In these ‘physically distancing’ times, ‘proper’ runs have not been possible and therefore Area Rep Terry Jones decided we should try a ‘virtual’ run, following a run sheet much as we would for ‘proper’ runs but seated at a computer rather than in our lovely cars.
Terry emailed the run sheets to members the day before and suggested members start the run at 10am using Google maps street view. To make the run more interesting, members were invited to find as many connections as they could find with the route directions and Aston Martin.
The first connection was fairly obvious as we started in Vantage Way, Crafers in the Adelaide hills (a name applied to several Aston models since 1950). At the end of this road was SPA track (Aston Martin won at Spa, Belgium in 1948 and the winning 2L car was auctioned by Bonhams in 2015 and sold for USD781,000!). We proceeded to Salmon Ave (Joseph Salmons was the carriage maker that ‘morphed’ into Tickfords in Newport Pagnell. Tickfords was purchased by David Brown in 1955 and Aston Martin production moved to the Tickford facility) then LIONEL Drive (Lionel Martin was a co-founder of Aston Martin), BROWN St (David Brown was the owner of Aston Martin from 1947 to 1972), MARTIN Rd (see earlier point.
We also travelled via ROBERT St (ROBERT Bamford was the other co-founder of Aston Martin) and DAVID St (see earlier point) then WILLIAM St (In 1966, William Towns started working at Aston Martin designing seats. He became the designer of the DBS/AMV8, Bulldog and Lagonda cars before leaving in 1977). We drove through the town of STIRLING (STIRLING Moss was the lead driver for the very successful Aston Martin team that won Le Mans and the World Sports Car Championship in 1959) and down CRICKLEWOOD St (a ‘distant’ connection here in that WO Bentley’s early factory was at Cricklewood and he designed a 2.6L OHC engine when employed by Lagonda that was the reason David Brown bought the company – the engine was used in the early DB series cars).
A little later we drove down ETON Rd Aldgate (Lionel Martin was educated at Eton) and MILAN Tce (Zagato was founded and located in Milan – there has been a very longstanding connection between the Italian coachbuilding company and Aston Martin).
Terry was very impressed by the industry of some of our members who were making jam or ploughing fields while their partners were doing the run. He was also impressed with the connections members made that he did not and while this made judging more difficult, Terry managed it.
Terry did the run with the computer set up on his AMV8 with a glass of red to lubricate the driver (something not allowed on ‘proper’ runs!).
The winner of the competition was Sally Clarke who did the drive on her computer located in her study that is adorned with numerous motoring memorabilia and she advised Terry that she intends to put her prize (a numbered bottle of Stirling Moss 722 Chardonnay named after the 1955 Mille Miglia that Sir Stirling won) in one of her ‘trophy’ cabinets.
Both Sally and Terry noted that the ‘virtual’ run took about as long to do as the ‘proper’ run might have taken and while it was much more economical, it wasn’t as much fun.
With good fortune, we shan’t need another ‘virtual’ run as the State opens up more and we shall be able to get back to our usual way of operating.