Today we headed to Horsham to visit a new venue for us. Once again, we had a curated route pre-planned, thanks to our resident route master Paul J. An envigorated drive from multiple start points.
For this blog post, we have a new guest writer. Former EVO magazine journalist Ben Read, joined us to experience the thrills of one of our events.
Thank you to everyone that took part and helped make the event happen. But without further ado, let’s hand it over to Ben.
A silent industrial estate in Hampshire, accompanied by finger numbing temperatures; is certainly not where I tend to spend my time at 8:25am, on a Sunday. Thankfully the journey over to the start point is at least dry, with a smattering of light breaking through the otherwise grey morning.
Luckily though, the dreary business park is splintered by the unmistakably angry sound of a V8 Aston Martin. As I watch it crawl its’ way in and park up, I already feel like an excitable, gleeful child… I know, grow up, Ben.
Shortly after the arrival of said Aston Martin N430, draped in the classic green and yellow, comes the more reserved sound of Pauls’ rather more serious looking Porsche GT3. It’s easy to forget just how far the GT3 has come since the original, with the 991.2 model now festooned with more aerodynamics than an F-22 fighter jet.
No sooner has Paul arrived, (who I’m assured sticks to the legal speed limits of the road at all times) than a precession of bright colours filter into the park.
As I gaze around, summoning the confidence to approach this group of people, chattering and laughing between them, stood next to an ungodly amount of horsepower, a few eyes turn to me, and I wait for the inevitable ‘stranger in a local pub moment,’ where the world becomes silent, as the resident locals question the outsider amongst them.
It didn’t come.
I’m met with a wonderfully warm welcome, with several asking if I’m okay and whether I’m looking for someone in particular (I was).
I’m directed towards Tony, my contact at the Club, and after a brief conversation, I’m introduced to a truly amazing, eclectic, and diverse mix of people, from all ages and backgrounds, all there for the same purpose: cars. And my word, fast cars at that.
Whether you’re looking at the bright orange McLaren 720S, or the deep blue Mercedes-Benz AMG GT, oozing into the estate, shaking attendees’ bone marrow with its’ wonderfully deep, off-kilter V8 engine.
Many introductions and chats later, and once Greg, the Clubs’ founder, had remembered that it was, in fact, Sunday, and thus joined us; the journey to Torque Moto Cafe begun.
In a cacophony of noise, I hunkered down into Tonys’ Lamborghini Gallardo, acting as rear gunner for the formation of cars making their way out of the estate.
A necessary mention is that it felt a genuine privilege to watch the driving of Jenny, leading us with wide lines into tight corners, (unsurprisingly it turns out Jenny is an ex-racer) in her Ferrari F430 Spider.
Eventually, having negotiated many country lanes, fast straights, and a few heavily overweight policemen having a snooze in the road, we made it to Torque Moto Cafe.
Much discussion, coffee, and bacon rolls later, and I have to begin making my assessment of this club, and its’ members.
What can I say, about the people in this club? What an utterly respectful, enjoyable, genuine bunch of human beings they are. I’ll confess, it’s difficult not to have preconceptions about a group of people who own such serious machinery.
I’ve been in the car industry, working with some very prestigious brands for many years. Frankly, a great many supercar owners are, pardon my French, “Richards.” But this group of people totally defied such generalisations.
Whether you’re talking about Jackie, the new member who arrived in his Gallardo LP560-4, welcomed by everyone immediately, or Petro; completely insistent that his favourite car in his fleet was his ND2 Mazda MX5; proclaimed shortly before he stepped back into his ultra-rare Aston Martin Vantage AMR manual.
Three days later, and I’m still not sure I believe him…
I’ll bring this to a close now before suspicions are raised regarding my being the original author of the Bible. But for now, all I’ll say to anyone toying with the idea of paying their money and joining this club…..
In the immortal words of Nikes’ marketing campaign, Just Do It… Or, something less cheesy.
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Paul Tallant GALLERY
SOCIAL TAG: @paultallant
MARK HOULDRIDGE GALLERY
SOCIAL TAG: @markhouldridge.cars