Decisions, Decisions – 2016?

Moving on from reflections of 2015 – it’s time to look forward and consider how to indulge my motoring interests in 2016. What events should I attend and what improvements can I make to my ’71 2.2 L 911E? Decisions, decisions!

With a bit of careful planning – it would be easily possible to spend most of my weekends attending one form of motoring activity or another but this would certainly be a fast-track to divorce. Instead I need to carefully select those events that:-

a) Stand-out in terms of their quality, variety and spectacle,

b) Present an opportunity to meet up with old mates,

c) Provide new motoring experiences.

On the car front – my aim is to continue gradual improvement of my 911 with some mechanical and cosmetic upgrades as time, money and availability of parts & services allow.

So here are my thoughts on car events I could attend and car improvements I could make during 2016.

2016 Car Events

January

The deadest part of the winter dead-zone. There are motoring events out there but the weather, salty roads and gloom simply don’t engender the enthusiasm to drag yourself out of bed or peel yourself away from the fireside. Yawn……………….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

February

As hours of daylight noticeably lengthen we finally start to stir out the winter motoring torpor.

London Classic Car Show – 18th to 21st Feb 2016

This years 2016 London Classic Car Show at the Excel Exhibition Centre in London’s Docklands promises to be bigger and better than last year’s inaugural event so it’s all sounding quite promising.

The provision of an open area in the centre of the exhibition space in which cars are occasionally driven around is quite novel for an enclosed show and I think it’s well worth the effort. What’s not to like about hearing finely tuned engines being fired up and enthusiastically revved as they drive around on demo runs?

I’ve bought my tickets so just counting the days now.

March

March usually heralds the start of serious motoring events for those hardy enough to brave the chilly conditions of Britains race track and hill climb venues.

Goodwood 74th Members Meeting – 19th to 20th March 2016

I’ve attended both the Festival of Speed and the Revival but I think I really need to try out the Goodwood 74th Members Meeting on the grounds that it has such great racing with some cracking cars and drivers.

April

Spring has sprung and events are now coming thick and fast.

World Endurance Championship – 6 Hours of Silverstone – 15th to 17th April 2016

Always bloody freezing but always a great spectacle – the 2016 WEC 6 Hours of Silverstone provides a a great kick-start to the professional racing season.

Porsche securing the 2015 Constructors and Drivers Championship and winning Le Mans (the jewel in the WEC crown) will undoubtedly spur Audi and the rest of the competition to come out fighting in 2016.

April/May

Bank Holidays allow for multi-day events.

Donington Historic Festival – 30th April to 2nd May 2016

I really like the Donington Historic Festival as it’s organised by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. The Wheatcroft family own and run the venue and also maintain a wonderful collection of historic race cars in their museum.

I used to visit Donington when I first got really interested in classic cars and classic racing in the late ’70’s/early ’80s and it’s so nice to see it back up there as a premier classic racing venue.

Car clubs are really well catered for and its and incredibly friendly gathering of car mad people. It’s not a case of whether I’ll go or not – I just need to work out how many days I can stretch my visit to this for year’s event.

Prescott Hill Climb La Vie en Bleu & La Vita Rosso – 28th to 29th May 2016

Prescott Hill Climb is the home of the Bugatti Owners Club and it hosts a whole host of events for motorcycles, vintage & classic cars and more modern machinery throughout the year.

I had a great time at this particular event on my first visit in 2015 and really want to go again. This year’s twin themes of French racing blue and Italian racing red should bring some interesting old cars out to play on the hill. I might try a to fit in another Prescott pilgrimage later in the year.

June

The Summer season of car events commences.

Le Mans 24 Hour Race- 18th to 19th Jun 2016

The Le Mans 24 Hour Race is an event that all serious car mad folk need to attend at least once in their lifetime. I’ve been many times so I’ll probably err more towards Classic Le Mans this year as I’ve never managed to attend it up to now and it’s only held every two years.

July

Foreign trips and Silverstone Classic indulgence beckon.

Classic Le Mans – 8th to 10th Jul 2016

I’m sad to admit that I’ve never attended Classic Le Mans but this year might my first trip if time, work commitments and the Mrs. permit.

Touring through France is always a joy but when you fortuitously find yourself in a classic car convoy with like minded people it just takes the experience to a different level providing you with many, many smiles per gallon!

