IMG_0172April 22nd 2012 was the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) “Drive it Day” and at 8.45 we set off for Goathland in Colin Cortina. The instructions informed us that we had to be on site by eleven o‘clock and, despite having only 65 miles to travel, I was worried about being there on time.


The weather during the week prior to the show was pretty awful and cleaning and polishing time was limited to gaps between showers. Mechanically the car was fine and I had treated it to four brand new tyres on Thursday. The tyres, which were taken off, appeared fine but were of indeterminate age so had to go. Tyres have quite a short life span and can deteriorate even if not used. Classic cars and caravans often cover low mileages and, as a consequence, don’t wear their tyres out in the same way as a car in daily use. It is however just as important to ensure your classic does not run on “old rubber” as a blow out even at 50 mph can have serious consequences. I shall cover tyres and how to decipher the date codes in a future blog.

North York Moors  4A small detour to Driffied was necessary for fuel and I then decided to let the sat-nav take the strain and take us to Pickering and then over the A169 to Goathland. Thomas, the satnav, was clearly of the opinion that we should avoid main roads and take a more scenic approach to the journey. My local knowledge of the area told me that we were going in the right general direction so I followed Thomas’ instructions and discovered some parts of Yorkshire unknown to me. The downside to this was the muddy puddles that lined some of these minor roads, and in places my driving took on a drunken look as we weaved around trying to keep the car as clean as possible. We need not have worried as a little later on we ran into a hailstorm.

The road from Pickering across the North Yorkshire Moors is considered by many to be one of the best drives in England and can get very busy. Unfortunately not everyone is there for the scenery and some very fast and dangerous driving/riding is frequently witnessed. Since owning an historic car I have noted that driving a forty-year-old attracts some very interesting behaviour from other motorists. For many you are ‘just another car’ but an increasing number are genuinely interested, showing courtesy and often waving or watching you pass by. A small number see you as something that must be passed at all costs; their ‘street cred’ couldn’t possible cope with being seen behind an old vehicle. As a result they come up quickly behind you, tailgate until a gap appears then gun it past only to slow to the speed you were travelling at anyway.

IMG_0181Our journey over the moors, past the early warning station at Fylingdales, was uneventful being joined by a Sunbeam and an MGB. We arrived at the station car park in good time and were shown to our spot. Space is limited to perhaps 40 vehicles but attracts visitors arriving and departing on the steam trains, which run, regularly between Pickering and Whitby.

Being exhibitors of a classic car in the station car park entitled us to discounted rail tickets on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Being too good an opportunity to miss we purchased two tickets and took the next train to Pickering. We travelled in carriages, which would have been a common sight in the 1950’s and 60’s, behind British Rail steam locomotive number 75029. This locomotive was built in Swindon in 1956 and known as, The Green Knight.


The journey was uneventful but picturesque, providing photo opportunities both en-route and at Pickering station where the locomotive was disconnected and moved to the rear for the return journey.

On returning to Goathland a walk around the village was in order, past Scripp’s Garage, The Aidensfield Arms and other landmarks familiar to viewers of TV’s Heartbeat, the fictional village of Aidensfield being in reality Goathland.

Despite the weather’s changeable nature the rain stayed away, the sun attempted valiantly to shine and the cars attracted a lot of attention. We returned home by a more direct route, Colin Cortina having travelled the 130 or so miles without a hitch. We parked him in the garage and put the kettle on.