NIIMC Members turn out in force for Drive it Day

NIIMC Members turn out in force for Drive it Day

It was National Drive it Day and the weather looked promising so NIIMC members needed little excuse but to gather in the carpark beside Carrickfergus Castle on Sunday 21 April 2024 for a drive to Glenarm Castle to meet up with members of the NI Vauxhall Club, who courtesy of Ken Smith had invited us to join them and display our cars alongside theirs. After the optional coffee stop at McDonalds club members set off in convoy from Carrickfergus on our journey to Glenarm. We were joined by some members of the TVR club so the convoy was 20 strong.

We travelled up the North Road and after a brief drive along the Top Road we headed to Ballynure, Cairncastle, Feystown before arriving at Glenarm.  There was  a collective burble, snarl and rort from the exhaust notes as we made our way to Glenarm and with Roy’s Maserati Granturismo a collection of TVRs and David’s recently acquired Alfa 156 2.5 V6 complete with Wizard exhaust, not to mention the Busso engined Alfa GT and Alfa 166, the hills were definitely alive with the perfect petrolhead soundtrack.

We were ably led by Alastair in his Alfasud Sprint and he dutifully waited at each junction so that the convoy stayed together. It was pleasing to see a good cross section of Italian style both old and new – from Abarth, Fiat, Lancia, Alfa Romeo and Maserati. It was great to see some new faces join us too and although William has attended club meetings this was his first club run – he and his wife Linda came in their much loved Fiat 500 “Florence”.

The facilities at Glenarm provided a perfect destination for a spot of lunch – there was a variety of options from the Tea Room, Milk Parlour, Potting Shed and the Pizza Pavilion. To my disappointment however when I went to order a pizza there was a 30 minute wait (which I could have lived with) but I was then told that they were not taking any more orders as they had a party at 3pm and were preparing for their arrival. I was gutted, especially when I saw Alastair devour his pizza, single handedly – I think he is actually quicker at eating a pizza than he is behind the wheel of his Alfa!!

As well as the Italian selection and gathering of Vauxhalls and Opels (including a Calibra – but not as nice as mine!!) there were also a few other notable cars – a beautiful 1972 BMW 3.0 CS (cost £4750 when new – could have bought a decent house for that sort of money in 1972) a Mk II Jaguar (like Inspector Morse’s) and nestled in the carpark was David Laird’s stunning Maserati Grecale Trofeu in the subtle colour of yellow!!

There was a vibrant buzz around the Castle and the weather turned out to be pretty warm and sunny.  Another enjoyable outing and I am sure there will be plenty more in the months ahead.

Tim Logan

Club Chairman