Bath Festival of Motoring

What a great weekend! A big thank-you to everyone involved: organisers, owners, drivers, and the general public. From what I heard we raised quite a sum for charity offering rides in our supercars for a small donation. There was a nice selection of supercars, from Ariel Atom’s to Ferrari F40’s, and many in between (including my own Ferrari 360, of course).

It was an early start on Saturday morning, despite already being in the Cotswolds, as we had been asked to be in place from 9 o’clock—for a 10 o’clock start. At this time the sun was still out although as we approached Bath it disappeared behind the clouds and didn’t really return until roughly the same time Sunday morning.

Upon arrival I was initially directed to the general exhibitors area to line up ready for the onslaught. After finding a source of water to wash some of the road grime, we walked over to the supercar rides to see what it entailed and whether they would like a Ferrari 360 to join them. This turned out to be a rather silly question as they were more than happy to include my 360 in their line-up, so after a quick relocation we had ourselves a Ferrari-only area; consisting of my 360, a 355, and an F40!

We took the Saturday morning, before it became too busy, to wonder around and see what else was on display. There was a nice selection of classic and vintage cars, a collection of Land Rover’s, as well as craft stalls, and an autojumble. After having some lunch, I was ready for my first passenger. I had been told to follow the Lotus Evora although as soon as we tried to join the main road he managed to get out before the traffic and I was lost and unsure where the route went. Never one to give up on a challenge, I basically followed the road until I reached a junction and made my best guess as to which way to turn (based on what I had been told). In the end everything was okay and we had nearly caught the Lotus when we reached the halfway point where we were to turn around.

Following a short break, I had my second passenger: a local newspaper reporter, whom I was told initially thought he would be driven around in one of the German saloons and whose face lite-up when he found he would actually be going out in a Ferrari. It was such a great feeling to know that people were excited just to go for a ride with me, and all in aid of Freewheelers and Time2Share. The Bath Chronicle have both written a piece on the festival itself, complete with photo gallery, and captured a brief video of their ride. It was a privilege to be part of it all.

The Sunday—as mentioned above—started off looking like it would be bright and dry, though no sooner had we arrived and the heavens opened, albeit for only a few minutes. Even before the public started to arrive, it was busier than Saturday; a few more supercars available for rides, as well as more kit cars from what we could see. We even had a 458 Spider to replace the F40, but with the intermittent rain there wasn’t the opportunity to put the roof down.

Within minutes we had our first passengers and from that point it was very much non-stop, especially for the Ferrari’s. We even had a father and his two boys book the three of us for a convoy. Despite obviously getting the chance to drive a 360 whenever I want, it was still rather surreal to be in the middle, with a 458 in front and a 355 behind—who knows what the other drivers on the road thought as we cruised past them. I think we managed a couple more convoys throughout the day, sometimes by accident if one of us was at the tail end of traffic and the others caught up.

In the end I lost count of how many times I went out, I think it was around 8, which isn’t too bad, when you factor in lunch and the parade lap that we did. Everyone seems to enjoy themselves and was thrilled to ride with me, and no doubt so were those that went out in any of the other supercars. With the weather starting to get even more menacing, we agreed that with a job well-done, it was time to head home (or at least back to my parents’ until Monday morning when we actually made the journey back to Watford). The next public outing is due in a few weeks at Harpenden’s Classics on the Common, so hopefully we’ll see you there!