On June 29th the biyearly Charlie McCall trip starts, all those paying attention knows that. My wife and I will participate. Now, I was thinking, how can one improve on that trip? Well, you can’t improve on Charlie’s arrangement, but why not add something? Prolong it? That’s what I chose to do…
Charlie had decided this year to start the LMC trip in south west of France, as far away as possible from his Danish friends. My wife didn’t look forward to a two day 1800km trip (I did! Sort of…). My fellow Danish participants chose to take a car-train from Hamburg, not really my thing, cars are for driving, not trailering etc. To each his own of course, as long as we meet, but I wanted to drive my Longchamp.
Also I had stopped working on my last project (income) on June 18th, so should I just fix the cars, mow the lawn and cut the hedges for a week? No way. So I had an idea. Why not drive to Italy a week before, do some camping/relaxation, visit some DeTomaso stuff? And then drive via Nice to the Charlie trip, pick up my wife in Nice, flying in? I would get vacation, she would avoid a lot of driving, perfect.
For me it would be an educational trip, just like the upper class youth (I’m neither upper class nor youth) in the previous century was sent out to see the world. Man and machine all alone. Cruising through Europe in a continental cruiser GT car. What could be better? A true pilgrimage for the soul, to attempt to mimic that gentleman cruising the continent in the good old days, from adventure to adventure…
It would mean that I would travel around 5000km, and frankly I hope to win Charlie’s “Long Distance” award. Hopefully this year he’ll judge it on km driven in a DeTomaso, as opposed to last time winner’s “Flying in from Singapore” distance. This is a car event, not a frequent flyer miles competition… Just MHO. Fingers crossed.
Would the car be able to drive that long distance? A fair concern that any DeTomaso owner has. After all you’re driving at speeds well above your normal commute for hours and hours, in a car built in strike-prone 70s Italy, maintained by various couldn’t-care-less Luigis, and now restored by an optimistic amateur, consistently using parts from the lowest bidder. What could go wrong?