Collection and drive from UK to Germany March 07
LAfter approximately 5 years of modifications, re-specifications and additions, I was finally in the position to collect my Project car from Mike Haines. The plan was simple:
• Collect the car from Mike Haines
• Spend the weekend driving around UK to check for any ´minor problems´
• Drive in convoy to the Channel Tunnel and across to Calais - rest over
• Drive in convoy through France and Germany, to Munich
Collecting the car was no problem. As usual everything was ready and after a cup of tea and a chat, it was time to get going. The weekend was without drama and come 4pm on Sunday afternoon, we were ready to depart on our return to Germany. The drive to Dover was again without problem, but due to the heavy rain and generally poor road conditions progress was rather slow.
Once we arrived at Dover, the first real test was at hand. Will the car negotiate the ramps and train without any problems? Discussions and measurements had been made well in advance, but never tested. In the event, there was nothing to worry about. I had a look around the car once onto the train and discovered that one of the rear attachments for the rear diffuser had come loose and fallen off. Luckily my travel toolkit had an allen key of the appropriate size and I moved one of the fixing bolts from the well-supported centre section and fixed the rear. This was one thing to watch......... We had booked a Hotel in Calasi, so the car was locked up safe for the night and we retired to bed the kids and grab some food.
The next morning saw the most dreadful weather. Huge rainfall and very strong winds. We set-off very steadily, but after 30 minutes we hit the most monstrous hail storm, that saw cars on both sides of the carriageway crashing. It was an awful sight; one car on its roof and no less than half a mile up the road, another car impalled in the central reservation. We escaped without incident, but the conditions were perilous for the Esprit.
Luckily, the weather improved significantly has we headed South East through France. By the time we have made our way through the border at Strasburg, the weather was dry and sunny. The driving from Stuttgart to Munich, was particularly sweet as there were a high number of decent road cars to play with and progress was much more rapid. I was able to extend the car fully for the first in a long while and enjoyed the level of grip and acceleration that make this no ordinary Esprit road car.
We finally arrived about 10pm having driven 850 miles. The car had behaved brilliantly despite the poor weather. I am now looking forward to enjoying the car on a routine basis.