Slightly different format this year, as I had a good friend over to stay at mine. So we could drive up to the show together. Not exactly sure how logical this plan actually was, as the early night got progressively later and the early start stayed exactly where it began, early. Still in only the way that men can do, the chat progressed from cars, to my terrible love life and back to putting the worlds to rights.
Up and away at 6:45 AM we set off on the half hour drive to the main meeting point for a glorious convoy of Skylines in all shapes and sizes. Naturally at that time of day we were rather exuberant, setting off with all of the cars horses, laying down a rubber road to glory. Suspiciously at this point I thought, "was that a hesitation, a sudden lack of power? No'oo, all is well" and we thundered off to the meeting point just outside of Newbury in Berkshire, in, as my friend and comrade said 'ridiculously quick time'. At the meeting point you had the usual men shuffling around coughing, hands in pockets, liberal use of swear words etc. Eventually we set off, naturally (as is my lot) I was caught at the lights pending the slip road, that would take us back onto the motorway (expressway). The light turned green and the hammer went down in anticipation of catching up my fellow comrades.
Complete loss of power, combined with a 'flame out' from the rear. Hazards on I limped to the side of the road whilst most of the others thundered on by (Thanks' for that). Two people stopped and I'm really grateful to them. My friend who immediately said 'I won't leave you, when I told him to go on' and some complete strangers.
As it turned out, all I had done was blow the jubilee clip off, it's worm drive failing, the clip had popped, the silicone pipe then coming away from the turbo. There was nothing else for it than to push it back into place by hand and totally drive 'off boost' like a normal person.. In fact probably slower than a normal person, oh the humiliation!
Actually, it was a massive relief that it was £1.70 worth of clip and not the turbo or for that matter something even worse!
Pushing the pipe back on was fun, especially on a red hot engine, although the burns are almost healed now.
So our club long gone and us limping along, I had the vague recollection of what junction we were supposed to get off at, which oddly was the one after the one recommended. I had complete faith in what I was told and we did this expecting to see some signage to Castle Coombe racetrack, of which there was none. So quickly fumbling around I found out my phone and as we hurtled down country lanes, set the Sat Nav by shouting at it. Not being one to always follow a robot blindly we didn't really have a choice this time and it merrily took our gleaming cars up a tight, bendy and above all MUDDY lane. We eventually found the queue for Japfest which we then enjoyed immensely for a few hours. Actually I can't complain, at least we made it that far and could stand around chatting in the long 'no motion' parts of the wait and by now were grimly determined to arrive. I then heard from the organiser of our group who I think was hoping we weren't coming as the stand didn't have enough space. Although in the end we were squeezed in and actually had a nice spot. We did encounter some resistance on the way from the Police who tried to make us go in with the public and a rather over zealous gate 'monkey' who was determined to send us miles out of our way. By now I was patient enough to calmly explain, several times that me and the idiot behind me were VIPs of great standing and we were allowed on our way.
Best picture of the drama I can come up with is my friend Dal, cleaning the soot and muck from my exhaust off his pristine white GTST Spec 1.
|Ms Skylines Rear and Dal's Rear.... Not so nice.|
So drama for the want of a clip and screwdriver. Which I usually carry.. I certainly do now!
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