View Full Version : A road trip of a life time

15-06-2012, 09:40 PM
There I was rolling back from the Ring on on Tuesday 29th May when the phone rang, It was my good friend Ian asking me did I have time to bring one of his Classic cars over to Nice in the next day or so, Mmmm I thought for only a second, " Yep I can do that"

there are a lot of Pics but not many at the start of the trip so roll with me!

There was a lot of planning to be done, so first thing Wednesday morning I started working out how to get to Dublin to pick up the car, which involved lifts to airports, Planes, Ferry's ect so after a mad few hours of working out the best routes, Mainly cheapest as booking these things last minute is not the best way to get a good price, a plan was formed.

Due to the timing I needed a second driver for the run across France, so My good Friend Rory (who at the start of May had never been to a Race track before and now has been to Silverstone, Paul Ricard, the Ring, and soon to add Monaco to the list) was press ganged into coming along to help with the driving (it did not take much to get in on board)

so on Wednesday at 23.30 we set of for the 88 miles to Stanstead Airport were I was to jump on the first Ryanair flight to Dublin at 6am with the Echeck in, I only had to be there at 4.45am but as this would stuff any chance of sleep for both of us it was decided to go early and at least Rory could get some sleep once back home.

To my surprise there was a lot of people trying to get a few winks of sleep on the hard floor at standstead but by 4.30 the security gates were opened and there was a rush to get there 100ml bottles of shampoo through and get a seat to try some odd sleeping positions on, lol

after trying this for 30 mins I need to walk around, as the very expensive Dutypaid shops started to open (Must have been shopping online for to long) this killed just enough time for the gate to come up on the bord for the flight, I must say it was a mad system you need to be at the gate 20 mins before the flight they tell you 25 mins before which gate and it takes 15 mins to walk there, well less waiting around is a good thing, on to the plan and I find my modified Knee is perfect for allowing me to get into the very Small seat, Ryanair just amazing how they have cut every thing to the bone, any how its just a expensive bus with wings for me so not a problem.

Arrived at Dublin Airport in the pouring rain, straight on to the airbus and down to meet David who was going to take me the last 3 miles to pick up the Car (Now if you are still with me) you will be wondering just what this Classic is?

A few details, Made in 1969 in England and exported to California and then came bake to the UK in the mid 1990's

you will have wait just a wee while more to find out just what it is :chin:and no scrolling down :nono:

Well it was not sure if the Battery was good to go, so on arriving at Ian's House and entrance made, we stuck her on charge for a bit while tools and water and Oil checks were made all seem to be good

On inspection of paper work it was revealed the car had only done 7K miles in the last 15 years and only done 62542 miles form new and I was going to drive the best part of 1500 miles in under 52 hours, the realisation of the task in hand seemed daunting, for a few seconds.....

So I would have to live up to my record of always getting the job done, Armed with my ADAC Plus card what could possibly go wrong?

a bit of light breakfast and it was time to get the car out of her warm garage into rain. Roof up or down? Shame as I do not make a habit of driving drop heads with the roof up!

well its only .7 mile to the ferry in Dun Laoghaire so roof down, the road trip is off to a good start with the car firing up first time and David leads me down to the port http://i495.photobucket.com/albums/rr314/hartybruce/E%20to%20Monaco/290720101199.jpg
checking in is very simple and no wait straight on to the ferry and we are off in a few mins, http://i495.photobucket.com/albums/rr314/hartybruce/E%20to%20Monaco/290720101215-1.jpg.
Right. Find some real Hot food and then some were to get my head down for the 3 odd hours of the crossing,

on arriving at holyhead it was really raining so hood up, Was glad the Car started first time and I was off into the rain off North Wales, with only a short stop to fill the tank at a near by Morrison's, well just past Anglesea things started to get a little better the rain looked like it was easing a little


Can you guess yet what the car is?

Just 60 miles into the Journey the rain stopped and as the heat in the cockpit was warm to say the least it was time for the roof to come down! and the real motoring started :veryhappy:

moe to come a lots of pics!

15-06-2012, 09:51 PM
Austin healey 3000

15-06-2012, 10:20 PM
Thats brill, looking forward to the rest :thumb:

15-06-2012, 10:27 PM
If that last pic was in the car you're in then its an E-Type?

