Jan 1st, 2012 in Spain ……….

Club member Richard O Rourke forsake the annual New Years Day run here for another, rather sunnier, event in Spain.  Read his story below and see some pics here.

Not long after landing here I found no less than three classic car clubs in the area. I e mailed one and they told me that there was a waiting list for membership ! Never heard the like. Another is called the Sunday Drivers Club and as I try to avoid these at home I decided to pass ( if I could get by). Anyway I decided on the Phoenix Car Club mainly because they run two events a month, a get together on the first Sunday called the Ace Cafe Meeting and a drive to a place of interest later in the month. I met two of their members prior to joining, one a member of the folk music club which I attend and a Merc SL owner and the other, John O'Connell from Galway, whom I met at a filling station by pure chance. He is a former C of C of the Galway Rally and has done safety officer on West Cork. He has an MX5 back in Galway, a '91 Mk1 like mine and he has a Cortina 1600E down here. We agreed to meet on New Year's Day, being the first Sunday of the month, at the Ace Cafe Meeting in Los Monestinos, a village surrounded by orange and lemon groves and about 15 km from where I live.

I was joined by Tommy Heaphy from Listowel, a semi-retired car dealer and an old buddy of Paddy Guerin and in 20 deg sunshine it was roof down all the way. I met the rest of the congregation in Los Monestinos and straight away was made welcome and asked if I would like to join the club which is for classic (25 years and over) and specialist cars (anything younger but interesting) and I was told that my beloved MX5 would be acceptable in the latter category. They are fairly rare in these parts and no one had ever seen a V Special before.

Among the more interesting cars on display were a Fiat Barchetta, two immaculate TR3's, a V12 E Type, a 911 Carrera 2 and a Porsche engined VW Camper complete with lowered suspension and Fuchs wheels. Yank tanks are popular here and in particular Chevy Corvettes are fancied by those with deep pockets or petrol stations. Old cars last well here in the mainly warm and dry climate and are more likely to suffer from sunburn than rust.

The next club outing is to the old port town of Cartagena, a place of great maritime historical interest so watch this space for future reports. I can be contacted at  rjorourke@gmail.com – your Continental Correspondent.

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