A CCW team outing special
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.