Adventures in the marvellous Mini of doom!
Gdansk to Poznan
Another late start saw me pushed for time for the day, my only real plan was to get to Prague by late Monday afternoon to meet some friends at the end of the CzechWrecks rally (see www.streetsafari.com) The trip from Gdansk to Prague some 470 miles would seem perfectly achievable in a long day, even in a Mini, but knowing Polish roads this wasn’t really possible.
I set off from Gdansk at about 3 in the afternoon. A Mini owning friend of Jagoda kindly guided me south to his home town, after which I was on my own.
I decided to use a toll road as it was a dual carriageway it cost 12Zl (approx £4) for the 50 miles I used it, but was worth every penny as it made life much easier. Whilst on the road I was overtaken by a Polish registered AC Cobra replica, it’s occupants gave me a big thumbs up, I was delighted.
At the tolls I also saw some form of Rolls Royce drophead, so a couple of interesting cars in one day. The rest of the road to Poznan was single carriageway and as usual was hard work. As I arrived in the town I needed the lights, but was apprehensive after last night’s antics, and rightly so. The belt squeaked louder and longer than I had ever heard and all the tricks I knew to stop it failed. I resorted to a good old squirt of WD40 which sufficed for a short period. As the squeaking became unbearable I found a relatively plush hotel and, not wanting to have to use the emergency tent, I settled down for the evening with thoughts of an early start to replace the belt in the morning.
This is something I really should have done before I left the UK, but I thought I could make it to Erwin’s near Eindhoven and do it there. As it turned out it needed tightening when I got off the ferry in Dunkirk and again at Erwins. Why oh why didn’t I just replace it on either of those occasions, simply an additional 5-10 minutes more than just tightening. Nearly got caught out with that one so in future I’ll not soldier on as I might not be so lucky next time!
The hotel was well appointed with a pool and Jacuzzi, but all thoughts of them disappeared as I headed downstairs for dinner. After ordering what appeared to be some oven baked stew, a grilled steak arrived with what the menu described as ‘potato meringues’ these turned out to be deep fried piped mashed potato in a shape that looked like mini meringues, how strange.
I used the computer in my room to access the internet. It seems, in my experience, it is very difficult to get access to Facebook or Hotmail in Poland, several other sites worked perfectly well including the AA site for planning routes and this site, also very strange.
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.