Saturday, 8pm: Next stop John O'Groats!

Time 13 years ago

WE made it! Okay, so celebrations might be a bit premature but after this morning’s ‘deflating‘ start I feel like a little reward.


Dan's BMW 318i

We’ve just checked into Best Western’s Sea Hotel in South Shields. It’s a nice hotel – right on the coast and has free WiFi. Major bonus.

Outside there’s about half inch of snow – not as bad as we were expecting. In fact we’ve had a remarkably uneventful 350-mile trip here.

At least the walkie talkies and passing motorists’ funny looks have kept us entertained.

So how have the car’s fared? Well not too bad at all actually. My Mondeo ST24 has been comfortable and it’s packed with creature comforts like a six-disc multi-changer, air-con and part leather seats.

I’m not the only one enjoying the trip so far. All the boys seem happy. Dunc is particularly pleased with his Calibra. I must admit, although it’s a bit rough around the edges, I love the shape.

It seems to go pretty well too – keeping up with the 2.5-litre Mondeo easily. In fact, I’d go as far to say the lardy Ford struggles to keep up in some gears…

Dan seems rather attached to his BMW. He seems to rush out of service stations wanting to jump back in it as soon as possible – it must be love.bangers4benlogo

And I’m not sure if it’s the fact it’s got the blue and white propellor on the front, but it also has a weird habit of hogging the middle lane. I’m sure it must be the car.

Will isn’t as keen on his Volvo. It’s not that it’s got anything wrong with it, it’s just that it’s lacking a little in street cred for his liking.

It must have something wrong with the accelerator though because it’s either going really sloooow or mega FAST! Must be the car…

If you want to read out a little more about our cars check out today’s lunchtime blog.

Tomorrow we head from South Shields to our ultimate goal – John O’Groats – and then back down to Inverness where we stay the night. That’s if we’re not stuck on the side of some Scottish hill in a snow drift.

The weather looks rather, er, iffy. Think we’ll be needing those snow chains after all. It’s bound to be eventful whatever happens.

I’ve just got one problem to sort out. The boys think that because I had to get help fixing my puncture that constitutes ‘mechanical help’ and in the rules that means a big penalty.

But surely plugging a tyre isn’t ‘mechanical’? What do you think?

Right, I’m off to sample the delights of South Shields…


James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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