The Sherry Tour of the Classic Car Club of Andalucia, on the Costa del Sol, started their four day tour on the 1st February.The Sherry Tour of the Classic Car Club of Andalucia, on the Costa del Sol, started their four day tour on the 1st February.

We were a total of 20 Classics and Prestige cars, including a Mercedes SL Pagoda from 1967, Jaguar MK II from 1962, Jaguar XK8 from 1980, Aston Martin V8 Virage Volante from 1985, Bentley Turbo R and my Triumph TR250 from 1968 and had a first day of this trip more than 165 km.

For the first 50 kms we drove over the infamous A376 to Ronda. A mountain road with more than 100 curves, which brought us to a height of over 1,474 m at the Sierra Palmitera. On this mountain road, for many motorcyclists, it was their last trip. Numerous crosses with flowers on both sides of the road testify to their demise. We took more than an hour to cover this 50 km-long route, without problems. Stopping in Ronda at Venta La Parrilla for a coffee break, where the hams still hang neatly from the ceiling. Many tour drivers followed us and here I met Jo Ramirez, the Formula 1 McLaren Team Co-coordinator, born in Mexico in Aug. 1941, and told me a lot about his life in the racing world. He told me of his experiences with the like of Prost and Serna. He now retired and lives with his Austrian partner on the Costa del Sol.

I thought that the road from San Pedro to Ronda, the A376, was a dangerous winding road but the road from Ronda via Grazalema to El Bosque was even more challenging. We through the Sierra de Grazalema. Passed Arcas de la Frontera, the first place with the addition - La Frontera - (many would follow) and arrived at Jerez de la Frontera via the A382. The city is known for its sherry bodegas, also known as the Capital of Sherry, not to mention its internationally renowned race circuit.

Staying the 1st night in Hotel Jerez, where we all dressed in "Black Tie" and enjoyed an extensive dinner with the necessary local wines such as the Prado Del Rey. An excellent stay with excellent Belgian cuisine. The hotel has been operated by the Belgian Jan de Cleck and his family for over 40 years.

On the 2nd day there was a distance of 155 km ahead. We left Jerez at 11.00 and drove towards Medina - Sidonia and quickly passed through a rolling hills where large fields determine the landscape. At Barbate we had a coffee stop in an authentic Venta, where the hams also hung from the ceiling. We could not miss leaving in Northern direction of Cabo de Trafalgar. Here, as mentioned, with his English war fleet in October 1805, Nelson defeated the French / Spanish Armada. Unfortunately, there is nothing in the area that commemorates this epic of this sea battle. The British fleet under the leadership of Admiral Nelson defeated the combined French / Spanish fleet using a tactic never used before of sailing at 90 degrees in two columns into the enemies fleet and therefor splitting their fleet into three.

After a short break near the Lighthouse of Trafalgar we continued our tour via the N340 in a northerly direction, and drove through a beautiful forest of umbrella pine trees, with the coast of the Atlantic Ocean over our left shoulder. Finally we arrived via Chiciana de la Frontera, with the flat landscape full of lakes with flamingos and salt pans. We finally ended up at our hotel, Duques de Medinacelli at El Porto de Santa Maria. Here we stayed in the former palace of the Spanish Aristocracy which goes back to the XVII century. Also in this city there are many bodega's including Tio Pepe and Osborne.

A few days later we drove our classics on a tour to the south-west coast of Spain, through the region where many places end - La Frontera - such as: Arcos de la Frontera, Jerez de la Frontera, Chiclana de la Frontera, Concil de la Frontera and Vejer de la Frontera. These ‘Frontera’ towns are close to the area of Trafalgar where Admiral Nelson fought the Battle of Trafalgar which took place in October 1805.

The third day of the tour was a rest day spent in Cadiz from where Columbus, who was born in in 1451 in Genoa, sailed under the Spanish flag in 1492 to discover the Americas.The capital of the province of the same name, belonging to the autonomous region of Andalusia. We stayed 2 nights in this palatial hotel and took the ferry from the port of Puerto de Santa Maria, located at the mouth of the Rio Guadaleta, through the Bay of Cadiz to the port city of Cadiz, with spectacular views of Cadiz and its seaport. A natural harbour located directly on the Atlantic Ocean, to which Cadiz owes its centuries old trading activities. Incidentally, it was the Phoenicians who founded this city in 1100 BC as Gadir.

