Sunday, 8 November 2009

What Tim did next...

It's not only Rebecca and I who have to find other means of entertaining and supporting ourselves now our season is over - Tim and Alex found themselves at a bit of a loose end come Monday 21st September ( the day after our last show, the Midland Gamefair). But neither of them hung around for long, and here's what Tim has been getting up to...

As the Jive Pony season only lasts so long a glamourous assistant must find other thing to occupy his time and feed his belly. Of late I have been working for a company called Tula Engineering, building and restoring vintage Buggatti racing cars. My new boss has very strong links with Nick Mason (the drummer from Pink Floyd) and had been asked to take his son racing for the weekend in their 1923 Buggatti Brescia. Unfortunately his son had an exam and couldn't make it. I was only to happy to step into his place and found myself on Friday heading across to Prestene in Wales for the VSCC hill climbing trial. The event entails driving up the steepest, muddiest hills the organisers can find. The driver must negotiate his car up the hill gaining points all the way to the top, where you get a maximum of 25 points for completing the course. I was going to be the passenger throughout the event - affectionately known as a Bouncer! It's the bouncer's job to try and create as much traction as possible by bouncing up and down, wiggling and leaning - not so different from my role as a glamourous assistant!
Saturday morning I was dragged out of bed at dawn to bump start the car for its 100 mile test. Not necessarily a good omen but pretty ordinary for cars that are nearly ninety years old. A few hours later we were given our score cards and drove through the town on the way to the first hill. We let the tyres down and blasted all the way up to the top spraying mud everywhere! The trickier hills were yet to come, but we'd made a good start to the weekend - only 2 points behind the leader by the end of the day! The only thing left to do was go to the pub.
Sunday was the main day and we had 12 hills to complete. We were in one of the best cars at the event worth £140,000 and my driver Charles (also my boss) has been doing this for 20 years. We were the bookies favorite at 4 to 1 and were keen to win yet anther pewter cup for the trophy shelf. First hill 25 points, second hill 25 points, third hill... 5. We drifted a little off line onto some wet grass and lost all traction, nothing I could do would help and we ground to a halt. A little embarrassed (pride does come before a fall) we drove off before our friends waiting at the top could come down and laugh. At the next hill we took off from the line and didn't slow down all the way to the top, but no matter what we did now we couldn't win, so instead of breaking the car we drove a little more cautiously from there on in. At the end all the old Bentleys, Austins, Rileys, Fords etc parked up in a field covered in mud, and all the old men in wax jackets and woolly jumpers stood around eating jacket potatoes and talking cars. We weren't too disappointed not to have won, and the fresh air and wind in your face driving in an open top car always makes me grin.

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