The other great thing is the enthusiastic and interested response you get from the French populous as you blast down their great motorways, cruise along their scenic N-roads or pass though their lovely towns and villages.

Hotel de France - Chartres sur Loire
Hotel de France – La Chartre sur Loire

One of my abiding memories was meeting up with a bunch of friends for lunch at the famous Hotel de France in La Charte sur Loire the day before the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hour Race. This hotel used to be the base for race teams such as Aston Martin and Porsche whilst they were competing at and much of this history is displayed on photographs around the walls of the hotel.

Visiting enthusiasts  and locals alike share the enjoyment inspecting classic machinery parked outside the hotel in the small town square. Well worth a visit if you’re in the area.

Silverstone Classic – 29th to 31st Jul 2016

When I attended the 2015 event I drove to and from over the two days I was there. I’ll organise somewhere local to stay for the 2016 Silverstone Classic as there’s so much to see and do and it’s spread out so widely over the sprawling Northamptonshire countryside.

August

Hmm – how do I fill August? Work in progress…….!

September

Autumnal close encounters of the classic kind.

Classics At The Castle Pre ’73 Porsche Event at Hedingham Castle- 4th Sep 2016

I’m already really looking forward to this event as it just gets better and better. The venue is great and it attracts a fantastic turn out of Pre ’73 Porsches from all parts of the world.

Looking forward to meeting up with old friends and seeing some lovely old Porsches.

Kop Hill Climb – 17th to 18th Sep 2016

I had a great time at the 2015 event so this year’s Kop Hill Climb is a definite entry in my diary. To be honest – I’d quite like to take my 911 up the hill.

Santa Pod Raceway

Like hill climbing – drag racing is another motorsport discipline that I’ve failed to fully connect with over the years so with 2016 marking the 50th anniversary of Santa Pod Raceway it’s definitely time to address this appalling neglect.

Sydney Allard was responsible for introducing drag racing to the UK and I’m really hoping to see one of his dragster creations in the flesh sometime soon.

Two events in September have caught my eye:-

  • FIA/FIM European Championships – 8th to11th Sep2016
  • National Finals – 24th to 25th Sep 2016

I’ll aim to attend one of these – diary permitting.

October

The increasing dearth of daylight makes this month the last-gasp for most circuit races and hill climbs?

Prescott Autumn Classic – 1st to 2nd Oct 2016

If I don’t manage to make the La Vie en Bleu/La Vita Rosso event in May – I’ll definitely try to get to this one as it should be just as good albeit with a different theme. Ideally I’ll visit both!

Prescott Hill Climb runs lots of events throughout the year so check them out and get along.

AMOC Silverstone – 1st Oct 2016

Always a fun event the Aston Martin Owners Club meeting at Silverstone in the Autumn has some great cars in the paddock and on track.

HSCC Final Championship Races at Silverstone – 15th Oct 2016

Great end of racing season event in which the drivers push their cars to the limit on the last championship outing of the season.

November/December

Veteran stalwarts lighten the mood during the inexorable slide towards mid-winter.

Regent Street Motor Show – 5th Nov 2016

A 20 minute tube journey gets me to the Regents Street Motor Show so  it’s a no brainer. There’s always something new to see.

London to Brighton Veteran Car Run – 6th Nov 2016

The biggest challenge to attending the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run is getting up early in the morning to see the cars off at dawn in Hyde Park. This year marks the 120th anniversary of the very first run so that’s an even more important reason not to miss it!

It’s hard to comprehend that the event originally celebrated a change in the law increasing the speed limit from 4 to 14 mph and removing the need for a man with a flag to walk in front of the moving car to warn pedestrians and horse drawn traffic of the (slow) advance of a motorised vehicle. Imagine that on the M25!

One-off Visits

Whilst seeing cars being vigorously driven is infinitely more fun than viewing them in static museum displays – there are certain museums that I’m keen to visit.

Audi Museum in Ingolstadt

Auto Union - Coming Soon
Auto Union Race Car

My prime reason for visiting the Audi Museum is to take a journey back through time to the origin of the four rings in pre-war Germany.

Audi is the last surviving member of the four struggling pre-war car manufacturers who combined their resources to form Auto Union in order to weather the economic depression of the 1930s. The other companies – Horsch, DKW and Wanderer did not survive and Audi took over the 4 ring Auto Union badge  to rebuild the company to what it is today.

