Thursday, 19 May 2011

First Post

I've just created this blog, to record the preparations, thence the trip, of the 2011 Cape Town to Cairo Classic Car Rally, run by Classic Car Events, of South Africa.
This came about from sailing. I met Gordon Ketelby at the King's Cup Regatta in December 2010, where he was racing in the Beneteau 53f5 Baby Tonga and we were on our boat Xena.
Gordon'g a chap like me, sold a business and retired, hence out and about doing various things, mainly sailing and driving classic cars.  Wise fellow.
I told him about my time in Italy with our 1950 Jaguar XK120, which we used to take to events like the Coppa D'Oro delle Dolomiti and the Winter Marathon.
One thing leads to another: I get message from Gordon a week or so ago, asking if I'd like to join him for this rally, and here we are.
Contact me here with any comments or piccies, or comment direct in the comments section.
Peter F.
Update 22 May, couple of photos from 2005 Coppa d'Oro, Peter's 1950 Jaguar XK120:
Peter and the 1950 Jaguar XK120 in Brescia, on way to Cortina for
the Coppa d'Oro, September 2005.  Check out the Connolly leather seats!

Co-driver, old school chum, Ray Pollard,
in the Dolomites, Coppa d'Oro 2005
This car had a brass plaque on the dash saying that it was an exact replica, built in 1950, of the 1949 XK which created a speed record in Coventry, around 129 mph, if I recall.  It was a lovely car, immaculate in condition.  I had a couple of -- reversible -- modifications made to allow for my 6'4" (192cm) frame: namely thinner seats, made of Connolly cow-hide (hand made in Milan and gorgeous), and a smaller steering wheel.  Both modifications so that I could slip in behind the wheel; with the original thicker seats and large wheel, I literally couldn't fit in.  As it was, it was much easier for me to get in with the top down, and we drove it top-down even in the Winter Marathon, which is mid-winter in Italy, up and down winding snowy mountain roads, with the temperatures down to minus 17 degrees.

Ray and I had a lot of fun in this car, but I eventually sold her after we'd done the various events around Brescia in Northern Italy a number of times and it was clear that we weren't going to get into the Mille Miglia, for which I'd originally bought her.  The MM needs something "sexier", they hinted.  We thought her pretty sexy, though, and she was much admired -- the Italians, men and women alike, do love their cars: Che Bella Macchina! they would say, as we glided past, we cool older dudes....