By 21 September 2009 0 Comments Read More →

Adventures in the marvellous Mini of doom!

Dave Smart

Fiat on Home2Rome

Fiat on Home2Rome

Bit of a subdued start

I was up early to put a ticket on the car so I didn’t get clamped/towed as they seemed to be pretty sharp on that in Viterbo, after a quick breakfast, where I met up with the three mad guys from Edinburgh I’d met the night before, I headed to the town square to see the ensuing carnage that the rally normally brings. Whether due to fewer numbers than normal, or people still feeling shabby from the night before, the start of the rally was light hearted but slightly subdued. A couple of guys I knew from a previous rally gave me the remains of one of their water carriers of Ringwood beer.

Once out of Viterbo I headed for Siena via the lake north of town, this seemed to be walled and it wasn’t possible to get into town. Witha all my belongings in the Mini, I didn’t really want to park it anywhere, so I headed for Pisa.

As it turned out, this was exactly the same, I think I managed to see a small piece of the tower before there was the potential of generating too much interest by the local cops.

I decided to head for Modena via the Motorway to make up some time. I stopped for fuel and shot off, once I got to the Modena turning I decided to go to Maranello instead, hoping that I’d get somewhere to stay easier than a big city. It was in Maranello that I discovered that I’d left the keys in the petrol station some 35 miles previous. The car doesn’t need the keys to start it so I hadn’t realised I’d left them behind.

I backtracked to the petrol station where I found the attendant who had served me earlier, he recognised me even wiithout the car and rushed inside to get the keys. It seems in the confusion of trying to give him the correct change, I’d left the keys on the roof of the car and then driven off, the keys had then been driven over and handed in by a member of the public.

I’d been heading north quicker than I would have liked to meet Fin, who I’d met in Budapest, but I got text from him to say not to rush to Milan as he had already left, not getting on all that well with it. Shame, seems I might have to go to Oz now to have that beer.

Eventually back in Maranello I started to look for a hotel and, this being Ferrari country, none of them were particularly cheap. I spotted a Best Western and headed in to check on prices, and this one wasn’t cheap either, but I think the receptionist took pity on me and did me a good deal on a small, but more than adequate, single room. Downstairs, attached to the hotel, was a restaurant where I had the strangest pizza, huge with a great topping, but almost paper thin and very crispy, however it was very good and did just the job…

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.

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