So this weekend is the CMI Annual Rally. Hurrah! However, the Mantis is still down at Chariots having passed the world’s most expensive MOT (inside joke) so I have jumped on a train from South Manchester to Lewes & picked the car up. So far so good. I need to be at Redline Sportscars around 1030 Saturday morning for the start of the day’s CMI rally agenda. As this is a good three hours drive & I am only picking the car up after 1900, the cunning plan was to drive the car from Lewes to about halfway to then get some zeds in a B&B in Shedfield. After an awesome breakfast, it’s back on the road first thing with a view to arriving at Redline in good time.

That was the plan. What actually happened is that the throttle cable snapped in the overtaking lane of the M27, I managed to coast onto the hard shoulder & call The AA, who then got a local garage to recover the car to Sainsbury’s car park which is where I am writing this at 0215 in the morning. Unbelievable. And as of 15 minutes ago, they are advising that they can’t get a recovery vehicle to me until between 0800 & 1000 later this morning. That’s 12 hours after I broke down.

The AA, you suck!!!

Corrosion on the throttle cable, leading it to snap.

Getting my chariot MOTd

Well, more accurately, getting the Mantis MOT’d by Chariots. Up at 0500 today to drive down to drop the car off with Jay Sherwin at Chariots. 200 miles & five uneventful hours later, I had arrived. Rather earlier than expected actually, as I had factored in ‘Marcos time’ (this consists of waiting for The AA, or ‘phoning a friend’) but it wasn’t needed. Yay! Cue a discussion with Jay around what needs doing (MOT but also LSD front seal, chassis protection, bushes, suspension check blah blah).

The car park was (very) full!

Then dropped off to Lewes Station for the five hour journey home. Fingers crossed no expensive findings & I am back to collect the car in the next few weeks.

Gawsworth… Not

Well, that didn’t go as planned! Raining when I left for Gawsworth Hall Youngtimers show this morning, but hood down & indeed the rain stopped a few minutes later. Having got the other side of Hale Barns I realised I had forgotten my entrance tickets & went home to pick them up.

Unused. Grrr…

Half a mile into the second journey the coolant boiled over & dumped onto the A538 with the engine going into “Protected Mode”. Really rather disappointing given how good the car has been recently. Anyway, six litres of water later (courtesy of a very nice, patient householder on Hale Road!) & some engine checks using the Torque ODB2 app I limped back home again.

My trusty ODB2 sender. I might not have a clue what’s going on with the engine, but it does!

No idea what happened or why, but decided against trying for Gawsworth a third time. A shame as, apart from catching up with other owners, I was really looking forward to seeing the Morrison’s LM following the conversion from a Spyder to a Coupe & the respray. Knowing Debbie & Darren it will be immaculate. And very purple!

Blog V3.0

So, after the first generation ‘diary’ of owning a Mantis, hosted as basic Web pages on thequiffster.com site way back in 2000, then moving to the second generation WordPress site at blog.thequiffster.com, we are now at the third generation of this record of owning a Marcos Mantis sports car, hosted on the newly acquired marcos-mantis.blog domain. Hopefully this will improve the search engine rankings & drive a few more visitors here. Whilst it can be very therapeutic to post, I do like to think some bugger is actually reading this every now & then. 🤔🤣

Chumly with my chums

A pleasant Sunday Lunch at the Cholmondeley Arms in Malpas with some fellow Marcos owners today. The pub have a Sunday Car Club, so got there about half eleven to see a few other motors. A few TVRs, several Morgans, a couple of MGs & a beautiful Porsche Speedster. All very nice. However, it seems I needed to get there about 1000 to get the free bacon butty!

I am known for my pointy nose…
Blue sky over Malpas ️. A nice little car park, with some lovely interesting classics when I arrived. (Was it something I said?)

The Mantis ran beautifully there & back. It didn’t rain. The Psychobilly playlist hit Prince of Darkness at just the right part of the drive. I was the only one in a Marcos for various reasons, but with all the work being done by the other owners, we should see a good turn out across the summer.

The gang. Many of us full of Jam Rolly Polly & custard. Living our best lives… 藍
Posted in Car

Christmas Blast for 23

Not having been in the Mantis for a few weeks, the fantastic clear blue skies of Boxing Day 2023 were too good an opportunity to miss, so after press-ganging my daughter into coming along for the ride, it was off out into the Cheshire lanes for a very pleasant drive out.

A good few things still needing to be done on the car, with future funding sources unclear, but for the time being it was just nice to get out. Given how infrequently I am now driving the car, with negligible commuting & other demands on the old bank balance, I really must try & get a dash cam sorted for 2024 so I can get some driving footage. An aide memoire for the car when the grey cells start failing might be rather handy!

What else for next year then? Well the chatter at the Marcos Christmas Dinner was that we might go to the Youngtimers event at Gawsworth Hall on the second May bank holiday as a group, rather than a independent owners. Other than last year, this was not something I have been previously available for as I am normally at the Hay (Book) Festival with my son, however sadly he has grown up & looks to be elsewhere from now on. We will probably continue to gather on the Sunday of the Oulton Park Gold Cup as our NW race-based meet. The big news perhaps is that we may consider going back to Tatton Park, which we attended for over 25 years before falling out with the new owners, Morton Events, over their ill-informed & ill-advised insistence that we attend on two days across the show weekends. Hopefully after five years running the Tatton Parks shows they now understand that owners clubs of low volume, rare sportscars can’t necessarily get the vehicle numbers to cover more than one day. We will see….

Lest we forget

Armistice Day today, & a truely glorious Autumn day – clear blue skies & sunshine. Foolishly I have not gone out in the Mantis, even though it’s been on the trickle charger & I haven’t put the hood back up yet on the off chance of a quick spin out. Maybe tomorrow if the Met Office forecast proves completely wrong (currently black cloud with double rain drop icon… Oh dear! 🌧️).

In the meantime I have been told there is a picture of my Mantis adorning the Marcos Owners Club stand at the Classic Car Show. What excellent taste! 🤣👌😎

Concours of Elegance 2023

A very enjoyable Sunday at the Concours of Elegance, held once again at the ever impressive Hampton Court Palace.

2023 saw Marcos placed to the right of the palace.


What a monumental fuckwit Sadiq Khan is. If you’re going to create a completely bullshit tax to get more money into your Inner London coffers to spend on your divisive policies, at least spend taxpayers money on a decent payment website. What a bag of spanners the user experience is…

A good trip down to the White Hart Hotel with the ever entertaining Doug in the passenger seat. Travelling down from Manchester with the Morrisons, sadly still without their LM which, having been converted to a coupe, is still awaiting paint. As ever, nice to see the Essex mob again, sadly without Geoff now.

As the owner of an “ordinary” Mantis, I am honoured to be in the presence of a supercharged Mantis at the White Hart Hotel today. 🤣😂🤣 Yes RJP, you know who you are!