A great time was had by all at this year's annual event with record numbers attending Fantastic drives through the south west region in glorious weather, followed by lovely meals and social time!
There's an album of photos in the Gallery tab - please send yours for inclusion! The event write up and more photos will be posted here soon
We are grateful to UK club member Sandy Ranson for producing this account of the recent International meeting organised by the Barchetta Club Deutschland to which 11 of our members, in six cars, attended.
We have been asked to organise an international meeting in the UK and are thinking about this potentially for 2019 - volunteers for the organising committee please step forward!
A total of 6 Barchettas from the UK made the journey over to the Black Forest region of Germany for this international meeting, hosted and organised by the Deutschland Barchetta Club. This represented the highest number of UK registered cars at any of the international Barchetta club meetings - well done team GB! Our group was proud to note that we outnumbered representatives from France, Switzerland and the Netherlands and it was certainly appreciated by our hosts that so many of us had made the effort to cross the channel. One of our members received a special mention during the final evening's celebrations, for having travelled the furthest distance to attend. UK member Ross Williams had made a journey of over 1000km.
Day 1: Thursday 25/5/17
This day marked the official start of the international meeting. Some UK cars travelled in convoy and others travelled separately via different routes on the day, arriving at the Hotel Feldberger Hof in Schwarzwald by mid-afternoon. There were well over 60 cars at the meeting and hence, it was a logistical feat of organisation to book everyone in. Some much needed refreshment was quickly sought out at the hotel bar, once everyone had settled into their rooms in this family orientated ski-hotel.
Day 2: Friday 26/5/17
Following a buffet breakfast, there was an opportunity to renew acquaintances for some and make new friends for others. It is fair to say, that the British lack of facility with modern foreign languages was somewhat in evidence! However, this did nothing to dampen our enthusiasm for meeting and greeting our fellow Barchetta owners or indeed, admiring the range and variety of Barchettas assembled there. Cars of every imaginable shade were in evidence, including some customised examples (metallic paintwork, vinyl wraps, personalised accessories etc.) Following the pre-drive briefing, we set off in convoy to drive through the beautiful wooded countryside, taking in view points along the way. The scenery was spectacular and the Italian system of using successive cars to mark each route change throughout the drive, worked very smoothly. Great fun was had by all with lots of waving and hooting along the way. After lunch, the journey continued to the Rothaus brewery, which is notably situated at a higher altitude than any other brewery in Europe. The detailed tour culminated with the traditional tasting - much welcome on a hot afternoon. The return drive to the hotel was equally smooth and again, we were treated to some wonderful views along the way.
Day 3: Saturday 27/5/17
There was a slightly earlier start for this full day of driving through the northern part of the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) - yet again, our hosts had organised a superb route and the scenery was breathtaking. The weather was hot and sunny throughout the whole weekend - plenty of sunscreen required! After a coffee stop, we travelled on to a small folk museum and traditional smoke house with plenty of hams in evidence. A lively lunch ensured, with range of cured meats and cheese followed by a scenic drive back to the hotel.
For the final evening, dinner was in an adjacent restaurant to the hotel. Speeches of thanks were made by the various national groups and gifts exchanged (many thanks to Phil and Linda Healey for organising all the gifts from the UK group).
Jorg from the Barchetta-club Deutschland was congratulated on being voted president of the German club. Unbeknown to the rest of us - our membership secretary Martin Garrad had planned a little surprise for Jorg with an 'unexpected express delivery' from Buckingham Palace, of a commemorative OBE signed by Her Majesty. Jorg was suitably impressed!
The festivities continued into the evening with a cabaret much enjoyed by the audience. A great way to relax and celebrate an excellent weekend with the Barchetta family.
Day 4: Sunday 28/5/17
After breakfast and check out, there was the usual photo-call with the assembled Barchettas looking very impressive in the sunshine. Time to say Goodbye, Farewell, Au Revoir, Ciao, Auf Wiedersehen and hit the road for the return journey to the UK. Five of the UK cars then travelled in convoy on a long and hot journey over the Vosges mountains and on to Reims, for an overnight stop. Our final (al fresco) meal was enjoyed in the environs of Reims cathedral and provided an opportunity to relax and unwind before the final leg of the journey back across the channel the next day.
Huge thanks to the German organising team of Baumi, Frank, Verena, Christian, Petra ,Michael and Carola - they did a great job!
Sandy and Paul Ranson.
Post-script: -We have been asked to organise an international meeting in the UK and are thinking about this potentially for 2019 - volunteers for the organising committee please step forward!
AutoItalia Day at Brooklands Museum took place on Saturday 29th April. One of the biggest events of the year at Brooklands celebrating the UK’s obsession with all things Italian. This was Auto Italia’s 32nd Spring Gathering - the UK’s first and finest all-Italian car event. The site was bursting with all types of Italian cars (and a few motorbikes)!
I went along in my barchetta with myself and my car mad grandson. We parked in the area set aside for Italian cars and were delighted to spot at least 10 other Barchettas. (And their crews!).
