August Amble - 23 August 2015
Story and pictures - Jim Paterson
gathered for the August Amble under clearing skies and sunshine at
Clatterin Brig, on the Fettercairn to Banchory road early on the Sunday
morning. The weather forecast had the organisers concerned but
for once the met office got it right and the wet front approaching from
the east had crossed during the night. It had left a few 'roadside
lakes' along the country roads we were to travel, but Dave Ross who
planned the event made sure the starters were warned at the drivers
The Clatterin Brig restaurant always do us a great
breakfast and soon the crews were tucking into the obligatory bacon
roll with lots of hot coffee. Some even took theirs in the garden under
the now sunny sky.
Line up as crews dress their cars with rally platesMost
of the 37 entries made it to the start, though one or two succumbed to
mechanical failure before reachng us. Mark and Laura Widdup from across
the border, experienced an exhaust manifold gasket failure on their
Porsche 912. Try as they may it quickly deteriorated to 'tractor'
levels of noise, heralding a hasty retreat back to the garage.
Stuart Cobb in a late Toyota MR2 got caught out on a wet piece of road
on the way over from a still wet west coast and placed the nose neatly
in a ditch. A kind AA man got him out and a quick hose down to clean
off the muck, tyre pressure check and all was back on track. We would
meet up with Stuart at the lunch time halt and I have to say the car
looked brilliant, not a scratch or clod of mud to be seen. Stuart
looked cool and calm as well.
McWhirter was scheduled to arrive in an Aston Martin DB4 but appeared
in a Jaguar XK150. I noticed him arranging a six pack of mineral water
bottles and asked if that was for the lunch break? No it was for the
car, which was overheating a bit on the way down from home in Elgin. I
didn't ask if the Jag ran better on still or sparkling, or if lemon
flavoured water made the cooling more effective. It was just great to
see them and the car. Christoph Kulli arrived at his garage to
find the C Type locked in with a car parked across the door! Quick
change to the E Type, but I would see Christoph and Natalie fly past
later in the day in the C Type so who towed the naughty parker out
of the way?
Massie and Jenny MacKay were dressing up for the occasion, both with
their French berets, in keeping with the Citroen 2CV that they arrived
in to replace the Jaguar XK8 for the event. Are the crew getting
into the swing in preparation for the club's Motagnes de France in a
months time? The berets might, but the 2CV will not be climbing
the Alps or Pyrenees this year anyway.
Ross took control of the starters flag and soon the cars were heading
south toward Edzell on the first leg of the route. Ron and Jan
Adam led off in their BMW Z3, which will be heading for France
with us next month. Alan Gibb and Drew Scott started in
Alan's 1954 Doretti. Alan is a keen and knowledgable fan of the marque
and I'm sure knows where every Doretti in the northern hemisphere
Our route headed back through Edzell toward Brechin
and the east coast at Montrose. We hugged the north sea coastline down
by Lunan, passing spectacular white sandy beaches,
on our way past Inverkeilor, home of Dave Barnett's Classic
AutoSports workshops where I enjoyed a great BBQ only a few weeks ago.
headed back to the coast to visit fine sounding names as Auchmithie on
our way to Arbroath, and Carnoustie. I remember the days when all the
Edinburgh to Dundee trains terminated at Carnoustie. Soon we arrived in
Dundee and the new Museum of Transport. Dave had arranged for us all to
enjoy a break for lunch as well as a walk round the exhibition
halls, which celebrated all types of transport from Dundee's past.
Parked up for lunch at the Dundee Transport MuseumA
pleasant surprise was the 'Pullman Coach' single decker, set up as
tearoom outside. Serving a great light lunch we refuelled while
chatting with fellow crews on the event.
We headed west after
lunch keeping close to the north side of the River Tay towards Perth,
Not everyone heeded the caution NOT to cross the Tay bridge. Easy
mistake but also easy to return quickly. We kept to the coast
road through Invergowrie, Kingoodie, Grange and Errol, to reach Madoes
Continuiing up and over the Sidlaw Hills heading north, by Pitroddie, and Rait to reach Balbeggie
on the far side of the hills in Strathmore, a 10 mile wide strath which
separates the Sidlaw Hills from the Grampians. We passed Blairgowrie on
our way to Kirriemuir and Glen Isla, pulling in at Peel Farm for an
afternoon tea stop, and again catch up with other crews like Lee and
Lorna Robinson in their 1959 Triumph TR3A, and Ian Boyles and Linda
Semple in a 1980 Lancia Beta Coupé, rust free and looking great
in the Alitalia colour scheme. We followed David and Jean Simon in
their 1960 Auto Union 1000, sporting the now familiar four ring Audi
badge,on the last leg toward the finish at Edzell. The route took us
round by Cortachy which gave crews an option to drive up Glen Clova.
which we visited on last years June Jaunt, or continue to Memus, Glen
Ogil, Fern and finally the Panmure Arms in Edzell.
crews enjoyed a traditional Scottish High Tea to finish off what was a
great drive around some of the finest countryside in Perthshire and
Angus, under clear skies and sunshine all the way. club member Roy
Grant thanked David Ross and the organisers for a great day, and want
to know what David's secret is to guarantee a sunny day for these
High Tea at the Panmure Arms in EdzellBut
the day was not yet over. On the route home to Inverness Dave Spence
and Roddie Main in Dave's latest 1969 Mustang powered 5 litre V8
themselves on only using less than half a tank of fuel on the event.
Great, they thought, get fuel in Banchory on the way home. But, just
heading out of Edzell - big misfire and spit back through the carb -
maybe a bit of vaporisation they thought, but got worse and worse -
barely made it up the Cairn O' Mount! - then coasted in to Banchory
where they fuelled up - noticed that the top of the fuel filler had not
been masked when the car was sprayed and of course we had topped up the
tank in the morning and bits of paint had half dissolved and flaked off
and fallen into the tank so
we were getting crud drawn up into the carb. Anyway carried on - at
times it would run OK, other times major explosions in the exhaust and
spit backs through the carb. The Lecht was great fun - thought we could
take a run at it, but got stuck behind a slower car and sputtered our
way slowly in second gear to the top. After that not too bad - managed
home just after 9pm. Stripped carb. next day - blew out jets - drained
tank - tiny little flecks of blue paint in the petrol but enough to
block or partially block a jet. Found another problem with carb - so
waiting for parts.
met members Tom Niven and Karen Wilson peering under the bonnet of
Tom's 2001 MGF trying to locate an overheating problem. Waited
till it cooled and off they went. I followed but never saw them again,
at least until we split at Perth. however the MGF did it again a couple
of times before reaching home in Glasgow. Sounded like a dodgy
thermostat, so more investigation next week.
Time to feckle the
machinery in preparation for Highland Car Club Crofterra
Pandemonia in a couple of weeks time.
Updated 25 August 2015