Tuesday, 15 September 2015

10CR Full Report

Now I’m home from the 10CR and have downloaded the photos from my camera it’s time to have a full report with pictures.

I left home on Tuesday just after lunchtime to drive up to Howard’s place near Cambridge to leave my car there and use his TR7 convertible. After loading up the car we went for a nice meal in the local pub with Howard’s wife Jill. Then it was time to hit the road to drive down to our pre ferry hotel, a Premier Inn in Ashford.

The TR7 all ready for the off at Howard's house.

On the way down the Alternator light came on a few times but then appeared to sort itself out and we thought nothing of it. After a last pint of British Ale in the Hotel we retired and got up reasonably early heading for the ferry port. We arrived early and were offered a place on an earlier ferry to Calais but declined as we knew there were other teams on the Dunkirk Ferry.
Some of the Cars at the Ferry Port
The TR7

Martin Randle's 2000 Saloon

Mikey B's Stag

Nigel Gair's excellently prepped 2000 Saloon

Steve Thompson's GT6 aka "team shorts"

Clive's Zetec Engined Spitfire

Mike Barret's TR6

The Ferry trip was a bit long, mainly due to a large container ship blocking access to Dunkirk for a while and we arrived an hour and a quarter late which was frustrating. Not long after leaving Dunkirk the Alternator light came on again, this time it stayed on and the battery voltage started to drop so we knew we had an issue. Wriggling the connector and spraying with WD40 seemed to cure the issue but only for a short time.

We pulled in to a Belgian Motorway Services to decide what to do, I tried contacting a couple of people who I thought may have an alternator but couldn’t get through. Then Martin Randle and his team happened to come into the services. Even better he had a spare alternator. It was off a 2000 saloon and the mounting brackets were in a different place to the TR7, however with a strip down and rotation of the front casting we modified the alternator to fit, installed in the car and set off.

Martin and Howard Modifying the 2000 Alternator to fit the TR7

Martin fitting the Alternator

Unfortunately the replacement alternator was also faulty, this time the charge light was flickering rather than on all the time. We suspected the wiring but checked it out with a multimeter and found no issues. We decided to carry on and get to our hotel hoping to get an alternator from one of the other teams at the start.

We were now running later than hoped and had to turn our headlights on for the last 30 miles of so which obviously hammered the uncharged battery. We then got stuck in traffic in Aachen, the car started misfiring and conked out a few times. We had to bump start it as there was not enough energy to power the starter. About 800 meters (1/2 mile) from our hotel the car finally conked out totally. It was by a motorway junction and we found a patch of grass between the exit lanes to push the car onto. We parked up and unloaded our overnight bags and all valuables and headed for the hotel. It was a long knackering walk!

When we got there is was pretty late so we had missed dinner. Also our room was in a suite in an annexe to the main hotel another 800 meters away. The lady at the hotel was good though and arranged a lift, as we walked through the restaurant to the car park for our lift we saw that Mike Bishop and Dave Jones’s teams were in the Restaurant drinking beer. Dave had a spare alternator in the boot too.

In the morning Dave and Mike gave us a lift to the car, Dave and I modified his 2000 alternator to TR7 fixings and we replaced the faulty one. Success this time around the light went out and we were able to make it to the start, Result!
A few cars at the start

With Mike Charlton's Spitfire at a services near Cologne

The car ran well from the start, through Germany. Only hick up we had was that Howard lost his SLR camera at the first scheduled waypoint stop.

At the first scheduled Waypoint stop part way across Germany
Matt George's 2000 Saloon
Further into Germany we came across a little snack bar at the side of the raod where many of the teams had stopped. The Curry Wurst and chips was just what was needed for lunch!

Curry Wurst Stop

We continued across Germany with a stop off at what used to be the Border post between East and West Germany before re-unification. Now a motorway services but it had an eerie feel about it, not helped by the watch tower in the middle that would have been used to catch any of the proletariat trying to escape the East back in the day.
Pictures from the Old Border crossing
Don Cook's GT6

Toby Cowper's Zetec Engined Vincent Hurricane

Chris Gunby and Nigel Hill in the Vitesse

Malcolm Warren's lovely Sprint gets a refill

Just after dark we entered the Czech republic and continued through for a couple of hours. The route was on a back road through lots of villages. Everyone of them was deserted and in darkness with nowhere open apart from some seedy night club buildings lit up with red neon signs that were obviously Brothels… Very strange experience.

We the re-entered Germany and stopped off to get a Vignette to allow travel on the Austrian Motorways. Just after midnight we crossed the Austrian Border and stopped at the scheduled rest stop at the first Austrian motorway services. We found a dark area in the car park and got our heads down for about 3 hours, had a coffee and some food and then hit the road, driving across Austria through the night. Lots of motorways through the mountains with big long tunnels.

