There were so many of us ( Keith Meredith, Roy Tomlinson, Mike Jukes, Alex Wakefield, Alexis Grant, Andy Whittle, Nareman Virk, Baber Sheikh, Martin Hodges, Ian Grist, George Roberts, Andy Forsdyke and myself ) that I was concerned we wouldn't fit into the pub's car park. Once we'd all arrived we headed off towards Brooklands in convoy. This was slightly difficult since the junction leaving the pub was very busy and we got split up a bit. However by the time we arrived at Brooklands we'd all grouped back up as you can see from the pictures.
Phil Ward, the editor of AutoItalia magazine had reserved a space for us next to the Fiat Puntos and opposite the Fiat Cinquecentos. There were too many Tipos for a single line so after a bit of manuvering we had a nice 'J' shaped display which looked pretty impressive. A short time later Alex Meyrick joined the display. We now had a grand total of 14 Tipo 16Vs.
We spent some time examining one anothers cars as several owners had been working on special modifications for the meeting. These had been kept top secret until the day so it was quite interesting to see what one another had been up to:
There were some spectacular looking Punto's on display. Beautiful condition, huge wheels and retrimmed interiors. These guys have it easy through as the body kits and parts are readily available it's just a matter of putting the right combination together.
With some time to spare several of us had a look inside the museum which was fascinating. Amongst other items on display, in the 'Bellman' aircraft hanger, was a WWII Wellington Bomber 'R for Robert' that ditched in Lock Ness. They had pulled it out in 1985 and have restored it. Most of the fabric skin to the airframe had rotted. However this made it all the more interesting to see the inner workings pf the aircraft and the cramp conditions the flight crew had to move around in. You'll find more information about Brooklands here.
Parked up around the site were all sorts of Italian cars including Fiat, Lancia, Masserati, Ferrari, Lamboughini. These weren't just for show though as entertainment was laid on in the form of a hill climb. A test hill was constructed in 1909 for acceleration and braking tests. It's gradients range from 1-in-8 at the bottom to 1-in-4 at the top. The record for cars was set by R.G.J. Nash at 7.45 seconds in a Frazer Nash in 1932. Phil Ward asked for several cars from each model to drive up this hill as fast as they wanted. Alexis, Martin and Alex volunteered to take part. They had two runs up the hill each and all survived which is more than could be said for a certain Lamboughini Countach. Videos of all these cars will be available shortly.
The weather held out for us and owners drifted away during the day. However I did manage to take some group shots before the last of us went home.
From the feedback I got I think everyone enjoyed the day:
These meetings have made my first sedici year a real pleasure, and it's great to get much more involved in the whole Italian car scene rather than just commuting in my teapot. Certainly a year ago, when I was driving round in my humble Clio, I didn't think that within another year I'd get waved up the Brooklands test hill in my car following in the footsteps (ahem) of Lambos and Ferraris.
I think momentum is really picking up with the whole 'club' thing, as was proved in no uncertain terms yesterday, with a big turnout. "