunglasses to look at it as the finish was so high. Personally too much show for my liking. There was also a Ferrari F40 replica - not an MR2 based one but a properly engineered replica from a company called Enzo Design - it looked good but very expensive.
On the bad side - well Vindicator with the F4 (not changed that much from Detling) and the bizarre 4 seater... and MK Engineering with the most blatent rip off of a Sylva Riot that the people I was walking around with assumed Jeremy Phillips had sold the design rights. I have since had it confirmed to me that he has not done so. Also why do people want an MR2 to look like a Ferrari as there seemed to be loads of them out there this year. Then after running out of things to see inside I set off for the weird and wonderful cars outside - well some of them were strange in fact I wonder how a couple of them ever got built.... Have a look at the pictures and see how many you recognise!
Finally after a long day (and finding that Malc and Mervyn had already left) I made my way home to stop on the way and drop a set of seatbelts off to a club member who hadn't made it to the show and finally home.
In conclusion it seemed a better show than in previous years - possibly due to the weather but also the accessory stands were well populated and there seemed to be a good selection of punters out there as well.
Apparently this was only true on the Sunday - on Monday due possibly in part to some more inclement weather the show was dead - not good for traders or visitors.
The May Pub Meeting was less of a success than April with 4 tigers attending. This was strange as it was a far nicer evening. Oh Well better luck next time!
One of the events advertised in last months magazine was described as PPC in the Pub. This was a pub meeting organised by Practical Performance Car Magazine at the Falcon Inn in Uppingham.
Being curious (and also knowing a few of the staff on the magazine as well) I decided to go along and see if anything interesting was going on.
Well the first thing that the event came up against was the weather - it was dull and trying to rain all day, the last thing a lot of people were going to do is come out on a damp evening. However some Tiger owners are made of sterner stuff and a bit of rain doesn't put them off. Both myself and Mervyn came in the Tigers I think some other owners were in tintops.
To be brutally honest the turn out was poor but this was a first attempt and they did have about 10 or so interesting cars there. (Those of you with long memories should recall the first few pub meetings we held - sometimes we were luck to get into single figures).
I certainly think the event could develop but it needs to be nurtured and supported to allow it to do so.
Here are some pictures from the evening.
What happened - after months of to put it simply poor attendance we had a record number for this event with 12 Tigers, a TVR and an MGF turning up.
Congratulations to all for making the trip out and restoring credibility to this event.
Is the recession hitting the kit car industry - well if Newark was anything to go by yes it is. Although the main show hall was full-ish this was down to a lot of accessory stands and one stand belonging to Extreme Sportscars that was about 80 x 20 feet and had three cars on it!
Besides that in the show halls the only new developments were the GKD BMW based kit and the Sylva Spectre (a new body for the Riot). Certainly from last year where the hall was a lot fuller we were probably about 5 or 6 manufacturers down. Parallel Designs, and Tiger were among the notable exceptions this year.
Also the number of accessory stands was down - there wasn't even anyone selling large rolls of mutton cloth (which I wanted)
But enough doom and gloom - was there anything worth buying or seeing. Well on the buying front there were some accessory stands and I did get a few bits that I wanted - although not all of the stuff.
As to stuff to see well... there seems to be a new trend this year - have a kit car with a full rollcage and then where do you put stuff for a weekend trip? Well it appears you now go down to Halfords and buy a top box then bolt it to the cage. Can't really do much for the aerodynamics but I suppose it also acts as a sun shield.
There was also a field of Porsche 911 replicas - one of a Targa looked at first glance rather convincing, until you spotted the 4 stud wheels, rear hinged engine cover and Ford V6 powerplant!
There was also a pair of Ariel Atom copies which looked superb until you saw the chassis had been painted in Waxoyl - why when for the cost of a powdercoat finish it could have fooled anyone...
As to the number of Tigers there well I know there were about 8 there on Saturday and I think in total there were 10 on Sunday - not really that many.
Ah well I enjoyed my day and unlike last year didn't get blown away instead it was warm and sunny all day.
