This year’s event is very much different, though. For one, there will be no points for numbers of countries entered in the first day – so, without that task to meet, there seemed little point in picking up a 140mph+ car to drive through the night in to rack up thirteen countries (and yes, that is what I was planning). No, the organizers are playing down any road race aspect of the event, leaving us with the appealing prospect of some serious orienteering in some of the most beautiful contryside Europe has to offer.
And without the need for a quick car underneath us, we can take a more relaxed and philosophical to the Staples2Naples challenge.
That left us with the task of finding a suitable car for the event. Now, going on last year’s showing, there would be no better chariot to take than another Rover 216… except for one thing. It’s so damned competent, and so likely to make it to the end, that much of the thrill of taking a £100 banger would be negated. After all, every morning, I woke up knowing we’d make it to the end of the day without missing a beat.
AFTER a late night in Pinetomare with some of the other teams, it seemed we had earned a lie-in after several days’ worth of hard graft at the Molly’s wheel. After some initial worries, she had decided to settle down to a consistent, if rather slow pace – and proved that if you care enough […]
DAY four was the one Alexander was looking forward to the most. We were told it would be a treasure hunt – and little more. On the morning of the event, we congregated in the square at Viterbo, and as we waiting for the organisers to hand out our tasks for the day, we had […]
DAY three provided comedy relief. All the teams were required to dress like Clint Eastwood as he appeared in ‘The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly’, and that meant ponchos, hats and spurs. Instead of the man with no name’s Colt 45, we were all asked to bring along water pistols – big water pistols. […]
WE may have been downtrodden the day before, but nothing recharges you more than waking up in a hotel room, stepping on to the balcony, breathing in clean air, and taking in spectacular Swiss scenery. It made the second day’s challenge of crossing four Swiss passes while taking photographs to match ones we were given […]
BECAUSE the organisers think that 100 cars converging on Staples Corner on a Friday morning could pose some problems, the event starts at the giant CitieEurope shopping complex in Calais. Arriving there in our beige Allegro was a real eye-opener. As we pulled in to the car park, some seemed amazed we made it at […]
THE clutch is on, and the front is still knocking. After tightening every single suspension component and engine mounting, there is still a distinct ‘bocking’ noise coming from the front of Molly… It’s too late to worry now – it’s Italy or bust. Wish us luck, and we’ll be keeping an online diary of the […]
TALK about cutting it fine. I picked up Molly from Marlow Motors in Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire, this evening with a fresh new clutch installed. Our destiny is set – we WILL be taking the Allegro on the Staples2Naples run. I was having doubts yesterday, though. I had dropped the car off at Marlow’s on Saturday, […]
THE prosects of us getting to Naples are up and down like nobody’s business at the moment. After several exploratory pokes around the front suspension, we found that the nearside front CV joint was well and truly up the duff – and needed replacement. So that was done – and a badly buckled wheel replaced. […]
WELL, it isn’t exactly sweetness and light, as it looks like Molly is suffering from a knackered CV joint. I’ll know more when I get it apart at the weekend, but I’m sure it’s fixable. Other than that, she’s driving well, and there are no signs of any trouble – mind you, I’ve yet to […]
NEXT week is crunch time – thanks to an impending Lancia deal falling through, we now only have my 75 and Molly (and another Allegro shaped cars, more of which later), so I’ve drawn the short straw of having to commute to Peterborough in the Allegro for the next week or so. If Molly can […]
MOLLY’S preparations have been going well. A full service has seen her receive new plugs, filters, brakes, and tyres – and since then, she’s been driving very well indeed, thank you very much. Thanks to our selling a couple of cars, Molly may end up being my daily driver for a little while, so any […]
MOLLY has been brought out of hibernation, and the preparations for her long journey to Naples begin in earnest this week. Most importantly, we needed to get some pictures of her for posterity. For me, the most interesting aspect of the day’s events has been to get behind the quartic wheel yet again and get […]
A HORRIBLE thought hit me today as I watched ‘The Italian Job’: we’re going on Staples2Naples next month! How quickly time flies! All has been quiet on the Staples2Naples front, but that is not to say that we’ve not been beavering away planning the event. I must admit I was very pleased to hear that […]
WELL, the deal is done and there is no turning back. The Allegro is paid for, and will be travelling to austin-rover.co.uk Towers in the next few days. I have to say that after seeing the car up close again, I’m becoming more confident that we’ll make it to Naples (and probably back again) in […]
MORE details to follow soon, but I couldn’t resist showing you all a sneek-peek of our Staples2Naples 2005 car. Yes, it’s an Allegro. And, yes, it has a quartic wheel. Sweep stakes have already started at work… will it actually make it to Naples or not?
THIS year’s event is very much different, though. For one, there will be no points for numbers of countries entered in the first day – so, without that task to meet, there seemed little point in picking up a 140mph+ car to drive through the night in to rack up thirteen countries (and yes, that […]