Saturday is another long day ahead of us. After 398 has overtaken us at full speed and we have left our Hungarian friends behind, we become more and more enthusiastic. With our JBLbox at 10, we race honking and enthusiastically waving to anyone who wants to hear it. Spectators must keep their distance, which means that people are scattered all along the route.
This third day is the most beautiful. Straight through Tuscany, ending in Parma. It’s raining cats and dogs. We are not spared hail either. The black skies, interspersed with lightning bolts, and the beautiful Tuscan autumn dress: beautiful! There is no question of screeching tires today, but of sliding, so we are careful. In the beginning then. We fully enjoy the surroundings and tear with a nice round engine faster and faster on the country roads. Meanwhile, Pien is no longer dry inside. A trickle of water enters my shoe regularly. Ah, a pleasant refreshment in between all efforts.
We also learn what a 6Volt dynamo likes and dislikes. Windscreen wipers and headlights on is not the intention. There is a nice cadence between the wiper once on, then off, until we really don’t see anything anymore. Headlights on when we enter the unlit tunnel, off when we leave. Forbidden to drive with high beam. For example, all buttons that our Pien has are frequently operated.
The many time trials and regularities are going smoothly. While Marjet urges me to go faster or slower, I can’t resist making a movie while I’m aiming for a steady speed, up hill, down hill, because how beautiful the surroundings are.
Siena is enchanting. To drive through there with Pien, and then come to a stop on red and white runners in the main square, is breathtaking. We feel privileged. The road continues, we are full of energy, it is going great! We can handle the second night through the mountains.
After some beautiful country roads we arrive in Lucca. We drive over the city walls at a golden sunset. Awesome! Then fate strikes. We drive out of Lucca and just like that a terrible noise cuts through our soul. We immediately put Pien aside. Just like last time, I remain petrified at the wheel. Nobody to Pien !!! Our friends from Pace Car 401450 are next to us in seconds. They quickly nod sadly ‘no’. Mike quickly comes to our rescue with his team. The End Car joins us and asks us to return our stamp card. We stretch and stretch, but after fifteen minutes we have to. Our race is over. But maybe we can still finish the Mille? With five big men and a spectator around us, we get the terrible news that we have stupid bad luck. An engine problem that cannot be solved at that time. We were beaten by a 1950 propeller, which resulted in a broken piston. Tears when I really have to let go of the steering wheel and hoist a tow truck Pien up. Suddenly everything is over. No reason.
The next day we continue our way to Brescia with a characterless rental car full of buttons, brakes and power steering, heating and so on to congratulate the others on their finish. We say goodbye to the men of our now “Safe Car” renamed 401450 and Claudia. Slowly we are happy again from the wonderful three full days that we have been able to experience this spectacle. Who knows, we might ride him out someday.
Mark Geessink: thank you so much for this unforgettable trip! For the reader: Mark dared to lend us his car, taking care of everything down to the last detail. Also all respect and awe for the Classic Mike team (Mike Kastrop) that was available day and night for all of us.