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Alfi eats Ferraris for Breakfast

Jan Di Carlo

The Breakfast Meets which are held at Goodwood motor race circuit on the first Sunday of each month, got off to a good start in March of this year. Each meet is themed and the March one was Mini Mayhem. Vanessa argued that this did not include Fiat 500's but I thought it did. By being small cars, they are in a sense Mini's, not the make of car called the Mini, but mini as in small... I hope you understand my thought process!!!

Anyway some Fiat 500 owners turned up, so other people must think like me... (poor them)...

Jimmy and I decided that this year we would take Bugs'y our red Fiat 500, and on the journey down, we reminisced about other trips that we had made to Goodwood. Perhaps one of the most memorable was going to a breakfast meet a few years ago with Vanessa.

To that particular event we took Alfi, our 500 with the Alfa Romeo engine. Meeting up with Vanessa - Ness was in Noddy, her Fiat 500 - at Farnham station. We then drove in convoy out through Hindhead towards Midhurst on the A286.

Now I don't know if anyone knows that particular road, but just before Midhurst the road winds up quite a steep hill, and although this was not a problem to Alfi, Vanessa in little Noddy struggled a bit to keep the speed up, and as usual with Fiat 500's found that she had quite a queue of cars behind her.

Jimmy in Alfi
Jimmy in Alfi
Picture: Jan Di Carlo

The first car was a bright yellow Seat, and then a Ferrari, the occupants of the Seat seemed to find it very amusing, but the Ferrari owner looked as if he wasn't happy at going slow.

At the top of the hill the road opens out and there is plenty of opportunity to overtake, this, the Seat and Ferrari did, shooting past Vanessa and us, waving and smiling at they drove past.

Jimmy looked at me, and although he knows I don't like it when he gets in his 'Italian driving' mode, I said 'Yes OK', and with that he put his foot down, tailgating the Ferrari all the way down the hill!!!. I could see the drivers face in the rear view mirror, it was one of absolute amazement!

Vanessa & Noddy at Goodwood Revival
Vanessa & Noddy at Goodwood Revival
Picture: Jan Di Carlo

Now, I must tell you that I grew up in Farnham, and spent most weekends of my childhood with my father at race meetings at Goodwood, so I know all the shortcuts en-route. One such short cut is in the middle of Midhurst, and you can guess what is coming next...

Yes, we got back onto the A286 in front of the Seat and Ferrari!!!

I couldn't see the face of the Ferrari driver, but from the body language of his car, we gathered he was not amused at having these pesky little cars in front of him again.

There are no passing places on this road until the turn off up the hill to Goodwood horse race course. Both Seat & Ferrari swept past Vanessa as soon as they could, but Jimmy was having none of it, and put his foot down, out pacing the cars behind him as we wound our way up the hill.

We pulled over at the top, mainly to let Vanessa catch us up. As they passed, the boys in the Seat waved and cheered, not so the Ferrari driver, with a face like thunder, looking neither left nor right, he drove past, and his passenger looked as if she was not enjoying her day out.!!!

As we followed them down the hill, expecting them to go to the breakfast meet, they suddenly turned off into Goodwood House, perhaps they didn't want to be parked up next those nasty little cars, that had shown them up.

Ah, memories...

But to get back to this year's event. Although the weather was cold (when isn't it at Goodwood?), it was bright and sunny, wrapped up warmly we met up with Roger and Annabelle in their new (well new to them) 1972 white 500. Luciano in his red car, Tracey & Kevin and the twins. As they had travelled across from Kent from that day, they left their little car at home and came in their ordinary car. Vincenzo also joined us, and John & Mary Jenkins, so we had quite a little group to chat to.

Bugs'y at Goodwood
Bugs'y at Goodwood
Picture: Jan Di Carlo

These breakfast meets are only morning events, everyone leaving to pursue their Sunday activities by 12 noon. I had arranged a lunch for a group of us at a pub outside Midhurst.

Here we were joined by Angela in her bright yellow Fiat, and Mike & Bev. Angela had driven over from Winchester and Bev down from Farnham. As with any trip out in a 500, there had to be a few dramas. Vanessa, who wasn't keen on getting up early decided to join us for lunch, but unfortunately only got as far as a petrol station in Farnham, when Noddy started making 'strange' noises. So she decided to call out the RAC. By the time they arrived and diagnosed a loose air filter lid, it was too late to join us, but she kept us up to date by text with what was happening in case we had to divert on our way home to help her out.

Bev had a few moments on the drive to the pub, one being the car cutting out as she was crossing a roundabout! But they arrived safely in time to catch up with all the Fiat 500 chat that was going on over the meal. As we pass their house on the way back to ours, Jimmy and I decided to follow them home, all was going well until we got to Bordon, at a traffic light Bev waved to us giving the thumbs up sign... Oh dear... At the next lights, the little car started to cough and splutter...

Bev, being the brilliant driver that she is, managed to get it another 10 odd miles before it gave up the ghost... In their driveway!!! Well done Bev.

All in all, a super day out and only proves that whatever happens, we still manage to get our cars home.