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Old 09-03-2014, 08:11 PM   #1
Kodename47
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UK to France & Spain

Well over the last few weeks I used the GT86 in it's full capacity; 4 up, full luggage, 2500 miles. We also had a support vehicle in the shape of my "father in law's" Merc people carrier. Destination: South France and then Tarragona.

This was my 1st time driving a RHD car on the wrong side, so it was handy to have someone leading that is regularly on the continent. I found it much easier adjusting than I had anticipated, getting used to the French and Spanish ways of driving however took a fair bit longer. Continental main roads are much nicer than those of here, except in rural Spain it seems.

I have to say that the GT was faultless the whole way, with the help of Mark @ Abbey we adjusted the map to suit potentially lower octane fuel than what mine is on here and it ran without issue. Cruising on Spanish motorways for hours in over 30C temperatures I thought would highlight any potential issues but I can't be more impressed. Even the 10 hour slog back to catch the train was done on 2 tanks of fuel.

The real highlight was the drive back over the Pyrenees, we ditched the rear passengers for this and headed over the mountains. We skirted Andorra, which was lucky as our friends went via Andorra and hit an hour delay at customs (bloody French), to head up to Foix, stopping at Ax-Les-Thermes for some lunch. Nice spot to stop for anyone else going that way.
This holiday highlighted my enjoyment for the 86, the long journeys weren't any effort and the roads and lack of traffic allowed me to open it up and enjoy. It swallowed quite a bit of luggage and the rear passengers both said they preferred being in it to the accompanying "van". It was also a very focal point for the locals, I caught many a passer by having a good old look and even spoke to a couple of French lads who said it was a "bon voiture".



Cons:
- The Spanish Villa was very remote and I caught the undertray a fair few times.... the access track was a mild off road track that needed perfect navigation.
- Spanish dropped curbs were more like walls for my 86 at times. I had to give up trying in some ares due to lack of clearance. Even some of the speed bumps were a bit tight by all accounts.
On both counts, had I more than a mild drop or any form of front/side lips then there would have been some real issues. Our friend's standard height MX-5 didn't have any issues....
Anyway, the important things..... photos:
At the Villa


The Pyrenees










Ps - spotted a couple of 86's on the way. A white in Nulles, near Valls (Tarragona) and a blue in Cressensac
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Old 09-07-2014, 10:25 AM   #2
piotrr
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Nice

Can't believe you had rear passengers though I don't think someone will ever sit behind me, even when someone sits behind the passenger i feel a little embarassed that there's so little space out there
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