First Car Show, Storage and More

After the misadventure of the previous weekend I was excited to once again get to drive my Ferrari (although I was a little apprehensive). Unlike the previous week, I arranged for someone from Slade’s Garage to collect me from Beaconsfield train station. I had also decided to take a slightly different route back to the Cotswolds, via the M40 and Oxford; partly because I had also arranged to meet a friend in Cirencester later that evening. The journey was uneventful until I had passed Oxford and was cruising along the A40. Unfortunately I failed to keep an eye on my fuel gauge, and all of a sudden I was down to a single bar and a warning light! It was time to start paying attention and find a Shell garage.

With a full tank of V-Power Nitro+ (as recommended in all Ferrari’s) I drove in to Cirencester and parked up right out the front of the church, and immediately caused gridlock through the town centre as some muppet pulled up behind me and proceeded to ask if it was real? Yes, thank you very much! (Now stop swearing at the drivers behind you and leave me alone!) To date that has been the only time someone has made me not what to engage with them about my car, usually people are excited to hear about her as much as I am to tell anyone. Anyway, I soon put it behind me and found a nice parking space, right outside the police station—if my car was going to be safe anywhere, this would be it. (Not that Cirencester is unsafe, of course.)

My second Saturday with my 360 brought another new experience in the form of a car show. Actually it was more of an open day but I think the difference is more down to the size of the event than anything else. It was being hosted by Neil Garner Performance Engineering, and (mostly) aimed at TVR enthusiasts. I arrived at around 11 o’clock and was eagerly greeted and directed—not to the TVR or general carparks—but towards high performance and special interest. Having parked up, I took my time wondering around and having a look at everything else that was going on. After checking out the rolling road, noise competition, and many different TVR’s, I made my way to the front set of displays, passing my 360 only to notice that a 430 had joined her. I didn’t see who the 430 belonged to but took a couple of photos and carried on.

One of the main reasons for attending this open day was to inquire about storage. It might seem odd to search for storage nearly 100 miles from where I live, even if it is only a handful from my parents, but it (for now) makes sense. It’s cheaper than London—about half as much—and it’s already in the heart of prime cruising Cotswold countryside. If I were to try and leave London via the motorway on a Friday evening I would spend much of my journey sat in traffic (and there’s a good chance that for most of that I would still be within the M25). So getting the train out west doesn’t lose me any time if I ever intend to set off on a Friday for a weekend away. (And the cost of a train ticket doesn’t come close to matching storage costs unless I was to make the trip every weekend, which has other cost implications such as all that petrol!) I was also informed that should I wish to collect my Ferrari outside of normal office hours, there is a walled and gated carpark that requires a code to access, so there is some flexibility with coming and going.

Following the open day I had some time to myself so decided to surprise a few friends in the quiet town of Malmesbury. There are two things I can report on the few hours I was there: my friends were surprised, and Malmesbury has way too many speed bumps! Neither of these should have been news to me, as it’s where I went to school and I’ve been friends with these people for well over a decade (closer to twenty years), and I’ve driven through the town more times than I can remember.

The weekend after all of this (so now in to October) I took her out one final time. First I had a cruise up the M4 early Saturday morning to fulfil a prior commitment to Parkrun, and then it was on to Northampton to surprise one last friend. The weather was terrible! It rained all the way from London to Northampton, after which it was lovely and sunny. Beyond that there isn’t much else that happened, but I did get a couple more pictures.

I lied—one more thing of interest did occur—on my leisurely drive back to the Cotswolds, whilst waiting, and not paying attention, behind someone who wanted to turn right (across oncoming traffic) I heard someone honk their horn, looked up, and saw a 360 going in the other direction! Two weeks and (in a non car show setting) I finally see another. As they say: whenever you buy a car you start to see it everywhere.

And so, that brings my summer/autumn adventures to a close. There were a couple more outings, which I will get to, but obviously it will soon all be about the better weather and the summer to come. And I can’t wait!