Saturday, 17 December 2016

CCC Christmas Dinner, Hotel Bristol Warsaw, 15 December 2016

The Arrinera  painted in Spitfire photo reconnaissance aircraft colours with the
Polish Air Force chequerboard applied 

Some 20 Members of the CCC and a well-behaved infant assembled for Christmas dinner at the Hotel Bristol in Warsaw after an admittedly lackluster year concerning club activities. Three members of the Polish Section of the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts' Club (also CCC members) were present as a variety of Christmas 'joint effort' - the Chairman of the Polish Section, Dariusz Brudkiewicz, the Secretary, Michael Moran and Paul Blackman an RREC  Polish Section member. 

I would wish to immediately place on record a complaining note that the lamentable CCC club Chairman is clearly a whimsical individual with little collective responsibility to the membership. Let us hope he does better in 2017 now that he has bought a respectable GT to take part in club excursions.



There was a great deal of banter 'a la Biggles, Bertie, Ginger and Algy' over an excellent dinner (considering the low cost in the Moniuszko Salon with dedicated staff) until the main excitement of the evening - a lecture by the distinguished development manager, Piotr Frankowski, concerning the first Polish supercar, the Arrinera Hussarya GT.



Lecture


Piotr Frankowski in full lecture mode confiding details of testing at Goodwood and
Brooklands, Weybridge in Surrey.

Of course the greatest proportion of world technical motor-racing expertise resides in the UK. The evolution of the Arrinera has benefited greatly from many specialisms and authorities on aspects of motor racing too numerous to mention.
The cockpit of the Arrinera





The Arrinera Hussarya GTs  being tested at Silverstone









Two Arrinera Hussarya GTs in front of the Brooklands Clubhouse



Arrineras Hussarya GTs  parked on the historic remains of the 
Members' Banking at Brooklands
Frankowski in secondary lecture mode on valiant and distinguished Polish technologists, inventors, pilots and aristocratic racing drivers of the past
From Lt. to Rt. Frankowski, Dariusz Brudkiwicz, 
Chairman of the RREC Polish Section and Erik Hallgren (Maserati driver)
A fine Mercedes Benz Type 300 Adenauer brought by two CCC members.

As a security feature by those clever Benz technologists, if one locks the door from inside the 'revolutionaries' and 'terrorists' attempting to drag the corrupt great leader lounging within to an untimely death are defeated by externally locked doors. However our brave chums were unaware of this counter-revolutionary feature and locked themselves out of the car. Fortunately a passing car hijacker gave them the benefit of his experience and  helpfully provided a nifty piece of wire which facilitated entry and off they sped into deepest conspiracy-wracked Warsaw
The Chairman's trusty 1975 RR Silver Shadow in front of the Presidential Palace, almost adjacent to the Bristol Hotel.

He was not asked to 'proceed' in case the car spontaneously exploded as might be expected to happen there in a predictably rebellious 2017...armed guards were 
probably too cold to move him on. 



Well it was quite a fun evening just before Christmas 

                                                                                                     Michael Moran (Chairman)

CCC Club members present:


Michael Moran
Erik Hallgren
Błażej Żuławski
Paul Blackman
Piotr Frankowski
Neil Crook
Ian Booth
Guy Pinsent
Mathieu Spencer
Paul Ayre
Mirek Staniszewski
Michal Wrobel
Bill Flint
Michał Prząda
Janusz Zawada

Dariusz Brudkiewicz
Arthur Gabor 


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Korczew Excursion - First CCC foray into the 'overnight' stay adventure


Click on photos to enlarge - far superior effect


Korczew or Bust 

by

Michael Kenny


The 30th April/1st May opened the CCC's summer touring account. 

Meeting up at the KFC in Zakret at 10am with a planned destination of Korczew Palace near Siedlce, 9 cars made it through the unusually heavy morning traffic to open their 2016 touring account by watching Neil Crook sample some of KFC's fine chocolate cake for breakfast (subsequent note by 'Captain' MM: cake later reportedly 'shit' by the consumer - unquote. McCafe remains the rendezvous of choice).




One by one the cars arrived including Neil's Citroen GS4, an aubergine MX5, 2 fine Mercedes SL, one with spurious number plates, 2 equally fine red MGAs (one finer than the other and certainly less smelly), a rasping Porsche 718, a Range Rover on LPG and a divine green E-type. A touring biker group were also amassing in the carpark so the combined group of machines made for interesting viewing.






