day by day

almanaque 2009/04/20

Encuentro en Marina Salinas

We did not have much of a desire yesterday to go to the Encuentro in the Marina Salinas, Torrevieja, because when we rose it was raining, but we had promised our attendance to David Hudson. Luckily when we were there it was one of the most pleasant days of our club outings. The Club of Orihuela had 9 cars, 3 from Orihuela, 3 from Elche and the other 3 from other towns. Although it rained, the Marina was very good because the display area was protected from the rain with a large roof in the entertainment area where we all had sufficient capacity and space for protection. The landscape was the boats and the sea. Fantastic! Two people from the Club did the DJing with music of the 60s and 70s that we all knew, with even some Spanish songs like "Black is Black" by Los Bravos. The organization was very good and we could use the cafeterias in the Marina Salinas. From the arrival to the exit at 13:30 h., there was not a moment of boredom: a group, the Tuna Femenina, from the Faculty of the University of Alicante sang the classic songs of student's decades ago. Later, a group of typical Spanish Andalusian ballet, formed by British dancers from the Raquel Pena's Ballet Espàñol, danced with great style and enough time to show the folk dances then finished with an 8 year old girl from the dance school who delighted us with those same Andalusian dances. A very complete morning!

The recorrido was short due to bad weather (some said typical English weather). We drove our cars through the streets of Torrevieja that took us to the restaurant, escorted by the police who made a good job of it. The time at the restaurant was the best thing of the day. The Meal was accompanied by the Tuna Femenina who did not stop singing (or to drink beer). The food was very good, with two courses and a dessert and all the drink and much more besides that only cost 12 euros (wow, I must return again to that restaurant!). We ate and laugh much also and I drank a lot of liquor. The Spaniards enjoyed very much the English in spite of the difficulty of the language, because with the food and drink the language was not a problem, as we all understood each other well.

I must emphasize that David, Angie and their group made a good job so that everything came out well. It was a day where the rain did not matter; there was sun on our table because there was a good atmosphere and friendship.

Thanks for all the English friends!!!

Jesús Ros
secretary of the Orihuela 600 Club

& a help of David Hudson



Sunday 29th March in the new Condomina in Murcia saw the previous world record of 150 SEAT 600 Classic Cars gathered in a concentration smashed when 468 SEAT 600s turned up for the National Concentration organised by the SEAT 600 Murcia Club to attempt to get in the pages of the Guinness book of world records. The cars, some over 40 years old, arrived in atrocious weather with heavy rains and cold winds. But the slogan of the day was that we would do everything to get on a page in the history of the Seat 600 and a little bit of English weather was not going to stop us. As we arrived the ladies were given roses and then amongst the large gathering of 600s we were guided to a parking spot. Then began the day of queues with an hour in the rain to produce the documents of the car and the driver but we received bags of gifts for our trouble including a certificate and shirt commemorating the day and a personalised key ring of a 3 dimensional 600 with your own number plate and a medal. Now the rain was getting serious but it did not stop me meeting old friends whom I had not seen for a long time and making new friends which are what these events are for.

The number of clubs that came was enormous and just to mention a few they came from Aragon, Majorca, Ibiza, Seville, Valladolid, Barcelona, Asturias, Valencia, 4 from Madrid, Cuidad Real, Cordoba, Lleida (the ladies whom I met in the sun on the Saturday in Yellow ribbons and tights with black rara skirts), Albacete and Segovia whom I was able to make contact with as we are travelling through on our May trip in our 600 and will be meeting some of the socios. On the way to the Concentration in our 39 year old 600E Angie had said that she wanted one 34 years ago when she passed her driving test but it was not possible until 19 years ago when we brought our coche fantastico and never regretted a day and through the 600 clubs we have experienced outstanding friendship and learnt a lot about Spain and its culture and made us learn enough Spanish to join in.

Now it was time for the Guinness man in black with the umbrella who was at the check point for every car to be checked and photographed. He had a big smile for us and we hoped that it was because our English name proved that not all the idiots are Spanish but home grown. Then following the lead car we slowly made our way to the start point about a kilometre away to line up. As we were 4th this was to take about two hours before we began the next stage of the record attempt. To get the record meant the cars had to parade in single file for 3.250 kms. and the waiting with the now bad cold wet weather took a big toll on the cars. Though some had come just to be there at the record attempt others some of which were 40 years old failed to start or run but 308 crossed the line to start. The cars were lined up in four lines causing trouble with the traffic but most stopped to look and smile at such small cars that disappeared over the hills in the distance. The man in Black with the umbrella and big smile arrived and it was time to move off following the blue flashing police car who regularly gave instructions over the loudspeaker to keep up or slow down and always look smart. Then we were back crossing the finishing line and the buzz to achieve something that was only a dream by the President Juan Antonio of the Murcia Club had come true.

It took almost an hour for everyone to finish and get into the centre for the exchange of gifts between clubs and presentation of awards. Juan Antonio looking very tired made the announcement that we had all been waiting for the world record was ours with 307 SEAT 600s finishing the recorrido. He must be congratulated with his team for achieving this against all odds. The oldest there came from the home of the 600, Barcelona and the winner of the largest number of club members went to Almeria with Albacete coming second but as a founder member and past vice president it was pleasing to me that Orihuela came third. This was for members with SEAT 600s only. Even Fiats were not allowed and I always said that the Spanish are the Japanese of Europe as they can take an idea and develop it beyond what is thought possible which the SEAT 600 shows. Other awards were given then it was time to exchange trophies between clubs and it became clear how many clubs were there some were new and some resurrected from the dead. Unexpectedly I had a microphone thrust in my hand to say a few words, though my friend Jesus congratulated me on my Spanish, I think it is sufficient to say VIVA SEISCIENTOS!

David Hudson