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Graham

Original Poster:

15,197 posts

167 months

[news] 
Tuesday 13th December 2005 quote quote all
As all good plans tend to start this way, i was in the pub with a mate and we've decided to have a crack at the passo stelvio in the spring next year.

not having much in the way of holiday were looking at a friday thru monday jaunt. a quick fiddle on multimap shows it at about 950 miles each way so just over 2k in a weekend.

So does anyone have an interesting reasonabley direct route and the heads up on a couple of cheep places to stay on route... Were looking to take either my Chimaera or DOM's ZT260 :0

Cheers
Graham

PetrolTed

34,215 posts

186 months

[news] 
Tuesday 13th December 2005 quote quote all
Don't want to pi$$ on your party, but it's pushing it to get that far and back in a weekend and personally I'd not recommend it as you may be disappointed.

I was disappointed by the Stelvio. Overcrowded (nobody told me it would be full of cyclists and camper vans!), poor surface and actually too tight to be much fun. I had a reasonable blast up in the Cerbera (didn't get held up much, unlike many others in our group) but there's much more fun to be had in some of the other passes around there.

dcb

4,721 posts

148 months

[news] 
Tuesday 13th December 2005 quote quote all
Graham said:

As all good plans tend to start this way, i
was in the pub with a mate and we've decided to have a
crack at the passo stelvio in the spring next year.


Got much Alpine experience ?

Late Spring I hope. I wouldn't attempt it before May.
Much snow up there.

Graham said:

So does anyone have an interesting reasonabley direct route
and the heads up on a couple of cheep places to stay on
route... Were looking to take either my Chimaera or
DOM's ZT260 :0


Don't take the TVR - not many repair facilities on route.

Calais, Brussels, Aachen, Cologne, Frankfurt, Wurzburg,
Ulm, Landeck, Bormio.

DustyC

12,786 posts

137 months

[news] 
Tuesday 13th December 2005 quote quote all
I did it on part of a holiday round europe in the Griff.

I wouldn't make it the main event for your trip, its not that good and there are loads of better roads in the area. However, it is worth seeing and the hot dog stand at the top is nice!

A drive through the dolomites is good, some really nice sweeping bends. If its raining its not a fun drive though.

If I were you I would drive down through Germany, spend two nights (one whole day) at the Nurburgring, spend some time around southern Germany (nice place), Through Austria and on to Stelvio pass area.

Bormio is a good town at the base of the pass with plenty of hotels, bars and resturaunts. If you ask around they will also tell you were to find the very good steam baths (really is worth a visit).

A good route would then be to drive down to lake Como which is stunning (although if you are with a mate then perhaps the life of lake Garda will appeal more). Then drive down to the coast and work you way along.
San Remo is a great stop in Italy just before the border. Its a mini Monaco. All designer shops and big casino (and better food!).

When you get to Nice hang a left and head up to Lake De-Ste-Croix. (Thats my lake!) Its a fantastic drive, lots of Monte Carlo rally roads and the lake is beautiful (although again, if with a mate not so romantic!).

I would definitly recommend doing the drive there and back through Germany. I have done it through France a lot and Germany once and much preffered the Autobahns, secenary and German friendliness.

Loads of good roads in and around the alps though and the best thing to do is just explore. You will definitly find a few good ones.


ewenm

26,927 posts

128 months

[news] 
Tuesday 13th December 2005 quote quote all
It can be done in your timescales but you'll be pretty knackered. I drove the Caterham down to the Dolomites in 2 days.
Day 1: Calais - Reims (on péage) - Colmar (on N and D roads)
Day 2: Colmar - Black Forest - Austria - Italy

Colmar is a lovely medieval town near the French, German, Swiss borders and was a good day's drive. Of course, if you stick to motorways you'll get further but it's dull
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DustyC

12,786 posts

137 months

[news] 
Tuesday 13th December 2005 quote quote all
dcb said:
[quote=Graham]
Don't take the TVR - not many repair facilities on route.



Definitly take the TVR, its what it was built for!

In Italy EVERYONE loves it!
Have done over 9000 miles in Europe in my Griff on holidays now and most of it in Italy.

Get breakdown cover and then there is no worries.
Brittania do amazingly cheap cover which is Europe wide (and its good).

>> Edited by DustyC on Tuesday 13th December 10:19

DustyC

12,786 posts

137 months

[news] 
Tuesday 13th December 2005 quote quote all
ewenm said:
Of course, if you stick to motorways you'll get further but it's dull


In a Caterham I should imagine its also painful!

The Autobahns in a TVR are great fun though!
Found the Griffs most economic speed on the last trip. Managed 25MPG when crusing for 200miles at around 110-130MPH on the autobahns, including the occasional top speed runs.

dcb

4,721 posts

148 months

[news] 
Tuesday 13th December 2005 quote quote all
DustyC said:

Definitly take the TVR, its what it was built for!


Really ? it's an autobahn cruiser then is it ?

News to me.

DustyC

12,786 posts

137 months

[news] 
Tuesday 13th December 2005 quote quote all
Yep, its perfect for that type of holiday.

