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Published by the Golden Gate Lotus Club  September 2001
Well I've just dropped the wife off at Heathrow, having spent the week driving her through Cornwall and Devon.  It's Sunday afternoon and I have from now till Tuesday afternoon to my self.  Then it will be me dragging two teenage boys along the streets of London and Paris.  No definite plan, except that I know that there's a classic car show and autojumble at Suddeley Castle, in the Cotswolds.  That should only take me an hour and a half to get to, so off I go past Oxford and toward Cheltenham.  Through Cheltenham, check the map, missed one road, so take the B4632 to Winchcombe.  Here I am, passing Cleeve Hill and it seems familiar.  That's it, I stayed here in '77.  Actually, I was stuck here then and had no place to stay and wandered into the YHA youth hostel.  I joined the YHA on the spot and have been a mem
ber of and on since.  Youth hostels, throughout Europe, are great places to stay and meet people from around the world.  In fact, when I pickup the boys on Tuesday, they're going straight to one in London so they can get that experience.  I pass by the old hostel, it's a hotel now.  So, back; to the drive, get to the castle, pay the $5 entry and hit the autojumble stalls first.  Only a few minor items found, but the most unique being a few old log books.  I had always heard about the British ownership logbooks, but had never seen one, so bought two for $7.  The classic cars, well, lots of nice cars, not super concourse, many replicas including two Robin Hood Lotus 7 clones.  The problem was that no one was around their cars, so you couldn't ask any questions.  There was an Elan +2, but no owner to talk to, or ask if he had any spare parts that I need.
OK, I haven't a clue where I'm going next.  Pull out the map.  It's still early, only about 5 PM, so I can get quite a ways and still find a B&B for the night.  Well, I've been to Donington Park Circuit before, but missed the Grand Prix Collection that's next door.  It has race cars and race memorabilia, including Lotuses from the 12 through the 72.  And, maybe I'll find that the tracks' racing school is operating there tomorrow.  I'd love to drive that circuit someday, so off I go, find a cheap B&B past Birmingham, and plan to hit the museum in the morning. 
The museum doesn't open until 10, but the track is set to open at 9.  Security says 'sorry, no race school today, Honda has rented the track for the day'.  What's 
that, just like we see at home, swarms of lowered Civics and Integras, a collection of whale-tailed Preludes?  It starts pouring down buckets, anyway, who's going to show up?  But they come, no Civics, just Bikes, lots of Bikes, ten deep to get in, and these guys aren't going to let a little rain stop them, every rider has full rain gear over here. 
OK, lets see if I can get in to this show, can't hurt and the museum isn't open yet, anyway.   It's Honda UK Riders' Club, Honda factory, race teams, race school, laps of a wet track and demos of new models.  So I go to the factory trailer and ask if I can get a ride.  'Sorry, all demo rides were reserved months ago, of course it's raining, maybe someone won't show'.  I'm offered a ride on the back of one of the big cruisers, so I quickly borrow a helmet, jacket and gloves.  The bike is owned by a advanced riding instructor, and we don't go on the track though.  They're taking the bikes out on the road, through the local villages and hedgerows, about a 30 minute run.  That was fun.  When I get back, the girl with the reservation forms says, 'the 11:30 for the Firestorm hasn't checked in yet, interested?'  Great, I've been eyeing a nice little yellow bike that looks easy to handle, 'Is that the one?'  'No, that's the CB600 Hornet, about the best handling bike here.  The Firestorm is that black one, the street version of the 1000cc VTR1race bike.'  I'm Gonna Die.  I've talked my way into this, now I'm going out on a bike with twice the power of my Norton, and on a wet road in a downpour!  I'm going out and be the only person to lay 

(Continued on page 6)

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