Well the day started off warm dry and sunny (I did say started off). Having made very good time on the run down I got to Kimbolton by 8:45 to find I had already been beaten - both Mike Finch and Shane Jones got there before me.
So with a bit of help we got the gazebo up and in place - this was to become key to events later in the day.
The next few people to turn up were some of the Dudley contingent, both Jim and Paul Dudley along with Gary Tame - not a Tiger between them but certainly some interesting cars. Jim arriving in his 1962 17,000 mile Anglia 105e, Paul in his Lotus Elan plus 2, and Gary in an MGB.
And for about another 30 minutes that was it - no more Tigers to be seen. Eventually we started getting a few more arriving until we had around 20 cars there.
Unfortunately after mid morning the showers started - at first there were a few light showers just a couple of minutes and then dry again, but after the AGM had been held it started getting worse to the point of some absolute deluges lasting 15 minutes or so each.
The first part of the Dudley contingent left around noon and then a few minutes later we had Laura Dudley arrive in her Toyota Supra...
Now as to the show itself. Well last year there were reckoned to be 800 cars at the show - this year I would say there were over a thousand. For a start the cricket pitch in previous years had about 50 cars on it - this year there were hundreds, Minis, TVRs, BMWs, Healeys, Triumphs etc. Add that to the 800 or so that are parked around the show area and we had in terms of cars one of the best shows I have been to this year. The only low point was the number of Tigers. We gave out more tickets than cars who attended but given the weather I wasn't expecting those who had long distances to travel to risk the rain.
Finally we had everything packed away and guess what the heavens opened again. I was forced to take refuge under a convenient tree until the rain stopped and I could get out. Only to have to negotiate the mud pile that the exit route had become.
Not much to report about really we only had 5 members turn up and only one Tiger in the car park. However we had a good discussion about the types of event we should be running and how to get the rest of the membership more involed.
Hope it improves next month.
This year there was one main reason to make the journey to the Open Day. It was to be the day that the Tiger Aviator was revealed to the public and press at large.
However before the unveiling there was a chance to do the usual chatting and tyre kicking associated with all these events - now I have to admit to writing this two weeks after the event so my memory of who or what was discussed is a bit lost.
So skipping over that we will go onto the main event - the Aviator. Now last month I printed in the newsletter a pre-production drawing of the car in which it looked 'not bad'. However I think the round of applause that greeted the car when it was unveiled tells you that the design is far better in 3d than a drawing can show.
The main features which stood out for me (and yes I did like the design a lot) were the back section with all the mouldings in for the lights and the diffuser, the side exhaust which curls in and out of the bodywork and the nose with the grilles on top which I didn't ever like before seeing the real car but now appreciate the detailing work. The only bit which doesn't really work for me is the slab passenger side between the rear wing and the nose - on the driver's side this is not an issue but the passenger's is a bit plain.
Maxey is always a difficult event to get to which requires loads of advance planning to ensure I can arrive on time.
Well no it doesn't as it is only 5 miles from the front door to the show and as such is the shortest distance to any event that I can do. However it is one that is worth doing. For some reason last year's event was cancelled but it was back on the calendar for this year.
I got there about 10:15 to find I was the only Tiger there, although there were still a good hundred or so cars lining up. Ah well I went off and had a wander round and had a quick check of the exhibitors. There are some weird and wonderful cars here that you don't see anywhere else.
As to Tigers we had Niall Turner arrive a bit later and nobody else for about half an hour, then Eric Johnston arrived followed closely by Tony and Liz Haggie, later in the afternoon David Townsend made it in his cat (more on that later) and Chris Davison managed to bring three cars - his Lotus Esprit, TVR Chimera, and Carol's MX-5, this almost emptied his drive of cars.
Now onto the cars on display. There was a turnout of Locosts and Westfields that really put us to shame with about 10 of each car there, a fantastic Diablo replica whose owner annoyed someone by parking next to a genuine Ferrari, quite a few Aston Martins and then some more obscure makes.
