Staples2Naples 2005: Preparations, part three

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

s2n05_02A 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 this year’s challenge will not include a day one challenge to enter as many countries as possible in one day. Last year, we did eight, and I had it in mind that we could do considerably more this time around thanks to there being no check-in time at the end of the day. I had initially thought we could travel through the night sharing the driving and go to the following countries: France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Lichtenstein, The Czech Republic, Slovenia, Italy and Switzerland.

When we were told that this wouldn’t be the format of the event this year, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Could our Allegro 1500 Special have been physically capable of covering that distance within the time allowed? A Rover 827, Saab 9000 or some such, probably… an Allegro which is flat out at 86mph? Not a hope in hell.

Still, that kind of challenge interested me – so Allegro or no Allegro, I was sad to hear we weren’t going for the record…

Since our last S2N update, it has been made clear to us that the concept of support teams and the S2N are not mutually compatible, and thinking about it, I can see why that would be. Relying on your own mettle in a dodgy £100 munter would definitely have the edge taken off if there were a nice comfortable back-up car constantly in the rear view mirror. So, sadly, that means goodbye to Stewart Weller and his bargain Rover Sterling – but I suspect we’ll be seeing him in next year’s S2N – this time, as an entrant!

Organizing our trip did present some pitfalls. Not in the booking of the hotels or ferries (that was the easy part), but in making sure we have the correct ‘accessories’ to take with us. This time round, the organisers have decided to add some spice to the proceedings, and that means dressing up like Clint Eastwood (in Spaghetti Western mode), and each team member carrying a Triple Shot Super Soaker water gun. Not sure what we’re all going to look like – 70-odd teams of Clint Eastwood look-alikes battling through Italy in a variety of decorated bangers. It’s going to be interesting.

I had initially thought we could
travel through the night sharing
the driving and go to the following
countries: France, Belgium, Holland,
Germany, Luxembourg, Austria,
Lichtenstein, The Czech Republic,
Slovenia, Italy and Switzerland…

Anyway, why would the fact we have to carry Triple Shot Super Soakers with us cause a problem? They’re not made anymore – and therefore, are as easy to come across as a set of 13-inch Maestro cheesgrater alloy wheels.

I know some of the teams have really struggled with this – but we have been lucky thanks to Declan’s ability to search the Internet, and a contact in the USA. So, we’re tooled up (well, I’m still looking for a manly looking poncho, but that’s a different matter), and now all we have to do is bone up on our Clint Eastwood films (it seems the organisers wil be questioning us on our Spaghetti Western knowledge at the end of Day three).

Aside from all that, I need to give ‘Molly the beige babe’ a bit of a seeing to. She needs some new brake pads, a flush of brake fluid, new plugs and perhaps some tyres. I found on my last road test that although there’s plenty of tread left on them, they’ve gone off, as at the merest whiff of a corner, she squeals in protest like a stuck pig. It’s funny when taking roundabouts near home, and I am sure I could live with it on the daily commute – but coming down the Italian side of Stelvio? The mind boggles.

She’s still in storage for the time being, but I’m getting her out next weekend, when the preparations will begin.

I’m still wondering about a colour scheme. I don’t think I’ll paint her, as we’ve had this mad idea to bring her back (EasyJet would be too easy, yeah) via the Nurburgring(!) and sell her on, so that precludes messing up the wonderful Harvest Gold colour scheme. However, I would like to add some racing stripes, CCW Editor Russ Smith came up with the perfect solution. He suggested I use some brown packing tape to stripe her up, and that sounds like a damned fine idea!

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up 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 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.
Keith Adams

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