The maximum point count for Saturday involved crossing up to eight Alpine passes (subsequently, we found out that we could have done nine). And yes, we decided to go for eight. The day went well, and it was here that the 216GTi really excelled. The ride may be firm, but the handling is very crisp, and although the engine lacks torque, it has plenty of power if you are prepared to rev it. And yes, this is what I did. Sadly, I entered into “competition” mode and thrashed the poor little car up and down all the passes which I was behind the wheel for. Keeping the revs up was fun, as the car sounds so good above 5000rpm, it would have been rude not to treat the car this way. Using first for each lacet, and rocketing up each hill, I passed car after car, and although this was not what S2N is about, we were having fun. Well, I was. Not so sure about Declan and Alexander…
Stelvio lived up to expectations… and again, we found it prudent to pass one particular car which was throwing out fuel every time it went round a left-hand lacet. Once we got to the top, we took a rest and chatted to some of the other contestants. One plucky guy had decided to do the S2N run in his mother’s Maestro Vanden Plas… said mother was 94 years old, and she wants the car back. I don’t doubt for a moment that he’ll make it.
After the passes, we arrived in a small market town in northern Italy called Tirano, and ended up partying until quite late. Many, many interesting people make up S2N, and each and every entrant we chatted to was a complete petrolhead… How about the posh pair who own a Bristol and MGC between them, competing in the event in a Polo 1.3? They were brave, though: when one of the Metros on the event (that of the S6 Boyz) lost its brakes going up Stelvio, these guys travelled in front of them on the way down and were prepared to act as a buffer for the Metro if it could not stop. Luckily, it could.
As far as we could tell, only a couple of cars were lost during the first two days. A testament to how great these £100 cars are.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics 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 unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
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