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6,298 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Evening all.
I tried to post this thread yesterday but after spending literally 5 hours putting all words and pictures together, the web page froze and I lost it all.

I got back yesterday from a 12 day tour of Europe in me car with me missus.

We didnt really have a plan, all i knew is that i definately wanted to go to the Nurburgring and possibly the Swiss Alps.

I wanted to put my 17'' GTA teledials back on for the journey due to them having far better tread than my not ideal 19'' tyres but unfortunately I didnt have time to do this due to not finishing work until 2 hours before departure (and working the previous 18 consecutive days).

Off we go. We headed north through the tyne tunnel and to the Port of Tyne
V V It started off well when a nice red Integrale pulls up behind me in the queue for the ferry.

V V I nattered to him (dutch fella, been to edinburgh for the weekend) for a while and we boarded ship.

V V Leaving Newcastle behind

V V Arrived Ijmuiden, Holland the next morning and made our way to Amsterdam. V V

Sampled the delights of the 'Dam, got a hotel and headed onwards the next day.
V V Headed into Germany, destination the Harts mountains. We found a nice campsite along the way though. V V

The next day we carried on towards the harts mountains in the scorching heat (35 degrees) and unfortunately we got a puncture in the front N/S (or O/S in germany). No problem i thought, we have got a tin of that stuff that alfa give you rather than a spare wheel (i think this is only when your car has the 330mm brakes ??), i followed the instructions and put it in.
It didnt make a blind bit of difference and air continued to pizz out.

Oh well, good job i sorted out european breakdown recovery (for £69) before we set off. I rang them and they sent us a low loader out in about an hour.
what a bloody nightmare it was though trying to get me lowered, big wheeled poncey motor onto the truck tho, i'm not kidding you it took at least an hour to do this, not helped by the fact that I had forgotten me towing eye (dime bar anyone). Tried all which ways and then i resorted to jacking me car up at the front and getting me coilocer spanner and adjusting them at both sides at the front to raise the car a little. What a fecking rigmorole. Done this and ended up reversing it on.
Got some pics of it on the recovery truck on me missus' phone but it got nicked later.
The recovery man took us to the nearest big-ish town (we were in the middle of nowhere) and dropped us off at a tyre/exhaust place.
We were then told that we would have to wait till friday (2 days) for tyres to arrive in my size. As this was the only option, we had to take it so we left the car at the tyre place and went to find a nearby campingplatz.
In the meantime I sorted out a hire car because I knew I was entitled to one as part of my 'gold' recovery package. They were not going to offer me this, i had to ask, but glad I did as when we got to hertz, they had a Focus CoupeCabriolet waiting. Obviously not my fav car but in the heat of the day it was quite nice to ponce about in a cabriolet. which was soooooooooo slow. Even slower than that 1.2 punto loan car i had a few weeks ago, there was just nothing there, even first gear seemed slow, it was ridiculous. Despite this though, i managed to get flashed off a speed camera doing 100kph in an 80 zone. This is the first time I have EVER been caught for speeding. Gutted.
I didnt tell hertz when i gave the car back though so we'll see if owt comes of it. I cant imagine recieving any points from this, maybe a fine at worst ??? we'll see though.

Anyway... got me car back on the Friday with 2 new Avon sommat-or-others on the front for 280 euros all in which i thought was fairly reasonable.
From here we decided to head straight to the Nurburgring cos we had been put back a couple of days already so off we went. V V

V V Spotted this on the way which I thought was lovely on those steelies. Had to do a u-turn to get the piccie.

Stopped off at the supermarket a couple of km's away from the 'ring.
Things are looking up. V V

V V Its obvious were in the area now cos every other car is some kind of performance orientated car, and half of them seemed to be 911's V V

We find the main Ring area. By this point, im a bit bowled over by what im witnessing, at times struggling to take it all in. I think its the best place ive ever been !!

We find a campsite attatched to the ring and set up camp. V V


6,298 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
The next morning I was woken by the LOUD noise of racing cars racing. Proper LOUD though, it seemed like i was in me tent next to the track. Got sorted and headed up to see what was what.

I quickly realised that my puncture a couple of days prior was actually a blessing in disguise because I had only planned to turn up to the ring, do some laps, have a quick mooch about and leg it to my next destination but it turns out that there was a 'Classic/sports/oldtimers' event being held and there was proper racing on the track all weekend (from 8am - 10pm) and loads of car shows/stands etc.
We paid our 36 euros each (i think) and had a look up on the grandstand V V

Then we went to have a look around. I spotted a load of Alfas in one car park. At this point I was cursing myself for forgetting my memory card for me fone and was frantically deleting absolutely everything i could to make room for pics.
V V Heres the Alfas just in the car park..................

