The Grand Tour to The Italian Grand Prix got off to an inauspicious start. I took my beautifully prepped e46 M3 up to my local guru to have some 6 pots installed up front, change the oil, and generally get a relatively uncomfortable car ready to endure 5 days of fairly hard driving.
I picked up Jay at around 6am (much to the delight of his neighbours when I leant on my horn to get him out of bed) in Wimbledon and off we set. Trundling through Morden in pre-rush hour traffic I decided to show off my “fast-road” prepped modern classic by blasting out of a roundabout in second gear and then I received The Yellow Cog of Doom! All SMG e46 M3 owners will have heard stories of this, but this isn’t what you want to see when you’re 3 miles in to a 2000 mile road trip. I had two options – cry or go pick up Jays even more misbehaving Audi A3. So I just cried. And then took a leap of faith that the cool alpine mountains would keep a questionable gearbox in check…..and then it dropped out of gear….and then dropped out of gear again.
This is not a great look from the guy that’s supposed to be organising the trip, but the world is an imperfect place and who wants to driving a boring and perfectly behaving Ferrari F430, McLaren 620S or one of the brand new M5s that happened to be joining us on the route to the Italian grand prix?!?!?!?!?