Italian Job adventure - Day one!



Excellent run down to Spa - (Circuit de Francorchamps, Belgium) where we're spending the first night. Lots of smiles, waves and toots from fellow motorists - there's no better way to travel than in a Mini! :-) Roll on tomorrow's adventures :-) with Jason Field and Tanya Field. (Freddie)



Stopping for a bit of lunch!





A stop along the way

First head  under the bonnet moment



 Italian Job adventure - Day 2!





Certainly a wet day today! We left Spa, after having a peek at the circuit and after a couple of hours driving and some lunch, made our way to the Nurburgring. With Jason Field and Tanya Field (Freddie)



High end cars everywhere today! Firstly Audis on the Spa Circuit, then we found this stray McLaren with British plates outside.

We've made it to the Nurburgring!


Made it to Germany, so time for a beer!

Minis Rule!

The Red Mini Club all run out of petrol at the same time!





Italian Job adventure - Day 3!



Despite the howling winds and at times torrential rain, we still managed a few pics!

It was great to be able to catch up with MINI Clubs International Office, one of our main sponsors who have very kindly donated some Goody Bags for The Italian Job auction. Thank you very much Claudia.

Let's hope for better weather tomorrow and the forecasted snow doesn't hamper our journey! with Jason Field and Tanya Field.






My bed for the night at ibis Muenchen City.



 Outside the BMW Vierzylinder building. Sadly the building
was  too  tall  for  the  iPad,  however,  the  normal   camera
 coped  better,  so   I'll post  those  when  I'm  back  home!

This 1970 Saab was being driven from Sweden to Budapest by its new owner. The only reported problem were the windscreen wipers had packed up, which given today's driving conditions wasn't ideal!




Italian Job adventure - Day 4



What an adventure, not sure it's quite the type I like though!

We started with howling winds and driving rain which as we drove up the Alps, changed to slush and snow. Thankfully, having made it into Italy, we were welcomed with sunshine and smiles. We passed the scrutineering and are now signed up for The Italian Job proper! Roll on tomorrow! with Jason Field and Tanya Field





We met some company along the way - this lovely 1965 Porsche

Not far to Trento Now.




Oh what fun - NOT!

We've made it! Roll on the Italian Job proper!

What a difference - hello Italy!

We've made it! Roll on The Italian Job Propper!





Italian Job adventure - Day 5!
A wonderful day on the navigational rally which took us up Monte Bondone. We started the rally in Trento with most teams getting lost, driving circuits of Trento and waving at each other which was great fun (much better than getting the route correct)! The locals are amazingly tolerant of lost Mini drivers!


  As you can see, the views on Monte Bondone were amazing and the pics speak for themselves. We stopped for coffee on the way up and at a  vineyard when we'd reached the bottom on the other side. with Jason Field and Tanya Field.           




At Monte Bondone.

At Monte Bondone.

At Monte Bondone

At Monte Bondone

At Monte Bondone



At Monte Bondone

I think I'm blocked in! Still, I couldn't be in better company

At Monte Bondone.

At Monte Bondone

At Monte Bondone



   Italian Job adventure - Day 6!

Our first destination was the hydroelectric power plant in Santa Massenza. We had a guided tour of the Plant which is 600m into the mountain.

 The second stop was for a never ending lunch. We had 14 courses/dishes, and they just kept coming and coming! Jason had all of them, and Tanya being vegetarian had to miss several which she didn't mind at all! It was wonderful food and amazing service considering how many of us there are.

Our final stop was the orphanage in Trento where we delivered toys and some of children came out to sit in/admire the Minis :-) with Jason Field and Tanya Field.


At the Hydroelectric power plant in Santa Massenza

Lost? No, were admiring the view.


A lovely mountain view!

At the orphanage

The Minis have to share some of the parking places under the hotel, and Henry is sharing his bay with a lovely 1963 1071S! Go Henry!!





Italian Job adventure - Day 7!

What a fantastic day!

While we were sad to leave Trento and it's lovely people, who never seem to tire of Minis getting lost and clogging up their streets, we were treated to a great time at the Auto Dromo di Modena. The six laps were great, and Jason has some video to follow.

After our track time, we moved on to the Ferrari Museum before leaving Modena and heading to Alessandria which is our base for the next few days.

A great 250 miles of driving today, topped off with finding out that we're top of the leaderboard! Go Henry and Go Team 24! with Jason and Tanya Field.


Saying goodbye to Trento

Lots of red cars - which would you want? You can just spot
 little Henry if you look hard! (We'd take Henry, by the way!)

Outside the Museo Enzo Ferrari in Modena


The Brits doing it in style!


Waiting patiently for our track time at Auto Dromo di Modena

On the track at Auto Dromo di Modena

On the track at Auto Dromo di Modena

On the track at Auto Dromo di Modena




  Italian Job Adventure - Day 8!

Another great day on The Italian Job which again saw us top the
leader board, although with a greatly reduced lead.
Our first stop was to a cycling Museum called Museo Dei Campionissimi. From there we moved on to the Villa Sparina, a winery in a lovely setting with great views. There we were treated to a tour of the cellar and afterwards coffee, juices and a selection of cured meats.




At Villa Sparina

At La Battistina




We then moved on to lunch at La Battistina, another winery with amazing views. Even better, was that the bridge on the road that we were supposed to take had collapsed, meaning either a long detour or crossing a small river. It was a no brainer, so into the water we went (it wasn't deep) but the scramble up the bank on the other side was quite steep. However, we made it on our first attempt with just a little wheel spinning. with Jason Field and Tanya Field.