Has anyone before come across an Alexander Fraser, basically it is a mini based trike but with the bodyshell made from 3/4 inch marine ply which is heavily varnished. They were made in the early 70s in Aslackby (which is just outside Cadwell Park). One of which had been used so much that a groove had been worn into the (wooden) floor under the accerator pedal.
There was also a stunning GT40 replica which surprised me as RAC Auto windscreens had supplied the front glass! A variation on the quarter of a mini as a trailer theme. This was a Ford Orion towing a trailer which was an entire car from the rear doors back!
Finally we come to the 'stars' of the show. First up we have the Range Rover Wildcat 'E' look at the pictures and see what you think. It is not a genuine E-type body but a fibreglass copy and is now up for sale!
Next we have a hotrod - how on earth this thing is road-legal is beyond me - no silencers, mudguards, suspension or even a catch tank for the radiator. But it lives in Peterborough somewhere as the tax disc was issued locally!
And finally for a laugh there was the motorhome for midgets - based on a Bedford Rascal! Now I used to drive one of these (it was a company van and not my own) and to say they are small inside is putting it mildly as they can only just go on a fourpost lift due to the track being so narrow. So how on earth does any normal sized person sleep in one of those!
But I mentioned at the top of the article about David's Cat. Well after leaving the venue and turning onto the road home I saw this yellow car parked at the side of the road - he had run out of fuel. So I ended up giving him a lift to a petrol station and taking him back to his car so he could make his way home.
Sorry David but you might have guessed I would put this in the event report....
The Stamford show is another one of those local shows that I try to do. Well when I said try it is the first one in three years that I have got to in the Tiger - although that might not have been the case as you will see later.
To gain access to the show you need to get a pass from the organisers which is easier said than done - suffice to say after a week of phone calls and follow up emails I finally had a pass.
Getting there was uneventful although I did end up queueing on St Mary's Hill not overly fun as it involved about 8 handbrake starts! However I queued up and drove straight in - nobody asked for a pass I was just directed to a parking area for sports cars!
Now what was there - well to put it simply all sorts no matter what your interest - anything from Vintage to Modern, kits, classics, hotrods etc.
So what was noteworthy...
There were quite a few Americans ranging from concours winning cars to some, well, less shiny cars the pictures will show what I mean.
Of the classics there were a lot of 'family car' machines but the one I particularly liked was a little Hillman Imp.
As to the customs, the V4 flip body Mini definitely took the prize despite the fact you needed sunglasses just to look at the paint job!
For the kits there was a Blackjack Avion which rather optimistically sported Motorbike track tyres in spite of the 2cv power plant.
And then there is the stuff that defies description - have a look at the Trojan pictures. It is a lorry of some description which has been re-bodied in the style of a 1920's car.
As to the comment about the Tiger - I was asked a question by fellow club member Stanley Townsend about the plumbing on the pinto engine. When I opened up the bonnet I found the top of the engine covered in rubber and then the cam belt in the middle of an escape manoeuvre with the tensioner not doing anything really. If I hadn't been asked that question then there was a very good chance that it would have come off on the way home. It was put back temporarily but the belt had still moved by about 3mm off the pulley in an 8 mile journey. So that has now got to be fixed!
This was the second year that I have attended this show, helping out as a steward with the classic car park. The preparations start the week following the previous year's show and really become frantic the week before the show. This year the weather was brilliant. In stark contrast to last year when the mist didn't start to clear untill 14:00hrs, which scuppered a large proportion of the displays.
The event is organised by a team of enthusiastic people, a farmer, his pilot brother and a bunch of manic flyers. The purpose of the whole event is to raise funds for Children in Need and other local charities. The figures donated to charity rise each year, with a record breaking total this year of some £ 36,000 being donated.
The farm at Little Gransden has its own air strip and a very active flying club. Each year fields are harvested and then rolled to provide parking for hundreds of cars. The meadow is cut and rolled to provide parking for the classics. Taxi ways are laid out and miles of fencing erected to keep the public at a safe distance from the planes, about 20 feet!
