Basingstoke Festival of Transport 2008.
As all you lot who've been following "twolanes top end tales" know, (and if you haven't, why not?), we had a fair bit of work to do to "The Stinger", our Competition Altered drag car, to get it to the Basingstoke show and running, (just). We fired the engine for the first time on Saturday afternoon and found the fuel problem. Saturday was a long day and we all got home late & very tired. Sunday started at 5.15am. At 6.30 I phoned Steff and woke him up. Met up with Steve and Joe at 7am in Streatham, then set off to meet Perry enroute on the A3. Took a nice easy paced cruise to Basingstoke where Pete, Pet, James, luke, Haley and the trailer driver Joe had arrived and unloaded the Altered. Taz re-parked the Charger a few times until everyone was happy with the vehicle layout.
We put on our team shirts for the first time, (I had to wear one of Steff's as someone -hi Pet- forgot to take mine), and we just had to wear our team jackets as we walked past everyone, (took them off real quick though cos by now it was getting seriously warm). I talked to Pete about changing the dodgy fuel pump, but he said not to bother and we wouldn't fire it up. Well that lasted right up to the moment Brock fired up the Black Pig. As Brock switched off Pete turned round and said "get in then and go for it", (Steve told me he heard us fire up from the other end of the truck and bus area). Had a lot of comments from the public through the day, (we were on the busiest and best pitch), and made a bit of noise -what could be better?, Packed up and set off home, nearly running out of petrol in the Charger, (used half a tank getting there). It was on empty as I pulled into the garage. Taught an Aston Martin a lesson on the way, then passed Joe towing the Altered on the A3. Spent a small fortune on fuel but offset it by only buying a couple of rolls and cold drinks and offset that saving by smoking loads. Met some great people and put a few faces to the names, saw some great trikes and loved the BSA bike. The whole team had a fantastic day out.
Was it worth the big push to get the car ready 2 weeks earlier than first planned? YOU BET IT WAS!!
Would we all do it again? YES, YES, YES!!
-Twolanes, PDP racing.
We met up with Dave, (Twolanes, black '68 Charger), Joe, (red Dodge truck), and Perry, ('55 convertible Chevy), at 7:15 am and had a great cruise to the showground. Weather was absolutely perfect, sunny and cool. We arrived at 9:00ish and by then it was really warm! There was a continuous stream of all sorts of vehicles entering the fields, including bikes, trikes, buses, fire engines, military vehicles, steam engines & who knows what else. There was definitely something there for everyone.
The Manky Monkey Motors stand looked great with the two Altereds, Andy’s Pop, all the Yanks and bikes and trikes! Seemed to be a constant buzz of people around the stand all day!
We walked around the field we were in for a while then through to the other field. I was amazed at how many vehicles were there. All the old commercial vehicles, ambulances, fire trucks, buses, Lambrettas, Vespas, Triumphs, BSAs, Fords, Austins -the list goes on and on.
It was great to chat to people about their vehicles and have people ask questions about ours. It was nice to meet some of the MMMotors crew and put faces to the names, a real nice bunch of guys, (& gals). Such a relaxed and friendly day out. We'll definitely be there next year wearing our MMMotors shirts with pride.
-Steve, (65 Nova).
The cast in order of appearance-
Brock & Mrs Brock with their “Black Pig” small block Chevy drag car.
Pete & Pet & the good people of the “Stinger” crew with their big block Chevy drag car.
My part built Ford Pop pick-up truck.
Captain SpannerFingers’ 650 BSA Super Rocket café racer.
Dave the Ossa King’s part built Triumph sprint bike.
Lunatic & PD’s part built BSA Bantam.
Lunatic & PD’s part built super-charged Reliant trike.
My part built Reliant trike.
Ska Man’s “Blue Job” Reliant trike.
Simon’s Reliant trike.
Flap’s “Flapster” Reliant trike.
Tazet’s part built Reliant trike.
Dave’s “Psycho Triko” VW trike.
Triker Pete & Chrissie’s VW trike.
Jacko’s VW trike.
Doc’s “Twisted Patience” Suzuki trike.
Keith’s ’40 Ford sedan.
Perry’s ’55 Chevy BelAir convertible.
Steve’s ’65 Chevy Nova.
Drewid’s ’59 Chevy Apache pick-up truck.
Dave’s ’68 Dodge Charger.