V V Never seen a GT with them wheels lowered before. Looks :cool:

V V Nice wheels and zorst (novitec)


6,298 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
More Alfa photos from the car park...... V V

V V And below is my absolute favourite from the car park and quite possibly one of the prettiest cars ive ever layed eyes on.
A GT 1600 Junior

That Junior was an absolute peach.

Below are some non Alfas in the same car park
V V Mainly old BMW's, some of which ive never seen before.

V V I like this one muchly V V


6,298 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
V V Some more Non Alfas, still in the car park here…….

V V i like this A610 below a lot too V V

V V nice pair of Audis V V

Ive finished in the car park, now up to the club line up areas.
I wasnt quite prepared for the sheer amount of mint Alfas i was about to see.
Again, I had to be choosy about which ones I took photos of because there were soooo many. I concentrated on the ones you dont see everyday and the ones that were a little different, im not even keen on a couple of 'em but took photos anyway just cos they were a bit different. Enjoy......


6,298 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Yet more Alfas in the Alfa Club Line up................

V V Wet my pants when I seen this. :wow: Its got my wheels!!!! and they're 19's an'all. He had 225 tyres tho rather than my 235's. I think it looks the nuts. Its obviously been slammed too. He's put Alfa centre caps on his where i have kept the black 'BBS' centre caps. Well mint.


6,298 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Yet more Alfa's in the Alfa Club line up...................

V V Another one of my favourites on display. Them wheels just look sooo right on this SZ V V


And heres the Alfa Club tent below V V

And inside it V V

Just outside tent V V

And these hiding just round the corner V V

I really liked this 75 too. Very mean lookin. Lovely. V V


6,298 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Last picture from Saturady.
We finished off by sitting on the grand stand and watching the proceedings V V

Now were onto Sunday.
I'd still not driven the 'Ring yet so that was pencilled in for the day and a final look around at all the cars cos I knew I hadnt even seen half of them.
Non Alfas in the Club sections V V .......
X/19 with Fiat Coupe wheels

Forgot how small these were V V

Panteras. Have you seen the size of the rear tyre compared to the front

V V with a kit and some 33 rear lights.

BMW M Power in this one.

This one below was one of my favourites tho. Surely one of the meanest looking cars, ever. Loved the blackness of it, the extreme dish wheels and the trumpets just sticking out of the engine compartment. An amazing amount of presence. V V

And a KTM X-bow which was mad. V V

V V And a couple of others I forgot to put in earlier V V


6,298 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Sorry about the delay in writing this last post but i wasnt able to think straight all weekend.

Right then, so we're still on the Sunday of my weekend at the 'Ring.
I had spent most of Saturday looking around and taking loadsa of photographs and I now had space for only about 10 more pictures on my camera/fone because i had forgotten me memory card.

So, I started to use my missus' phone which only had space for a further 20 photos which worried me slightly because of the sheer amount of amazing cars that were there.
I started snapping away on hers anyway, more Alfas, that'll do!!

We realised that we hadnt even seen half of what was on offer so far.
We'd only watched the racing from the secondary grandstand the day before and hadnt even crossed the main road (under or over) to get to the main grandstand and show area.
So off we went to get into this area, we quickly realised that the tickets we bought the day before were only a day pass for the saturday, doh! and because i knew we were heading onwards at tea time time we decided not to shell out another 70-ish euros to get into the main arena and spend that money instead in laps around the 'ring.
I was a bit gutted at the time that we didnt get to see all of what was on offer, especially when you consider that the big names, i.e. supercars, were all on show there but nevermind. Just regret not going into the main area on the saturday when we had the chance. Still, you live and learn.
I wasnt THAT bothered tho cos at least i'd seen most of the alfas on show.

Our next mission was to find the ring entrance, buy some lap time, and get round in one piece.

We got directions off some english lads who who were there in a big group and made our way there.
I took the remaining few photos on my camera and quite a few on my missus' phone, i think she was moaning at this point about every single one of her holiday snaps, bar one, featuring a car, teehee. I was just seeing it as having my priorities straight, but as stated earlier, her phone ended up getting nicked, which i'll ellaborate on shortly.

Anyway, I found the place, payed around 70 euros, i think, for 4 laps and went to prepare myself in the car park. I was a little nervous to say the least.

V V Got excited when I saw this...........

a proper ring'd up GTA.

