Our Clas­sics

A CCW team out­ing spe­cial

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Contents -

It was sup­posed to be so dif­fer­ent. With the prom­ise of thou­sands of cars on show, there were plenty of vol­un­teers in the CCW team for a mid-week jaunt down to Crox­ley Green in Rick­mansworth. But in the end, David Simis­ter, James Sadlier, Nick Larkin and I, as you’re about to read here, ar­rived at an event against which Mother Nature saw fit to con­spire.

The weather fore­casts had promised show­ers in the South and down­pours in the North in the days run­ning up to Wed­nes­day 3 Au­gust, but it turned out on the day the re­verse was true. Still, the rain did lit­tle to either dampen spir­its or spoil our jour­ney from Peter­bor­ough, serv­ing only to em­pha­sise the for­ti­tude of those clas­sic car own­ers who did man­age to at­tend.

It be­ing my only clas­sic cur­rently, the Tri­umph TR7 was a straight­for­ward choice, while David de­cided to treat his Eu­nos Road­ster to a run-out af­ter it hav­ing not turned a wheel over the past few weeks. James was in his Ford Mon­deo while Nick picked his Austin Mae­stro – the only car he has that’s ca­pa­ble of swal­low­ing a set of steplad­ders. What? Don’t you take steplad­ders to car shows? It’s so we can get higher-an­gled pho­tos with more cars in them, and not be­cause Nick is a bit of an odd fish (well, in this in­stance, at least).

OFF we gO…

We set off from CCW Tow­ers at about 11.30am. The plan had orig­i­nally been to travel in con­voy, but be­cause a cer­tain some­one (Nick) de­cided to ar­rive in a Mae­stro with an empty tank be­fore em­bark­ing on an 80-mile drive to Hert­ford­shire, we de­cided just to meet him at our lunchtime stop at Bal­dock Ser­vices.

I was aban­doned, too, as I at­tempted to find a suit­able sta­tion on my freshly re­paired ra­dio. My five-speed TR7 had some long-legged cruis­ing to do to even­tu­ally catch up with the Mon­deo and MX-5, just as they were turn­ing off for Bal­dock.

Suit­ably fed on high-en­ergy del­i­ca­cies, and with Nick now once again back with the group, we re­turned to our clas­sics so we could set off again to­gether. All was go­ing well as we neared Hat­field. Driv­ing in con­voy can be hard work but the team kept it to­gether. For a while. James’ Mon­deo at the front of the pack snaked a path for us be­tween ar­tic­u­lated lor­ries, as var­i­ous Ger­man hatch­backs and Ja­panese crossovers flew by us in the fast lane.

Traf­fic was be­gin­ning to snarl on the M25 and a faster route on the A414 pre­sented it­self, which would see us skirt around St Al­bans. James in­di­cated the up­com­ing turn-off, but while David and I got the mes­sage, poor Nick didn’t. Per­haps he knew bet­ter than James’ sat nav, which is able to, in re­al­time, make com­pli­cated route changes as the traf­fic ebbs and flows to re­duce the chances of us ending up at a stand­still. More likely though he was day­dream­ing about the deeply joy­ous line of Rover P6s he was an­tic­i­pat­ing at the show and sim­ply wasn’t pay­ing at­ten­tion.

A TeAM SPLIT

Now mi­nus Mae­stro, the con­voy con­tin­ued along the A414 and its myr­iad of dual car­riage­ways and round­abouts, at which point the weather re­ally be­gan to turn. Thank­fully, both the soft-top on David’s Eu­nos and the We­basto roof on my TR7 did an ad­mirable job of keep­ing us dry. The wiper mo­tor on my TR7 has never been par­tic­u­larly ef­fec­tive at mov­ing the blades across the screen, but does seem to have ap­pre­ci­ated a squirt of pen­e­trat­ing oil a few weeks back, feel­ing far less strained as a re­sult.

James’ Mon­deo was still run­ning well, as was David’s Mazda, with the

’James in­di­cated the up­com­ing turn-off but Nick didn’t get the mes­sage...’

ex­cep­tion of a raspy rat­tle which he sus­pects is a loose bracket for the ex­haust. It’ll be checked dur­ing the Eu­nos’ up­com­ing ser­vice – the same be­ing true of a very oc­ca­sional rearend clunk oc­cur­ring un­der heavy brak­ing on my own TR7.

We re­joined a (thank­fully) freeflow­ing M25 at junc­tion 21A be­fore turn­ing off a few ex­its later a few miles out­side of Crox­ley. With some sinewy coun­try lanes which seem­ingly cut be­tween the trees, David was re­minded again of his Eu­nos’ de­light­ful han­dling. In fact, we all had cheesy grins as we rolled into Crox­ley just af­ter 2pm.

Just like the rest of the vis­i­tors, we even­tu­ally ac­cepted the rain wasn’t go­ing to slow up, grabbed the brol­lies and de­cided to go clas­sic car spot­ting. Our favourites (men­tioned in the panel on the right) give you an idea of the ex­cep­tional va­ri­ety on show, in spite of the lower than usual turnout.

Dur­ing the course of our wan­der­ings we found Nick, who was mut­ter­ing some­thing about see­ing a tall clock by a river and a big Fer­ris wheel. Cu­ri­ously, his Mae­stro had proven to be just as re­li­able as the TR7, Eu­nos and the Mon­deo.

With clas­sics that had ar­rived early be­gin­ning to fil­ter out by 4.30pm, we de­cided to join them. The jour­ney home was un­re­mark­able, save for stand­still traf­fic on the M1 (sur­prise, sur­prise) and a bat­tle against steamed-up win­dows the en­tire way. The rest of the team had been to this event be­fore but I was a first-timer and I wasn’t dis­ap­pointed. And the thought of five times as many cars be­ing here has made me de­ter­mined to be here again in 2018. There were no break­downs, we made it out of a muddy field with­out need­ing a tow and we all had fun. From this per­spec­tive Clas­sics on the Green was a big suc­cess.

lunch at Bal­dock ser­vices – spot the healthy op­tion. Four very dif­fer­ent cars, all equally en­joy­able on the drive to Hert­ford­shire.

Crox­ley here we come! The team in high spir­its about to leave Peter­bor­ough. Nick made it to Crox­ley too (even­tu­ally), af­ter aban­don­ing the con­voy. Which to take home? Mon­deo owner James was tempted by the Cortina 80. First im­pres­sions were that Clas­sics on the Green was wet – im­pres­sions which, sadly, didn’t change at all. We made it! Even though both weather and traf­fic con­spired against us.

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