In my experience of owning and driving classic cars since 1980, I have found that, despite often starting journeys solo, I have rarely been alone for very long. A rest stop at a roadside café often brings forth kindred spirits or interested parties and quick cuppas can quickly turn into long chats.
Similarly, breakdowns often lead to help from most unlikely directions. Once, at the roadside fixing my old Daimler SP250 ‘Dart’, a ‘Good Samaritan’ appeared, chain-smoking, on a mobility scooter. This prolonged entrance was followed by a similarly prolonged exit as he disappeared into a summer evening heat haze, returning at a snail’s pace with a much-needed foot-pump, with which I was able to inflate the punctured tyre I’d just repaired. The chap had always loved Daimler SPs, but had never had the opportunity to sit in one – and I was more than happy to indulge him, as he’d just dug me out of a hole.
A long drive deep into the European mainland can bring forth lifelong, cross-border friendships as our cars prise mutual admirers from out of the woodwork.
Classic cars have the ability to turn a journey into an event, be it on the road, or in the garage, it’s these sort of things that can make our pastime even more rewarding.