15-06-2012, 11:22 PM
Yes its the E type

A quick call on route to Richard My friend who had been at the Ring with me a few days before, to get me some dinner on route in Cheshire, arrived at his around 6pm and stayed an Hour, so well fed and well watered I was off again as I had to pick Rory up from home and head down to Dover to jump on the 4am ferry at Dover

The schedule was real but did not leave a lot of time at this stage for messing around, arrived At my house at 11.55pm just time for a shower and pick up a small bag (flying back easyjet so still needed to pack small)

Rory gave the car a Drink and did the oil checks, all OK and we were ready to roll down to Dover
Hood still Down we set off, It was decided as I would drive the E this leg as it was dark and being left hand drive, a quick stop for fuel and we had time in hand to cruise at 65 mph to the 4am ferry, Arrived with just the right amount of time IE straight on to the ferry, so the first 400 miles had all gone well, now time for some more sleep, which by now was very welcome :thumb:

Landing in France it was now 7am CET and down to the Auchan at Dunkirk to fully fill the tank and Rory took the wheel



after a few hours on the road we fell out with Rory's Satnav as it did not want to find Nice, so I got mine out as it had Ian House address in it


there was still a long way to go and Rory was loving the driving and I was doing a little of that rear thing sleeping 4 hours in the last 50 hours was not proving to be enough :lol:


getting on for lunch time and it was warming up and time for a driver change, so a stop at one of the AIRstops they have on route in France and time to do a round of checks I was still setting up the timing as it was a little to far retarded and the Carbs need a tweek on the E type which is a 4.2 Mk2


Being old school, there is a small wheel on the side of the distributer which allows you to dile in the timing, it only takes a small amount to get it spot on 1/4 turns at a time so over a few stops you could feel it was getting there, then to check the dwell with my meator the distance the points open! then to set the carbs, we could see the MPG rising slowly with the power.

think the E was shy hiding lol

all OK and a quick change and we are back on the road with me behind the wheel again

we were being followed by a large group of UK cars on some sort of Rally to Spain which we found out at one of the petrol stops

Back on the road it was getting on now and as we had a running speed of around 65 mph as not to stress the old E type we needed to keep rolling

the speedo flicked between 40 and 80 so the satnav was used for speed read outs

as you can see it was hard work on roads like this

Ian had suggested that we should take the Root N85 which would take us across the Alps the most direct way
so heading towards Grenoble on roads like this

16-06-2012, 12:25 AM
During a Quick call from Ian to see how we were getting on I had to ask him how much we had to pay for this FAB road trip, at which point he assured me it was a paying Job not a big earner but one that would still leave us a little in hand. WOW is all I could say, I could do this most days of the week lol
the sun was starting to set and as we had made very good running and we getting into the Alps we decided a good feed up and a bed for the night was in order


A quick stop for look at the view and we were off to the next small town for that food and bed


this was funny as we were very late by now 10.30 and the kitchen was closing so we did not get to see the menu and were just served very fast
it was very good if not a little over the top and it kept coming at great speed
and more

The room was the only one they had left so and Rory had done a good deal in his best French which is very good he has spent a lot of time living in France over the last 10 years
a Twin room and a Double room sharing a bath room so a family room if you like

I had a welcome 6 hours sleep before we were up early to get back on the road, not a bad view from the room

and even the E had been given a nice place to sleep for the night

AS you can see we brought our very own Camraman lol even with the wodows down it was warm

the roads had loads of rocks next to them lol

we were glad that we had stopped the night before because the mountains were just perfect in the early morning sunshine, its was starting to warm up a lot




We came a Cross a nice Super U so it was decided to stop to pick up Breakfast and get some Oil for the E as she was need of a small drink




the N85 or route Napoleon - a road that all the bikes know or should know!

We had been passing these two - a VX220 and an Elise - all the way down from the ferry, they were surprised to see us once again lol



One Pic here, we remembred to shut the door before taking a Pic lol

16-06-2012, 01:44 AM
This pic could be straight out of the 1969 Jag brochure?




time for a driver change as Rory had started the day off

It was a Tad warm even with the wind in the hair!






As we got closer to the coast it started to get colder then the Sea fog set in
I can tell you it made it hard work on the very twisty part, at one point we could not see the end of the bonnet very slow and very careful progress was made



then as fast as it came, it was gone, so we dropped down to Grasse and along the coast to Monaco




We did a couple of laps of the F1 track as it had only just been reopened after last weeks race. It was staggering the amount of rubber on the road in the braking zones

Wel,l if you are in an E in Monaco what else can you do :lol:

Casino Square and Hotel de Paris where some one shouted :shout: "now thats a proper car" as he was getting out of his Lambo :rolf:


it was getting late now and so it was time to get back to Ian's and find some food as he was away

16-06-2012, 01:45 AM

just time for the E to have a quick wash, and us, then down to old town Nice for some Late food

then it was bed at 1am
up at 6.30 with just time to say a goodbye to the" E" 1264 trouble free miles at 23.5MPG from a 1969 car that has only had basic work done on it

over the road to the bus stop to jump on the bus to Nice airport for only 1 Euro

A big thank you to my Co Driver Rory Who was ace and a massive Help with all the Frence Speaking, I am sure he had a lot of fun as well :-)

where we jumped onto a flight to Gatwick and home

A mad few days but one I will never forget - well, 'til I drive the Healy down later in the year :veryhappy:

16-06-2012, 03:24 AM
That's awesome, Bruce. What a fantastic trip :veryhappy:

Dave B
16-06-2012, 06:23 AM
Brilliant Bruce. Thanks for sharing. :veryhappy:

Chris D
16-06-2012, 07:34 AM
Great trip Bruce : thumb:

16-06-2012, 08:23 AM
Bruce, that's a brilliant report of what must have been a memorable trip!

