The Pageant of power is hailed as the Goodwood of the north which takes place on the grounds of Cholmondeley Castle, Cheshire. The Pageant of power is a motoring event in its infancy with the show having its 5th anniversary in 2013 with 2011 seeing 75,000 visitors attending the event.
I would be attending this event not with Surrey New MINI but with Mersey MINI Club (MMC) which is run by Rob McGivern and a group of friends that met through the MINI scene. I had met up with the MMC earlier in the year for their Dragon Run but the first time I met the key members was at MINI UNITED 2012. It’s funny how everything goes back to that week in France and all someone has to do is mention MINI UNITED and a massive grin comes on my face and the memories flood in.
This time I would be taking my little brother and my cousin aka The Doc (he is a real doctor) but like always its was an early start and it would the doc’s first car show and this would be my first time attending this show. We arrived at the meet point in good time and watched the MMC crew drive in with familiar faces arriving and parking up.
Neil with his oxygen blue JCW
Alan with his recent purchase of a Lightening Blue JCW but his previous MINI Cooper SD Hatch is on the cover of Modern MINI Magazine currently
Dave with his JCW Coupe
Miss Doorsoff with super soooovvvv and Richard with his Cooper D
Kevin with his recent but familiar purchase of a WC50 (Rob’s WC50)
John’s drop top JCW
Dave’s Cooper S
All accounted for we all headed out in convoy to Cholmondeley Castle to our allotted space for all our MINIs as we would attend as a MMC. All parked up we setup the club gazebo so we all could come back later and relax, chit-chat and watch the exotics come down the closed circuit track.
Me being a Porsche fan I went straight to them as this year celebrates 50 years of 911 and its funny how my dad birthday shares the same day as the 911 was first introduced. He owns a facelift 997 Carrera S with sports chrono pack and PDK which I test drove it before he brought as he wanted my opinion on how it drove. Lets say I didn’t hang about on the test drive and putting it through its paces on the back roads.
Having driven the 977 and new 991 both at speed and going about in traffic I can say without doubt the Porsche feel hasn’t disappeared with the direct fuel injection and electric steering. I was shocked how Porsche took it to the next level with the all new model as it a better car to live with but when you got it was even better with better damping, chassis, control and the NOISE!!! Ahhhh its like having hornets strapped with fire crackers coming out of the exhaust as it pops and crackles like mad in sports mode. The love the new looks with those sexy rear LED lights with the plusher interior and the new modern steering with its paddles.
There was 991 Carrera with powerkit on show next to the 1984 911 SC RS
Tucked away in a corner under shade there was an awesome 991 Carrera 4 with Martini racing livery
The all new Cayman was there too along with the all new Boxster
There was a Porsche Cayenne which the Doc feel in love with to which sort of understood as he very much the family man but isn’t bothered by outright performance but enjoys his luxury and class. I have to say the example on show did match his persona but with a sticker price of around £80,000 he best start saving for the car and buying a parking space in London.
Next collection of cars suited me well given my nickname is Rally Ali as I enjoy watching rallying as I do love a good power slide. First up was the Prodrive JCW Countryman which was carbon fibre glad with its air intake, door panels, dashboard, rear wing and diffuser.
Next was an all time legend’s car with its famous blue paint and gold wheels. Yes its Colin McRae’s Subaru Impreza 555 who I feel brought rallying to the masses with flamboyant style, infamous saying of ‘If in doubt, flat out’ and long running series of PlayStation games of Colin McRae rally games.
The new fiesta RS rally car looked immense with its flared arches and body work
There was a nice collection of ford’s rallying history lined up from its two-wheel escorts to its modern four-wheel drive focus
Some more Ford legends together – Sierra RS & RS200
There some famous faces from the loony tune ages of Group B rally car
I say this was the loony tune ages of rallying as the cars as this was the era where the quickest, most power fullest cutting edge car were being built but sadly with all this power war amongst the competitors it caused a black cloud over the sports as major accidents, fatalities and danger forced the FIA to close the group in 1986.
