Monday, June 19, 2006

4:50 AM...

...Is an ungodly time of the morning. But since I am an ungodly fellow, that was when I dragged myself from my bed yesterday. In truth it was no hardship, I'd been awake since about four. Still, the dogs looked rather surprised when I went into the kitchen - sleepy still and wondering what was going on. They were quite happy to be fed then, of course. Probably hoped they'd get another bowlful when the Horse Doctor finally appeared a few hours later.


The only good thing to be said for that time of the morning is that the roads are largely free of traffic. I made very good time to Kettering, turning up at Boughton House almost on the dot of half past eight. There were plenty of lost looking people wandering around, but no sign of the organising committee who had demanded I turn up then. Everything had been laid out the day before, so there wasn't much to do beyond parking. Even the burger stand hadn't set up by then, so I didn't get the second breakfast I had promised myself. Bah.

So what was I doing in Northamptonshire on a sunny Sunday morning in June? Well the Alfa Romeo Owners Club have an annual get-together, and they like to lump all the cars of each model together. Since Alfa have been making cars for a very long time, there are a lot of different models to choose from, classic and modern. Some of them are gorgeous, some less so, but there's always a champion for each model, even the best-forgotten Arna.

It's a Nissan, really

For whatever reason must have seemed appropriate at the time, the GT register parking area had been put alongside the New GTV and Spider section, and some bright spark had decided to lump the Brera in with us as well. Since this has only been on sale for a day or two, I didn't think there would be many turn up, but two made it by ten o'clock (which was when the gates were meant to open, and when almost half the cars had already arrived - keen these alfisti). We were in danger of being squeezed out by the 156s, but in the end only five GTs turned up out of the expected ten, so it was all right.

but this is a proper Alfa Romeo - a Matta, since you ask.

There's only so much you can talk about with a complete stranger the only thing you have in common with is that you've bought the same model of car, and I hadn't really gone to National Alfa Day to talk about GTs, anyway. I was looking for information about Duettos to help with the ongoing restoration of JulieD, and to try and see some more interesting motors whilst I was there.

GTs all in a row

There were a few roundtail 1750 spiders, and a couple of 1300 spider juniors, but only one Duetto, which was a shame. It did have a tidy engine bay, and I was able to photograph the 'farina' badges on the side so I can work out where mine should go. These are the problems faced by the restorer of classic cars.

you can get quite a polish on aluminium if you try

I had a quick look at the autojumble for parts, but since I have no work at the moment, spending money on bits for tinkering with was out of the question. Fortunately they didn't have anything I needed, but it was an eye-opener seeing people pay good money for rusty old bits of unidentifiable junk.

There were only a few pre-war alfas there, more's the pity. I suppose when your car's worth close on a million quid you don't take it out much.

1932 8C - probably (I could have the year wrong) - Mmmm

Someone had obviously made it known that I was running the GT register, as most of the afternoon I was accosted by innumerable strange people wanting to know all sorts of strange things about the car. I was even asked where the pollen filter was and how to change it. I suggested to this fellow that he ask the garage that sold it to him.

Pre-war 1750. They don't make them like this anymore.

My overall impression of National Alfa Day was that, unless you were after hard-to-source parts, wanted to enter the concourse competition or needed to speak face to face with one of the committee members, then there wasn't a whole heap to do. Some people were selling their cars, and the entire Dutch Alfa Romeo Owners Club had turned up, but all too soon I got bored and headed home.

the lightweight, competition built tz - very rare.

Next year it's going to happen a bit closer to Wales, which is probably just as well. I'm not sure it was really worth such an early start.

Dutch RZ


Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

Okay, why wasn't this post here yesterday when I came? Is your date thing screwed up? Or is blogger playing hide and seek on me?

June 20, 2006 6:30 pm  
Blogger JamesO said...

Blogger is indeed a strange beast. It tells me I posted yesterday at 4:53 PM, but that's a lie. I didn't post until the back of nine, or around two in the afternoon your time.

It's almost half nine now, and I haven't got around to posting anything for today. I'd better get my finger out.

June 20, 2006 8:30 pm  
Blogger JamesO said...

You see. It says 8.30 PM in the comments. But that's a lie, too.

June 20, 2006 8:31 pm  

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