Members are invited to join the registration list for the annual meeting. At this early stage we already have ten cars registered. Further interest has been expressed by another 20 members.
This year the event is proposed for three nights, although members may join us for two if preferred. As many members will be travelling a considerable distance to join the event you may consider three nights makes good sense.
The trip begins on Thursday 29th June with a night in the Webbington Hotel with spa, just south of Bristol, close to the M5 and includes dinner. Arrive early to enjoy the free pool and spa.
Friday 30th, the planned trip is to drive through Cheddar Gorge (missing the sheep and tourists) and onto The Haynes Motor Museum at Sparkford on the A303 for lunch. We will then drive to Exeter via the Blackdown Hills, to arrive at the Devon Hotel in Matford. Dinner at the hotel will be included.
On Saturday 1st July we drive through the Dartmoor National Park (again avoiding the sheep) then stopping in the Tavistock area for lunch and onto the Barnstaple Hotel in Barnstaple for the night, again dinner will be included.
On Sunday 2nd July we will drive along the A39 (supposedly one of the best drives in England) stopping at various locations to admire the views. We will stop for lunch and the meeting will conclude.
The average driving distance per day will be in the region of 100 miles.
The cost for a double/twin will be approx. £ 500 inclusive of rooms, breakfasts and dinners per couple, excluding your booze!!
If you are interested in joining please contact Martin Garrad (email@example.com) and your details will be passed to the trip organisers; Martin Johnson and John Capon.
2017 event - 28-30 July
Jane and Richard Keogh visited the Silverstone Classic event this year and had a fantastic time; you can read about their experience in the article below. At least two barchettas are going to this year's event on the Saturday. If you are also interested in going please book tickets using the link below. It’s an event for the whole family and provides the ultimate annual celebration of classic cars.
by Richard Keogh
This year, I was treated to a day at the Silverstone Classic with Jane. The packed weekend of the Silverstone Classic provided spectacular classic motor racing on the world famous circuit, impressive track parades, infield displays from over 100 car clubs (we could be there next year folks!) featuring more than 10,000 classic cars, plus interactive driving activities and dynamic demonstrations.
There was plenty of non-car entertainment to enjoy too, with live music from headline acts The Boomtown Rats and The Stranglers, aerial displays, a vintage fun fair, and a shopping village.
On the day we visited there were 11 races to watch plus other driving sessions:
Morning 09:00 - 13:10
Race 1: Commander Yorke Trophy For Historic Formula Junior
Race 2: Stirling Moss Trophy For Pre '61 Sports Cars
Race 3: Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy For Historic Cars (Pre '63 GT)
Race 4: Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy For Pre '56 Sports Cars Presented By Jaguar
Session: Legends Of Modern Formula One
Afternoon 14:10 - 21:00
Race 5: FIA Masters Historic Formula One
Race 6: JET Super Touring Car Trophy Session: 90s Endurance Legends
Race 7: Can-Am 50 Interserie Challenge
Race 8: Maserati Trophy For HGPCA Pre '66 Grand Prix Cars
Race 9: FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars
Race 10: International Trophy For Classic GT Cars (Pre '66)
Race 11: Group C
This year's annual UK Club Meeting weekend took place on the 24-26th of June in the Chiltern Hills, Buckinghamshire.
A huge thanks to Colin & Denise for organising a thoroughly successful club weekend, with more members attending than in recent years. A great time was had by all, with interesting visits and wonderful drives through the local countryside, including celebrity spotting! (Photographs of the event will follow)
A guided historic walk through the old town before an evening meal
Exploring the Chiltern Hills, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and probably the last chance you will have before they start building the High Speed Rail Link straight through it!
A visit to a picturesque retirement home for horses http://www.horsetrust.org.uk/home/visitourhorses/
An invitation to 'drop it down a cog' and roar up Aston Hill (observing the highway code of course) venue for a noted hill climb event of the 1920s and inspiration for the name of the famous Aston Martin car company
A visit to Royal Air Force Halton House, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halton_House a Rothschild built country house and now an operational officers' mess and the location for many of your favourite films! This venue is not usually open to the public, but for us, as well as a house tour there was the opportunity to park in front of this magnificent building for photos.
Thanks to those intrepid few who joined the Mid Sussex Day Drive on Saturday 28th May. We had a total of six cars meet near Brighton for a farmhouse breakfast before undertaking an exhilarating top down spin (not literally) through the lanes and villages from Pyecombe to Ditchling, Danehill, Ardingly, Balcombe, Handcross and many more. We stopped to see the grave of Lord Nelson’s Sister, to add a little edification to the occasion, just before completing the day with a pleasant pub lunch. Two local members Paul Martin and Kevin Galway joined Andy Weeks all the way from Bristol, Chris Rocker and Sharon from Bournemouth and Kim and David Davies from Hemel Hempstead. The weather was, eventually, fine!
