Tri­umph 2000

Matt heads north on his hol­i­days aboard the trusty 2000

Practical Classics (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Scot­land is a wonderful place to visit for many rea­sons, with great driv­ing roads that snake their way be­tween breath­tak­ing scenery be­ing just one of them. So it was with a great deal of ex­cite­ment that my part­ner and I hit the road at the end of July. Our first des­ti­na­tion was the cap­i­tal city of Ed­in­burgh, one of my favourite cities. We de­cided to overnight in York­shire to break up the jour­ney north and, after en­joy­ing our stay so much on the re­cent Bri­tain’s Best Clas­sic Cafe tour

(PC, July 2017), Sol­berge Hall in Northaller­ton was cho­sen as our first halt. Richard Smith, Direc­tor of Mar­ket­ing and Part­ner­ships at Clas­sic Lodges, ar­rived in his MGB GT as we were pre­par­ing to leave in the morn­ing and sug­gested that we’d be bet­ter of tak­ing the A19 to the Tyne Tun­nel and avoid­ing New­cas­tle. This turned out to be ex­cel­lent ad­vice – thanks Richard.

By the time we’d fol­lowed the A1 as far as the Scot­tish bor­der the weather had very much turned for the worse. Scat­tered show­ers be­came ever heav­ier and the rain stuck around for most of the week­end, though this didn’t stop us en­joy­ing Ed­in­burgh to the max. It just meant that more time was spent hid­ing from the rain and sam­pling the ex­cel­lent lo­cal ales on of­fer, which is no bad thing in my book.

Come Mon­day morn­ing it was time to leave the hus­tle and bus­tle of the city be­hind for a wel­come change of pace. A blast up the M9 kicked things off, fol­lowed by a pleas­ant trun­dle along the A84/ A85 that skirts the Trossachs be­fore we picked up the A82 all the way to Glen­coe. I’ve driven this road numer­ous times be­fore as part of the Club Tri­umph Round Bri­tain Re­li­a­bil­ity Run but fa­mil­iar­ity doesn’t make it any less mag­nif­i­cent.

Out­stand­ing in our field

Our base for the next two nights was the Glen­coe Camp­ing and Car­a­van­ning Club site at Bal­lachul­ish. The sun beat down as we got the tent up but soon we were re­lax­ing with a cold drink while en­joy­ing the moun­tain­ous scenery all around us. Two days of ex­plor­ing the lo­cal area passed all too quickly be­fore it was time to strike camp (un­for­tu­nately in the rain) and hit the road once more. With our airbed and damp bed­ding fill­ing the 2000’s back seat and the sop­ping wet tent stuffed in the boot, we made a snap de­ci­sion to can­cel our Wed­nes­day night camp­ing book­ing in Shiel Bridge and seek al­ter­na­tive lodg­ings – the

though of a hot shower and a warm bed was just too tempt­ing. In the end we went in en­tirely the op­po­site di­rec­tion and ended up in Lossiemouth, hav­ing taken in the Com­mando Memo­rial at Spean Bridge, fol­lowed the A82 along the banks of Loch Ness to In­ver­ness and con­tin­ued north. This turned out to be a great de­ci­sion, es­pe­cially once the down­pours of the start of the day cleared up and bright sunshine re­turned – typ­i­cal.

Thurs­day saw us back on the road again, first vis­it­ing the Dal­las Dhu whisky dis­tillery at For­res. The dis­tillery closed in 1983 and to­day is owned and run as a vis­i­tor mu­seum by His­toric Scot­land. A state-owned dis­tillery!

Coast to coast

After a spir­ited run up the A835 – an ex­cel­lent road pre­vi­ously un­known to me and one with plenty of long, sweep­ing bends to en­joy – we ar­rived in the pic­turesque town of Ul­lapool. I first vis­ited in 2016 and was cap­ti­vated by the place, so had been look­ing for­ward to this leg of our trip. Our room at the Cale­do­nian Ho­tel over­looked the har­bour and ferry dock while af­ford­ing us su­perb views of Loch Broom and the sur­round­ing area. A seafood sup­per was en­joyed and we re­tired to bed as two very happy peo­ple in­deed.

Fri­day dawned and I had a long drive ahead of me – 236 miles down to La­nark and the New La­nark World Her­itage Site. Not a prob­lem for the mighty 2000 though and after a stop in the rather touristy Pit­lochry for lunch (ex­cel­lent Scotch pies) we made it to our des­ti­na­tion with­out in­ci­dent. Satur­day in­volved an even big­ger mileage – 280 miles to Le­ices­ter to visit friends – and by the time we got home to Peter­bor­ough on the Sun­day the Tri­umph had clocked up 1259 miles. I’d call that a suc­cess.

With one suc­cess­ful trip be­hind me, thoughts quickly turned to the next ad­ven­ture – the Club Tri­umph 10 Coun­tries Run across the Chan­nel in Europe. The 2017 event will be my third 10CR and I’m very much look­ing for­ward to it. With the car in rude health after Scot­land I sim­ply changed the en­gine oil for some fresh Her­itage 20w50 from Clas­sic Oils (plus a new fil­ter), topped up the flu­ids in the cool­ing/brak­ing sys­tems as re­quired, did the same for the gear­box and diff and gave all the UJS a few pumps from the grease gun. The event be­gins on September 6 – the same day that this is­sue hits the shops – so as you thumb these pages my reg­u­lar co-driver Lee Dre­her and I will be pi­lot­ing the 2000 across north-west France en route to our first overnight stop at Mul­house. Should be an­other great trip!

SCENES… Rou­tine checks took place on the shores of Loch Achtri­ochtan.

Matt Ge­orge


Richard Smith of Clas­sic Lodges (in his 1979 MGB GT) wel­comed Matt to Sol­berge.

Eat­ing ce­real by the side of the road… well all that driv­ing made Matt hun­gry!

At the bor­der as the Scot­tish weather set in.

More than 1200 miles with­out in­ci­dent – re­sult.

Tri­umph was a hit in Ed­in­burgh.

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