When Columbus discovered America in 1496 the region’s prosperity increased. Even now it is the trade with mainly South American countries like Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela that produces the economic prosperity of Cadiz, in a major way. A very old city but certainly with modern contemporary features. Drive over the - Puente de la Constitucion - Bridge, from Puerto Real to Cadiz, one of the highest and most modern cable-stayed bridges in Europe. Opened in September 2015 by Premier Rajoy. Unfortunately a’ bridge too far’ for our trip today.
The last day of the tour we drove from El Puerto de Santa Maria on the A4 to Paterna de Rivera in the direction of Benalup Casas Viejes along Parque Natural Los Alcornocales past Vejer de la Frontera on the N340 towards Algeciras, with scattered visibility on the coastline. At Valdevaqueros, near the Atlantic, we could see, from a height of about 50 meters, the coastline below us. Unfortunately due to the drizzle and low clouds we could not see the coast of Africa or Gibraltar.

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The Start and finish of the MM.

We are back from our odyssey!!

We came back Tuesday night extremely tired and to be honest very disappointed, it could be the most beautiful event in the world like Enzo Ferrari used to say of the old race, but now days it is far from it, the organisation is very poor, the road book is not as good as yours the timings are horrendous, it is extremely tiring , there isn’t any camaraderie with the participants absolutely not social, if you are lucky and have no problems you may get 3 hours sleep every day, therefore it is not funny. We got caught by an unbeliable diluvio biggest storm ever seeing in the mountains about 250 Kms from Rome and stupid us we were not prepared and end up completely soaked and ever so cold, I was shivering, my goggles stem up and could not see anything, I took them off and the intensity of the water was so much that it hurt the face and my eyes and have to through the towell and Chris drove the rest of the way to Rome.

However, it is in Italy the roads are fabulous the cities and Villages you go through are fantastic, the public is very warm and over the 1000 miles there is not one kilometre where it is not full of people shouting and encouraging you, the police is wonderful and they also push you, but there were a few accidents and if the organisers do not change the present system one day will be a huge accident like in 1957, and then it will be forbidden again for ever. 

Said all this, we enjoyed it and there is an important tick on the list of things to do before before we kick the bucket !!

Looking forward to see you soon

Jo & Ursula

Marbella Classic Grand Prix Presents

Free Classic Car Event and Demonstration Day

8th June 16.00-20.00, Puerto Banus

We would like to thank all the Andalucia and Gibraltar car clubs for their support with launching the Marbella Classic Grand Prix and your feedback regarding the concept and the price.

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Due to your feedback we have decided to replace the regularity rally planned for the 8th June with a free classic car event and demonstration day where we can introduce your members to the concept of regularity rallying with a short 5km route and a number of exercises.

Classic car owners are invited at 16.00 to gather in Calle Jose Saramago, alongside Plaza Antonio Banderas in Puerto Banus. The concept of a regularity rally will be explained, classic car owners can meet and everyone can admire these stunning cars.

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Drivers will be presented with a very simple roadbook for a 5km route which will start and finish in the square and will be timed according to the principles of a regularity rally. This will be a fun and relaxed event, so drivers can time on their phones, or stopwatches, whatever they prefer and there will be a special stage requiring split second accuracy to demonstrate the different phases of the rally.

 

The organizers Zoli and Attila hope that this event will appeal to your members and look forward to meeting you there. Please could you inform us how many cars to expect from your club so we are able to prepare accordingly.

 

The Marbella Classic Grand Prix has been rescheduled for November, allowing the organizers time to review the format of the race in line with the useful feedback which has been given. They want to create an event which will appeal to classic car owners in Andalucia whilst maintaining the high standards which are so important to them.

 

We look forward to hearing from you and meeting you on June 8th

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The CCCA Summer Bash is coming soon!

Another superb night out on June 14th. Dine Al Fresco under the stars with first class entertainment provided by one of the Coasts's top entertainers, Jonny Gee. And, still only €35 pp.

Let me know if you're coming.

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