By 11 a quorum had been reached so we set off taking a back road to try an avoid the snarling A2 traffic. The plan was to amble the inner roads and convene at Liw Castle near Wegrow, about 60km away. Sadly the traffic snailed for the first 20km. With the rain spitting and the temperatures hardly hitting 10 degrees it didn't make for a very enjoyable open top cruise. By the time we arrived at Liw my neck, ears, thighs and lower back were in need of a clothing re-think. 




It was at the point that Mateusz Zulawski brought me up to date on the difference between a roadster and a cabriolet: a roadster essentially has no side windows. The MGA is a roadster while the MX5 is a cabriolet.




We took in the castle's museum and widened our knowledge of the importance of Liw and the surrounding area. After an hour, revived and more optimistic of the driving conditions ahead, we took off with gusto. The roads were now clear and we raced at a steady 80-100km/h through Wegrow and Sokolow Podlaski. It made a fine sight to see the cavalcade snake through the fields with tall wind turbines spinning against the dark afternoon sky.




Jimmy in the Porsche had been given permission to race ahead and warn the palace staff of our impending arrival. The car made such a cracking Formula One-esque noise as it changed gears.  Przemek and his son Michal were very generous in providing a photographic account during this leg. And Blaze found that driving at 70km/h in light rain with the windows up and the roof down was the minimum speed necessary to enough to stay dry. 15 minutes behind the Porsche, the main body of cars arrived triumphantly into the town of Korczew driving past the dairy farms and fish ponds on our left, through the dusty crossroads that define the village centre and then entering the palace through the imposing tall gates. It was a fine sight to see the cars parked in front of the Palace steps.



The destination of Korczew Palace was significant in that Al Harris, driving his recently purchased red MGA 1600, was inviting us to his family's ancestral home. Here his mother and our host, Mrs Beata Ostrawska-Harris, has been born and reared but when WW2 started she was evacuated to England where she grew up and later married. In the early 90's she returned to Poland with her husband and 2 sons Al and Dominic and daughter Helen. The palace by then had fallen into severe disrepair following 50 years of neglect. In the Palace's small museum were many photo's showing the various uses the palace buildings were put to during various periods during and after the war. She told us that rather than go through the bureaucratic process of restitution it was significantly easier to purchase back her family home which happened to be for sale, for the magnanimous total of PLN 1.








Al's MGA is interesting in that it underwent a body-off restoration in Rzeszow in 2014 by a Polish enthusiast. Finished in Ferrari red, it's a fine example of well restored car. I wish Al many years of fun driving.


After a hearty lunch Mrs Harris explained the palace's history and then we visited the carp ponds, the river Bug and the dairy farm. At 5pm or so, 4 of the cars departed back to Warsaw leaving the 2 MGs and the E-type at the Palace. It made a fine sight to see the 3 old classic cars against the backdrop of the palace. In fact, it was at that point that Al revealed to his mother that he had just bought the MGA and it brought a huge smile to her face. As she sat into the car, it appeared to stoke a hundred happy memories of England in the late 50s and early 60s. 

That evening we returned to the Palace dining room and enjoyed a feast of food and wine. We were joined by Harris family friends Adam Komorowski and Peter Pininski and Al's brother Dominic. Peter is a proud owner of an Aston Martin that he keeps in Warsaw and regularly drives on long trips. After dinner we retired to the kitchen and sipped and talked till the late hours. Once Mrs Harris went to bed the conversation descended into a manly discussion of feats and failures. Al, unused to the energy drain of the MG's heavy steering and general open top driving in cold weather, battled to stay awake. Ian Booth omitted to relieve his wife from babysitting duties so she didn't get the chance to join us.

Our very clean and comfortable quarters were across the road in the small hotel. This was another business operated by the palace in conjunction with their Dom Weselny further down the road. 

The next morning we gathered in preparation for the trip back to the city. A group of day tripping cyclists had arrived at the palace and were excited by the unplanned exhibition. We tried to impress them by opening up the bonnets. The tiny hair-dryer sized engines of the MGs were overshadowed by the twin cam engineering of the E-type but I think they were impressed more by the gaseous emissions from my own MG  as I raced off leaving a plume of smoke.

The journey home was uneventful but the road was open and clear enough to maintain a steady 80 km/h, I felt satisfied that the touring summer had kicked off in a nice orderly fashion and Captain Michael Moran would approve.