Many thanks for taking the time to write it for us :veryhappy:.

16-06-2012, 08:38 AM
Love the colour of that e type

16-06-2012, 09:59 AM
brilliant - great write up and pics - the stuff of dreams

16-06-2012, 10:22 AM
Love the trip report! Will do that journey at some point in the future. :thumb:

Love that e Type!

16-06-2012, 11:12 AM
Enjoyed that :thumb: (only thing better than a trip like that would be getting paid for it... oh hang on! :lol: )

16-06-2012, 12:30 PM
Brilliant read, thanks for posting :D. Jammy git! Be interesting to back to back the two classics :D.

16-06-2012, 04:30 PM
Love the colour of that e type

Agree :thumb: Totally awesome car. Totally awesome trip. A proper Brucie bonus, Bruce :fishing:

16-06-2012, 05:22 PM
Great report Bruce, would love to do something like that!:thumb:

16-06-2012, 05:41 PM
Bloody hell, what a lovely mission to go on!
Fecking love the colour of that Jaguar, do you happen to know what they call it?

Dave B
16-06-2012, 05:58 PM
Similar to allegro brown'ish :fish:

16-06-2012, 06:52 PM
Thanks for sharing

16-06-2012, 07:31 PM
Enjoyed reading that Bruce - tho obviously not as much as you enjoyed the trip, which seemed bloody great.

16-06-2012, 08:38 PM
Fantastic report Bruce,
really well written and great photos.
Looked like you had a whale of a time too. :thumb:
It was a little wierd seeing my name in there so much though. :wink:

16-06-2012, 09:43 PM
It was a little wierd seeing my name in there so much though. :wink:

What with the recent e-type find, the start in ireland etc I presumed it was you :lol:

16-06-2012, 10:00 PM
What with the recent e-type find, the start in ireland etc I presumed it was you :lol:

Unfortunately not, :lol:
that E-Type is now in England. :wink:

17-06-2012, 02:01 PM
a wonderful read, thank you for sharing :)

17-06-2012, 03:52 PM
Bloody hell, what a lovely mission to go on!
Fecking love the colour of that Jaguar, do you happen to know what they call it?

I think they called it Olive Green

18-06-2012, 11:25 PM
Have added a few moor pic's and have some video if any one is intrested and if I can work out how to up load it!

Thank for reading and glad you like it,

so what you pay to drive an E down the N85? Because its being thought about as a tour/Rally

19-06-2012, 04:29 AM
Absolutely amazing! Brilliant report Bruce, you must have felt like a movie star driving across the alps and into Monaco in an E-type.

Trip of a life time for sure. Very Jealous!

Jim Cameron
19-06-2012, 05:52 AM
One of the best bonnet views ever, surely?:chin:

19-06-2012, 06:45 AM
Insanely jealous! Good thing you didn't post this up while the trip was going... then me read it... and then you break down.

19-06-2012, 07:58 AM
Great report, Bruce :thumb:

What a fabulous trip :veryhappy:

19-06-2012, 08:34 AM
One of the best bonnet views ever, surely?:chin:

Jim I took 100 of shots like that it's just the best and its hard not to stair down the vents as you are driving to try and catch a glims of the engine lol

19-06-2012, 08:38 AM
Absolutely amazing! Brilliant report Bruce, you must have felt like a movie star driving across the alps and into Monaco in an E-type.

Trip of a life time for sure. Very Jealous!

it did cross my mind as Matt Monro was playing, to head down to Italy to find some gold to bring back, but them remembered what happend to the fast Cars in the Italan Job :lol:

19-06-2012, 12:44 PM
Brilliant read, Bruce, thanks for taking the time to share it :thumb:

And I really do now have Matt Monroe's 'On days like these' in my head :lol:

19-06-2012, 01:13 PM
I prefer the Matt Monro version:wave:

19-06-2012, 01:25 PM
Each to their own :pokeyeye:

Tim in Yorkshire
20-06-2012, 10:13 PM
Great pics!:thumb:

GTR Cook
28-06-2012, 12:20 PM
I am now officially jealous.

Great write up and i now have the urge to drive to Nice :veryhappy:

28-06-2012, 02:49 PM

I once had some Pax laps round Goodwood in an E-Type.
Fabulous machines.

28-06-2012, 03:26 PM
For me this was the best bit of the thread :D


28-06-2012, 03:32 PM
For me this was the best bit of the thread :D
You like tramlines?

Gary Kinghorn
28-06-2012, 06:04 PM
Nice report, I enjoyed reading that. I'm not a lover of E types, but I envy you loads for this trip :thumb: