Tour of Kent - Historic Rally Car Register
Tuesday, 7 November 2017 | Curtis
Tour of Kent - 1st October 2017 - Jaguar XJ-SC
The Blackpalfrey Motor Club's annual Tour of Kent is always oversubscribed, but fortunately the Clerk of the Course managed to squeeze in our entry at the last minute, despite our ride for the day being theoretically one year too young (it's only 30 years old) to compete in events as part of the Historic Rally Car Register.
The day could not have been more autumnal: Persistent drizzle and dense fog at the higher elevations, giving way to bright sushine down on Romsey Marshes. Those in open cars were suitably attired in full waterproofs, whilst my navigator, Graham, and I luxuriated in the warmth that 5.3L of engine generates all too easily.
With a start at the famous Moody Mare pub, there was an excellent turnout of interesting cars: Fully rally prepared Renault Alpines, Porsche 914s (resplendent in their 1970s colours), Ford Mustangs (a relative rarity on this side of the Atlantic), a decent smattering of MGs and Triumphs, a few home built specials, E-Type Jaguars and much more.
A roadbook and tulip navigation was the format for the day, with ample time to complete all sections (after all, this was not a timed competitive event). The open roads on Romney Marshes, with their clear sightlines gave the opportunity to push on, although this was tempered by the presence of deep dykes and ditches lining the sides of the roads in that part of Kent. Fortunately, everyone arrived in one piece at Bodiam Castle for lunch (although a few running repairs were need by some).
We have been treating one-day events this year as a shakedown for participating in some longer rallies in 2018. Partly for the car, and partly for ourselves: Graham and I haven't rallied together since the mid 1980s....we were very young at the time. Much has changed, but it's still fun to drive with no electronic aids and skinny tyres, although a few lurid slides attested that some acclimatisation is required.
I used a pair of period Dunhill driving gloves for the event...which are very similar to our best selling driving gloves in chestnut brown, themselves inspired by the movie Drive. Take a look here.
Everything went to plan, and we had a great day's sport in aid of Demelza, Hospice Care for Children.