May 2015

Alpine Renault - a car with a great rallying pedigree.



My friendly mechanic/auto electrician/genius, also known as Brian returned on the third Saturday of the month to help with some minor jobs that needed attending to. Between us we attempted to cure a minor coolant leak which has left a few drops on the garage floor over the past few weeks. We tightened all the jubilee clips on the hoses and rechecked the water pump bolts before crawling underneath to see if we could discover anything else that may be causing the problem. After close inspection Brian found a tiny damp spot around the otter switch, so each of the three bolts were nipped up which must have helped because no further leaks were found after we pressure tested the system.

Last week I sent the speedo away to be calibrated, you may remember I had a different ratio differential fitted this time last year to help improve the fuel consumption, this distorted the speedo readings and with the epidemic of speed camera's on UK roads I thought it about time to correct any inaccuracies before I lose my licence. The speedo was returned to me yesterday so we fitted it back into the dashboard but not before I swapped the dim original dash lights for upgraded LED versions. Like all the lights on Jagger they used to shine about as much light as a flickering candle but now every bulb on the car has been upgraded and the dash lights are a soft green colour that illuminate the clocks and dials beautifully.


These photo's don't do justice to the improvement the LED's have made, they look much better than this when I'm behind the wheel.










Within the first four days of May I had returned to two of the best motor racing circuits in the UK. First stop was Castle Donington in Leicestershire, a two hour drive north from my home. I have such fond memories of driving here in the late 1970’s in my TR6 with my gorgeous girlfriend Brigitte sitting alongside, happy days.....

My old flame standing alongside my TR6, I'm happy to report all these years later I'm still driving beautiful two seater British sports cars.

Back then I remember watching from the now sadly dismantled grandstand at Redgate Lodge some great racing including the flame spitting Zakspeed Ford Capri’s of Klaus Ludwig and company and the BMW M1 Procar Series with its superstar Formula One drivers including Niki Lauda - during a pit lane walk about I met and shook hands with Nelson Piquet no less!


The reason for my first return in more than 35 years was to attend the Donington Historic Festival, a weekend event packed with historic cars racing around the track.


Many classic car clubs supported the event and it was great to see such a huge turn out, here are a few shots of some of the cars on display.

Lotus Elan, for a short period in the 1980's I owned one of these.

A 1948 2.5 litre Riley, the first production saloon car capable of achieving 100mph.

Lotus Seven

When I was a child in the 1960's one of our neighbours had a Marcos 3 litre that looked exactly like this, such a great looking design which has stood the test of time.

Pre '66 sports cars and pre '63 GT's get ready for final qualifying.

Silver Arrow on a parade lap.

Two days after Donington we returned to Goodwood for E-Type day, a must do event so far as I am concerned. The event is organised by the Jaguar Drivers Club so a variety of cars attend. Some take to the track, which is something I did three years ago but to be honest, I didn’t enjoy the experience of sliding Jagger around at high speed. These days I just park up in the paddock, wander around to look at the cars and chat with folks I’ve got to know over the past few years.


Although there was a good turn out it was noticeable there were fewer E-Type’s in attendance than previous years. I mentioned this to Lee Ridley, the man who did such a fantastic job restoring Jagger and he feels the reason is due to the increase in value of these cars - take a look at the classic car adverts and you will see the price of E-Types are soaring. With many of us owners being ordinary hard working folks without the benefit of a large bank balance, it appears more of us are becoming reluctant to take unnecessary risks with our cherished high value assets, sad in a way but understandable.

A pair of S1's and a seriously quick XJS waiting to tear around the track.

A very stylish and good looking XK150.

You know who parked alongside a magnificent Mk2 brought over on the ferry from Jersey. The owner bought this car with 3000 miles on the clock 29 years ago and to date has only covered 22,000 miles hence the reason why it looks brand new!

Can anyone see anything other than perfection in this S1 ?

A view from the side window of the luxurious interior of a Mk2 Jaguar

This picture was taken in 2013 during a time I suffered a rush of blood which resulted in taking the missus for a spin around Goodwood.

On Sunday I attended a breakfast club meeting at Brooklands, when we arrived a friendly marshall guided us to a parking space in the paddock alongside a beautiful S1 coupe' and a S3 convertible. Jon, the owner of the S1 advised that his car is number 32 to come off the production line in 1961 and is one of the few flat floor models still in existence, what a beauty!