Martin & Jenny Garrad
For the second time this year, UK Barchetta car club members enjoyed an excellent club meeting. Following on from the very successful Yorkshire weekend in June, this slightly extended meeting saw 7 Barchettas getting together for some serious driving and sight-seeing as we headed down to the Charente-Maritîme region of France. The meeting was organised and facilitated by club members Jerry and Hilary Larthe de Langladure who are local residents - huge thanks to them for all their hard work in making this trip so enjoyable.
Day 1: Five Barchettas and their passengers met at Newhaven on 23 September for the cross channel ferry to Dieppe. Our destination was Angoulême with an overnight stop in Chateauroux on the way. For this first stop, we stayed at a lovely family-run guest house on the outskirts of the small town. Our host prepared a delicious evening meal which was served in a family setting at one large round table in very stylish surroundings and was just what we all needed after a long day's travelling.
Day 2: - Weather was fair and we had time to explore the local town with its pretty shops and cobbled streets. There were references to WW2 resistance activity in the town and some interesting 18th and 19th century buildings. After a quick lunch, we started on the second leg of the journey and headed off for Angoulême. We arrived in good time thanks to sat-nav (and passenger map-reading skills!) and spotted hosts Jerry and Hilary outside the hotel as we drove up - perfect timing! After check-in and time to unpack - we headed off for aperitifs and the customary Italian meal, out of respect for our Barchetta heritage. In the restaurant we met up with another club member, who had travelled separately via the Cherbourg ferry, thus completing our party of 7 cars and 13 club members for this trip.
Day 3 - Beautiful drive through the rolling countryside as we headed over to Brantôme, known as the Venice of Perigord, via a coffee stop in La Tour Blanche, a typical Charentais village, where we had the first photoshoot (of many). Parking up near the riverside in Brantôme we were intrigued to spot another Barchetta in the car-park. It had obviously been there a while, so probably hadn't made an appearance just in our honour. For the style-conscious, it was a fetching shade of teal and would certainly have added something to our line up!
After an excellent al fresco lunch by the river, we drove on to visit the Chateau De La Rochefoucauld. This was particularly interesting as the chateau houses archived documents dating back hundreds of years, all neatly kept in numbered boxes. The evening was spent back in Angoulême. We really enjoyed this vibrant and exciting town with lots of street music, bars and restaurants and another good evening was had by all.
Day 4 - Again - we enjoyed the beautiful 'top-down' weather that was to characterise our whole trip. We took a scenic drive to Cognac through the vineyards, and more pretty villages criss-crossing the Charente river. We arrived at Domaine Remy Martin where our guide Margot gave us a very informative and interesting tour of the domaine. We sampled two cognacs (unfortunately not the Louis Treize at +6000€ per bottle!) accompanied by canapes made by their personal chef ... lovely. After lunch in Cognac we drove west to the Île d'Oleron - where we were able to walk along the seashore and enjoy visiting the port and fish market. Again - a superb evening meal was enjoyed by all on the last evening of our organised trip.
Day 5 - Fond farewells and a final car photo-shoot after breakfast and then return journeys began - 5 cars drove up to the north of the island where we swapped 4 wheels for 2 legs and walked along the coast and and up to the lighthouse. Views from the top of the lighthouse were spectacular and everyone enjoyed the fresh air and chance to stretch our legs before making the return journey. This time our overnight stop-over was based just outside Angers.
Day 6 - Angers is the central town in Anjou and proved to be fascinating. There was time in the morning to walk around the historic centre of the town and to visit the cathedral and the 12th century castle with its 17 towers, roof gardens and vineyard and stunning Tapestry of the Apocalypse which is housed in an extensive hall. It was a real privilege to see this amazing piece of history.Our 5 cars made perfect time in reaching Dieppe for the return ferry back to the UK.
This was a very memorable trip continuing the high standard set by the UK Barchetta club members. Thank you once again to Jerry and Hilary for their superb organisation and to everyone for their friendship and contribution to making this a great trip away. We're already looking forward to next year's ventures!
With many thanks to Sandy & Paul Ranson who wrote the visit report and to all the photographers who provided a wealth of pictures of which we can only show you a few.
Paul is Very Pleased to announce that the re-scheduled summer day meeting went ahead on Sunday 12 October. Seven cars, including 4 new recruits, completed the 50 mile trip taking in parts of Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire. It was great to welcome several new members to the Barchetta owners' club. The day started at Elveden and covered Thetford Forest and parts of the Cambridgeshire levels, passing through Brandon, Mundford, Lakenheath and Lode, where the journey concluded at the National Trust's Anglesey Abbey.
UK barchetta Owners Club
11 Bramble Gardens
West Sussex RH15 8UQ
Find barchetta parts at barchetta parts.com visit website for full range of available parts. 10% discount on orders over 100 Euro to UK Club members
Our official club merchandise supplier. BMC Leisure have the club logo digitised for print or embroidery onto a wide range of products from their catalogue
Tough Technology Products
Tough Technology Products provide leading edge, high technology workshop repair, car maintenance and car repair products.
Parts for Alfa-Romeo and Fiat cars with a 10% discount for club members. Contact Martin Garrad for more information