CCC Participants 

(photos by Blazej Zulawski and Michal Vonau)

Michael Kenny - 1960 MGA 1600, fitted with MGB 1.8 ltr engine, electronic ignition and Weber carburettors 

Al Harris - 1960 MGA 1600 

Ian Booth - Jaguar E-Type, Series 2, 2+2 Coupe, 4.2 Automatic

Przemek Vonau - Mercedes R129 500 SL (face lifted)

Blazej Zulawski - Mercedes R129 320SL (slightly modified & facelifted)


Radzimir Dębski & Klaudia Wróbel - Porsche 718


Mateusz Zulawski - Mazda MX5, 1.8, NB FL model (FL means facelifted)

















And so it's 'Goodnight' from him...
...and them

Saturday, 14 May 2016

HUSARIA - In the Spirit of the Winged Cavalry

Comrades in Arms

                                         'One Club, one family'   
                                                                                     Former RREC President Col. Eric Barrass

                             
              HUSARIA - In the Spirit of the Winged Cavalry



This was not exclusively a CCC affair but members were invited. 

When Poland energetically shook off the shackles of communism in 1989 the idea of founding a Polish Section of the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club would have been considered hopeful but bordering on the delusional. However a great Polish historical racing tradition existed before World War II. Count Louis Zborowski, who lived at Higham Park in Kent, drove his aero-engined monsters at Brooklands. Count Maurycy Potocki and the ‘fast lady’ Maria Koźmian battled in their Bugattis in the Lwów Grand Prix, a city now in present day Ukraine.

In July 1993 I took part in the first international car rally in Poland since 1913 in my 1974 Silver Shadow (SRH18723). Boys fell off their bicycles and we were showered with rose petals. Surely it is a symbolic indicator of the miraculous regeneration of the country that on 23 April 2016 a group of Polish Rolls-Royce and Bentley enthusiasts and owners (one an Australian) assembled in Kalisz, the oldest town in Poland, to form the Polish Section of the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club. http://www.rrec.org.uk/ 

Kalisz is beautifully situated in the Prosna River valley some 270 kms west of Warsaw. The town is mentioned by the Greek scholar Ptolemy as lying on the trade route known as the Amber Road which stretched from the Baltic to the Mediterranean (this electrostatic resin was considered to possess magical properties and was valued above gold in ancient times). Although badly damaged in the Great War, Kalisz possesses superb Baroque churches and fine parks bursting with the flowers of the Polish spring. Polish theatre is famous in Europe and certainly a theatrical atmosphere accompanied the festive party atmosphere at our base, a former doll factory that exported internationally. It has been converted into a commodious hotel named Komoda Club Residence.


The Old Town of Kalisz  
(Kalisz - Unigraf, Bydgoszcz, 2011)
Allan Rosetzsky from the RREC Board of Directors generously agreed to attend from his home in Denmark. By extraordinary serendipity his family originated not far from Kalisz but emigrated to Denmark in 1721. Polish RREC members soon arrived from all over the country, some of them with their cars. By 3.00 pm the following had assembled:

1934 20/25 Carlton open tourer ; 1948 Silver Wraith (WZB33) Hooper limousine; 1949 Silver Wraith (WDC57) Park Ward Sport Saloon ; 1958 Silver Cloud ; 1963 Bentley S3 (B782CN) ; 1974 Silver Shadow (SRH18723) ; 1995 Flying Spur - this is the limited edition (134 cars in total) of the turbocharged Silver Spur III (SCAZG03C95CX55200).

A delicious buffet lunch was served with all the Polish specialties before the serious matters of the day got under way. The cars were arranged in the historic street outside the hotel for the residents of Kalisz to admire and photograph. As all owners were dressed in costume appropriate to the period of their vehicles a rather high-spirited and colourful spectacle unfolded. We then set off in ‘close-order’ with some lucky passengers for a tour of the historic city.

Change into more conventional attire for dinner. More Polish specialties splendidly laid out in a banquet accompanied by spirited toasts. This was followed by a refreshingly informal meeting to propose and second candidates for the Polish Section Committee. Enthusiasm could scarcely be contained by the members present as glasses were raised. Much useful clarifying advice was given by Allan Rosetzsky on the cloudier aspects of section formation, regalia and regulations concerning section car badge design.

