Been out for a bit of a drive..

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by gaz_l, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. gaz_l

    gaz_l MB Enthusiast

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    Thought I'd better put this in OT, as it's not Merc related..

    So, you fancy a bit of a driving holiday, and you've got a choice of cars. Do you choose:

    A) Your 5 year old Mercedes SLK, barely run in at 14,000 miles?
    B) Your 5 year old Fiat Panda, OK a little small, but economical..
    C) Your 11 year old Subaru estate, perhaps, getting on a bit but it's never given a moments trouble..

    or D) Your 16 year old Fiat Barchetta, which has bags of Italian character (i.e. you have to keep tools in the car), and is too old to qualify for european breakdown cover at any kind of sensible rate, and which has just come out of 6 months storage and you haven't had a chance to shake down properly?

    You guessed it.. :)

    In the tunnel..

    [​IMG]

    Motorway services, Saarbrucken..

    [​IMG]

    Random sandwich stop, somewhere in southern Germany..

    [​IMG]

    Another services, Austria..

    [​IMG]

    Sud Tyrol, Northern Italy..

    [​IMG]

    Moncalieri, erstwhile home of the Maggiora coachbuilding works, where the car was built..

    [​IMG]

    Another random sandwich stop, Switzerland this time, between Chamonix and Montigny..

    [​IMG]

    Another service station, where we'd got out for a stretch.. the German couple in the Z3 were in agreement that 2 seater sports cars are made for younger peoples' backs..

    [​IMG]

    And eventually, back home..

    [​IMG]

    We covered France, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Italy and Switzerland. 2,710 miles and 12 border crossings in 12 days, and not a single thing went wrong with the car, it ran like a swiss watch. I kept a running total of the fuel and overall consumption for the trip - 40.1 Mpg. Not bad for a 16 year old car with a 1.8 engine, by any stretch of the imagination..

    Cheers,

    Gaz
     
    14 people like this.
  2. John

    John Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    They way you worded the start - I thought you were going to say you did an 'Italian Job' on it, along with maybe a white one and blue one you found, because it let you down too much...

    "Get the gold in the Minis!"

    That is indeed impressive.
     
  3. finisterre

    finisterre Active Member

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    That looks great. Mr Jealous here.

    I *think* it was the right choice of car.

    I would have been cowardly and taken the SLK.
     
  4. C240Sport97

    C240Sport97 MB Enthusiast

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    still a pretty car after all these years
     
  5. A210AMG

    A210AMG MB Enthusiast

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    I've done similar a few times in my MX5 Mk1 (pop up light model)

    1.8iS and had the most fun on the alpine roads than in any other car I've taken on the same trips.

    We had all our camping gear in the little boot, enough for a two week holiday and like you covered several countries.

    That car also never missed a beat and took some hammer :) wish I kept it :(

    [​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  6. wemorgan

    wemorgan MB Enthusiast

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    Nice photos Gaz. I agree, there is something special about small basic cabriolets that makes you choose them over more exocrine cars.
     
  7. Charles Morgan

    Charles Morgan MB Enthusiast

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    nothing beats driving an old car around.

    They get better as they age!
     
  8. DITTRICH

    DITTRICH MB Enthusiast

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    London to Moscow:-
    1 Via Scandinavian land only route 2,766 miles in 5 days
    2 via Baltic countries land only route 1,905 miles in 3.5 days
    I would recommend the norway fjords in a car - stunning scenery if a little expensive.
    Sounds like you had a wonderful time.
    I bet you are planning the next trip already.
     
  9. Benzmanc

    Benzmanc MB Enthusiast

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    That looks great, we're doing something similar very soon. Can't wait :bannana:
     
  10. timskemp

    timskemp MB Enthusiast

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    Me and a mate were plotting this a while ago... If anyone's up for it then I'd love to tag along...

    (route 1 that is, or even the big round trip0
     
  11. bing

    bing Active Member

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    Great photos, thanks for sharing. Planning on similar trip in august - you can't beat a road trip around the alps.
     
  12. jaymanek

    jaymanek Authorised Forum Sponsor Authorised Forum Sponsor

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    Did you service the car or anything before you went! Brave to just jump in a fiat and do 3K miles!
     
  13. OP
    OP
    gaz_l

    gaz_l MB Enthusiast

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    It had a full service and new cambelt last year before it went into storage for the winter, it had only done ~700 miles since that before we set off. I'm not completely daft :p.

    The car has niggles due to its age and the fact that it's Italian. Just gives it character, in my view, but mechanically it's in fine fettle. It didn't use a drop of oil or water the whole trip, all I had to do was put some air in the NSR tyre a couple of times as it has a very slow puncture (or a porous alloy). I'm sure it'd do the run again tomorrow if needed with equally little drama..

    Cheers,

    Gaz
     
  14. st4

    st4 Banned

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    Nice one Gaz, good to see some one out there enjoying driving their cars.

    Tim, my old mans mate has done that trip. Could not recommend enough.

    next year anyone fancy a driving tour with their forum mates!!!
     
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