When I got the invitation from Amanda and Jon Deveroe for the participation at the Pre A meeting I answered that unfortunately I couldn’t attend it because my 53 Cabriolet was under restoration and will be ready only in 2016 . I got a very prompt replay to my email with their kind offer to lend me their 55 Speedster! I felt so impressed and I really appreciate their kindness. I know many Pre A enthusiasts since a long time and I know that friendship is the first rule but I couldn’t imagine that this was so strong to lend one of their beloved 356 to someone you met only a few times in the last years!
Reinhold and Brigitta, Andrea and Monica, my wife Gracie and I flew, to London where we spent a couple of days hanging around locking for the right ladies outfit for the meeting…and then the 10th of September we moved to the Hampshire, South England, where, the 11th Pre A meeting, organized by Amanda and Jon Devereux, started.
28 Pre A 356 from Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and France gathered at Milford on Sea, a nice summer holiday resort, in front the White Island, where we had time for the greetings, toasts and a rich snacks.When the 356 pack where complete and all had drinks and food, we moved to our main spot at Balmer Lawn Hotel and Spa, in the village of Brockenhurst in the centre of the National New Forest Park.
The second day was dedicated to a very nice ride inside the National Forest, created in 1079 as a hunting area for William the Conqueror, it is now home to around 4,000 ponies, cattle, donkeys and deer who roam freely amongst the ancient woodland, wide lawns and picturesque villages. We stopped for lunch at Ringwood Brewery in the heart of the New Forest, we were in England and as Paul Smith said, we had to follow the famous English rules that prescribe to drink beer for lunch!
In the afternoon the visit of the Beaulieu Motor Museum was very interesting and fun. It was possible to see many cars belonging to the automotive history and other funny vehicles used in the famous TV show Top Gear.The ride back to the hotel was a gymkhana among donkeys, horses and cows that roam on the road like gentle tramps.Dinner was time for Amanda and Jon to give the rules and the instructions for the great Saturday that everybody was waiting for. Included in the meeting pack was the participation to Goodwood Revival, one of the biggest and famous events of South England.
We were allowed to park our 356 inside the track and be a part of the event. Races at Goodwood starts on Saturday morning at 8.30, so we rose at 5 o’clock in the morning and dressed up for the event to hit the road at 6 in the dark and raining morning. The famous and always correct English weather forecast gave sun and cloud and at 8 with the bright of the day the rain stopped and a pale sun in between the clouds welcomed our 356 to the Goodwood track. If you like cars, aeroplanes, dresses, music, motorbikes everything with a taste of 40′, 50′ 60′ you must go to Goodwood once in a lifetime and enjoy as we did the Saturday spent inside the event.
>Tired but more than happy we had our gala dinner at the hotel and time to talk about the nice days spent together and making plans to find another time to be together with your more close friend.I’m an Italian, sometimes it’s difficult to find the right words to express your gratitude to someone in a foreign language.Amanda and Jon deserve all the best words to express my gratitude for the great organization, kindness and friendship.Can’t wait to see you next year in the south of France where Xavier and Michel are going to organize the Pre A party… All the best wishes to the organizers!!!