Each year around 400 classic cars are invited to attend and it is definitely invite only. There is a waiting list of over 500. The cars range from vintage and veteran examples, American muscle cars, pre-war and post-war beauties through to the 80's and 90's. There are also separate displays of tractors, military vehicles, motorbikes and super cars and all manner of other interesting stuff.
The cars start to arrive around 07:00hrs on the morning of the show and have to be in position before the show opens to the public at 10:00.
It is amazing how many drivers of these classics think that their cars are 20 feet wide and very few of them know what "stop" or "over this way" means. My knees must have been hit 30 times at least.It is a miracle that I didn't finish up in A & E.
The flying display starts at around 13:00hrs, with all sorts of flying machines arriving during the morning and continues through to 17:00hrs, non stop. There are helicopters, stunt planes, kit planes, acrobatic planes and gliders. Yes an acrobatic glider, all sorts, the whole show is spectacular and it happens right in front of your nose.
I have managed to organise an invite for about 10 cars to be on display in our own arena for next years show which will be on the August Bank Holiday Sunday. I would like to see a display of a good cross section of Tiger models and if possible, with something special from Jim, if he's listening. Applications on a crisp fifty pound note to my home address please.
To round off the day there was a pilots' party in the evening, held in a marquee set up inside one of the hangars. Two live bands, a hog roast and a great bar ensured that every taste was catered for. A brilliant day and a great result for the charities. Register your interest for next year asap.
Should have known the 13th would have had something to do with it. The day before was one of the clearest skies I have seen for many years, not a wisp of cloud to be seen, the sun was blazing down and we thought what a cracking day tomorrow the day of the BBQ was going to be.
Went to the butchers for bangers, burgers and disjointed hen, got extra as there are always a few more folk turning up due to making last minute decisions to have a run out in the sun. Cleaned the BBQ, cut the grass, put out the patio stuff and all was ready.
What happened, Sunday the 13th dawned grey, cloudy, cold and windy (not the effect of last night's curry either)? We thought why us after yesterday, surely no one wants to eat outside. Just imagine the industrial injury caused by a well cooked burger picked up by a gust of wind and scything across the patio at a rate of knots. Health and safety totally gone to the wall. Plan B, C and then D all discussed, what do we do... wait 'till anyone arrives then see.
As it turned out we had Paul and Marion, Merv, Marilyn and Jolie, Dave and son of Dave, Niall and Debbie and to bring up the rear ourselves Marylyn and Malc. In the drive were 3 Tigers, a Cat, an R6 our S6, Merv's Elise and Paul's Honda tin top, this was only because they couldn't get the new seat sliders in their newly acquired R6 to fit in time.
Once the fleeces (possibly the collective noun of fleece is 'flae' or 'flee', not sure) had been dug out, and the BBQ fired up to help our contribution towards 'global warming' we were cookin' on gas. Yes its one of those, and I know the aficionados would knock it, but hey just think of the convenience.
As it turned out I think we all had a pretty good time, admittedly we ended up inside after eating due to the cold but that's Tigerin for you.
We asked for a donation of £ 5 per person towards the food and drink this time, with any surplus going to charity. £ 15 is now on its way to Addenbrooks Hospital Cancer Unit, so thanks to everyone who attended.
All in all it was a gathering of good friends sharing some tuck and the crack... that's what life's all about and couldn't be better.
The Stafford kit car show was soon upon us indicating the end of the season was getting nearer. I hadn't managed a run out in my Tiger for almost 6 weeks due to holidays and other commitments so I was determined to have a run out to this show. The forecast for the weekend was excellent and so I arranged to go on the Sunday.
Sunday morning arrived and I met up with some local guys I regularly drive out with. We drove up in convoy, me in the Tiger and the other 3 cars were all bike engine MK Indy's powered by an R1, Fireblade 893 & CBR1000. The weather was glorious for the time of year. We drove the long way round to the show arriving about 11.15am.
