Some of the colourful American Car Club lined up at the start.

Some of the colourful American Car Club lined up at the start.

04-08-2020G. Westphal

Sunday 7 June 2015 was a sad day in the Majorcan car world. Possibly the greatest petrolhead on the island was involved in a fatal, tragic and freak accident on the way to a charity car event at the race circuit. Such an instigator, enthusiast and central figure. Since then we get together every summer to commemorate him. RIP Russell Stevens.

This year the memorial consisted of a July car show, early evening drive and dinner. The whole shebang was instigated and coordinated by Peo Stenberg, he of the great photos which you frequently see on these pages.

We started out in Puerto Portals with a well attended show of some 40+ classics, modern classics and interesting motors and a warm welcome from Toni Dezcallar, the founder of the annual Rally Clasico Mallorca.

The Classic Car Club, Gentlemen Driving Mallorca, The American Car Club and Motorsofmallorca provided the motivation and participants, as well as four different drive options to our dinner destination. We took the laid back and scenic classic option, laid out by Gaston Westphal on behalf of the Classic Car Club.

His route took us first to Calvia as a warm up. Then to Puigpunyent on that very scenic winding road through the woods and along the torrente. From there the road over the mountains to Esporles which features more than a handful of hairy hairpins. These were fun with the help our nimble SL, but more of a challenge for bigger cars and others without power steering. The roads were very, very quiet, bereft of tourists, cyclists and holidaymakers. From Esporles it was a cruise downhill all the way to Palma.

A quick nip around the via cintura to Son Rapita and the finish line at Golf Club Son Muntaner where the views from their terrace beckoned. After a well put together and moving eulogy from Jonathan Syrett, we collected a substantial contribution for the Joyron Foundation for disadvantaged children in Majorca. A charity which had been close to Russell’s heart and I’m sure he looked down with some satisfaction to see his work continued. After a lovely dinner we all cruised home in the balmy evening.

Another of Russell’s legacies is the weekly car meeting in Palma, inspired by the world famous London Chelsea Cruise. He and I came up with the idea of getting as many island petroheads together in the car park of what was then the Marina Port cafe on the Paseo Maritimo, more than a dozen years ago. Sometime later, the cafe transformed into what we now know and love as The Boat House. However our Palma spiritual home has sadly been closed by the pandemic... until now.

Firstly our thanks to Nova del Mar restaurant and bar at Calanova Port for hosting the car meeting during the winter and the past few weeks. They’ve done us proud but we’ve got to tear ourselves away and so, from this Thursday onwards, the car meetup returns to The Boat House. Reborn and revitalised, the new Wednesday is now every Thursday. Don’t miss it, be there to celebrate the return of the island’s petrolheads to their spiritual home at The Boat House. Thursday 6 August from 18.00. See you there.

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