Another manufacture was celebrating its anniversary with Aston Martin reaching the milestone of a 100 years.
The new Aston Martin Vanquish with it’s all carbon body panels was released to coincide with the centenary anniversary.
The raging bull that is Lamborghini is also celebrating its anniversary with 50 years of the rampant raging bull certifying its place in the super car world with the Miura.
The Lamborghini was born after Ferruccio Lamborghini wasn’t happy with his Ferrari after its clutch broke so he went to Ferrari and asked for a better replacement. Enzo Ferrari responded saying that ‘he was just a tractor maker, and could not know anything about sport cars’. So furious with his reply he decided to teach Enzo a lesson a formed his own automotive business. You have to love the Italian passion.
We moved on to the BMW stand with a nice selection of M Cars and DTM race car
Bentley was present with its own plinth of stand with the new Continental GT and GT3 race car
Next up we headed to the paddock area where all the cars that would running down the closed circuit course where they would idling before they were summoned by waiting crowds. There was a nice mixture of race cars, exotics, supercars, rally cars, GT3 race cars, nasa cars, single seaters, track only cars, 90s race cars, le mans racers, old F1 cars and you name it was there so your lust for the smell of petrol and burning rubber would be over fuelled.
Unlike Goodwood you can really get up close with the race drivers and cars with the drivers more the willing to have a chat and let you have a real noise around the motors inside and under the bonnet. This is how it should be are petrol heads at heart and we where here that day to celebrate the combustion engine and the power it gives us with our right foot.
Even though this an automotive show there were two spitfires flying over heading with a bomber circling the grounds over head whilst this was going on there jet skis and power boats on the lakes of the ground zipping past with a live demonstration of a coast guard air rescue.
Another thing I like about the show was the food with the fine selection for the choice to eat for lunch ranging from stone baked pizzas to paella and to quench your thirst there was a selection of fresh juices/smoothies and normal beverages. If that was not even to satisfy your foodie appetite then there were an array of boutique food shop companies allowing you to sample and buy some of their produce.
A perfect example was the Cheshire Cheese Company – I love a bit of cheese but this stuff is of another world with the texture and the right blend of favours that arise as your mind savour the taste – http://www.cheshirecheesecompany.co.uk/
Sadly after stocking on some fine produces someone must have given the 5-0, the rozzers, the boys in blue, the po po, the coppers, the feds a tip of call I was at this show as they came in force. I am only joking they were here to entertain the kids and build better speed awareness for drivers but personally I think they wanted to show off their motors.
They gave a quick tour of all the vehicles and what all the button did and allowed us to put on the sirens and talk over the in-car megaphone. My younger brother was happy to see them but I gave the slip by giving of my many alias under questioning
Well if you can’t beat them join them…
I think little Adam got carried away with the extra power and decided to boss me around whilst he had riot gear on.
After going through their data base they saw through my fake alias and had enough of lies whilst I always give them the slip on the road with the JCW. The handcuffs came out and they bundled me up in the back of the van and threw away the key.
For those who know me they know I am very good with my words and have been given the nickname of ‘The Blagger’ so after a few words and my legal right of a phone call I was let out with all charges dropped and with a free get out jail card as well. I guess crime pays…
As the day came to a close we went back to the club stand and watched the race cars go past and made idle chit-chat. As I sat there watching the cars go by, Liz came over and gave me the invitation to her wedding which was a great honour and would be my first white wedding but it wouldn’t be no ordinary wedding as this was a rocking wedding. I can’t wait for the wedding and I can only wish them both happiness and even more MINI adventures ahead for them
It was another perfect day in the beautiful British summer weather with great company and the worst part has always been going back home. I cant wait to go to the next year’s show and thank you Mersey MINI Club for putting up with me as always
Next Blog Post: Goodwood – Festival Of Speed 2013
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