London-Nice – by Marcos




Inspired by the story of a lady driver’s London-Nice drive in a day, I decided to attempt something similar in my Marcos 3-litre. Because of business commitments at the 11th hour, I got only three hours’ sleep on the evening of August 19th before leaving for Dover (200 miles) at midnight. The 5.30 boat was an hour late in docking, so that it was 8.45 before my 16-year-old son and I left Calais.

We arrived in Marseille at 6.30 that evening; unfortunately our average dropped badly over the next 80 miles because of the very poor N7, holiday traffic, cautions and fading light—also a fair and traffic diversions in St. Raphael. However, we still arrived at Antheor by 8 o’clock. In all, a total of 780 miles, including one minor diversion from our actual route. The day was very hot, but there was a stiff cross-wind on the auto routes. The effect of wind noise and buffeting, driving at 115 m.p.h. for hours on end with windows and roof open, was most fatiguing, and consequently I made at least six stops (not timed) to eat, drink and smoke, quite apart from petrol stops (I had to stop for petrol three times).

No oil was needed to top up and petrol consumption was 22 m.p.g. I was passed by one car—a Ferrari!

Returning sedately behind my wife’s Cortina, the Marcos returned 31 m.p.g.

BRIAN WOOLLEY – Loughborough

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