In 2014 i attended the Le Mans Classic for the first time and had a great time. On my return i had friends that said they would love to go in 2016 however they either did not have a car to take as they live in the USA or they felt nervous about going solo that distance as they felt there was safety in numbers over the distance travelling. So the planning of the Trip began. As my Tuscan was still not finished and on the road that was the first focus which we managed to achieve although there is more to do we decided to wait until after this event before taking the gear box out and engine sump up grade etc.
We all love driving our cars but the trill of doing it with others is even better and a joy to see all the cars out having fun with the added bonus for me of seeing my cars used as well as driving them.
I did spend a lot of time preparing the cars and making sure we had the right spares to cover all 5 cars should we need them. In the end there was two fuses used some WD40 some exhaust Bobbins and stainless cable to make a new throttle cable as one was starting to fray when we we did the Daily checks on the cars. We knew that Phils Tuscan V6 as its 20 years since she had a re build and my Tuscan as a recent re build where the loose cannons as one needs work and the other needs more shake down and we where proven right however all issues where overcome.
The Trip down was rather exciting and we all managed to keep together getting the slower driver to lead and me in the Tuscan bringing up the rear and two way radios between all cars was a great help. The weather was fantastic however not really great for travelling in a Blackpool Lunch Box we rather envied my old School Friend who i had not seen for 35 years and his Son who came over to drive my 3000s however plenty of liquid and big smiles on our faces soon overcame the heat and a great day was had by all. That night one of our party had a call from home saying his Mother in Law was taken ill and was not expected to survive the weekend and the Friday morning decided he needed to get home so without even a wash i said right i will get you to the train station so off we went and 50 miles later after one station had no train unlil 1pm i then dashed back to try to make the start of the rally.
On the Friday we where taking part in a Navigation Rally with Lunch at the Famous Hotel De France Where the GT 40s based themselves 40 years ago when they won the 24hr however that was where the issues started as Phil in his Tuscan which has a very low slung exhaust managed to not only catch the exhaust as he was flagged off but broke the exhaust in two places and bent all the brackets and ripped most of the bobbins.
The decision was made that Tim and Myself would stay back and assist and get the Exhaust to a Garage to be welded up.
Once this was done we left them to re fit and headed to the Hotel to try and at least make the Dinner. However this was when our issues started as suddenly Tim said he was loosing Clutch. When we pulled in and checked we found the master had no Fluid in her so we had a leak. I took over driving and with no clutch managed to get to a garage and buy some dot4 as the spare was in the 3000s. Re filled we managed some clutch but there was air in the system. We did manage to make the dinner and after lunch we bled the system and we where back in the game. It was about 4pm and 4 cars decided they where wrecked and we opted to head back to our Geet rather than go to the track as planned Ben and his Son Jonathan said they wanted to go to the Track so they headed off and we made a stop to stock up on Beer and refreshments and then had a great evening relaxing ready for Saturday at the Track. We did need to keep topping up the Clutch Fluid occasionally as we could not find the leak however it was not effecting the clutch so we where fine and since getting her home have found its the joint between the hard line and the flex line before the gear box.
Saturday was a great Day at the Track with our group Doubling the number of Pre 80s TVRs in the Club Parking on track. At the end of the day we then headed to the Hotel Au Rouge on the straight for a dinner and to watch the racing along the straight from there. This race had the only TVR in that was racing this year however after a few laps dropped out in Le mans TVR tradition not finishing the race and did not race the following day either.
The Sunday 4 cars headed off to the track after Phil had adjusted his shocks to gain some ground clearance and i decided to stay behind and unwind as i was rather exhausted. Tim went in the MK3 Vixen with Peter as he had a spare seat and they all had a great day at the track getting home early to attend the evening farewell dinner at the Main Base for our event.
The Monday Tim and Myself decided that it would make sense to not drive in the convoy as travelling solo we could limit the use of the clutch and also have some fun in the Tuscan. So we made an early start getting up at 5am and managed to get to Calais by 10am 340 miles with two stops so we managed an average of 82mph with about 30 miles on little roads so rather pleased with her performance and even averaging 22 mpg once there we had a rather relaxing time in a Bistro waiting for the rest of the cars to make it to the Tunnel once we heard them on the Radios we paid our bill and managed to join them in the check in Que for the Tunnel. We even managed to get our own carriage so we where all together on the return trip.
Once back in the UK Phil and Peter headed one direction and my three headed to Canterbury however i had a little surprise for the drivers of the other two as Tim and myself came up with a rather scenic trip for the last 25 miles on little lanes including crossing two un bridged rivers so a great end to a great trip in great cars. Going through emigration it was nice to be greeted with the words Thank you for not coming in a Porsche so on that note to every one „Thank you for driving the greatest little British cars from good old Blackpool“.
Bildquelle: Andrew Grey, Arnfried Weiss
Text: Andrew Grey