main TVR Car Club event for 2001 was held on the Isle
of Man from the 26 to 30 July. 74 TVRs made the ferry
crossing to the island and the general feeling amongst
the 140 drivers and passengers was that it was one of
the best TVR events ever held.
The weekend started off on the Thursday at various ferry terminals
as everyone met up to make the crossing to the Island. No vehicle was
allowed to board until it had received a ritual dowsing in Foot and
Mouth disinfectant, this saw a number of members frantically trying
to wash it off immediately after but was far worse for anyone on a
motorbike as they had to drive through the spray as well!
Cumbria region TVRs halfway round the TT circuit
at the Motorcycle museum.
We were met at the Isle of Man port of Douglas by a swarm of FAD organisers
in their yellow shirts who handed out detailed arrival packs of information
and directed everyone to their hotels (we had all been given a choice
of hotels on the island!). After a day or afternoon of settling in
depending on arrival time it was off to the Welcome meeting at the
House of Mannanan in Peel. Drinks and very impressive 'nibbles' preceded
welcome speeches from TVR organiser Stuart Milne and the Isle of Man
Tourism Minister. This was follwed by a safety talk from the local
Constabulary who advised those that didn't know that there are actually
no speed limits outside built up areas on the Isle of Man! and so long
as we took care then we were told to go and enjoy ourselves - not often
you hear this from a Policeman! The 70+ TVRs then departed for their
The main event of the first day was the Trackday at Jurby. This proved
to be exceptionally well organised by the FAD yellowshirts again and
seemed to be enjoyed by spectators and participants alike. Having only
had my Griffith 4.3 a matter of months and never having 'done' a trackday
before I elected to just go and watch on this occasion. This proved
to be the wrong decision as the circuit although boasting the longest
straight in the UK was very simple and accessible. All those taking
part were very professional and friendly, and although the idea of
a trackday can be very intimidating for 'first timers' there seemed
to be no pressure and certainly no-one taking themselves too seriously.
The always present risk that something may go wrong with your TVR was
also covered as there was a specialist TVR mechanic attending with
his van loaded with spares - although I didn't actually see him doing
any business - so much for the TVR reliability myth then!
That evening the yellow FAD machine swung into action with an exceptionally
well organised Caribbean BBQ. On arrival at Glen Helen everyone was
draped in flower garlands and then fed to bursting by the Chef and
his team who worked long and hard under very smoky conditions. To prepare
for the Viking longboat races 'Ganja John' Hall in full multicoloured
and dreadlocked ensemble presided over the four team captains who submitted
potential crew members to ritual humiliation in their efforts to be
Saturday was started with a drive around the original TT circuit. Once
again the FAD crowd had been busy as the entire route was marked with
bright yellow route signs ensuring absolutely no one got lost. After
a mid way stop for coffee at Glen Helen we finally ended up at Ramsey
where yet another buffet spread of huge proportions had been laid on.
This was followed by a raffle of various TVR related items (and some
curious knitted golf hats!).
Lunch had hardly had time to settle before it was on
with the Viking longboat races. Various levels of seriousness
were displayed by the
four teams - all wearing their team sponsors shirts and some with horned
Viking helmets as they sweated their way up and down the lake in blazing
sunshine. A total of £600 was raised for the local Manx Mencap
The yellow vixen which won best overall TVR at the concours, proving
that TVRs are to be driven!
The photo above shows all the TVRs lined up at the TT grandstand on Sunday
in Douglas. This was impressive enough in itself, but it was taken just
after all the cars had experienced the drive of a lifetime up 12km of
the hill climb section of the TT circuit - this had been specially closed
for the TVR Club!
We had all met up in Ramsey and after a briefing by the marshals we were
set off in groups of 20 or so. We had been advised to sort ourselves
out into order with the more speed hungry and experienced at the front
of each group. The pace cars proved to be rental Ford Focus's but I don't
think anyone caught them up. As the roads were closed there was no risk
of oncoming traffic so we had all the road to go at. The sun shone, it
was a lovely quiet morning on a very picturesque island - then all hell
broke loose as 70+ TVRs gave it their all with speeds of 130+ quoted,
assuming you didn't catch up with the TVR in front! Everyone agreed it
was fantastic - and one certain person even managed to get in the first
group then tear round the island and get into the last group as well!
Mentioning no names of course but he had taken the dreadlocks off!
Jason Woodhall and Steph Dukes in their S2 on the hill climb out of Ramsey.
Once everyone had arrived back at the TT Grandstand certificates were
given out for completion of the circuit and after a brilliant photo opportunity
we moved onto the car park behind the grandstand for the concours. Obviously
all the cars had just screamed halfway around the TT circuit so this
was definately not based on cars that had been in preparation for weeks
and never been driven.! I suspect a lot of people voted for the TVRs
with the least number of dead flies on them!
As we had been given free tickets for the 'History of Mann' attraction
the House of Mannanan at Peel we decied we would at least have a quick
look that afternoon. We expected to whizz round it quickly and go for
a coffee - three or four hours later we emerged. It is no wonder that
it has won awards as it was extremely well presented with many life size
interactive scenarios, including a full size viking longboat on a beach
inside the building.
The Gala dinner at the Hilton hotel in Douglas was the grand finale.
Professional photographers had followed us all round the island and hundreds
of photos were on display and available to buy. This gave many the opportunity
to actually get a photo of your TVR with you driving it - something that
is almost impossible normally as we all know. The Scottish TVRCC regions
had organised the event and they along with our Isle of Man organisers
and hosts were escorted into the dinner by a very good Manx pipe-band.
After the dinner concours prizes were given out, the overall
winner being a particularly nice yellow Vixen and best
Wedge going to my co-regional
organiser for Cumbria Adrian McMullin. This was followed by an auction
of donated TVR related items including bits of Peter Wheelers tuscan
racer and track day tickets etc. In total with the auction and long boat
race we raised a fantastic £3,200 for Manx Mencap. Apparently this
was also significantly more than the Porsche club managed!! Thanks were
given to the TVRCC Scottish contingent for setting up the event. Dixie
Dean and the FAD Promotions yellow shirts for exceptional organisation
on the island and David Cretney the Minister for Sport and Tourism (or
as he put it the Minister for Fun) who apparently is a bike nut.
In our time on the island it was definately noticeable that everyone
was happy to see lots of noisy TVRs - a nicer bunch of people you couldn't
wish to meet. We should definately go back.
Personally I have heard many members say that it seemed expensive, and
yes in the first place it did seem that way for a 4 day event. However
if all the individual items and events were added together then in actual
fact it proved to be an absolute bargain. The TVR Club and the Regions
especially have many events to suit all pockets, this cost more than
most but offered far more than most for those that took part - it was
an experience of a lifetime. Remember if you just wanted economical motoring
you could always buy a mini!
Thanks to everyone who organised it and attended, for making it what
Paul Calland, RO Cumbria