Making new friends at Cirencester steam fair

| 8 Aug 2012

This weekend was my partner Mia’s inaugural trip in my orange Ro80.

It was important to me for some reason that she approved of this car, but she just doesn’t ‘get it’.

I suggested we take it to the Steam Show at Cirencester but it blotted its copybook at the outset by having a flat battery – something’s draining it when it’s left for a week or two.

To Mia it’s just a slightly rusty orange car although she was mildly impressed by the semi-automatic gearbox and the general smoothness and comfort. An offer to let her drive it was declined.

The show itself was covered by a pall of smoke from the engines that made me consider what life in the ‘good old days’ must have been like – not good for your chest I suspect.

I got chapter and verse on the Traction Engine world from my friend Mark whose dad used to own one of these giants and I was reminded of a film called The Iron Maiden with Michael Craig, which must be the only time a traction engine has headlined a film.

They can be worth amazing money these things by the way if the history is right.

It was a fun relaxed show, although I realised too late that it was vintage Prescott which was really where I should have been; I spotted a Talbot going the other way but, hey-ho, we can always do it next year.

My pal Frederik was displaying his wacky Auto Union van in the classic car corral plus his DKW convertible – both very cute.

On way back to the car park I saw four or five men standing around the NSU and received the usual ‘has it got the original engine?’ routine.

They lingered waiting for me to fire it up and, luckily, it caught first touch (as it usually does, to be honest) so there were no embarrassing moments to feed Mia's scepticism.