09/07/16 UPDATE by Charlie and Mark
Day 1 wed: after our late start from Canterbury, caught shuttle to Calais. Soon after our arrival, Josephine started coughing and spluttering. Lost power but could drive slowly. Started checking through the electrics to isolate the problem. With numerous
roadside stops we swapped around all sorts of components with spares we had brought with us but the old girl would not run properly. Worried about evening drawing in, we found a place to stay in Guines near Calais for the night. In the morning, we headed off slowly – found a garage in the countryside, and we looked at the fuel system. Took carburettor apart, and was filled with dirt. Cleaned it, and Josphine roared into life.
Fantastic run south in glorious sunshine, until we neared Neufchâtel en Bray, and due to an accident, we sat virtually motionless in a tail back for 3 hours. Decided to stay in Neufchâtel overnight – and carried on next morning to Le Mans. Had a great run without incident through lovely countryside, and mainly clear roads arriving at around 5pm.
Today, cloudy but dry, and we head off shortly to the circuit…
Charlie Oakes and Mark Hollis are driving a 1933 MG sports car (‘Josephine’) to Le Mans and back in July to support Catching Lives.
Their JustGiving page can be found here
Charlie and Mark say,
“The round trip is just over 500 miles which is a long way for an old car, and the outcome is by no means certain. We thought it would be a great challenge to see if we can get there, and back again, without being towed or put on a rescue trailer! Although the car is in great restored condition, old components do have a habit of giving up, so it is a gamble. But we are determined to do it, and without a hood, so if the weather is unfavourable, we may get a little wet…
…Which brings us to the most important reason for this trip. We want
to raise money for CATCHING LIVES (www.catchinglives.org), a charity based in Canterbury, Kent, UK, which does wonderful things to support and help rough sleepers, the homeless and vulnerably housed in Canterbury and East Kent; those who have, for many reasons, fallen through the gaps in society and feel they have nowhere else to turn. So, if we get there and back under our own power, it would be great if you could make a donation to CATCHING LIVES and help this charity continue to make a fantastic contribution to the community.
All donations will go directly to the charity, and NONE of the money will be used to subsidise the trip to Le Mans.
6th July, 10am – depart from CATCHING LIVES in Canterbury,
take Le Shuttle from Folkestone to Calais, 125 mile drive to Isneauville near Rouen for the first night in a B&B. Estimated time – 4 to 18 hours (to allow for possible puncture repairs and engine change????)
7th July – drive from Isneauville to La Quinte
(near Le Mans); 125 miles, Based in B&B for 4 nights
8th July – drive from La Quinte to the Le Mans circuit prior to the 24 hour Le Mans Classic race the next day. We will be actively raising awareness of CATCHING LIVES in the pre-1966 classic car paddock at the circuit.
9th July – drive to the Le Mans circuit, and in the morning, participate with other classic cars in 2 parade laps of the famous circuit prior to the start of the 24 hour Le Mans Classic race.
10th July – Observe finish of the 24 hour Le Mans Classic race
11th July – 125 mile drive to B&B in Isneauville
near Rouen for one night
12th July – 125 mile drive to Calais; Le Shuttle to Folkestone,
and finish at CATCHING LIVES in Canterbury at approximately 3.30pm”