I made my way around to the Tiger owners pitch and parked up amongst a dozen or so Tigers. I attended the Stafford show last year and the outside club stands were quite disappointing. This year however the difference was obvious. A much better turn out by all clubs no doubt due to the weather. There was a good show of club cars by Robin Hood, Locost, MEV, Cobras, Jago Jeeps, Dax, Westfield to name a few. I did notice however that the Westfield slalom wasn't performing outside this year. The Robin Hood pitch also appeared to have a new model on display, the Robin Hood Alligator! The bonnet was open that high it looked like the jaws of an alligator!
After an hour or so walking around the various club pitches outside we made our way to the main hall. This show is probably the smallest event on the calendar and doesn't take long to look around. It was free entry to kit car drivers as always. On entering the main exhibition hall the first thing you saw was Tiger's stand and the new Aviator in all its glory. Tiger couldn't have asked for a better pitch to show the new car off. I went to the Aviator's unveiling in August (that was my last trip out) and saw that the car was now fitted with indicators mounted on the front cycle wings. A few other IVA touches were also evident. Inside the exhibition hall there were just a handful of trade stands for all those bits and pieces you go shopping for.
Looking around the hall I came across the Vindicator Phantom jet look-a-like that was unveiled at last years Stafford show. It had been put through its IVA test the Friday before the show and passed. Personally I've never been a fan of Vindicators and the finish on this new car was not good. The guy on the stand told me they needed to make several changes to improve it one of which was to widen parts of the chassis to make it fit the body work better! There was exciting news on the MK stand. They have been in consultation with Noble sports cars and are developing a Noble M12 replica with the back up from Noble themselves. They also have plans for an Austin Healey replica too.
Within 2 to 3 hours we had pretty much walked around the whole show so it was time to head outside and have one of those customary show burgers! For anyone that didn't want to go home yet there was an antique fair on at the same time as the Kit car show. Entry to that was just £ 2. Around 3pm we decided to head back to the cars to leave. Where did everyone go? The club areas were practically empty of cars already. I was the only Tiger left too! I've no idea why people left so early, perhaps it was the distance to travel home?
Here's a question for you - how do you get 18 Tiger owners to do a run out? The answer will be at the end of the article but it is possible.
First off lets deal with the event itself. I won't take the credit for coming up with the idea but it started after reading the Complete Kit Car review on a pair of Dax Rushes where they went up to the Cat and Fiddle pass in the Peak District. This sort of came as an idea from Richard Wilkins and sort of started growing from there.
I won't say it was easy but after several days work I planned a route including Fuel and comfort breaks, multiple meeting points to allow people to join in the run at different points and attempted to get the timing accurate to ensure everything ran (mostly) to time. But would it work...
The first snag I found was a mistype suggesting the route would go via Ambleside (Lake district) and not Ambergate (Peak district!) this was found just after the newsletter had gone to print.
The second snag was that the planned meeting point in Langham (just outside Oakham) didn't exist anymore as it was now a private house - unfortunately I only found this out on Friday evening from John Dodson so a few phone calls got that amended as well.
OK no more obvious snags so lets start on the day itself.
The first stretch was nice and easy as we met up on a cool but fairly bright morning at Peterborough Services, I was the first to arrive (but then it only took me 10 minutes to get across town) followed by Mike and Tracy Finch, Alan and Eve Whale, Tony and Liz Haggie and Steve Tuck. Once everyone had fuelled up and checked the route so they knew where we were going we headed off for the second meeting point at Langham.
Now I had allowed 45 minutes to get to Langham - far too much time as it turned out as we got there in only 30 so we had a few minutes to wait. I had had a missed call from Niall whilst on the way but was unable to return it as there is no mobile signal in Langham for Vodafone users. It turned out that a bridge on their route was closed and the diversion had put 20 minutes (and 20 miles) onto their journey. Didn't really make that much of a difference to the overall schedule though as we were still running to time. So we added onto the convoy 2 more: Niall Turner and Gavin Manning in Niall's Cat, Donny and David Williamson in Donny's Locost.