Smooth, comfortable and fast on the autobahns. Great fun around all the twisty alpine roads, especially with the sound bouncing of the rock walls, and also easy to drive.

Also gotta have roof off motoring for all that great scenary.
On the first trip we did all but around 50 of the 3600 miles with the roof off!

dcb

4,721 posts

148 months

[news] 
Tuesday 13th December 2005 quote quote all
DustyC said:

The Autobahns in a TVR are great fun though!


Fair enough - how did you manage without ABS and traction
control ?

I wouldn't go fast on the autobahn without them.

DustyC said:

Found the Griffs most economic speed on the last trip.
Managed 25MPG when crusing for 200miles at around
110-130MPH on the autobahns, including the occasional
top speed runs.


130 mph - an economy run was it ;-> ?

That's only keeping up with the V6 people carriers,
the Vectras, Golfs and the Astras.

English sports cars, eh ?

PetrolTed

34,215 posts

186 months

[news] 
Tuesday 13th December 2005 quote quote all
Don't be such a misery guts DCB.

I had immense fun on the Autobahn in the Cerbera. It's got great brakes and it was dry so I certainly felt no need for traction control.

Why the downer on TVRs? They're superb fun on the continent. I certainly more fun driving our TVR abroad than the BMW^h^h^hAlpina.

targarama

13,431 posts

166 months

[news] 
Tuesday 13th December 2005 quote quote all
I'd suggest looking at doing a few mountain passes - like Ted says, Stelvio is a bit busy, especially in the summer. (Who are those nutters who cycle up it? ). Many of the Alpine passes from Italy to Switzerland are more fun. Look up routes with lots of little tunnels (avoid the huge tunnels and take the mountain route though - usually quiet due to the tunnel).

Wait until late May/early June for the passes to clear. We did Bolzano to Bormio to Stelvio to Bolzano to Arraba (near Cortina) in a day - very tiring due to the sheer number of switchbacks etc. No way could you do this trip in a weekend from blightly.

DCB - what is your problem? You obviously don't understand 'The Spirit of Driving'. Its not about whether a people carrier can do 130mph, the same as a TVR Griffith - rather its about the sound, feeling, enjoyment gained from doing it in a car which feels alive. I've done many trips to Europe, firstly in my Chimaera, recently in my T350 - neither hiccuped once.

pvapour

6,806 posts

136 months

[news] 
Tuesday 13th December 2005 quote quote all
quote from DCB profile

'I drive a BMW 530i SE Auto.
It's hopelessly overpowed for UK roads.'




go for it, some of my best driving days have been in Europe in TVR, even if the pass is not that great, the drive there will be....good luck with it

Nick

>> Edited by pvapour on Tuesday 13th December 11:11

tonyhetherington

31,791 posts

133 months

[news] 
Tuesday 13th December 2005 quote quote all
Agree with Targarama and Ted here...don't make Stelvio the main feature, but instead part of many mountain passes. If you're taking the time and expense to get down there, utilise it (and, with such a car, I'd suggest Stelvio perhaps isn't the best pass - I did it in my S2 Elise (in theory perfect) and the campervans and cyclists (millions of the buggers!) spoilt it. Having said that, I think it was just a little too tight to get a flow going).

Anyway, my point is; do it, otherwise you'll regret not doing it, but don't make it the be all and end all of your trip as you'll be disappointed.

Oh, and your car will be perfect on the trip down the Autobahns; I was with Ted in his Cerbera as he mentioned above, and we had a fantastic time!

Graham

Original Poster:

15,197 posts

167 months

[news] 
Tuesday 13th December 2005 quote quote all
Cheers Guys, keep the Ideas comming.

Im open to suggestions on other passes to have a crack at on the way. Going through germany sounds interesting. I'll have a nother look at the map.

Our timescale is fixed though to friday thru monday, and to be honest the distances involved and the timescale are part of what makes it interesting.

I take the point about the stelvio being busy and perhaps not the best ( a bit like going to the louvre. there are much better paintings then the stroppy tart (which you cant get near) that you can get to no trouble) but It is one i'd like to go to.


Yes I should have said late spring towards the end of may, if we went any earlier we'd need to take th discovery <LOL>

It is a toss up between the CHim and the ZT260, especially as the ZT might have a supercharger by then... and is even more tail happy that the chim when you switch off the traction control

it also has sat nav, which with the addition of the right cd could come in handy

cheers

G


edited to add: just in case the pass is stuffed full of bikes, We might be tempted to chuck the mountain bikes in the back as well <LOL>

>> Edited by Graham on Tuesday 13th December 11:33

polus

4,343 posts

108 months

[news] 
Tuesday 13th December 2005 quote quote all
dcb said:
DustyC said:

The Autobahns in a TVR are great fun though!


Fair enough - how did you manage without ABS and traction
control ?

I wouldn't go fast on the autobahn without them.

DustyC said:

Found the Griffs most economic speed on the last trip.
Managed 25MPG when crusing for 200miles at around
110-130MPH on the autobahns, including the occasional
top speed runs.


