John Noble RR Meet - 23/2/2002


The meet at John Noble's rolling road in Chesterfield had been planned by the GT4OC for quite a while and, as ever, was promoted through the UK group.

I was keen to go but without the intention of running my car on the rolling road. I had done no modifications since the Powerstation meet and didn't see any point in running my car.

Si Gainey had decided to come along with me and rode shotgun whilst reading the maps. Little did we know what an entertaining trip we would have ...

I had arranged to meet Si at his house at 8:00 am with the intention of getting to Chesterfield at around 9:30 am. The journey along the M56 to the M6 went without a hitch and we were in good time. We decided to go 'cross country' and this is where our trouble started !

The journey across country was hampered initially by icy roads which quickly turned into compacted snow over the tops. By the time we were anywhere near Buxton the 4 wheel drive was really paying dividends as we met a car reversing down a hill which the driver couldn't ascend.

We made it to the top of the hill fine only to be presented with a sight more reminiscent of the Swedish rally i.e. lots and lots of snow and blizzard. I could just make out in the distance a snowplough stranded in the middle of the road and a blue flashing light !

SI and I decided, in for a penny - in for a pound and headed towards the commotion. It turned out that a snow plough had given way to an oncoming car and both vehicles had become stuck. Bear in mind, when we got there, the road was blocked, a queue of cars had developed and the police landrover was towing out the stuck car. The wind was blowing a blizzard across the road and visibility was down to a few feet and it was FREEZING.

We eventually spoke to the driver in front of us and got the SP on what was going on, hence my explanation above, so we decided to sit tight.

Eventually the car was freed and the police Landrover towed out the snowplough and we were off - so we thought.

The car in front was a Fiat Coupe which got stuck twice and on both occasions Si and I pushed him free. MY GT4 was great, not getting stuck once. I have to say that in 6 years of ownership this was one of the rare occasions when the 4WD came in useful and I was able to have some fun in the snow.

The remainder of the trip through Buxton and onto Chesterfield was uneventful and we managed to get to John Noble's at around 10:45 am.

As usual many owners had braved the arctic weather and a good crowd was huddled around the rolling road watching the cars doing their power runs.

There were many owners which SI and I have grown to know and more that we didn't know. A clear indication that the GT4OC and UK group continues to attract a growing following. Unfortunately due to my disposition of being VERY cold I didn't conduct my usual get-to-know everyone task and unfortunately didn't get to meet or speak to all of the new faces - maybe next time.

With so many owners turning out there were bound to be a few GT4's around the place, so I took my camera on a walkabout.

The only picture I took of my car all day :-(

During the day there was some inevitable fitting of parts etc. Mr Toyota himself, Stewart Booton, and I fitted some leads and ignition parts to Marks ST185, a new member who had traveled from Liverpool. Luckily Stew had a fully fitted out toolkit ;-)

Kenny came along from Birmingham with his mate in a brand new EVO7. This was a lovely car and managed to have a power run amongst the GT4's. Kenny has a lovely black ST205 which he had to leave at home due to the exhaust falling off.

Mo's car as always was well turned out and produced some high numbers as usual. The problems he has had over the last few months with turbos and engines seem to be ironed out now.

Adrian and Andy with their excellent Fensport Corrola were there as usual. A horsepower figure of 388 was achieved which I know they are very pleased with. Tony Charles also ran 'The Beast' and achieved an excellent 327 horsepower which justifies the time and money he puts into the car. It wouldn't be fair to mention Tony's car without drawing attention to the fabulous rear wing he has fitted.

This is a REAL intercooler spray system. Check out this rear wing !

A rolling road day wouldn't be the same without Ian Smith and his storming ST165. Despite not running quite right on the day he still gave the old girl a run on the rollers but a bad misfire prevented any figures from being produced. Ian had further plans for his engine including another rebuild and nitrous oxide.

The premises which John Noble has are excellent. Aswell as his well equipped 4WD rolling road he has comprehensive workshop facilities and many will know of him from his Caterham involvement's and engine building reputation.

At the end of the meet many of us were fortunate enough to have a guided tour of John's premises with an impromptu presentation of the various projects and engines he is working on. Some of us also picked up some valuable tips and advice from him - many thanks John.

John explaining the finer points of the engine builders craft.

All in all we had a great day and John and his staff made us very welcome.

Another great day, and here are the figures ... (well when I get hold of them)

Owner Car HP/Torque Operator Comments
n/a n/a n/a


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