The next stage was to go through Melton and up onto the M1 to the Trowell Services. This is fairly easy apart from the one-way system through Melton Mowbray which can cause people to get lost (a tip look for the A606 and keep on the left as it makes it easier. Apart from this there wasn't anything significant to mention - unless you count the very boring and tedious M1 roadworks.
Once at the services we could all stop off to get a drink, stretch your legs etc as people wanted to. We also met up with Nick Parsons who had come up from Leicester and John Dodson - John had planned to meet at Langham but had arrived a few minutes later than planned so had just missed us. We had also planned on meeting Richard and Adam Wilkins but they were running slightly later than expected so we ended up missing them as well. Unbeknown to me as we left the services John had his glasses come apart so ended up being delayed by a few minutes and ended up carrying onto the Cat and Fiddle by himself.
The final (planned) stop was in Ripley where we would meet up with a few more people. This was relatively easy to find - despite having never been there all you had to do was find the Sainsbury store and then go down a sign for the 'deliveries' entrance where you would find a McDonalds and a pub. It turned out that the pub had closed down and they have blocked off the car park so we borrowed another companies parking area. We then joined up with Ian and Pat Welch, John Davies and Fiona, and Brian Chambers and Paul Plaskitt to proceed onto the Cat and Fiddle.
This was where things started to unravel slightly. Coming through Cromford we needed to take a left at the traffic lights followed by a right. Unfortunately I missed this turn and as the others were following me carried on with Steve Tuck and John Davies behind. Ian Welch realised I had made a mistake and then guided everyone to an alternative meeting point where we met up with them after relying on Steve's satnav to get us three back on course.
After about 15 minutes we got back on course and then ended up meeting the rest of them outside a pub called the 'The famous Jug and Glass Inn' (I've never heard of it so not that famous) before making the final journey to the famed pub itself. We finally arrived at the pub at 12:20 so a few minutes later than originally planned.
Once there we met up with a few others who had made the journey directly. John Dodson and Richard and Adam Wilkins had also made it there directly, as had Dave Boucher and Neil Johnston who both came across from the North West Tiger Owners. So after about 40 minutes chatting and inspecting the cars I then gave all the deposits back to those who had given them to me (thus leaving them all to pay for their own food - would you want to try and work out how to split a bill 18 ways?) and we went in for lunch.
This is where things went slightly downhill, we all ordered the food from the bar and sat down to wait, and wait, and wait. It was without a doubt the slowest service I have come across in a restaurant - it even beat an unnamed local pub in Peterborough for slowness. The worst bit was that the meal when it did arrive the food wasn't that special - or even that hot. A couple of people didn't get their main course until 3:15 (only 2 and a quarter hours after ordering). Because of the slow service a couple of people had to leave early as they needed to get back home.
And as for the puddings - well I got told the same thing by two separate people so it must be true that the Sticky Toffee Pudding was awful. It wasn't sticky, there didn't seem to be much Toffee and the slab of Toffee coloured sponge needed a knife and fork to eat it. In fact it could have been used in place of a brick to shore part of the building up without any problems!
Finally - a lot later that I thought it would be we escaped the dining room, and decided to get a group photo of those who remained. After the group photos the next obvious course of action was to drive the Cat and Fiddle road itself. This is a fantastic road: loads of sweeping bends with a 50mph speed limit (enforced by helicopter so you need to keep the speed down). To be able to drive it well you would need to do it multiple times so that the corner sequence starts to be remembered. Coming back I thought I must have missed the pub as I seemed to do a lot more corners on the return trip but that was me getting confused. It was on this run that we suffered the only mechanical breakdown that any car on the run had and it wasn't a Tiger. Adam's Riot suffered a loose fuel line and then sprayed petrol over the back of the engine. Fortunately this was spotted before it became serious and was soon repaired allowing him to continue.