130 mph - an economy run was it ;-> ?

That's only keeping up with the V6 people carriers,
the Vectras, Golfs and the Astras.

English sports cars, eh ?



Oh yes, without traction control and ABS, how would you manage!!!

Infact I think we should all drive around in BMW 530i SE Auto's becuase there much more exciting then TVR's!

Graham

Original Poster:

15,197 posts

167 months

[news] 
Tuesday 13th December 2005 quote quote all
polus said:

Infact I think we should all drive around in BMW 530i SE Auto's


I wouldnt fancy doing high speeds in an auto to unpredictable.



but can we drop the bitching and get back on topic I dont remember asking if i needed traction control and ABS, I can make my own mind up on that FFS..

Now mountain passes in Italy and the best way to get there

DustyC

12,786 posts

137 months

[news] 
Tuesday 13th December 2005 quote quote all
dcb said:
DustyC said:

The Autobahns in a TVR are great fun though!


Fair enough - how did you manage without ABS and traction
control ?

I wouldn't go fast on the autobahn without them.

Nor do lots of other iconic sports cars but everyone keeps on buying them.
Some people actual prefer it and it is one of the things that actracts me to British sports cars.
Managed fine on the Autobahns, as I did in the alps were there was still frost on the roads early in the day and snow at the side. Just beacuse it doesn't have these aids it doesn't make it undrivable. You should try it.
DustyC said:

Found the Griffs most economic speed on the last trip.
Managed 25MPG when crusing for 200miles at around
110-130MPH on the autobahns, including the occasional
top speed runs.

dcb said:

130 mph - an economy run was it ;-> ?

Yes, as I said before it was the most economic run the Griff has done yet at 25MPG. Previously the best was a long drive through france at 23MPG but at a slower speed.

So driving a TVR faster is good for the economy and environment!
dcb said:

That's only keeping up with the V6 people carriers,
the Vectras, Golfs and the Astras.

You are right. Even at 110MPH there were Polos and Lupos overtaking. The Autobahn seems mad compared to England but the flow and control of traffic makes a lot more sense.
dcb said:

English sports cars, eh ?


I think thats what the Porsche drivers were saying whenever we had a play several times. It was more of "English Sports Cars.....Eh? Where did it go?!" as we put our foot down at 130 pulled away from them with roof down and flies getting stuck in our teeth due to the silly grins on our faces!

On this thread I wasn't trying to gloat about my car at all, merely sharing the spirit of driving in Europe with another TVR driver.

If you would rather stick to your boring Euro box then thats fine, each to their won.
When you have toured Europe in a unique V8 convertible sports car you'll know just how good it can be. Everyone in Italy certainly appreciates it. Even had guys coming out the Ferrari factory looking all around it asking what it was. (And thats not saying "its better than a Ferrari" it just shows that real petrolheads will show an interest rather than snobbery).

>> Edited by DustyC on Tuesday 13th December 12:26

GregE240

10,837 posts

150 months

[news] 
Tuesday 13th December 2005 quote quote all
dcb said:
DustyC said:

The Autobahns in a TVR are great fun though!


Fair enough - how did you manage without ABS and traction
control ?

I wouldn't go fast on the autobahn without them.

DustyC said:

Found the Griffs most economic speed on the last trip.
Managed 25MPG when crusing for 200miles at around
110-130MPH on the autobahns, including the occasional
top speed runs.


130 mph - an economy run was it ;-> ?

That's only keeping up with the V6 people carriers,
the Vectras, Golfs and the Astras.

English sports cars, eh ?

Jealous little man.

Get back to not indicating, as you're so fond of stereotyping.

tinman0

18,231 posts

123 months

[news] 
Tuesday 13th December 2005 quote quote all
Graham said:
not having much in the way of holiday were looking at a friday thru monday jaunt. a quick fiddle on multimap shows it at about 950 miles each way so just over 2k in a weekend.


easy.

whatever happens you do not want to get caught up in anything on the way down - so quite simply calais to switzerland by the quickest route (french autoroutes).

ideally you want to get into the middle of swizterland on the friday, so personally i would head for Sarnen (Hotel Metzgern is quite reasonable). Then do a few passes on the Saturday to get yourself to St Moritz and then onto Tirano. Tirano puts you within distance of Stelvio for the following morning.

On the sunday up and over stelvio to Trafio, and then back over stelvio. Then head down umbrialpass with a lunch stop at the restaurant overlooking Santa Maria. (They ONLY take cash). Then down to Santa Maria. Ideally you want to head back towards Sarnen way for the evening - but it is a long drive so you may want to take a motorway to Lucerne for the night.

Then home on the Monday.

If you take in Switzerland - the best passes don't open till the end of May, so first weekend in June and you should be in the clear. Also, the first weekend of June has few motorbikes and traffic in general. Stelvio does open mid May i think. The first few weeks though are relatively clear. Its only when season gets going in mid June do you start getting traffic.

We are doing some of the above again this year for the S2N recce but we are taking 3 days in Switzerland/Italy as 2 nearly killed us this year.
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