Our Autumn Amble this year was the perfect day of vintage motoring, with unseasonably sunny weather, a wonderful gathering of historic cars, and a team of owners and enthusiasts who made the day one to remember.
Gathering early at our workshops for the all-important breakfast and drivers’ briefing, it was a delight to see such a magnificent line up of cars. The oldest car taking part was a 1908 Renault, owned by the Duke of Rutland and his family since new (and our Autumn Amble poster car this year!). Impressively, it cruised the 90-mile scenic route with ease, having already travelled 96 miles from its home at Belvoir Castle to reach us, and showed no signs of hesitation even on the most challenging parts of the tour.
Other cars in the line up included three Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts (one believed to be the last British-built Silver Ghost supplied to the home market); a Type-40 Bugatti driven from Holland; and a remarkable 1913 30HP De Dion Bouton (the first production motor vehicle to employ a V8 engine). Jonathan, Sarah and their two children were delighted to take part in their 1927 Bentley 3 Litre Speed Model, closely followed by two other stunning 3 Litres, one of which has recently undergone extensive work in our workshops.
This year’s route meandered through local Essex, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire villages with the highlight of the trip being a private visit to the Aircraft Restoration Company at Duxford. A family-owned business which specialises in the restoration, maintenance and operation of vintage aircraft, we were privileged to receive a tour of their amazing workshops and witness first hand the incredible work that goes on here. Just when we thought the day could not get any better, we were treated to a fly-by of a Spitfire and Messerschmitt in full ‘dog-fight’ re-enactment mode.
The day was full of highlights: the ford at Much Hadham (some drivers were more enthusiastic than others!); a wonderful tea stop at Ashfields Country kitchen; a delicious lunch at the Cricketers Arms at Rickling Green; and of course, a scenic route through some challenging and narrow country lanes. However, what really set the day apart, was the camaraderie amongst the drivers and passengers, and the mutual ethos that these cars are best enjoyed on the open road.
We are already looking forward to next year’s Autumn Amble!