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  • Writer's pictureBarney

Readers Drives - A Good Drive and A Drive for Good

The stories just keep coming. Its amazing. The quality of story just keeps getting better and better. I really must say, keep them coming ! I have had hundreds of emails from people, all over the world, some I do not know thanking us for all this material. The message is the same over and over again. “Keep them coming Barney, they are helping us through a tricky time”. This story from Craig really pulled at my heart strings and I am sure it will yours!

First off, thank you Barney. I will keep this short and hopefully sweet enough to engage your readers.

My initial thought was to share some of my more interesting cars in the past, say my DB4s or my 1961 Corvette, or some of the drives, like the 1985 AMOC drive to Le Mans for its 50th anniversary or driving a good part of Route 66 in the west part. But given the way the world is right now I have decided to share something maybe not sexy and very every day, but with a strong dose of helping others while having some fun too. Driving my 1974 2002 turbo on a regular basis and feeding homeless cats and the odd dog I see looking around.

I retired to Puglia (famous for olive oil, good wines, long coastline and coned houses – ‘trulli’) four years ago. I live in a more mountainous part and the drives are not ruined with commuter traffic or speed cameras everywhere. I have a regular car for most days (Fiat 500 L – which I like) but I also have classic BMWs, the turbo I keep here (better for the narrower, windy roads) and the CSL I keep in the UK.

However lovely life is here, what is sad, in especial for me, is the number of homeless cats and odd homeless dog.

I am a dog person and a dog rescuer but all animal suffering bothers me, so the cats are now my concern too… living here has changed me. So, when I go to leave food for the cats, at a few different places, often I will take the turbo. I get to justify the drive, not burning of fossil fuels just for the drive but also to leave food.

The drive is up to the Selva di Fasano, there is European Hill Climb championship race (The Coppa di Selva di Fasano) held here every year on the very route I drive. The sure footedness, the precise steering and pulling turbo engine of the BMW 2002 are a delight on this drive.

The interesting drive is captured here in a link of my mechanic (ex-racer) driving the race some years ago in a Delta Integrale

…sadly it is raining in this footage. I don’t and can’t drive as fast as in the video but it never loses appeal. And when I get up there I am greeted by furry friends.

Well that is about it. Nothing special really. My car (loaded up with food and treats), the cats and the odd dog and I all benefit from taking the turbo on the Coppa course. I am not a believer in ‘trailer queens’, I drive my cars.

The turbo goes shopping for groceries some days and once in a while in the summer to the beach but the best drive is the one where lots of hungry homeless cats get to have a full belly (I also put fresh water out), in fact one we dubbed “noisy cat” knows my car and greets me from the old villa she lives in.

Thank you again for the opportunity to share Barney. And to all your readers I wish you safety and health.

Thank you Craig for a great and heart warming yarn, you take great care too and we all look forward to your next.

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