Monday, 17 July 2017

Account of this weekend's excursion to Kazimierz Dolny in Poland (July 15/16) under construction

1993 historic rally around Poland - stop at Kazimierz Dolny en route

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

4th May 2017 - Bristol Hotel Warsaw - 113th anniversary of the first meeting of Charles Rolls and Henry Royce at the Midland Hotel, Manchester, on May 4th 1904

1927 Royce‘Twenty’ with coachwork by Simpson and Slater of Nottingham

1948 Hooper bodied Royce Silver Wraith (WZB33) of the Polish Section Chairman 
Dariusz Brudkiewicz

On May 4th 2017 the RREC Polish Section and the CCC jointly commemorated the 113th anniversary of the first meeting of Charles Rolls and Henry Royce at the Midland Hotel, Manchester, on May 4th 1904 and the Silver Jubilee of the foundation of the RREC.

A few RREC members and CCC Members gathered at the historic Bristol Hotel Warsaw for this convivial occasion. After Poland gained its independence in 1919, the famous pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski became the Prime Minister and held the first session of his government at this hotel. By some miracle the Bristol survived the war with minor damage, standing isolated in the rubble of the destroyed city. 

We met in the Secession style Column Bar (possibly designed by the noted Viennese architect Otto Wagner) for champagne and tapas in what was known in more glamorous times as 'the cocktail hour', 5.30pm - 7.00pm. This small Rolls-Royce club gathering has become almost an institution at the Bristol over the years. It was a pleasant occasion and I was particularly gratified as I used to celebrate the historic meeting alone. In the past, for some like company whilst sipping my flute of Deutz champagne, I would take along a few Rolls-Royce Bulletins I had not had time to read during the year. Anyone in those days entertaining the idea of the formation of a Polish Section of the RREC would have been considered a suitable case for treatment. Remarkably it has recently come to fruition.

The oldest Rolls-Royce in Poland (a 1927 ‘Twenty’ with coachwork by Simpson and Slater of Nottingham) was displayed in the garden atrium of the hotel together with the 1948 Silver Wraith (WZB33) of the Chairman. My 1974 Silver Shadow and a Bentley S1 were parked less salubriously outside in the rain.

Future joint Polish Section and CCC events we are anticipating are the Motorclassic 2017 at Castle Topacz near Wrocław 18-20 August. This is the most prestigious classic car event in Poland. Last year the RREC Polish Section won the award for the finest classic car display. The other event from 31st August - 3rd September is a rally in the town of Kalisz (where the Polish Section was founded) to include various splendid historical and theatrical activities, tours of the town, a parade of cars, meeting the town authorities and a gala ball in addition to fun-filled driving tests.

Polish Section website:

Michael Moran
Secretary Polish Section RREC and Chairman CCC

Friday, 7 July 2017

British Classic Cars at Autonostalgia 13-14 May 2017, Warsaw, Poland

I have always felt guilty about this - no not the situation in the photograph - but having never posted the link to the coverage of British Cars at Autonostalgia 2017 in Warsaw. There was a slight misunderstanding about how it was to be done. 

CCC played a large part and won the award for the best stand at the exhibition.

Well here it is:


Excursion to Łowicz, Poland, on the Feast of Corpus Christi, 15 June 2017

Click on photographs to enlarge - far superior rendition

A rather spontaneous decision this one as the weather was glorious. A typical example of the nature of the Casual Car Club's philosophy of being laid back and relaxed concerning  all matters connected with classic cars.  Classic cars as part of a rich life experience. Enjoyment of driving the beasts is the name of our game - oh and eating and drinking well at fine venues during lectures on arcane matters of motoring. 

In the early 1990s I had visited the town of  Łowicz, which lies about 86 kms SW of Warsaw on the religious public holiday of Corpus Christi. The celebration commemorates the ritual of the Eucharist and is a reflection of the Maundy Thursday observance during Holy Week.

I thought I might repeat the experience after so many years. It is a highly picturesque religious celebration with ornate processions. The entire town dress in colorful folkloric costumes – one of the last flourishes of Polish traditional activities which are fast disappearing under the cultural leveling process that seems inevitable in the EU. This local event has now become part of international tourist itineraries to Poland. I knew many members were not at all religious but this event is really well worth a visit for the spectacular visual and Polish cultural aspects alone. 

Four cars assembled outside my home in Mlociny on the northern border of Warsaw - a 1933 Bentley Special, a Series II Jaguar E Type convertible, a 1989 Daimler Double Six, my 1974 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow and a 1973 C3Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

The spontaneity meant explanations for not arriving on time surfaced 

'My alarm clock failed!'  

'Must get some petrol.' 

'A bit of stress at home with the kids.' 

As this is a casual club  everything was taken with a smile of acceptance at the charming foibles of human nature.

Before the afternoon visit to the town, in the morning we visited the Open-air museum of Łowicz's Folk Culture, the Skansen Ziemi Łowickiej. A traditional open-air lunch had been arranged there. We arrived an hour late for lunch but what of that?


Below are some interesting pictures taken at the Skansen by Błazej  Żuławski (BZ), Henryk Grocholski (HG) and Michael Moran (MM)

En route to the  Skansen Ziemi Łowickiej

Henryk Grocholski from his Daimler observes passing cars with interest...

As is often the case with such events there were some CCC members unavoidably delayed. Below - filling in time during the delay.

Waiting for an E-Type

 Skansen Ziemi Łowickiej

Leaving the  Skansen Ziemi Łowickiej hopefully to see the procession in  Łowicz

Refuelling stop en route to  Łowicz

Wandering though Łowicz in search of the procession which we managed to miss, this being the casual nature of the car club. There is always next year and the purchase of a Phlippe Patek watch or Breitling Chronometer. Will it make a difference? Probably not....Anyway no tears shed although I noticed far fewer costumes on ordinary folk compared to 25 years ago - plus ca change.

An apiarist in traditional costume at his own stall in Łowicz

Various en route photographs

At the famous Catholic girls boarding school Gimnazjum Sióstr Niepokalanek

A dramatic incident in the afternoon

We were proceeding along a lovely rural road when the Bentley suddenly stopped. Drama! 'These Polish roads are very tough on cars!" was heard to drift on the wind. A bracket holding the nearside front cycle guard had snapped. Not a great issue but the cycle guard had to be removed as it was 'batting the breeze'.

When in doubt in Poland over a mechanical issue get out the hammer and give the problem a good thrashing!

We intended to have a cup of coffee on the way home at Pałac w Teresinie but unfortunately it was closed. Well it provided a good photo opportunity.

And after much chat about cars and further inspection of finer details, we reluctantly set off for Warsaw going our separate ways. In full Polish style the farewells and decisions about 'What next?' took around 45 minutes. 

Some of us however agreed to meet for dinner and drinks at the Restauracja STREFA in ul. Pruszna. The Feast of Corpus Christi was still being celebrated even there....

Members of the CCC who took part in this Łowicz excursion and their cars:

Błazej  Żuławski - 1973 C3 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Henryk and Maja Grocholski - 1989 Daimler Double Six
Michael and Basia Moran - 1974 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow
Paul and Tessa van Arkel - 1933 Bentley 3.5L Sports
Tadeusz Wesołowski - 1969 Series II E-Type Jaguar