Today was the main show day for the Triumph 2000 Register's annual national rally. As it's the 50th Birthday of the Mk1 Triumph 2000 saloon, the idea was to try and get 50 Mk1's present. So I decided to play my part, but with the Red Shed still in Mowatts, the only option was to take Gertie along to add to the numbers. Dave Maton was my co driver for the day and after setting my alarm for the ungodly hour of 4.15am I picked Dave up at half five.
After a trouble free run to Reading services we stopped for a coffee and a driver change and Dave took the wheel to the next brief stop at Gordano services. I normally only see Gordano services at around 3am on a Sunday morning when we are doing the round Britain, so it was a tad more busier than I was used to!
The amount of people, cars and caravans in the car parks showed that a lot of folk were heading South, so we only stopped for a few minutes to try and keep ahead of the traffic. This was supposed to be the hottest day of the year so far, so we suspected a lot of people would be heading coast bound as we were.
The M5 was starting to get a bit sticky, so we turned off a junction early and took the A39 down towards our destination. We managed to find a snack van in a layby, so we stopped for a bacon sarnie, although the bread could have been used as plasticine and the bacon could have done with an oil change! We arrived at our location at St Audries Holiday Club at West Quantoxhead near Watchett in Somerset at around 9.15am. What a beautiful place this was. If I had known how lovely it was I would have probably made a weekend of it.
The show field backs on the beach and sea and makes a beautiful backdrop. There were quite a few cars there already and some of the owners had made a holiday of it and been there all week. A very nice surprise was seeing my old Yellow Mk1 there. LDD683E is now owned by Peter who had got it MOT'd recently and had brought it down from Cambridgeshire. Pete has done some great work on the car and is now getting it ready for some new paint. It should look good when it's done.
We had a brief look around some of the cars that were there and then met up with Ted Taylor and Mike Weaver who Dave had a meeting with to do with the new spares group that was formed earlier this year. Dave went off to his meeting while I err.........wandered off to the bar for a pint of Guinness. Well it had gone eleven!
More and more cars kept arriving and the MK1 count was rising slowly. Would we reach the fifty cars required?
By mid afternoon it was getting very hot and sticky so we wandered down to the beach to get some cool breeze. It was a beautiful view and looking out to sea you couldn't sea anything at all in the distance. (Unlike Southend where all you see is the oil refinery at Corringham, or even worse....Gravesend in Kent!)
The prize giving took place at around 4.30pm and there certainly was some beautiful cars picking up trophies. Lee Godfrey also won an award for services to the club and Dave and I both thought it was very well deserved. Lee is a bit of an expert on MK1's and quite often knows of cars for sale and is very helpful in this area. He's a real nice guy too, so if you're after buying or selling a Mk1, he's definitely the man to see.
The final Mk1 count did fall short on 50, but did make a respectable figure. I didn't count them myself, but was told that there were 36 present. It was the still the most amount of MK1's I've ever seen in one place. (And probably ever like to see again come to think of it)
Dave and I left shortly after prize giving as we still had a few more miles to get through. We stopped for fuel and food at Asda's just off the M5 at Bristol and then just cracked on home. The run back was luckily traffic free and completed with both front windows wide open as it was so damn hot. By the time I'd dropped Dave off and stopped off the at the offy for some ice cold beers (The Guinness had well worn off by now) and put Gertie away in the garage it was around 9.45pm. So quite a long day then!
Gertie completed the days 446 miles faultlessly although the temperature gauge was creeping up while driving though town. I know it's unusually hot at the moment, but I think an electric fan may be the way forward for the future.