At Villa Sparina

At La Battistina

The other Minis/MINIs which took the detour, finally joining us at La Battistina

A Mini free pic! Here's Craig and Clive (team 74) sampling the cured meat selection at Villa Sparina





  Italian Job adventure - Day 9!

Just when you think the Italian Job can't get any better, you only end up at Monza!! They very kindly opened the old circuit for us, which we went round first before having two laps on the current F1 circuit - how cool is that!
Well, not too cool for Tanya who after Modena refused to go on the
track with Jason ever again (not unreasonably fearing for her life!), but the ever accommodating Freddie St George took her to the podium and start line so that she could watch the action, and enjoy herself while keeping body and soul together!  Jason was equally pleased not to have to endure her screaming brakes screaming brakes all the way round! Roll on tomorrow!

                                                            At Monza!

Tanya on the podium! The second and third places taken by the Service Van crew!

On the old circuit!

On the old circuit



On the F1 track

Minis on the F1 track

By the Monza Arch!

On the F1 Track!




   Italian Job adventure - Day 10!

Another wonderful day and sadly our last on the Italian Job proper as tomorrow we start to make our way home.

Today was Turin! First stop was the Lingotto building and very sadly we weren't able to take the Minis on the roof as the works which they hoped would be completed in time for our visit had over run. However, we still got to go up and it was amazing just to be on the roof.

Driving around Turin.

The Italian Job Minis from MTC Kent.

Parked up in the Piazza in Turin

Parked up in front of the very weir that the Minis in the Italian
 Job film cross.

Driving into the Piazza

From the famous roof top scene


After lunch we then drove through the streets of Turin with a Police Escort.  This was done in true Italian Job style and driven more like we were back in Monza than in a city! Brilliant fun and the Police were great at holding the traffic back for us. The people of Turin were so pleased to see us - lots of waves and high fives when we were slow enough to high five! What a fantastic what to finish the job and team 24 can't thank Freddie and the rest of the Red Hatters enough. With Jason Field and Tanya Field.

Parked up outside the Lingotto.

Some of the Minis from Maiali Da Corsa, a local Mini Club giving us a very warm welcome.

Parked up in front of the very weir that the Minis in the Italian Job film cross

A couple of our Police escorts.

The Police officers holding back the traffic for us

One one end of the Lingotto roof

The other end of the Lingotto roof.




  Italian Job adventure - Day 11!

Today we left Aleksandra to start to make our way back to the UK. We had a beautiful drive in glorious sunshine - the Alps looked amazing!

Three red Minis travelled together, so we named ourselves the Red Sparrows! We had fun amusing the lorries en route with our synchronised pulling back in manoeuvre.



This involves a quiet spot on the road so not to inconvenience other road users, then all three Minis pass the lorry, but all staying in the outside lane until the last Mini has passed the lorry. Then, using the radios there is a countdown and all the Minis move over to the inside lane at exactly the same time!

We are now staying over in Lyon, before moving on Paris tomorrow. with Jason Field and Tanya Field.


Our picnic area

Our picnic area

The Red Sparrows

The Union Jack Minis


                                    Another of the oh so special one.

While nearly everyone will get that the car in front is a Mini, a few will get that it's a Cooper and the experts will get that it's an RSP. However, do not be mistaken, this is no ordinary RSP! This is the 'oh so specail RSP that once belonged to Mr John Cooper no less', but now belongs to the less special, but equally 'special' in other ways, Mr Roger Hunt.

                                                     Minis on the road.

                                                  The oh so special one!



   Italian Job adventure - Day 12!

It's slightly hard to have an adventurous day driving from Lyon to Paris on the French motorway network, so this post is considerably lacking in thrills and awesomeness!


We had an unremarkable drive to Paris, but we did have fun getting very lost once we arrived. We're weren't the only lost Minis and we managed to join up with another three! Once we arrived at the hotel, we managed to go in the wrong entrance, but couldn't face another lap with Parisian motorists (as mad as the Italians, but with permanent sense of humour failures to boot), to get to the correct entrance, so we took a small short cut!

Up early tomorrow to get to Calais to catch the ferry to Dover. with Jason Field and Tanya Field.


How to get from the front of the hotel to the car park - step 1

How to get from the front of the hotel to the car park - step 3

Fighting our way through Paris Traffic!

The Red Sparrows at lunch - front ends.


How to get from the front of the hotel to the car park - step 2

How to get from the front of the hotel to the car park - step 4. Mission
 almost completed - just a small right hand turn and bingo, the car park!

The Red Sparrows at lunch - back ends.

The lost Red Sparrows joined by three other lost Minis! Lost in France!




  Italian Job adventure - Day 13, the final day!

Today's route consisted of Paris to Calais, jump on a ferry then Dover to Oxford. We are just about to leave Oxford to head for Marlow for the grand finale gala dinner.

Today's adventures en route consisted of some formation manoeuvres by the Red Sparrows (when traffic conditions allowed) - video to follow. Henry had a wiring issue with his near side front indicator, which Jason promptly fixed.




However, our major adventure was with the 'oh so special RSP Mini Cooper owned by Roger Hunt but once owned by Mr John Cooper himself' having issues with the thermostat about 6 miles from the Calais port and chucking out a load of water. Fortunately, the ever efficient and cheery Service Van were right behind, so towed said Special One into Calais where they could safely patch it up to get it on the ferry, but more repairs were required in Dover. Never a dull moment when you're with Minis! with Jason Field and Tanya Field.


Jason fixing Henry's wiring problem

Rogers poorly Mini on the roadside

Being towed to Calais by the Service Van

In the queue for the ferry


Some fellow Jobbers passing us on the way to Calais

Looking at it in the port at Calais

Waiting to get on to the ferry

We passed John and Maureen's Clubman on the M40, which was sadly no longer able to make it under its own steam