He had some kind of 'tech spec' sheet inside his windscreen which i tried to fathom. As far as i could work out though, the engine was standard but it had a roll cage and other fancy bits. I couldnt work the colour out though cos it definately wasnt the same pearly effect as Ghostys/MattyB's, it looked like the colour wasnt finished, like it had no laquer on, almost matt white. I dont know if this was his 'look' or wether it was unfinished but up close, i wasnt impressed with the finish of it. Still drooled all over it though. And no, the roof wasnt carbon fibre, just painted black which i quite liked, speshly with the wheels.

Plucked up my courage and me and her waited in line, with around 6 cars inbetween me and the barrier. The queue went down quick enough and i was cacking my pants, saying to myself over and over 'keep right, overtake on the left. keep right, overtake on the left'.
I was 3 cars away from the barrier and then some siren starts to wail and officials are flapping around. They tell the cars queued up to turn around and wait in the car park for half an hour cos there has been a crash on the circuit and the ambulance needs to get through. Rollocks! Off to the car park we went, which turned out to be an hours wait rather than half.
By this point the car park was bedlam so i decided to go and buy a litre of 10-60 fully synthetic in the meantime.
V V On the way out I snapped this. lovely jubbly.........

We went to the nearest garage who didnt stock anything of the kind, and it was all in german, but it wasnt absolutely crucial so we headed off.
On the way back to the ring, i spotted what looked like a field/compound literally full of Alfa 75's, a couple of Integrales and 911's inc. GT3. We had time to kill so i thought i'd go and check it out.
I'm assuming it was this place,
Looked like an excellent set up.
When we got to the entrance the english lads that i had chatted to earlier were busy borrowing an angle grinder off the place, removing the bonnet of their supercharged E36 M3 and cutting a big hole in it on the grass to aid cooling of their motor. wollys.
The lads who worked at the garage were a lot friendlier than this lot and helped me out no end by giving me the last litre from their barrel of Castrol 10-60 fully synth for 15 euros so i gave him 20. Heres the lad that sorted me out at the entrance of the workshop....

Top lad.

Back to the car park then to do me first lap as the queues had died down a little.

I was still crapping me pants at the unknown though.
Waited in line, put me ticket in the machine, barrier lifted and off i went, cautiously.
MINT, im on the ring. WooHooooooo!!
Taking it fairly easy, sussing it out, after about the second corner some cars overtake me, i realise that im being daft cos you can basically see the line to take most of the time just by looking at the cars in front of you so I PROPER WELLY'D IT ALL THE WAY AROUND !!

She was saying to me, ''I hope this is not what you call taking it easy !!'' 'no' i replied. haha.
That all went in a flash and we got to the final straight which came a lot sooner than I imagined it too. I was filtered into what turned out to be the car park again.

I was a little confused. I niavely thought someone would thrust a bit of paper in my face with my time on it, but none of that, i hadnt a clue how long it had taken me there.
I also thought that drivers got to go on the bottom loop raceway bit, but none of that. I kind of knew that already since the oldtimers were racing on there all weekend, but wasnt sure before the lap.

So when you see people with their trophy ring stickers on the back of their cars, these stickers include the bottom race track loop bit, which these cars/drivers probably wont have even driven on. In a slight way I felt a bit conned. stupid i know but thats how i felt.

Lets not dwell on the specifics though cos I had just done one of them things that I had always wanted to do and I was buzzing. I thought id be shaking/trembling with adrenaline but i was calm in that respect, but absolutely sweating my **** off.

I went back to the car park to let me car cool down a bit and try to take in what had just happened.

V V I parked next to this yellow Zagato and got chatting to him in his broken english. He showed me through his photo album of the car which has hundreds and hundreds of photos of him restoring the car 20 years ago, it was not far off a horrible rusty shell before he started and him and his mate tackled every aspect of the build. It was amazing to see and it was still in showroom condition as far as i could see. Much respect goes out to that man. Good work fella.
I got more pics on her camera but as i said, nicked later on.

Time for another lap. Off we went. I gave it rock all again and made use of the carousel banking this time which was lumpy and scary and thanked the gods i didnt have standard suspension.
I was overtaking loads of stuff, even one of them old M roadsters, then an old MX-5 overtook me who obviously knew the course rather well, a lot of the bikes on there seemed to be a little more scared than the car drivers, waving people past which i suppose i can understand.
I was also thanking the lords of Q2 and quite a few occasions, but cursing my brakes cos they were fairly mushy by the end of the second lap. Must get them braided hoses and fluid, soon.
Apart from that though, I was well impressed with me car and how well it (and myself) took to the ring.
Finished that lap and again i was quite calm but dripping in sweat. Just a shame I didnt have a time again, next lap i thought though.
Into the car park again to cool down (me and the car), got out to look around and there was quite a bit of smoke coming from my brakes on both sides, the tread on my front tyres was HOT, so hot i couldnt keep my hand on for very long, my oil temperature was on the 4th bar out of 5 and my computer said 7.8 MPG average for the last 2 laps plus the small amount of driving around in between to get oil etc. OOOF !! I couldnt stop laughing at that.

