First of all, I must say that Barcelona is a beautiful city with lots of history if you don`t mind the brainwashed imbeciles trying to pull a coup under the government`s nose and release the proclamation a nonexistent independent republic.
although this car saloon passed a few years ago back when I was still at work formation I think this story is worth telling since Its pretty rare to assist to a big event for me if we don`t count the occasional street racing meets along the racetrack events at the racetrack on Cheste.
Warning, this is a long post but still it makes up for a good read.
Just the day before I agreed with my teacher to go with one of my friends on his car since we had some stuff to do early on the morning (work related) so I woke up relatively early at 6AM and took breakfast along making sure my travel bag had everything I needed for the 2 day trip, hearing a few weak revbombs from a 4 cylinder E36 I looked down on the balcony and saw my friend telling me to hurry up.
we set off in an old beat up white Bmw e36 with multiple overheat failures along oil leaks…the typical problems that come in a cheaply bought junkyard car which has the minimum requirements to be road legal and roadworthy, one of the things I must say that a trip on one of these isn`t certainly a comfortable trip if we have in mind the classic ricer modification of cut down springs along the A/C not properly working with the fan intermittently stopping and then powering itself back up again coughing some dust at your face making you feel like you’re drowning…
During the first leg of the trip enduring the uncomfortable ride I deeply regretted tagging alongside him, when I reached the first stop the e36 was overheating slightly because we sustained a relatively fast pace of 140kph for a good while, so we let it cool down for 10 minutes and we continued driving the next kilometers in a slightly reduced pace since we didn`t want to risk the car to overheat again but despite our precautions… the car overheated again on the second stop we made, no matter how much coolant we spilled inside the engine bay and made the clerk`s lucky day or how many duct tape we used to wrap around the pipes to try and keep the radiator from leaking any more coolant that poor four cylinder e36 was bleeding its guts out even before we made it to the exit ramp and this forced us to go along our work formation companions on the bus, luckily for us there was free seats on the bus along a proper working A/C and to top it all they were playing some good movie named “8 apellidos vascos” this change of experience made the remaining part of the trip feel like a luxury tour rather than a third world trip across the desert.
We arrived at Barcelona after dinner time almost at 3pm on the afternoon , with my battery still recharging and feeling how the 38% of battery was almost not enough to document the activities that would follow I could feel sweat in my fingers fearing that the little sightseeing tour we were about to do would be undocumented from my point of view, so I left my cell phone back in the hotel to charge from the outlet on my room and then off to the nearest McDonalds joint we went and paid ourselves a quick meal and filled our stomachs with water filled coke cola and a hamburger with bread that had the consistency of very wet cardboard.
Once we filled our stomachs and went back to the hotel to change shoes and clothing I checked my battery and saw it at 72% and then found out the only thing preventing it from fully charging it was a App I left open back in the bus, however the battery level was just enough for me to document what we were to do next, I was unable to change my shoes or socks or take a shower since there was a lot of people in the room getting a shower while others were changing their clothes (we were all sweaty despite having A/C on the bus)
and since Geneva forbids chemical weapons… I was certainly forbidden by Geneva to remove my shoes along my socks unless I wanted to do a war crime, instead I used a bit of deodorant as a quick fix for the situation, we lined ourselves up on a group and we followed the tour guides, our next destination was a Racing competition formation center, in other words high level mechanics which involve a lot of calculus in which a average mechanic would suffer to keep up with, this made my interest raise.
The principal of the formation center was nice enough for us to let us into the workshops after warning the classes that they would have a visit from another formation center, after waiting 10 or 15 minutes we followed him inside along other mechanics of the competition mechanics center, as soon he opened the door my jaw dropped to the floor
I saw the toolboxes along the cars stored there, there are was a older gen Seat Cordoba along a newer Seat Leon hatchback parked side by side facing a painting cabin, as I look into the dorsal number I remembered having seen those cars in a few racing events including a few times where I saw WTC on TV, despite being outdated the cars didn’t have too much of a difference with the newer gen cars and it would be a good base to learn more about the world of advanced racing mechanics, as soon we left the first workshop we entered on the race bike section which had a few famous motorcycles used in MotoGP that dated back to the 90`s along Marc Marquez’s racing Honda motorcycle… there was also a few racing karts hung on the walls lacking parts.
This was certainly a great sight and just when I thought we were done? Well then we came into the advanced racing department which involves racing categories as hill climb, rally or even formula 2 racing as soon the teacher opened the door I saw the formula 2 standing there as a museum piece with a few parts apart, I got to say that spotting cars behind a security line on a racing event is one thing because you`re close but the cars are all “hidden” and you don`t know what`s underneath them.
But seeing them with their parts exposed and being able to see how everything works made sure quite the difference for me, the cars I was used to see didn`t have anything to do with these racing machines!
I saw the engines that powered the Formula 2 engines, the brakes… I was certainly impressed seeing these cars up close until we came next to the top racing cars, a few formula cars with a rally Peugeot 208 next to a hill climb machine, after a few minutes of watching the cars and taking photography’s along my companions we finally conclude the visit to the racing workshop, certainly the expensive field trip was worth paying for!
After our visit to the racing mechanics formation center we headed to the city center in order to do some tourism on Barcelona, while we were inside the clouds had fallen over the city and occasionally they dropped a bit of rainwater but it became intermittent.
We went to famous places like the “boquería market” the house of miró or saw the statue of colon (I was certainly sad to having missed seeing the sagrada familia) although my poor feet couldn`t withstand it more I managed to spare my energies to keep on walking and behold all the wonders of Barcelona…
Since the rain started to hit hard on Barcelona and we had nowhere to go without using our backpacks as improvised umbrellas we took refuge on the subway of Barcelona and decided to go trough it to go to our hotel (there was a Subway stop 5 streets away from the Hotel.