After a reconvening at the pub the original plan had been to drive down to Buxton followed by Bakewell for a chance to stock up on Bakewell Puddings. However by the time we had driven down to the town and found a place to park it was too late to do this. Where we parked was a pay and display area and all around us was a show of some sort going on. After a few minutes discussion it was decided to park the cars up in a semi-circle and use this as a opportunity to take some photos. This we did and it seemed that a load of the show visitors thought we were part of the display as we had a good few people looking round the cars!
Finally at about 5PM we started down the roads home. At this point different people went off their own way until it was left with just myself and Steve Tuck going down the Oakham road back towards Peterborough.
I finally arrived home at about 7:30 after enduring the slow collapse of the foam in the drivers side seat cushion. In fact it has got so bad that the seat if being re-stuffed later this week!
And the answer to the question I posed at the beginning. To get owners to do stuff ask for a deposit first - everyone who turns up then gets their deposit back and nobody wants to lose money...
I think this meeting is cursed. First I manage to get almost every detail in the newsletter wrong (pub name, village name) so that had to be corrected and mailed out to everyone. Then on the night of the meeting there was a lorry fire on the A14 which closed it so we had to use some very strange backroads to get to the venue.
Having said that we did get a fairly good turnout, myself, John Holmes, Malc Brown, Mervyn Garner, Mike Finch, Steve Tuck, Simon Bunker, Tony and Liz Haggie, Alan and Eve Whale all managed to find their way there despite the best efforts of the highways agency.
Unfortunately speaking to Alan later on I discovered that the A14 was closed westbound and the diversion took them off the main road to a junction with no diversion signs or any signs at all which told you how to get back to the main roads....
It has been a couple of years since my last visit to this end-of-season venue and in my opinion is well worth the journey of over 200 miles in each direction. A journey which was broken by an overnight stay care of Premier Inn. At this time of year they are able to offer a good rate to include an evening meal with a substantial breakfast thrown in for the Sunday morning. Not thrown in literally you understand.
The show itself managed to attract a really good number of accessory and tool stands which of late has been difficult to achieve at other shows. I always say that for those who have completed their builds, it is generally this part of the show which is the most attractive. It really was a blast from the past in the sense that my (not inconsiderable) list was full acquitted which will help me to stick to the winter programme of improvements to the now windscreenless Super Six. (Mike, if you are reading this I have a perfectly good set of weather gear for sale at a ridiculous price. At your age I don't want you getting a chill!).
I guess the major draw for the majority of the visitors will remain the manufacturers' displays, whether just to look and dream or to actually turn those thoughts into a reality as lots of us have already done. A growing number of manufacturers will admit that the days of customers leaving deposits on the day have largely gone. They are appearing to be a much more cautious lot who take longer to decide on who gets their loyalty, and cash. This is where an active club facility provides immense support for their chosen brand and I really feel that the regional Tiger clubs fulfil this role very well when viewed with the ever busy online forum.
For me, there were two real highlights in the arena. The first of which was the Tiger Aviator. I've said on many occasions now that Tiger have produced a car which is infinitely difficult to photograph well. To hear so many people say that the car looks so much better in the flesh was reassuring to my opinion. I know it's also a view held by quite a few club members.
The other point of interest for me was a hark back to the 1950s in the form of the Triumph TR3 replica produced by Replicator Cars. It looked truly stunning in its black paint. Surely a contender for a rust-free example of '50s nostalgia? With a 2-litre Pinto under the bonnet, the performance should be well into the arena of its cousin.
Just a final note on the effect that the weather had on the show. You couldn't be blamed for not wanting to take a open topped car to the show this year particularly when listening to the scary forecasters. Exeter usually attracts a large contingent of brave pilots just one month before Christmas. Here's to next year.
Well the November meeting started off better than the October one. For a start the details were corrected and now people know where we are meeting up.
Secondly there wasn't an accident anywhere near the A14 so no delays.
We got a good turnout with myself, Malc Brown, Mervyn Garner, Steve Tuck, Tony and Liz Haggie, Alan and Eve Whale, Paul and Mark Browning, and Simon Bunker.
There were also 3 Tigers present belonging to myself, Steve Tuck and Paul Browning. A good meeting overall with some new ideas for events for next year.