Christmas, of course, is a time for gifts and reflection. Reflection, in this age of blogging and multi media, means lists. Lists of favourite things, worst things, things done, things undone. At Great Escape Cars we like nothing more than a traditional bandwagon so jump aboard we have. Here is our list of favourite stuff from 2013.
1. Driving a Corvette
When we added a white Corvette C3 to our fleet recently I was a little worried. I like American muscle cars but the big curvy 'vette has so much presence that it can surely only disappoint when you get behind the wheel. Our car is also one for extroverts, which I'm not - bright white and similarly iridescent red inside. But I was hugely impressed when I drove it. Quick, pointy and grippy, the Corvette is so much more than you expect. And to heck with showmanship - it's loud and proud.
2. Classic car rallies
2013 was the year of our classic car rallies - we ran more and had more customers on them than ever before. Our '5 cars, 1 great day' driving experiences never feel like work - we may be stuck with the Jeep and trailer but the enthusiasm customers have for the cars and the format make it great fun. Love what you do, or do what you love. We do what we love.
3. TV stuff
There is no doubt about it, the Great Escape team has individually probably never worked as hard or put in as many hours as they did for Celebrity Antiques Road Trip this year. It was a logistical challenge but we pulled it off - 30,000 miles, 40 cars, 10 weeks, 30 locations. We met some great people, visited some interesting places, spent a lot of time sitting in trucks and only 1 car broke down (which we fixed same day). Re-flipping-sult.
You can never please all the people all the time but it is extremely rewarding when you please pleasant people most of the time. Despite the fraught combination of fragile classic cars and big life events, in 2013 we seemed to make a decent fist of it, with lots of smiles, positive feedback and decent Trip Advisor reviews. We'll never get rich hiring classic cars but the happy customers genuinely make it worthwhile. We aren't perfect but the best we can do is try - and learn from our mistakes.
5. Driving a truck
Our heavy schedule of TV and corporate event work meant we had to get a truck this year. A truck gives you a unique perspective on motoring, generally a lofty one. Stuck at 56mph our faithful Mercedes truck was a lesson for me in patience - and renewed respect for trucks stuck with daft speed limiters. If you've ever wondered why two trucks stuck at 56mph overtake each other (often several times) try driving a truck with a limiter. Following a truck whose limiter is set just below yours is considerably more tiring than having a free road. Sorry car drivers, it's just the way it is.