The few days following the New Year’s Eve are some of the most difficult ones of the entire year. Gone is the festive atmosphere, gone are the cellebrations. The once proud Chrismas trees shed their lifeless pointy leafs on every street you walk on. It’s pretty grim. And it’s cold.
What we all need is a bit of car culture therapy. Enter the New Year Sunday Scramble.
Set at its magical Bicester Heritage location, it brings together the brave classic car owners who dare to drive their prized cars on greasy roads. And the very brave, who come in open racing machinery, that is hard to drive even in summer, let alone in the very dark early hours of January.
This year it did not rain. And we had sunshine. For about 15 minutes. Enough time to spot a classy 2000 GTV pampered by The Classic Motor Hub and brought over by Harry Metcalfe. And a red, graceful, delicate Giulietta Spider. Alfas love the sunshine, they were born out of it.
Once the sun dissappeared, the mood changed. It got a bit dark, a bit menacing, the place started to get a punk rock vibe. It almost seemed like it was all part of the setup for this pair of Outlaws. Thet trully shined in the flat light conditions, with their festival of grey and cold green shades, spiced up by stickers and intricate theme related paraphernalia. Like that rat. One thing that was not cold and menacing were the owners, two true alfisti, with broad smiles and warm words, always ready to answer a question, set up a shot or get a lucky lady a ride in their pride and joy. No, they are not Italian, but these Alfas really get to you…
Away from the antics of those two, other Alfas took a more relaxed approach to the proceedings. After all, we should not make a big fuss of this weather, in the end the sun will come. It always does. We had a couple of red ones who looked like they were somehow looking for shade under some trees, as if after a hard drive across an Alpine pass. I guess old habits die hard. A light blue 2000 took sentry duty by the gates of a garage, while another blue one mixed in with the Lancias. The main hangar also provided shelter for an Alfa. And some Lacias as well. I sense a pattern emerging here.
Meanwhile, another feast for the eyes awaited in the open garages. Classic Performance had a gorgeous red Spider. But it’s what lied just behind it that triggered my imagination even further. A yellow Giulietta with a roll cage. I just begin to imagine that climbing the hill at Donington. It may actually get there, as there will be a vintage Alfa racing series happening in Britain this year. I can’t wait to see that.
Last, but not least, our Instagram community’s favourite car of the meet. A dark green GTV6 Outlaw, a comprehensive lesson in how to tastefully modify a youngtimer. It took 7 years to get to this stage. As the owner says, great things take time. True, so true. I wish I could have taken more shots of his car, but it was dwarfed by a huge American truck parked right next to it. Maybe I’ll get more chances next time.
Spring is still a couple of months away and the builders will get back inside and turn the heating on. It’s still very much garage season. Having seen some of the projects out there, this will be a truly vintage year.