A Drive to Remember

A Drive to Remember: My TVR Adventure Across Europe

If someone had told me a year ago, “Would you fancy burning through 900 litres of premium fuel over nearly 2,000 miles across Europe?” I’d have looked at them as if they’d grown a second head. 

Yet, here I am, recounting the very adventure that, at first glance, sounds utterly preposterous. But that’s the peculiar allure of TVR driving; it’s the passion, the thrill of Saturday morning thunder, and the engineering quirks that turn heads and make children point in awe as you roar past.

Allow me to confess, though: I don’t own a TVR. This journey was my maiden voyage with one, and what a voyage it was—traversing unfamiliar roads in countries where they drive on the wrong side. A baptism of fire, indeed, albeit a metaphorical one.

Coming from the world of mundane, front-wheel-drive diesels, the prospect of handling a couple of 20-year-old TVRs (a T350 and a Cerbera) was nerve-wracking. These cars came without modern comforts—no ABS, traction control, crumple zones, or airbags—but they did come with seatbelts, aircon, and two fire extinguishers, which I dared not ask about.

Dave, the owner of these spirited beasts, provided us with a ‘newbie pack’ before departure. Printed A4 sheets detailed the idiosyncrasies of his TVRs—how to open the T350’s petrol cap, the optimal oil temperature, and in glaring red, “no synchro in reverse.” My companions, John and Mark, and I chanted this mantra like a sacred incantation.

The trip was masterminded by Ben Coombs, famed for his Pub2Pub expedition from the Northernmost bar on the globe to the Southern, obviously in a TVR. Ben’s expertise spared us the logistical headaches, leaving us free to fumble with packing our bags into the TVRs. 

Our journey began in the Wirral at sunset, racing towards Kent to join the rest of the group at a Premier Inn. By the time we arrived, everyone sensible had retired for the night.

At an ungodly hour the next morning, we made brief introductions and then awakened the quiet town with the thunderous roars of our TVRs. Navigating the world’s most baffling double roundabout, we set our sights on the Chunnel and promptly missed the giant blue sign. After a brief detour through Kent’s scenic countryside, we finally joined the Chunnel car park, packed with various sports cars.

The crossing was a marvel of efficiency, though using the self-service ticket barrier from a low sports car provided much amusement for those behind us. On French soil, I was relieved that the T350’s digital display could switch to KPH, unlike the Cerbera’s more traditional dials.

Ben’s itinerary allowed for flexibility, with daily suggestions for places to visit. This autonomy meant we could explore at our own pace, though often in convoy. Our first destination was Bruges, where rain greeted us, making the experience of driving powerful, rear-wheel-drive cars all the more thrilling.

I had anticipated favouring the T350 with its modern styling, but it was the Cerbera’s relaxed luxury and remapped engine that won my heart. Its 4.2-litre V8 grumbled approvingly, earning us the nickname ‘the children’ after an overzealous revving session in a Baden-Baden tunnel.

Bruges, despite the rain, was charming. Hot cheese and ham toasties revived us after a drenching walk through the old town. Promising to return, we headed back to our cars and prayed for sunshine the next day.

Our prayers were answered. Clear skies and dry roads led us to the Waterloo battleground—a sobering yet fascinating visit. The real excitement, however, lay in Richie’s Ruby Mica Red Chimaera, which dazzled in the sunlight. This wasn’t any ordinary Chimaera; it boasted a 4.6-litre engine and a supercharger, promising thrilling performances on the Autobahn.

The following days took us through Germany’s engineering marvels, including the Technic Museum in Speyer—a vast tribute to aerospace and adventure. We also visited the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, a shrine to automotive excellence, where I dashed around like a giddy child.

The Autobahn beckoned next, where the Cerbera’s prowess was put to the test. Despite some hair-raising moments, such as a lorry’s near miss, the experience was exhilarating. Alpine cafes and the breathtaking Black Forest provided scenic interludes reminiscent of the best parts of North Wales but without the hindrance of speed cameras.

A ferry ride across Lake Constance into Switzerland, exploring the Zeppelin museum, and tackling alpine roads followed, each day packed with unique experiences. The ascent to the Eagle’s Nest, despite the freezing temperatures, was awe-inspiring, offering a glimpse into history from a lofty perch.

Our final days included a visit to the Rossfeld Panorama Strasse, a private road that dips in and out of Germany and Austria, offering spectacular views and thrilling drives. We even made a pit stop at Red Bull’s Hangar-7, an engineering marvel filled with Formula 1 cars and aircraft, before heading to the Nürburgring.

The Nürburgring, a hallowed ground for motorsport enthusiasts, provided one last adventure. Despite a scare with the Cerbera’s fuel levels, we managed a professional track taxi experience that left us breathless.

As we journeyed back through Belgium, reflecting on our escapade, I realised this trip had transformed my perception of TVRs. They are not just cars; they are conduits of passion and engineering marvels that evoke joy and admiration.

If you’ve been contemplating taking your beloved TVR on a grand tour, an organised trip with fellow enthusiasts is a splendid idea. The camaraderie, the shared expertise, and the sheer thrill of the journey make it an unforgettable experience.

So, should you ask if we tested the TVRs on the Autobahn, I’ll leave you with a knowing smile and a cryptic, “I couldn’t possibly comment.”

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FAQs: Embarking on a TVR Adventure Across Europe

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) are here to provide you with quick answers to common queries about our thrilling TVR driving experiences across Europe. Discover the excitement and unique aspects of these journeys and how you can join in on the fun.

How can I prepare for a TVR road trip?2024-07-11T15:48:56+00:00

Preparing for a TVR road trip involves understanding the quirks of these classic cars, packing essentials, and planning the route. It’s essential you’re confident driving the car on demanding roads and you’ve had a really good service. Remember, there’s no guarantees any car will survive this kind of punishment. Also consider breakdown cover. Though we booked through a TVR lover – planetpub2pub.com/drives

What makes a TVR road trip across Europe unique2024-07-11T15:47:57+00:00

A TVR road trip offers a blend of exhilarating driving, stunning scenery, and camaraderie among fellow enthusiasts. Join us to experience the thrill of powerful cars and the beauty of Europe. See also TVR Tour.

By |2024-07-11T17:40:52+00:00July 11th, 2024|Home Carousel|0 Comments

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