One of the next places we visited was a local car show for 1990 and earlier cars. We went along in Clara and were unexpectedly waved into the display arena. We had only gone as spectators - we never expected to be an exhibitor!

This was actually a little embarrassing as I hadn't washed Clara for ages - and the hole in her wing can now almost be seen from space. It was nice though - and I do have a booking with Silchester to get the wings replaced and a little bit of rust on the offside rear wheel arch fixed.

Clara At The Show

After a couple of weeks of Clara started using water at the rate of about 250ml per day! It is also suspiciously wet on the sump guard. Another trip to Silchester...

However, there was a slight delay as another customer had some urgent requirements and I could afford to wait a week. I did get a fabulous courtesy car (the director's personal transport) as a reward for my patience though - most kind!


An unrepairable radiator was diagnosed. This had to come from Germany so there is going to be a little bit of a delay. Never mind, I'll just drive the SL then!

And I did! We went to Wilton House - which is fantastic in itself...

Wilton House

... but also has a classic car collection. This was my favourite:


More of the grounds and the house:

Palladian Bridge
Wilton House

There is also a stunning Italianate church in Wilton. We have driven past this so many times but never stopped before. It was just fantastic.

Wilton Church
Wilton Church Interior

The next weekend we went to the amazing Syon House in the amazing SL - from which I managed to get just over 25mpg on the run into London and back, which I thought was pretty good. Actually not that much less - 3 or 4mpg maybe - than the mpg I should have got from Clara.

SL At Syon
Syon House
Syon House

Much as I am enjoying driving such a great car and grateful to Silchester for such an amazing loan car though I am, I am missing Clara and am very pleased when she is ready to collect.

BUT: on the way home is seems that all is not well!

I did notice that there was a bit of smoke somewhere behind me but thought (hoped?) that it was that clapped out Nissan Micra behind me. However, when the Micra turned off and the smoke didn't go away I was a little concerned. That concern was quickly replaced by a whole new level of concern when the oil level warning light came on. Hmmm: this is not good.

Having put a litre of oil into her I carried on but things did not get any better and the oil light came on a few miles later. After putting my last three-quarters of a litre into her I carried on very gingerly, hoping that gentle driving would use a little less oil. No such luck. On came the oil light again and I had no choice but to turn onto a side road and call the rescue. My only consolations here are that A) when I checked the oil there was still some on the bottom of the dipstick (just covering the plastic tip as far as the minimum level and B) if it had to happen it happened in the least inconvenient place possible. 1200km or more from home late in the afternoon in Terezin (where we were in February) would have been extremely bad. Thank God this happened when and where it did!

Here we are waiting patiently for the nice man with the pickup truck to come and get us...

Waiting For The Rescue
Waiting For The Rescue
Waiting For The Rescue

Yet More Repairs