Home > Uncle Biek > I DO like Mondays!

I DO like Mondays!

Well that was a fun day off! First off I drove with dad and Margot to a guy dad had bought a car from. We were picking up a 1966 Triumph Spitfire 4 Mark II, how’s that sound? And when I tell you that it was some sort of Le Mans ready looking sports car (for example it’s got more headlights than the average truck :-) you’ll know just how interested I was in helping out: very. :-)What dad needed was someone to drive the car home, since that’s what you usually do with bought cars: you drive ’em! Obviously I was keen to help out and not in the least because it was a genuine British sports car, right hand steering and everything. You just don’t get to drive these little gems that often.

Only one factor bothered me just a little: the weather. The last forecast I heard said we might be expecting some light rain and such and because the car was one of the ‘convertible without roof closing option’ kind of type, the prospect of water falling from the skies was slightly worrying.

Over the weekend my worries about rain diminished and made room for a small new one: the cold. Both Saturday and Sunday, just after waking up, I watched the ice thaw from my car so the idea of me driving a convertible around in those temperatures … well …

Upon waking up this morning, however, there was no ice to be seen so I thought I was just lucky and the weather had improved overnight. And it had, but not much. When I got into the IFO it said that it was only half a degree centigrade which is pretty close to freezing. Especially when driving a roof-less car as you can imagine.

When I got to dad’s place it had already ‘heated up’ to a whopping two degrees so things were looking great! ;-) Anyway, we had an hour’s drive ahead of us so I just hoped that things would improve a bit more before we got there. Acknowledging the situation, dad lent me his thick old-timer coat which should protect me from Mother Nature whilst driving that car home so I wasn’t too worried anymore. I just wanted to have fun!

Our arrival at the person my dad bought the car from made everything alright. Apart from having the Triumph he was specialized in maintaining and restoring old Matra cars. Dad had told me that already but it didn’t register too much because their model isn’t that … well … not my thing, let’s keep it at that. ;-)

What I walked into over there was something different than I had thought. Matra, of course, has quite a rich history in racing and one part of my head just kindly kept that information from the other part but when I walked through the door all was clear again. The guy had a few walls full of old posters of Le Mans, Formula One pictures, autographs of Jackie Stewart and a few other heroes of the past. It was almost like walking into a small scale Matra museum, just awesome. I could have stood there and look/stare at every single photo a long, long time. It’s not too often you just run into a collection like that.

Unfortunately we had to go get the car, because the guy had to temporarily close the shop to get to the post office with us, so we had to leave. I wasn’t really finished with the guy’s walls of fame but we had no choice; time to go.

We then had a adventures drive to the storage and when I peaked inside that one I was hooked to something low to the ground, red and black paint and small, thin tires all around. It has to be a old Formula One, possible Formula 3, car which I guess is dating from somewhere between sixty four and sixty six. And it was sitting in this guy’s garage! I took a few quick photos of it (come to think of it I didn’t even ask if that was ok …) and will try and find out just what it is he has standing there. If I have to I’ll just drive up there once more and will talk to him about it. This is just too cool to ignore.

But the sound of the starting Triumph engine made an end to this pondering by me. I had to pay attention to what the guy was telling about the few gauges in its dash that actually worked so I had to leave the racer alone … for now. :-)

Then I jumped behind the wheel of that little British racer and took it outside. While it was warming up a bit more I dressed up accordingly to the task (I’m so glad there are no pictures of that charade :-) and set myself behind the wheel again. All clear to go Houston! Everything’s gree … oh well, most of it is working fine. Let’s do this!

First stop would be the nearest gas station because even way back in time when fuel was cheap, those cars didn’t do too well on just fumes. Dad had gotten directions from the guy and was looking at me like he was saying ‘and we’ll just follow you’ but I beat him to that line and grinned ‘go right ahead, I’ll be the fishy looking fellow in the red convertible tailing you.’ And off we went.

It’s funny how easy you can get used to some cars. This one has to be one of the easiest to drive classics I’ve been behind the wheel of. Just lovely. Short, but easy to dose, clutch, pinpoint steering, enough power to have a little ‘woah’ every now and then and a nice classic dash to finish the nice view. And that view was going to be all mine for the next few hours.

The first part of the journey wasn’t even that cold. Sure, with a overall temperature of six degrees outside, driving a convertible top down makes it feel like … zero or less from time to time. But in general things were okay in the little red car. And they stayed okay until we got closer to Nijmegen. Dad and Margot confirmed it later on but it was by then that I could really feel the cold creeping in. They said that it had dropped from six to just under three degrees out there so that explained my chilly feelings.

Nevertheless I had a wonderful drive in that little car and would do it again in an instant. I guess you either love classic cars, or you don’t. The how, what, when and where are just minor details.

And to end a already lovely, classically tainted, day in style I got to drive my future Volvo to my home from dad’s place so things really couldn’t be more complete today. I hadn’t driven a Amazon in quite some time but I was amazed what a smooth and comfortable drive it was! The engine makes far less noise than the IFO’s diesel does and it’s also a little less hard on the springs. That probably means that I’ll have to learn a whole new approach to roundabouts and the likes but hey, that’s life. ;-)

What a great day!

Categories: Uncle Biek Tags: , , , ,
  1. stevie
    Feb 20, 2008 at 14:32



    Life smiles back at ya!

  2. Feb 21, 2008 at 8:41

    It sure does sometimes bro, it sure does. :-)

    Got something to do on Queensday? There’s a oldtimer cruise planned and if things go well I should have more then enough room in my car for another cool customer. Would love to have you two over.

  3. Stevie
    Feb 22, 2008 at 11:23

    Lets keep that plan in mind…off course we have two little ones more…
    Sounds like a great drive, I’ll inform Sis

    CU Bro S.

  4. Feb 22, 2008 at 12:05

    Yes I know, and they are welcome to join too of course but I only have the back seat available so might not fit … :-)

    Just let me know, all I need is a ‘yup’ and we’ll pull up to your house on our way to Velp. No problem at all.

  5. Norman
    Jun 17, 2008 at 10:18

    Hello Biek,(Surprise) What one can find doing a simple search.. lol

    Sounds like you had a perfect day…. ;c)

  6. Jun 17, 2008 at 13:40

    Hello Sir! Surprise indeed!

    Yeah, these are the better days for me sir, absolutely. Anything regarding old cars is nice of course, but this was something special.

    Nice of you to drop by here. :-)

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