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Classical Gas is an independent web site and is not affiliated to any of the clubs or organisers of the events featured. Words and Pictures by Michael unless attributed otherwise. Michael is a proud member of the MCC, ACTC, Dellow Register and Falcon amongst others, but does not represent their views nor the views of any other organisers or clubs.

Michael's 2000 Musings

December 2000

ed2000mwlhagg.jpg (10232 bytes)

Michael's newly raised rear suspension is sagging soemwhat in this Charlie Wooding picture of your hero's Beetle on Haggside.

It's interesting how people can have different perspectives on an event. I really enjoyed the Edinburgh and most of the people I spoke to did as well. However, it got a right slating in the ACTC’s re-start magazine from Ian Bates and David Toms who slagged of how some of the sections were too easy, road mileage too long and the green lanes un-necessary and to rough! Just shows how you can’t please all of the people all of the time!

For me the MCC events are an adventure, about much more than the sections. The road mileage, sections in the night and green lanes are all part of their character. The Edinburgh is certainly my favourite. The view of Putwell across the valley as you descend the hill from the Monsal Head Hotel, the hairy desent down to Litton, the excitement of Bamford. It's the best!

I enjoyed driving the Nova at Kensworth which has a nice un-damaging surface, although it remains the only place I have not been able to drive home from when I broke the diff on my Mini many years ago.

I was very disappointed that Stroud couldn’t run their anniversary trial, although under the circumstances this was understandable. They plan to have another go in May, lets hope this comes off. In a way it was a good thing for me as I have been suffering from a problem in my back and I would have struggled to squeeze in and out of Mike’s car!

November 2000

Well, I managed to get the Beetle back together for the Edinburgh, and got round the route and back home again without opening the toolbox, once I fixed one of the stop lights at the start. I was worried about ground clearance as the bracing bars I had fitted from the back bumper, under the engine, to the frame horns, not only stuck down about an inch and a half but increased the overhang at the back as well. To fit them I had to remove the Trekker "boot scraper" sump protector, so I substituted some up-turned deck plate that went all the way from the gearbox nose back to the exhaust box. To compensate I had raised the back a bit by turning the torsion bars and had ground a chunk out of the spring plates to stop the suspension topping out too much.

The new height seemed about right at the start but of course the back dropped a bit during the weekend as things settled and I might raise it again after The Allen. Next outing for me is in the Nova at Falcon’s Guy Fawkes PCT, followed by passengering Mike Hayward on the Stroud Classic.

The results of the Edinburgh came through today. Congratulations to Classical Gas readers Giles Greenslade and Dudley Sterry on their Triples. Also to John Lees who was best in class A despite the problems. Intresting that Brain Partridge won class eight despite not even being able to get to the start line on Litton Slack! Also interesting that John Beaumont got a fail on Old Long Hill in his Reliant when I saw him clean the hill with ease!

September 2000

Have you noticed how it’s starting to get difficult to get bit’s for your Classic Trial’s car? In the old days, it was just a question of nipping down to the scrapyard and picking up a whole new axle for twenty quid when you broke your Ford diff, but these days a surviving Escort is increasing in value as a classic! Lets have a Marlin then, just as bad. How many Marina 10 cwt vans do you see around?

David Alderson was telling me that he got one of the last available Triumph uprights for his Troll. You can’t get 15 inch x 165 re-mould’s any more and even some Beetle parts are “no longer available” from Mr Volkswagen. PCT entry lists are dominated by (relatively) modern FWD cars. It’s hard to see that happening in Classic’s with the sections as they are and it’s difficult to make them easier as many are already not challenging enough for the class eight’s. I am sure Classic Trial’s will survive, but the entry lists in five years time will be a whole lot different to today, just as “Tucker” predicted many years ago.

August 2000

It was only last month that I was saying that Ray Mitchell’s tragic death served as a reminder that we must be careful when pursuing our hobby. Now only a short time later a marshal tragically lost his life at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, an event where quite a few of my Falcon club-mates were officiating. It really does emphasise that all Motorsport is potentially dangerous and we really must be aware of the risks and be sensible.  We must always be careful when parking or moving on a trials hill or slope, especially when changing wheels when the car can be balanced so precariously on it’s jack.

I’m sure that these latest fatalities at Goodwood will result in profound changes at this event and some of the magazines are speculating that the competitive element will disappear.

Peter Treliving

  Sadly Peter has lost his long battle with cancer and passed away from his brain tumour. Peter joined MCC in November 1988 and was also prominent in Stroud & District MC. He was a keen competitor, driving his Keith Roach bodied Austin Seven with great skill and panache. He will be sorely missed.
  There will be a service at Holt Church (just north of Wimborne, Dorset) on  Tuesday 25th July at 2.00pm, and a family only cremation service on the following day.. His great friend Tim Wellock has asked if triallers could try and come to the service and bring their trials cars along.
(published Tuesday 18th July, updated 20 July)

Michael's (June) Musings

17 June - I see from the Web Community that the "powers that be"  are going to stick to Easter for the Lands End. Did we "computer nerds" influence the decision, will we ever know?

Well, it's definite. The MCC’s Lands End organising team propose to move the event away from it’s traditional Easter date. The rumour started a few weeks ago and very soon there was considerable speculation on the Internet’s Classical Gas Web Community. Then it appears it was discussed at an ACTC Council Meeting indicating the rumour is in fact a reality. Everyone has an opinion. Most competitors seem reluctant to see the event move from the holiday week-end, despite increasing problems in finding accommodation, because many hotels and guest houses only want bookings for the whole holiday. However, it appears the organisers are having difficulty with the local council’s, who are happy to have the event in their town’s but would prefer it wasn’t over Easter. Anyway the MCC’s Web site shows the 2001 Lands End over the week-end of 30 and 31st March, two weeks before Easter. It looks like this is only the start of the storey!

Looking at the posts over on the community it appears most MCC competitors think the Lands End belongs at Easter and that's where it should stay. One of the problems with the MCC is that unless you are one of the inner circle it is difficult to make your views heard. However, there is an opportunity real soon, the AGM. Unfortunately I can't put my hands on the paper with the date but it's normally end June/beginning of July with the details of where and when coming out with Triple and the Edinburgh regs about now. The Lands End date may not be on the agenda but I'm sure one of us can raise it under AOB! This is the chance for us to air our views to "those in power"  lets use it, whatever those views may be.


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