Hood Down!

On 24th June we set off on our annual 500 Club European Tour in our 500D (hood down) and joined up with club members and then onto Portsmouth to embark on the overnight crossing to Le Havre. Drove to Paris (hood down) and with cars safely on the auto train, we went on a separate train to Nice.

After a night in Nice, we collected the cars and drove (hood down) along the coast to Garlenda.

The time and event in Garlenda was excellent, the weather fantastic, and the food, food! The Italian 500 Club made us most welcome. (hood down every day)

After a mass assembly of the 500’s at Villanova D’Albenga airport, we all set off for our first stop in France (hood down) heading for Le Mans for 3 days to watch the Le Mans classic car racing.

After another day driving through France, (hood down) to the overnight stop at Corps.

The next day we set off and an incident occurred which proves the camaraderie of the Fiat 500 Club members, proving what a great group of people these members are.

We were driving down a country lane (hood down) smelt petrol, next smoke appeared from the engine bay, next Janet on the walkie-talkie “we are on fire”. We stopped and both got out with flames coming up through the louvre vents and on the road, next Rod discharged his fire extinguisher and I went to the front and pulled the petrol feed from the tank, the fire still going. Then Craig and Amy arrived with another fire extinguisher and the fire was out. By this time, we were causing a blockage on the road and a French lorry driver came with his extinguisher.

Hood down pic2

We waited till the car had cooled down and pushed it onto the grass verge and with the damaged engine lid all burnt, the picnic basket on the back burnt, paint on rear wing burnt (hood down NOT burnt).

Hood down pic1

The cause of the fire was a brass ferrule, which had come out of the inlet side of the fuel pump. Four hours later we were on our way, unbelievable!! (hood down) with dynamo, fan belt, wiring, control box, petrol pump and various plastic parts and the air filter replaced, all supplied from spares carried by club members.

After another stop we arrived in Le Mans, in France where we picked up some plastic parts and air filter which Laura had arranged via her Dad, Vince to be sent out with her contacts who were racing at Le Mans.

After three very hot days at Le Mans and the parts duly fitted, we set off home (hood down) via Caen to Portsmouth and home, with no further problems.

Once again, thanks to Paul and Christine for the work, effort and enthusiasm they put in, making this a great social event as well as the 500’s, and to everybody who was on this tour.

We are not deterred from these amazing little 500 cars (hood down) and cannot wait for the next trip and hopefully encourage other members to take part and enjoy these wonderful tours but (DO NOT CATCH FIRE).

Roger Westcott