Events and Activities:
**Great Northern Meet
March 17th 2002
Firstly, thanks to all
who braved the English Roads on a fine weekend and made the effort to
attend the meet. And in true English tradition... Bollocks to those who
Great to see Bill and Anne again, likewise Richard and Cathy, and to
meet new fellows like Jeff and Barrie. For those at home who don't know
these guys, they really are good blokes (for Pommies).
Bill's car is still sporting the altercation with the truck which makes
it look a bit second hand and although it normally sits rather low in
the arse, was even worse this weekend with an additional 150Lbs of crap
in the boot.
We went off for a wander up the Derwent Valley late Sat arvo and the
roads could hardly be described as good. It was nice to be back in
something with a little grunt and I proceeded to step it out slightly on
the odd corner, and was intent on maintaining warp factor 9 between
This caused more than the occasional glare from Bill as I showered
Richard in lovely stainless steel showers from Bill's exhaust.
Apparently it was rather impressive from behind though.
We spun around and took the sedate road to the local watering hole where
we ran into Kevin Speight and his lovely partner (wife! Whoops...)
Drinking into the wee hours, I finally dragged the wild mob out of the
pub at a quarter to one, with the veiled threat of getting them up for
an 8am breakfast start.
Bill isn't so good in the morning, especially following a night on the
piss, so the rest of the crew picked up Kevin and Christine and headed
out to explore the Peak district.
We arrived back at the
Poachers pretty well spot on midday, and all these bastards wanted to do
was throw keys at me. I finally sat down for dinner at a quarter to four
after driving 6 or 7 out of the 8 cars at the meet.
Jeff's lovely silver blue (like Iain's) TT was a delight. Spotless
inside and out but suffering what appears to be a standard Soarer
complaint over here. It really does steer badly. Don't know where his
settings came from, but it might as well be flammin' Mars. His car
displayed lovely smooth power delivery and behaved impeccably. Given a
new set of boots, and a good wheel alignment to Steve Cheetham's
(Toyota) settings, this car is a winner.
Barrie's blue V8 suffers from similar problems and really is a nice,
tidy V8 in an unusual flat dark blue colour. I can understand his twin
passions of a lady in the USA and his lady on the road here, and his
desire to combine the two. Next meet Barrie might bring his daughter, so
that will control some of the other, more vocal, owners.
Harry Hall and his lovely wife Karen were there with their Metallic Red
V8. Harry is being a bastard and refuses to give the Soarer to Karen,
and is threatening to sell it for a diesel Merc!!!! Harry, if you keep
it, contact Bill. I reckon he might be able to get his hands on a right
rear tail lamp. Harry's car has been suffering a very fine vibration
which only appears between 50 and 115 mph. Very difficult to diagnose
although I suspect that it is either very old and hard lower front
control arm bushes, or severely worn steering rack bushes. Throw out the
restrictive exhaust and the car really is quite nice. And I didn't upset
Karen on the test drive.
Richards car is just that. Richards car. Pedantically attempting to be
perfect, and making a damn nice job of it too. Smooth, efficient power
delivery, smooth as silk and immaculately presented. Sort of reminds me
of another car I know, except that the other one has a MiNes and nicer
Running Steve Cheetham's settings, although with only 2 1/2 degrees of
caster rather than 3 deg has all but perfected the handling of this car
to Richards expectations and Cathy's liking. Apart from the frilly pink
cushions on the back seat, the car is a joy to behold and even nicer to
Nice to meet Melvyn and
Brook. Melvyn's V8 is damn near running on the bump stops on the front
and must be stuffing the internal strut bump stops, let alone be
retuning a far from pleasurable driving experience due to the bump steer
through the steering. He was off home to fiddle with his height rods and
get the car back into a reasonable stance before applying a 'correct'
set of wheel alignment settings to his front end.
Kevin Speight attended his first meeting with two of his prize possessions.
His partner Christine, who enthralled me with her infectious sense of
humour and her lovely lilting accent, and his £4700 metallic red fire
breathing TT. On both counts, a very fortunate fellow!
Kevin's purchased his car back in November 2001 and hasn't yet explored
the limits of its potential. As can often be the case, he was a little
reticent to push the sucker too far, just in case it let go on him at a
most inopportune time. Shouldn't be a problem any more. Lets just say
that it handles perfectly, is beautifully balanced, has an impressive,
constantly smooth delivery of power and stops pretty damn well to boot.
You might say that I opened his eyes a little. But that's a story for
him to tell.
They make a lovely couple, no not Kevin and Christine.... Kevin and
Bill. Shit the bastards can throw down some piss between them.
It really was a great weekend, good weather (read DRY), great company
and great cars,, what more could a bloke want, except his wife after
five weeks away mind you?......
See you in early August for the next meet?