While i was parked the barriers came down again and they werent letting anyone on the track again due to an accident so we left the area to let things settle.
Around an hour, maybe 2 later we returned to find that the whole place had closed. I'm not sure wether this was due to a big 'off' or just the normal time it closed.

At this point, I felt a little disappointed cos i wouldnt get the chance tomorrow but also had that feeling that I had pushed my luck on the last 2 laps and maybe it wasnt a bad thing not to go again and go home with me and me car intact, with no big bills kind of thing.

So that was that, my time at the ring had ended and it was one of the best weekends of my life. Im glad I got that puncture which knocked my plans back a couple of days so I could witness all the events (despite not even seeing half of it).

Next year though, next year. Im going back with people that arent me missus, not that she was in any was a PITA, but I just wanted some people who I knew who could share my enthusiasm. If anyones up for it on here, i'll deffo be doing it. Properly this time.

Next destination.......errr, nothing else matters really after that tho.

We decided to either drive to Lile in France or Brussels in Belgium. We picked Brussels, which took us around 4 hours to reach and on the way my wishbone (front O/S), started creaking, a victim of the ring possibly. probably.
We got to Brussels alright and found a hotel. Got our bearings and went for a walk around the city. We wernt exactly bowled over by its beauty, in fact mainly the opposite. It reminded me of what the outside of Ritchie and Eddies flat off Bottom may look like after youve seen the inside. Its all manky, definately past its best. Im not sure if its just the parts we visited, but it didnt really seem to have any redeeming features.

Anyway, the next day, I wanted a second opinion on the creaky wishbone and found a local brussels alfa indie who examined it and confirmed what i thought. Lovely 'indie' though, nice old man who couldnt speak a word of english and we communicated with chalk drawings on the garage floor. brilliant.

he quoted me 140 euros for one side which im not sure is reasonable or not??? i tend to think it may be, but he couldnt fit it in, in time, so he assured me it would be alright to get me home.

We left brussels behind (gladly) and headed back towards holland.

We decided to go to the Haage in holland which I thought was lovely, other end of the scale to brussels. Like amsterdam, but cleaner, nicer and less sleaze. I'd definately go back there and would reccommend it to anyone.
V V Apart from......

me car got broken into while we were in town.

It was obvious really. We didnt see the warning signs on the lamp posts and it was full of bags and camping gear etc and i forgot to wipe me ring off the windscreen. The police said (same as here i suppose) if they see a ring, they'll just rummage through your stuff till they find it. So they had me sat-nav and her mobile. Bollards.
It was a good job we were getting the ferry home the next day.
Obviously i was gutted bout me car but i was also gutted about the pics lost on her fone.
Oh well, nevermind.
Bagged and taped me window up that night (good job cos it was a thunderstorm).
Got the ferry the next day and also sorted out a replacement window so i could get off the ferry and drive straight to get it replaced in newcastle which they did fairly efficiently for £105 which i thought was a good price (?)
Ive also bought the shiny black plastic bit on the B post from Alexamders for £25 cos the other ones bent from a screwdriver been stuck in it.

Right then folks, thats it from me tonight, i cant be arsed to type any more and ive got square eyes. Ill edit the spelling mistakes and other mistakes tomorrow, and as i said, there would have been more photos but her phone got nicked by the dutch scumbags. I still really love the dutch though and the Haage (or however you spell it).


0 Posts
Looks like you had a great time, despite the puncture. Thanks for sharing :thumbs:

88,058 Posts

15,686 Posts
Amazing pictures :thumbs:

Looks like youhad an AWESOME time!!!!!!!!!!! :D :cool:

3,221 Posts
Wow, so many classic Alfas........looks like a quality trip mate! :)

5,179 Posts
Now that's a decent set of holiday snaps! Looks like a fab time. Bet having watched the historics beforehand got the blood flowing when you set out for your first lap :)

46,352 Posts
Good pics mate, I hope the GTA did you proud on the ring. I know you were two up with camping gear etc but it still must have been fun, those banked corners etc :D
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