The Reliability Run

26th May 2007

The Reliability Run

Reliability Run. A "How to" on having fun... Ah, the Reliability Run. Gather a group of old modified cars together, give them a map and spend the day tootling around country lanes. What could be easier than that? Here follows a quick and easy 10 stage recipe for organising a Reliability Run...

Step 1. Book the pub, hoping they've forgiven you for locking the landlord in the cellar last year.

Step 2. In the depths of winter, start looking for a decent destination or two.

Step 3. Look into all the interesting roads that lead there. Remember that NO-ONE is local or can follow road signs. If there were any. And turns across traffic or straight over crossroads are a sure way to break "the pack".

Step 4. Panic. There's no roads like that between here and there.

Step 5. Panic again as you hear back from your destination to say "well, I'll be 91 by then, but let's be positive..."

Step 6. Contact everyone to let them now it's on - and give a cut-off date for entries.

Step 7. Panic again when the cut-off date approaches, pub wants numbers and less than a dozen or so have replied, most to say they can't make it this year but "have a good 'un".

Step 8. Start going out on the route noting down the turns at each junction. Get stuck in a foot deep soft sand road absolutely miles from nowhere. Realise the route is hundreds of miles long and will need shortening if it's ever going to take just one day... Worse. Small tanks, thirsty flatheads. There's absolutely no garages left in the countryside to fuel up at.

Step 9. Pay the pub up front for the 50 people who have assured you they're coming. Realise that you've also not heard from any of the musicians who also insisted they were coming along to provide evening entertainment.

Step 10. Go to work on the Friday knowing that people are already travelling to your event, imagining it's all planned out.

What could possibly go wrong? This year - a solitary trip to Wing Commander Ken Wallis. Little Nellie. James Bond. For two very short hours he entertained with matter of fact tales to a humbled audience. Blown away by shooting us all from his magnificent flying machine with his Pentax. And yes, the gang became separated - open headers and horses don't mix and split and reformed a number of times, in a desperate search for fuel, breakdowns, and missed turnings. Late in the day, abandon the route and sprint back to the pub. Verdict = failure?

Nope. If only we could have all done it again the very next day...

Phil Wells.