TVRs in Switzerland TVR Tour

Racing Through Tunnels


The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Thunder

September 2022

The breakfast room of the hotel was busy, bright and efficient. It also had a fascinating pancake machine which fired out pancakes from scratch, which I’d never seen before.

Our plans for today were to head first off to the Zepplin Museum in Friedrichshafen, which was about 20-minute drive away, and then there’d been some talk about a ferry but I’d not paid enough attention.

Friedrichshafen quay TVR Tour

We packed up the cars in glories sunshine and made our way to Friedrichshafen, finding a car park near the dockside. It took us longer to figure out how to pay for the parking than actually get there.

I wasn’t a massive fan of the idea of the Zepplin Museum, so I said I’d check out the dockside and then meet the boys there.

Zeppelin Museum Cars

Friedrichshafen quay is quite big and reminded me a bit of Lincoln. On one side it’s dominated by the vast Lake Constance, and the other houses a number cafes, bars and the very harsh architecture of the Zepplin Museum.

At one end of the dock there’s a large viewing platform you can climb which gives excellent views over the lake and the dockside. It’s quite high and wobbles slightly in the wind, but well worth the climb.

Zeppelin Museum, Friedrichshafen

I took photos and wandered about a bit, then headed to Zepplin Museum; got told I couldn’t take my tripod in so had to find a locker but I didn’t have any change. Luckily, M had finished in the Museum and looked after it in the foyer. I then went in to see what it was all about.

In my usual style, I did the Museum in about 8 minutes and popped out the other end to meet the team. J went off to book some ferry tickets and we headed back to the cars to bring them around.

TVRs on Lake Constance Ferry

It turned out we were heading over to Switzerland on the ferry. Lake Constance is huge.

The cruise to Switzerland was pleasant as we could stand on the foredeck and watch the other boats with the cars safely parked. There was a light breeze, and the water was as flat as a mill pond, but as we approached our destination, all our phones stopped working as they switched mobile providers. We had a brief panic about roaming charges in a non-EU country but soon forgot these as the docking procedure started.

TVR Cerbera Switzerland

I jumped in the Cerb, with John acting as a foot passenger – the Cerbera’s passenger door being too big to open the way we’d parked.

The ramp went down, the leading cars pulled out, and I followed the T350 past border control. I felt I’d forgotten something a mile or two down the road, then realised in my haste to leave the ferry and get through any potential customs I’d forgotten John.

I pulled over, and the tiny spec in my rearview mirror grew more prominent and formed a familiar shape. In keeping with true Britishness abroad, John didn’t say a word and just got in, which made me feel worse.

TVR T350 TVR Tour on the Hochtannbergpass

We grabbed some food and headed through Switzerland into Austria. The roads were empty apart from the occasional Austrian bus driver going at pace, and the Cerb’s heart beat loud as we passed quaint villages and interested onlookers. The perfect asphalt followed blue alpine rivers down lush green valleys into avalanche-protected tunnels.

One particular tunnel had an odd sign at its entrance. It was “kleines Licht”. By the time I’d filtered Mozart’s “Eine kleine Nachtmusik” meaning and taken a guess at “Licht”, we were plunged into total and absolute darkness.

We both tried to remember where TVR’s user experience team had randomly put the headlights “on” switch. John hit the hazards to provide at least some form of light, albeit in the form of a pulsing sonar effect. The equally confused bikers behind us shed some light on the chaotic scene, which thankfully avoided us pinballing off the walls as the tunnel twisted and turned.

KTM in Austria

Luckily the tunnel was short, and we popped out the other end; our lesson learnt about driving other people’s cars. We agreed never to talk about it again.

Austrian Tunnel The TVR Tour The Need for Speed

The roads headed up into the clear air of the mountains; patches of snow appeared and then turned into a landscape of white. After a brief stop for the mandatory snowball fight, we powered on over impressive bridges, past majestic peaks and terrifying drops. This was motorbike country, and out of all the driving we did, I was happiest up here in a warm, fast car, surrounded by unspoilt beauty.

TVR Tour on the way to Neuschwanstein Castle

All too soon, we came down from the mountains and headed to the legendary Neuschwanstein Castle for a quick look around. Have you not heard of it? I bet you’ve seen it, though – it was made famous in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, where the child catcher lives and is equally spectacular in the flesh.

We attempted to ask all the waitresses in the local restaurant (as we tucked into schnitzel and Schweinshaxen) if they’d seen Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and were met with blank looks.

chicken schnitzel and chips at the Bratwurst verkauf

Chitty Chitty Bang Band was famous everywhere except in Germany.

Our stomachs were full, and our drive for the day was complete; we headed to the hotel and parked next to all the other TVRs, ready for the following day’s trip.

Neuschwanstein Castle Germany

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