Once the sun rose we were on more minor Austrian Roads. We came across a few cars stopped at the side of the road and then saw that oe of them was Mike Charlton whh had lost a rear wheel due to a sheared halfshaft just behind the hub. An all too common issue on Spitfires, Heralds, Vitesses and non-rotoflex GT6s. We helped Mike get his car off the road using a trolley jack into a nearby farm where the Austrian farmer was friendly and happy for him to park the stricken car there while he arranged recovery and a hire car.
Using a Trolley Jack to move Mike's stricken Spitfire off the road

Then it was back on the road through southern Austria, we climbed a high mountain pass and went through a tunnel across the Slovenian Border.
Southern Austria

Southern Austria

Southern Austria

Beautiful Slovenia

Slovenia was stunning, fantastic scenery and winding mountain pass roads. We stopped off at a roadside Café with some of the other teams and had some really nice and reasonably priced food and drink for lunch.
Filling up with Fuel in Slovenia


Mike's Stag in Slovenia



Then it was onwards and across the border to Italy for more mountain passes and onto Cortina for our overnight stop. Cortina is a very pretty Italian Ski resort, this time of year there is no snow but it’s still a nice place and full of tourists. We found a bar with an outside terrace and a few of the other teams joined us for Beer. We then went across the road for a very nice meal with lots of wine with Mike Bishop and Dave Jones’s teams.



Dam at the top of Sauris Pass, Italy

Dam at the top of Sauris Pass, Italy

Dam at the top of Sauris Pass, Italy

Dam at the top of Sauris Pass, Italy



The TR7 in nice company at the Hotel in Cortina

Hotel in Cortina

In the morning we left Cortina and used one of the shortened routes to get across to the optional Jaufen and Timmelsjoch Alpine passes which were excellent. We stopped off between these two passes for a very tasty Pizza lunch before crossing the border into Austria via the Timmelsjoch pass.

Dolomite Mountains, Italy

A Dolomite in the Dolomite Mountains

Jaufen Pass

Jaufen Pass

Jaufen Pass

Jaufen Pass

Jaufen Pass

Links to Videos Driving the Timmelsjoch Pass:-
After Timmelsjoch it was a run through Austria via the Austrian Tyrol region and into Germany. We passed the amusingly named town “Wank” on the way through! We arrived at Ulm for our Hotel in reasonable time. We were however in a pretty rough bit of town. We went out to find somewhere for beer and food and most of the bars looked very dodgy. We found a Bistro that looked ok but they had stopped serving food so we asked them to recommend somewhere and they directed us to a local Greek Restaurant. We had a nice Greek meal anyway. Then the next day after breakfast it was onwards with the last day of the run.

After a detour into France it was back into Germany with a lunch stop at Maccy D’s.
Lunch Stop Pirmasens Maccy Ds in Germany

Lunch Stop Pirmasens Maccy Ds in Germany

Lunch Stop Pirmasens Maccy Ds in Germany
Then it was onwards to Luxembourg. We were driving along the motorway in Luxembourg when there was a very loud bang followed by a clattering noise. We pulled over and flipped the bonnet and found that the bolt which holds the alternator bracket to the engine block was missing together with it’s spacer. Strange as we hadn’t touched that bolt when replacing Alternators! We were a bit stuck as we didn’t have a replacement bolt long enough, then I came up with a cunning bodge to use tywraps which worked a treat. We stopped a few times to tighten up the fan belt and the tywraps but the bodge certainly got us home.
Tywrap Bodge got us home!

We continued through Luxembourg and into Belgium, we deviated from the suggested route slightly in Belgium to use motorways up past Spa circuit as it was quicker and less strain on our bodged repair. We arrived in good time to the finish at Rolduc and parked the car up in the courtyard with the other Triumphs.
Photos from the finish at Rolduc Abbey, Holland

A good evening was had at Rolduc with the other teams sinking lots of beer and having a barbeque.

In the morning after breakfast it was time to hit the road back to the ferry for England. Sadly I had a phone call shortly after we left from Ashley Mills advising me that Bill Goodwin had passed away overnight. We were supposed to be using Bill’s car for the run and acting as his co-drivers but he pulled out so we were already missing him and his passing was a real dampener. Bill was a great character, a real Triumph enthusiast, always had time to talk to everyone and make friends. He had completed several 10CRs and RBRRs with the club and although based in the US he kept a Dolomite in the UK just for Club events. He will be missed by all at the club, RIP Bill my American friend.
Bill as I will remember him (in the check shirt and green cap) Talking Triumphs while drinking beer with fellow enthusiasts. Taken in the Isle of Wight back in 2011.






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