This week’s little jaunt is a trip across the hills to Yorkshire, for Andy Ellis’ meet at Scotch Corner. 215 miles there and back.

Preston to Scotch Corner and back in the Capri

Why is it that most of my journeys start with the bonnet up? It’s daft … it started fine in the garage, I drove it out, I switched it off whilst Selina went to get a “spare” jumper and when she got back I turned the key and got … nothing Lights on the dash, but not a sound, not even the little click of the starter.

After a few goes of hooking it up to the defibrillator and smacking the starter with a broom handle, it just fired up as normal – so I’m guessing I’ll be needing to check, clean and lube the starter.

Once we got out onto the open road, the car felt fine and the sure-footedness that had been noticed after going up to the wider tyres was still there, so I don’t think I was imagining it first time out The clear blue skies and dry roads no doubt played a part too, but I’m glad I’ve changed the wheels now Blatting north up the M6, we didn’t see any other old Fords, but got cheery waves from both a Vauxhall Viva 1100 GLS and a Morris Minor pickup. Once you get off the M6 and onto the A66 you start to go up in the world, as the clouds get an awful lot closer and the wind “freshens up” a little. Traveller’s tip for you: stop off at the Stainmore Cafe and sample their varied all-day breakfast menu It’s mainly a trucker’s stop, but a bit of the car park’s been done up nicely so that you won’t lose your car in the potholes

Breakfast at Stainmore Cafe with the Capri

Once we reached Scotch Corner, it was apparent a few had decided to get there early … we were the 38th Capri that Andy had counted, never mind all the other marques rapidly filling up the car park Thankfully, there was room for everyone, but I’m not sure that some of the BMW drivers going to the gym were impressed

Scotch Corner Classic Ford Capri Meet 2008

It was great to see so many cars out for their first run of the year

Capri at Scotch Corner

By about four we were ready for the off, so set the bat-nav to take us home, but chose the “Avoid motorways” option This takes you through some marvellous Yorkshire scenery …

Stopped off for some fresh air and a glass of pop at a little place called Kettlewell that’s managed to retain that sort of bygone times feel to it – without crossing over the line and becoming too twee.

Capri in Kettlewell, North Yorkshire

After that, we headed for home and the car felt much more relaxing to drive than the last time I’d tackled the same roads. The new steering rack and suspension bushes have made turn-in a much more positive experience (and less of a fight), the new tyres and wheels have given it a lot more grip, stability and inspires more confidence and the new springs front and back have firmed things up nicely.

One thing the springs have shown up, though, is the old dampers – they simply can’t dampen the bounce enough, so you now get more pronounced fore/aft pitching. But bless, they’re thirty years old so it’s not too surprising that they can’t cope anymore … I’ll have to look out for some Spax adjustables, or similar. It’ll also be interesting to see just how much difference an axle location kit makes, but I’m not fitting one for the moment so that I can get a true feel for the car … then change it and report back

All in, a nice trip out and exactly the sort of thing that I got the car for in the first place

EDIT 04/04/2008:

merp0: Car’s lookin’ good Stu. Good read too, also like your eye for a picture, great “condiment” shot.

me: I have to confess that the arty ketchup shot is one of Selina’s … I was off taking a leak and came back to find her composing a shot, much to the bemusement of a group of tired-looking truckers

DarthVader: Well done STU !!

PaulAlex:  Quality read again Stu – its good to hear of somoene actually enjoyng their car rather than most of our posts about fighting to get our cars running

PIG: well done with the car m8,and it is a very good read,hats off to ya