Our Big Trip!

Gute Reise! Germany, we love you!

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The big story for this entry in the Workshop Diary is our trip to Germany with the Kent AM Owners club - but first we should at least mention a beautiful mid-1970s V8 that's in the shop now. We want to talk about this vehicle simply because it suffered a little(ish) mishap that happened in the owner's garage - and not on the road. When he brought it in to have repairs carried out to both the front - and the back - end of the car he explained that the damage occurred when he hit the front of the vehicle while manoeuvring it in the garage - then committed a panic-reverse which resulted in a back-end bump! It's a car we've known for a while now, having looked after it for several years for the previous owner, who passed it on to his son. A lovely silver green colour, it's a real beauty so he wanted the paintwork restoring as quickly as possible.

As is often the case, while it was with us, we noticed it wasn't running too well - so we've cleaned the carburettors and all the jets, removed the old fuel and other things that had got it all caked up and replaced the gaskets that had succumbed to old age. Like many of us, the owner had been aware for some time that it wasn't running well (in fact he had a hard time getting it started to bring it over!) but just never quite got round to putting it in for us to put it right. The knocks, as it happens, were just the "nudge" needed. And now with some care and attention, we'll have it running as it should so he can enjoy the car as intended.

So, back to our trip! The planning was spearheaded by the one of the members of the Kent AM Owners Club who lives in Germany, where his car, an AM V8 is registered - but he's always been a member of the Kent club. This trip is the second one the club have undertaken with him, the first one in 2018 when there were only about 22 of us; this time we had 28 cars and 42 people. P&L collected his car prior to the trip to get it ready and on the day we were heading off, he flew over to pick the car up and join the group. Members of the Pugsley & Lewis team who belong to the club were also on this trip, including Martin Pugsley - and Winston Rouse, the Area Representative for Kent and South East London who was heavily involved in the organisation.

Everything was meticulously organised, right down to the creation of a travel book with each day's itinerary in it. It takes about 14 months to pull it all together and the Club aims to do the "german" jaunt about every two years. Three of the cars are looked after by P&L; a couple of 1970s V8s, and a modern DBS. Each one of them ran beautifully with zero issues throughout. It was a small matter of pride that the three cars we look after - all older cars - all held their end up. It's all down to preparation - about a month before the trip they come in and we give them a good look over and take care of anything needs a bit of attention. So although these cars were the oldest cars there, they did really well.

workshop d 8 the cars

As we mentioned earlier, an awful lot of planning goes into a trip like this. Finding places to stay, ensuring those places have decent parking, hiring our own security for the cars when they're not being driven, and arranging for interesting places to visit along the way.

The 5-6 day trip started here in England, with a crossing to Calais, then through Holland to Aurich in Germany. Using Aurich as our base we arranged daily drives within about a 100 miles of the town. We were much impressed on our visit to the Meyer Werft shipyard at Papenburg where some of the biggest cruise ships in the world are built.

workshop d 8 at the dock

The trip to one of the Frisian islands (where you can't take a vehicle) was no problem as the team's security chap was able to look after the cars at the port, while we all headed off on the ferry. We wouldn't be without him - it's part of what makes the trip so nice as it takes away any anxiety we might have for the safety of our much-loved cars when we're not nearby. He's a real character who loves to travel with us but likes to stay in his caravan along with his pal - a parrot - for company! We're not sure what that says about our company - maybe the least said, the better!

So once again, Kent Owners Club have organised and executed a successful trip for everyone, with lots of stops for nice food, lots of driving - on smaller roads as well as a bit of motorway driving - and plenty of interesting places visited. Planning for the next one begins in just a few months!

When the wanderlust hits, it's good to know you have a car you can rely on. A much-anticipated trip to Germany is wunderbar!