But our tour guide got us lost on the subway and kept confusing the secotrs and areas of the Subway train (he often remarked knowing the subway lines like the palm of his hand) and after a while of getting lost and holding up trains by avoiding the doors to get closed we managed to make our way out of the underground laberynth that was the subway system of Barcelona.
we went to have dinner and get a good steak with a cold beer and our work formation teachers forced us to return to our rooms for security reasons, we were not allowed to leave the hotel but my classmates naturally disobeyed and I followed them although I didn`t stay long on the pub.
we certainly imitated to the perfection the behavior of a British tourists on islands like Ibiza but… we certainly failed to imitate the almost continuous puking and dancing on the middle of busy roads along the balconning or going to supermarkets in diapers smelling of excrements and pee or completely nude, falling asleep I looked over to the rainbow phallus of Barcelona after having pulled off a few drunken antics on my friends which had got annoying upon their arrival (obviously drunk)
It was 9 in the morning when we first woke up, although my roommates woke up a couple of times at 3am and we partied a bit more (trying to be silent) I was still the one to wake up with a bit of hangover, getting quickly dressed and heading down to the cafeteria and get myself a warm toast along a hot coffee to remove the taste of the drinks from last night I conversated with them about the main event of this Friday
We got called to the lobby and then once again we get assembled into groups, then we get stuffed into busses and off we go into the big car saloon of Barcelona, in a few minutes I see the bullfighting arena of Barcelona ruined turned into a commercial area full of boutiques and shops… with this disappointment in my head and a full charged battery on my cell phone I look forward to the event until we get finally gathered in front of the gates and we get our rules given, among them to behave and return at the appointed time, things like that… as soon I closed the rulebook given by our tour guides I head trough the center and look at both sides.
I`m greeted by a off-road spec jeep along a few Ferraris as soon I enter on the building a 488 GTB along a F12 lined up next to a 458 stand in a closed stand, seeing how crowded it was around the stand I head over to the stand entry and ask for a favor of the security guard to take a few pictures for me (since the public wasn`t allowed inside the stand) and no problem, in a few seconds she got me a few cool pictures along a good beginning for the Barcelona car saloon, With a good taste on my mouth I head over to the Nissan stand which was next to the Tesla stand along Ssanyong, seeing legends as the GT-R or the famous Nissan 370Z Nismo was a good experience, but… as we all know Nissan axed many of its actual sports cars in order to give space for “sports cars” in the shape of daily cars, As I quickly finished with the Nissan stand I head over to the Tesla stand and got to see the cars first hand, unluckily there was no option to test drive the cars or go for a little spin around the block with them, however I got to know how comfortable the P90D and the Model X P100D are when it comes to house passengers except for the 7 seat Layout Model X which suffers from a poor trunk space compared to a coffin… the tensions on the Tesla employees were clearly visible when anyone asked them about the car`s flaws as range or recalls when they often asked for answer on these, the employees would naturally play dumb about the flaws or simple reassure the people that the car`s flaws were nothing but bad publicity of the competition…which I did well in believing since Tesla still couldn`t make a car with half decent quality until this day in which they still struggle to make a decent model 3 with acceptable quality.
Since the crowd around the Tesla stand was getting bigger (I can`t stand being around a lot of people since it gets on my nerves) I decided to go outside until the crowd cleared so I could go check the other stands on the other pavilions with more space around me.
Then I see the stands for Abarth and Maseratti along a few random cars lined up out even a test drive area which I had the luck to get a turn in testing an a180 Mercedes AMG (which includes among its many features a butterfly valve exhaust to change the car`s noise along Bluetooth connectivity…and a lot of techy stuff)
One of the things I must highlight is that going to the stands and randomly checking cars can make you spot gold until I see a car I was looking for, the fabulous Mazda Mx5 but…not the convertible version, the rare hard top version however in old models the hard-top version is hard to find since most of the versions on them are either convertible or full-on cabrio versions
Among the other cars I spotted an Abarth 500, little did I knew that I would be staring at the thing for quite a while even if it is only a souped up fiat 500,then on my way to the back of the exposition trying to look for the Subaru stand (which unluckily didn`t appear there) I ran across something unexpected, in the back of the exposition there was the new ford Mustang GT parked next to a F150 pickup truck along the now defunct Ford focus RS without mentioning the P100D Tesla sitting next to a model X along a P85..and to my surprise? Old sportscars like the Ferrari f430 along two Lamborghini Gallardos were in exhibition both the cabrio and hardtop version, then on my way down the main entry I saw the cars from the Maseratti Stand going out for a little spin along spotting a pretty cute EV which everyone calls Zoe*
*Little did I knew that The Renault stand would also show how the Zoe powertrain was under the covers!
the rest of the visit was quite entertaining I visited the Bmw Stand and I could not help but admire the new M2 or get closer to Mini Cooper and look at the iconic figure of the great Minis inspired by the cooper of the year 2002, Fiat also had great news including the fiat 500 SUV or showing the Fiat 124 next to the abarth 124 and alpha romeo 4C decorated the exhibition, after leaving that area behind I saw the pavilions of renault and hyundai next to that of a team of FES, here there is simply too much to tell in a single post.
I can say that from start to finish I enjoyed the car show, and discovered more than what I was used to, and I even had time to spare to try the multiple rally or F1 simulators. This trip was quite memorable for me.
have you ever visited a big car event? which one was it? leave a coment below! and remember to bump this post if you enjoyed it, until next time!