Dariusz Brudkiewicz (CCC Member) was elected Chairman, Andrzej Roszkiewicz elected Treasurer and Michael Moran (CCC Chairman) elected Secretary.  Paweł Sławiński was elected Vice-Chairman. These four ‘worthy coves’ then had a short meeting apart from the main party to discuss their roles in detail. Two main events for this year were immediately placed in the diary. A meeting entitled Classica Mierzęcin at the magnificent Mierzęcin Palace Wellness & Wine Resort between Szczecin and Poznań from 15-19 June. 

http://www.palacmierzecin.eu/

Later in the year the Motoclassic at Topacz Castle near Wrocław from 12-14 August. Arguably the finest classic car event staged in Poland. Definitely worth a special visit.

http://motoclassicwroclaw.pl/

More congratulations, photographs and general excitement until our beds in the former doll factory became irresistible.

Intense discussions on Rolls-Royce and Bentley matters erupted over breakfast until we set off to our various homes. Polish mechanics were among the best Spitfire fitters during the Battle of Britain and developed close emotional bonds with their machines and their Merlin engines. This deep love and encyclopaedic knowledge of Rolls-Royce was again in evidence at this remarkable event. A new world of cultural experience, historic landscape and the friendship of a lively people has opened for the adventurous RREC membership to explore.


Michael Moran – Secretary RREC Polish Section 


1934 20/25 Carlton open tourer  

Festive RREC Polish Section Foundation Dinner 23 April 2016

Lt. to Rt. 1948  Silver Wraith (WZB33) Hooper limousine owned by Dariusz Brudkiewicz, 1949 Silver Wraith Park Ward Sport Saloon owned by Paweł Sławiński, 1934 20/25 Carlton open tourer owned by Andrzej Roszkiewicz

RREC Polish Section Chairman Dariusz Brudkiewicz beside his 1948  Silver Wraith (WZB33) Hooper limousine admiring the street display in Kalisz


The immaculate engine of 1948  Silver Wraith (WZB33) Hooper limousine 

Excitement at the street display

Poland meets Downton Abbey
Andrzej Roszkiewicz and his partner Barbara having alighted from their 20/25 Carlton open tourer
Chodyński Street, Kalisz
(Kalisz - Unigraf, Bydgoszcz, 2011)

Thursday, 5 May 2016

The Honourable Charles Stewart Rolls meets Henry Royce - 112th Anniversary of Their Meeting at the Midland Hotel Manchester 4 May 1904 - Celebrated in Customary Fashion by the CCC, the Chairman and Secretary of the RREC Polish Section at the Bristol Hotel in Warsaw, Poland







          When Rolls Met Royce 

Wednesday 4th May 2016 marked 112 years to the day since Frederick Henry Royce, who owned an electrical and mechanical business, met Charles Stewart Rolls, who ran a car company in London.

Rolls and Royce met at the Midland Hotel in Manchester on 4 May 1904 to discuss a proposed partnership. Royce had just built his first motor car and the pair reached an agreement over lunch to manufacture vehicles to be sold under the name Rolls-Royce.



Midland Hotel Manchester shortly after completion in 1903 not long before Rolls and Royce met there

The first Rolls-Royce car, the 10hp, was unveiled at the Paris Salon in December 1904. Two years later saw the formation of the Rolls-Royce Company.

After considering sites in Manchester, Coventry, Bradford and Leicester, Derby's council offered the company cheap electricity on a site on the southern edge of the city and the rest, as they say, is history… (Courtesy of Flying Spares)


As Rolls-Royce remains one of the greatest brand names and industrial British Institutions (despite changes of ownership) I always celebrate this meeting of the founders every year. Well someone in Dam Buster spirit has to fly the flag after all, even an Australian living in Poland!

I headed up to the historic Bristol Hotel in Central Warsaw near the Presidential Palace, the CCC base of operations. 

Together with the Chairman of the newly formed Polish Section of the RREC, Dariusz Brudkiewicz who had driven from Opole with his family, some stalwart CCC members assembled (Ian Booth, Michael Kenny, Blazej Zulawski, a 'new chum' Max Filipowicz and the ever ebullient Michael Kenny). 

We had numerous glasses of Deutz Champagne, tasty snacks provided by the hotel, excellent Tapas and chatted about cars, leafed through  some of the past Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts' Club Bulletins and RR books. It has become an annual commemorative ritual.

Most important much politically incorrect banter was in evidence and we laughed a lot...yes, a lot....




                              
                                      My 20 year badge from the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts' Club
                                Bear with the old boy...

Michael Moran