The “Poison Ink” Tattoos black Cadillac.
ByzMax & Mrs Byz’s Landrover pick-up.
Joe’s Dodge pick-up truck.
2 drag cars.
4 pick-up trucks.
5 classic Yanks.
–no less than 24 assorted vehicles, plus Taz’s 3 litre ClubSport on the neighbouring BMW Owners club stand & Chevy Rick, (and Dave-Postie), showing his pick-up in the commercial section, drawn together from Wiltshire, Hampshire, Berkshire, Surrey & London. Somerset to the New Forest, Marlborough to Camberley & on into the big city. Not bad for a local Sunday afternoon show.
I was going to bleat about how stressful it was organising this & how expensive it was to rent a van & trailer for the weekend to get our various projects onsite & how worried we were that no-one would show, or that everyone would show but the festival would be washed out again by torrential rain as it was last year.
In truth though, we actually did very little, except enjoy the company of some very good mates. Taz & I were among the first to arrive on the show field early on Sunday morning with a trailerful of assorted half built projects & surveyed the 40 feet by 80 feet pitch we’d been allocated. How the hell were we going to fill that? Needn’t have worried. The cavalry soon arrived. Doc on his trike, fresh from a record breaking 2 hour blast up from Somerset, Mr & Mrs Brock towing the Black Pig’s race trailer all the way from Wiltshire, Dave & the boys down from London, Pete & Chrissie up from the South Coast, Byz from Windsor, the local Basingstoke triketeers –one by one they all made their way across the field. What a fantastic sight.
Soon we were beginning to wonder how we were going to squeeze everyone in. We’ll definitely need a bigger pitch next year! Vehicles were directed, parked up, then moved, then re-moved. The 2 drag cars up front, with my old Pop alongside them, simply because it bore the website logo on it’s doors, followed by the bikes, then the massed ranks of trikes, backed up by the big ol’ Yanks. I had to admit we looked impressive!
While we’d been busy manoeuvring our cast of dozens about, the rest of the park had been quietly filling up. The trickle of machines arriving at the gate had swollen to a queue stretching almost half a mile back towards the ringroad. Awnings were being erected, banners unfurled, cars lovingly polished. The Memorial Park was being transformed into a show before our eyes.
The 11.0.clock start time arrived before we knew it –showtime!
We checked our banners –both present & correct, checked the cars & bikes & trikes were in place, checked their owners were still on hand, checked the donut supplies. O.K, we’re ready. Bring it on!
And that was the last chance we had to catch our breath till teatime. The public began to appear long before the official start time, (the park has half a dozen entrances & entry was free), & they just didn’t stop. According to the local paper, around 18,000 visitors poured into the park for the 6 hour show, admiring over 800 vehicles. I’m pretty sure every last one of them found their way to the MMMotors pitch, asking questions, taking photos, seeking advice, finding inspiration or just stopping for a chat. Every single vehicle had it’s share of attention. We were a hit! I know we’re biased, but the general consensus was- our pitch rocked! There were some truly beautiful machines onsite, but we had all the cool stuff! The icing on the cake came when the guys fired up the 2 drag cars, side by side. The surge toward the MMMotors stand was amazing. As the 2 motors rumbled to a stop they were rewarded with a ripple of applause from the assembled crowd. Well done chaps.
I hope Taz & I got to chat to everyone –I know I had hundreds of conversations during the day. We were amazed at how many people said they knew the website & visited it regularly. Taz was kept busy all afternoon selling shirts & stickers, so I took the chance to slip away & grab some photos of the rest of the show. Lorries, buses, tractors, steam vehicles, motorbikes, bicycles –there really was something for everyone.
This is a great show. Hosted jointly by Basingstoke Council & the Thornycroft vehicle preservation group, it’s absolutely free & hosts as big a gathering of vehicles as you’ll see anywhere in the country. And all for one Sunday afternoon. By tea time it was all over. One by one, our Monkeys said their goodbyes, fired up their engines & disappeared toward the gate. We pulled down the awning, rolled up the banners & winched the vehicles back aboard the trailer. By the time Taz & I left at 6pm the park was empty again. It was as if we’d never been there.
Can’t wait to do it all again next year, even bigger & even better.
A huge, huge thank you to each & every one of you that made the effort to take part, or even just came along to support us. We had a brilliant day & we will be back.