It’s the Auto Union race and land speed record cars which formed part of the glorious Silver Arrows period of German motor racing history that I’m most keen to see. In particular I’m dying to see the magnificent Streamliner cars which set speed records on banked circuits such as Avus and on the then brand new autobahn road system.

Louwman Museum in the Hague

My good mate Doug recommended a visit to the Louwman Museum and as he’s just moving to work in the Hague there are even more reasons to hop across there and combine a catch-up with friends with a visit to this “cathedral of cars”.

The museum is the world’s oldest private collection of cars having been founded in 1934 and developed over the years by two generations of the Louwman family. It now boasts a collection of over 250 antique and classic cars from the dawn of motoring to modern times.

I feel a 911 sojourn to the Netherlands coming on!

Porsche Museum in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen

Logically – I should combine a visit to the Porsche Museum with a trip to the Audi Museum on a single self-indulgent car-fest visit to Germany. It’ll be fun selling this trip to the Mrs!

I’m keen to see the very first Porsche in the flesh – a beautifully simple mid-engined VW Beetle based sports car which spawned the 356. I’m also keen to see their iconic Porsche race cars – most especially the 917 in its various forms.

Potential 911 Improvements For 2016

Throttle Bodies

The main thing to sort out at the start of the year is a niggling problem with the throttle bodies as this should allow the engine to finally reach its full potential in terms of it’s intended state of tune.

My 911 engine
My 911 engine

During the course of last year I had a metal 2.2S air box fitted to replace the warped plastic one. Then I replaced the wrong air box cups with the right 2.2S ones (sourced from the USA). I also had my refurbished and respecified 2.2S Bosch distributor fitted so the last remaining issue (hopefully) is to sort out the air leak around the throttle body spindles.

Steve at Jaz Porsche has found someone to sort this out early this year so I’m looking forward to getting it sorted.

Airbox Clips

We replaced the warped plastic airbox with a second hand refurbished metal 2.2S airbox only to find that the engine was fitted with the wrong carburettor spec airbox cups. A friend helped locate correct 2.2S cups in the USA and after refurbishment these were fitted only to then find that I had the wrong fastening clips that attach the air box to the cups. I need but cannot find the short clips that seem to be unique to the brief period that the 2.2S engine was fitted with the metal airbox.

Can anyone please tell me where I can find the correct short clips???

Paintwork

In terms of other work on the car – I need to get the paintwork checked out at Sportwagen as some barely visible micro-blistering has appeared the roof of the car which Bruce Cooper at Sportwagen believes is some sort of reaction between the paint he applied some years back and underlying layers.

Sportwagen’s lifetime guarantee for their paintwork means that I have the peace of mind that I can take the car back to have this sorted out. I meant to do this last year but wanted to use the car instead so it’s definitely something to be sorted this year.

The Wheel Thing

Fuchs Deep Six Wheel
Fuchs Deep Six Wheel

One other longer term thing to sort out is to find proper Deep Six wheels. The car is fitted with later Flat Six Fuchs alloys but Kirk – my friend and fount of Fuchs wheel knowledge has told me I really need period correct Deep Six wheels without hearts! He had a set which I kick myself for not buying!

The search goes on.

Rear Wiper

The rear wiper on the car is another thing which I’d like to sort out but in the greater scheme of things it’s not exactly urgent. The wiper I have fitted parks on the left side and is driven directly from the wiper motor that is bolted to the underside of the engine lid.

RHD Rear Wiper
RHD Rear Wiper

To be absolutely period correct for a right hand drive car – the wiper should park on the right of the rear screen and it should be driven via a linkage from the wiper motor to the other side of the engine lid (like on the RHD 2.2S pictured).

Almost certainly another set of hens-teeth-rare parts.

The End – Happy 2016 motoring!

4 thoughts on “Decisions, Decisions – 2016?”

  1. If you can fit it in there, I couldn’t possible recommend Spa Classic more. It’s like Le Mans Classic younger sister in a tight sweater.

    And while you’re in Stuttgart: do pay the Mercedes museum a visit. I know it’s heretical to write this, but it’s actually way betyder than Porsche’s.

    1. Holger,
      Your wonderful description of Spa Classic makes it impossible to resist. Some other friends also recommended it but not in such eloquent terms – I’ll now add it to my wish-list of car events for 2016.
      As regards the Mercedes Museum – you’re right, it would be silly not to include it in my German car museum pilgrimage despite the heresy!
      Cheers,
      Phil.

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