Event: Madchester 2011
Now in its second year, the Madchester event has already become a red-letter date in the Supercar Driver calendar. Promising an enjoyable drive through countryside, twixed with a little chaos in the city centre, it guarantees fun for all!
We started the journey with an initial meeting at Wakefield, where a Porsche 911 C4S, Audi R8 V10 and a TVR Griffith 500 greet me as I arrived (late, as usual). Setting off to our next meet point at Sheffield where we picked up a huge number of cars. A rainbow of colours and Marques in the Tesco car park, including Ferrari, Lotus, BMW and Aston to name a few. We set off in convoy, an exotic line which stretched as far as the eye could see as the twists and turns of Derbyshire’s ‘Snake’ presented its merry fun for our metal (and plastic!) machines to enjoy!
Leading the pack is quite an interesting experience; Am I going to slow? Am I going to fast? More importantly, am I going the right way?
Panic over, following my nose all was well and we arrived in Manchester in good time. The destination – Krispy Kreme donut shop!
For anyone who hasn’t been, this is human design at its peak of ingenuity. Kirspy Kreme is basically a McDonalds type fast-food place that just sells donuts. Instead of a burger, you have a donut. Rather than fries, you grab a donut. Would you like a drink? Well, you can have one of those but the rest is line after line of delicious cakeness. I succumbed at the counter and bought a tin full. Marvelous!
We meet up with our fellows from the Cheshire side of the Pennines and my oh my did they come out in force. Line after line of Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s and even some more bonkers sorts like the Dodge Viper and a beautifully rare Renault Alpine.
Richard hands out the directions. It’s a deliberately rough photocopied map with a couple of “X”’s on the page to mark the start and end point. With everyone setting about their own journey to get to the goal (a car park in the city centre) I end up behind a silver Ferrari. This particular car is new to the club, but as I pull alongside and see a familiar face! Lee has traded in his 308 Dino (see Issue 1) and replaced it with a magnificent 360.
Lee is a hands-on kinda guy and has already set about taking apart the Ferrari in order to give it a thoroughly good clean and refurbishment, starting with the nuts and bolts under the wheel arches. He later tells me “It’s like many other brands, they seem to build the cars well, but the final fit and finish lets it all down – such as rusty wheel nuts on Porsches, for example.” His new car is looking well, and is in very capable, practical hands with its new fastidious owner.
As the drive through the centre continues, cars are appearing from all angles as they try to circumnavigate through the city to the main car park at the other side. It is great fun and the sudden appearance of some very special cars brings smiles from the more enthusiastic members of the public – and the inevitable comments from a few of the jealous ones.
Following a short period of conversation, it’s back to Krispy Kreme for a few more donuts. With a big car-park and plenty of space to congregate, I speak with Steve, who has just purchased his Ferrari F355 from Supercar Driver partner Amari. He is full of praise for Amari, saying it was “an easy no-hassle purchase”. The car has been bought to use as a wedding-hire vehicle and the classic, almost timeless design is a real talking point amongst our petrol-headed friends.
Around lunchtime it’s time to depart. It has been yet another excellent run into Manchester.