Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fancy A Cuppa For the Road?

Aside from yesterday's donkarama, this weekend has been about things a hell of a lot more fun than poker often is. Yeah, British cars, British car shows, and mountain drives. Of course, not only does my very non-smart phone take crap photos, it doesn't help when I inadvertently delete a bunch of then while trying to e-mail to myself. Multi-point fuel injection? Fuck that shit. Multi-point epic fail, is what that was.

Anyway, yesterday was the grand tour of the Colorado Conclave, where just about every British car club in Colorado put their wheels on the road for a four hour cruise/rally through the mountains west of Arvada. We made our way through Clear Creek Canyon, back roads to Morrison and Evergreen, all over Jefferson County, out to Idaho Springs, over Lookout Mountain, and Squaw Pass. Beautiful times.

Of course, the Good Doctor Mondo and I do not own a British car. At least not yet. Our dear friends Mandy and Evan had invited us to join them on the sojourn, as a caravan of sorts. the Doc and I took turns driving Evan's lovely red 1972 MGB:

Mandy and Evan made the trip in an even cooler 1959 Jaguar XK150. This is one seriously badass coach:

V-12 power, deep throaty exhaust, and some pretty serious pickup for a fifty year old car. I mean, S.P.E.C.T.R.E. agents would drive these cars. The XK150 was actually the predecessor to the iconic Jaguar E-Type. Back in the day, Jaguar was known for making the fastest production cars over there, period. Wow. I could listen to that exhaust note all day long.

Anyway, the day started off great. Damn, chilly, and foggy. Perfect. I mean that! I mean, if you're driving British cars, driving these cars in British weather just adds to the experience. Everyone at Starbucks was looking at us weird, as we pulled up with the top down, but we didn't care, we loved the chill. We grabbed our coffees and scones, and rolled down through the mist, to Arvada, where the tour down all the way. The entire cruise was just a thing of beauty...the aspen are changing color, and we got to see an awful lot of it.

Unfortunately, the day didn't quite end as well as it started. The XK150 had developed an arcing problem, and once we were back down into the Golden, CO area, the car kept cutting out, and eventually needed towing. So that certainly didn't make Evan and Mandy's day.

Our scare was a wee bit worse. The Good Doctor Mondo took two oxygen tanks with her, since we knew we'd be out for a long time...all well and good. Well, once back in Golden, we were going to enjoy lunch together before the drive back to Longmontucky. Seemed like a good point to switch her tanks out...oh crap. The backup tank had been left on, and was absolutely empty. Emergency, yeah. Her first tank had just a wee bit left. The Good Doctor Mondo didn't want to go to any kind of emergency center...but by sitting perfectly still, and not talking, she was able to keep her oxygen saturation around 80% (ours is normally 95% or so), while I drove the MGB like a bat out of hell for 40 miles. I really didn't know I could get one of those going so fast. Anyway, all was made okay in the end...

Sunday was much less dramatic, really. But it was really cool to go back to the car show proper, and lay eyes on everything from a dozen Sunbeam Tigers, to Jensens, to E-Types of many years (among many other Jags), Lotuses of every flavor, back to the early Elites, and even a Lotus 7, an Allard J2, some beautiful big Healeys and Sprites, more TR-4s and TR-6s than one could shake a stick at, and even an immaculate DB4. Very inspiring.

All in all, a great weekend.

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