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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
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 ACTCs 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 cant 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 couldnt 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
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 Falcons 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!
Have you noticed how its starting to get
difficult to get bits for your Classic Trials 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 cant get 15 inch x 165 re-moulds any more
and even some Beetle parts are no longer available from Mr Volkswagen. PCT
entry lists are dominated by (relatively) modern FWD cars. Its hard to see that
happening in Classics with the sections as they are and its difficult to make
them easier as many are already not challenging enough for the class eights. I am
sure Classic Trials 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.
It was only last month that I was
saying that Ray Mitchells 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 its jack.
Im 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.
| 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 MCCs Lands End organising team propose to move
the event away from its traditional Easter date. The rumour started a few weeks ago
and very soon there was considerable speculation on the Internets 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 councils, who are happy
to have the event in their towns but would prefer it wasnt over Easter. Anyway
the MCCs 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.