After some minor (chassis & suspension) repairs the car was registered in Belgium. You may know that the Belgian TVR car club organises some very attractive trips and weekends, so I decided to re-join the club and took part in their autumn tour in October 2009, together with my ‘old’ friend Dirk with his 3000M. It was a great first experience, a very different drive compared to my TVR Griffith, and what surprised me most was the road-holding (great fun) !!! And we did the trip without problems.
But then I set my mind on the Mille Miglia (it was a sleeping thought for some years but now was the time to do something) : I turn 40 this year and I really wanted this to be a highlight in my life, a birthday present to myself and after all you don’t become 40 very often.
Meanwhile 2009 was nearing its end and we had to completely restore the car. Together with Dirk, we created a workshop and started this difficult task : the car was dismantled and the body was cut free from the chassis and was later transformed to a ‘bolt-on’ type of body. We were happy that we had chosen this route : some parts of the chassis were in a very bad state (rust !!!) The chassis was made more rigid, but everything else on the car remained completely original ; brakes, steering, MG A-engine (1500 with twin SU’s) and gearbox …
The weeks were flying by but we really wanted to take the car to the Mille Miglia !!!! The detailed dairy of this restoration is a long story but the last days were a race against the clock : to be able to put the car on our trailer on Tuesday, we worked all weekend till very late and on Monday night we continued till 4 am !
We left on time but the car had not even done a test-run in Belgium … and after a 12-hour drive we arrived in Brescia (we felt like two teen-agers) were we received a warm welcome from the Villa V. b&b. We met some die-hards who had been following the Mille Miglia for some years. Their stories only encouraged our enthousiasm even mor!
We found out that every word of their story was more than right : It was an UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE and so many people enjoy this event, everyone in his own way. We followed the exact route and spent the whole time driving between the real participants and their beautiful machines ! We drove from industrial areas to the glowing hills of the Chianti-region. In every town, one every crossing, at every traffic light people were waving, shouting, taking pictures or filming all the cars. It was like a dream come true; one big party! On the first day the TVR Grantura’s alternator broke and we came to halt in the middle of nowhere… big problem ! But with the help of some enthousiasts and friendly Italians, we were taken to a Bosch-centre near Urbino and, miracles do happen, they had the right alternator in stock. We were so very happy to be able to continue the rally.
Apart from some minor things that needed adjusting, this 51-year old sportscar behaved very well indeed and covered the whole 1000 miles in a very strong way ! Will we be back next year ? YES PLEASE !!!!
And not to forget ; thanks to all the people who made this possible