Rolls Royce Silver Cloud
Rolls Royce Silver Cloud.

Well, if you catch me up, I’ll get out of the way instantly, don’t you worry. I know it’s a big car, but I’ll find somewhere to put it.

2007 Norway

Once again Alastair impresses all with his unsuitable car when he finished 2nd in the Norway Classic Marathon.

The Classic Marathon is an English rally that I did in Norway in 2007 with the Rolls on little dirt roads. I took the back seats out of the car because I was told that booze was expensive in Norway. I filled it with fourteen cases of wine plus Gin and Vodka and mixers and a fridge. The back seat was a huge off-licence. Every night we’d buy one bottle of wine at the restaurant and no one could work out how our glasses stayed full.

All the cars were lined up for the Ferry in Newcastle headed for Norway. There were hot-shots there with lightweight cars, lightweight clothing, and no suitcases in the car because they had a luggage truck. Several of them came across to me with big grins on their faces and asked if I knew what the roads were like in Norway and I just said: ‘No.’

I pretended to be clueless as they told me that the roads were narrow and they didn’t want me getting in the way. They were basically complaining and I said: ‘Well, if you catch me up, I’ll get out of the way instantly, don’t you worry. I know it’s a big car, but I’ll find somewhere to put it.’ They’d walk away mumbling and complaining under their breath.

The rally was a week long and I led it for the first four days. I finished second in the end, beaten by a Lotus Cortina. No one came to see me after that. Funny that.

One hill climb was a little tiny dirt road and the organisers came over and said they didn’t think I should do it. I was leading the rally and I said: ‘I think I should.’ They didn’t think I’d be able to get up it and I said: ‘Well, if I can’t get it up, nobody else will be able to.’

I completed the climb and that night I was having my little cocktail party in the back of the car when some of these hot-shots came by and, to my great joy, asked me how I got on. They couldn’t bear to wait for the results, they wanted to beat me because I was leading. They asked: ‘How’d you get on?’ and I said: ‘Oh it was a disaster, I was two seconds late.’ Brilliant, most of them were ten or twenty seconds late, I’d beaten all of them.

Previous story | next story | back to timeline