By 26 September 2009 3 Comments Read More →

Be inspired! Take your car on an adventure…

Keith Adams

Dave's Mini of Doom at the Berlin Wall

Dave's Mini of Doom at the Berlin Wall

Regular readers of this blog will know that I’m fortunate enough to get out and about in a number of cool cars and cool places. However, it’s usually for work and that means that, wherever I’m going, the itinery tends to be rushed and I don’t really get time to really appreciate where I am and what I’m doing.

There are exceptions, of course. The banger rallies I’ve been doing since 2004 have provided some marvellous moments – the final day of Staples2Naples 2006 gave me memories that will last with me ’til the day I die – and, in doing so, I’ve met some great people along the way. Dave Smart will be well known to anyone who’s been on an event with him – a larger than life character who drives like a demon, parties like an animal and is just an all round great guy.

Rover 800 at the Tarn Gorge in France

Rover 800 at the Tarn Gorge in France

Andrew Elphick and I shared a Skoda with him last year on the Czech Wrecks rally and had a great time. We’ve both aged considerably as a result but I reckon it was worth it.

When he told me that he’d been given his S2N team mate, Colin Gilchrist’s Mini and was planning to tour Europe in it between contracts, I was delighted. He was planning to live the dream of an open road, an interesting car, and no timetable.

To say I was envious was an understatement. Of course, it’s not been an easy ride – the car’s behaved, but it’s far from comfortable for him – and that’s what makes his pan-European trip so appealing to me.

Lada Riva in Kyiv, Ukraine

Lada Riva in Kyiv, Ukraine

I’ve yet to find out how much Dave has spent along the way, but I’d hazard a guess that it’s somewhat less than a dull long-haul beach holiday. And what has he got instead? New friends, tales to tell, and a sense of real achievement.

Of course, not everyone’s in the position to jump in a car and disappear for the best part of a month but that doesn’t stop one being able to chase the unknown. Got a free weekend and nothing to do? Drive to the Western Highlands of Scotland, or Gibraltar, or maybe East Berlin. Heck, just take the long way home on a road you’ve never used before…

Austin Allegro in Southern Italy

Austin Allegro in Southern Italy

The point is that the car is our enabler and we’re living in a glorious era of freedom of movement – and combining the two brings new experiences, shakes out the cobwebs and broadens the mind.

I’m reading Dave’s travel blogs and getting pangs.

Follow Dave on Getjealous: www.getjealous.com/marvelousminiofdoom
or on AROnline: www.aronline.co.uk/blogs/category/daves-marvellous-mini-of-doom/

Dave's route up to today...

Dave's route up to today...

Posted in: AROnline Blogs
Keith Adams

About the Author:

Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007. Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Clsssics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent... Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasable adventures all across Europe.

3 Comments on "Be inspired! Take your car on an adventure…"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Rusty says:

    Tell him to avoid Sofia and make sure he goes down the coast in Bulgaria. Sofia is an utter shithole.

  2. James Anness says:

    I took my 1997 Volvo V70 to eastern Germany and back in the summer. It was great fun and the car never missed a beat. I also got to take it round the Nurburgring 😀

  3. Simon Woodward says:

    I did Bulgaria and Romania about 10 years ago and I have really enjoyed your blogs. In Romania every one drove Renault(dacia) 12 and next door in Bulgaria they all drove Lada’s I bet its change a lot now but is it still possible to buy a good beer for 12p or 35p for a half descent bottle of local red wine?

Have your say...