Drive Cult checks out the Gentleman Drivers Club breakfast meeting at St Michael's Manor in St Albans.
For many car enthusiasts the best way to share your hobby with others is through membership of cars clubs. Many of these clubs relate to individual marques, such as the Ferrari Owners Club, but there are also a number of more general clubs exist for enthusiasts who perhaps don't have a specific affinity for any one marque.
One of these, the Gentleman Drivers Club (GDC), invited Martin Spain and myself to their Breakfast meeting at the St Michael's Manor Hotel in St Albans last Sunday. The club's primary ethos is to organise events all round the world, both for members with the their own cars and opportunities to sample different cars on various race tracks. Most members have various high end sports cars from Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche and Lamborghini, but as Paul, the owner of the GDC explained, there are no requirements for owners to have a particular type of car to become a member.
For last Sunday about ten to twelve different cars from the club and guests were lined up on the lawn at the back of the hotel, neatly (but coincidentally) book-ended by my Daytona and Marty's M3. Most of the cars were fairly recent and included a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder and a two day old Maserati GranTurismo! In addition to the Daytona, Ferrari was represented by an immaculate 360 Modena which had benefitted from a recent detail by Perfection Valet. There were also a number of superbikes from the Spyder Club, who provide a similar service to the GDC for the two-wheeled community.
Arriving around 10:00am, members, drivers, passengers and guests all had a good opportunity to check out each other's rides before sitting down to breakfast in the hotel restaurant. Unfortunately, the weather was probably not quite agreeable enough to sit outside to eat.
The conversation was all very friendly with none of the occasional snootiness that can occur in single-marque club meets. A number of the members were familiar with Drive Cult via Twitter and it was very nice to put some faces to names (or Twitter handles!).
As for the location, it was a beautiful venue and very conveniently located for people to get to. If I had a slight criticism, the gravel in the parking area was very deep, which did result in some stones being kicked up onto (expensive) paintwork, and some difficulty in manoeuvering.
Overall, though, an excellent event. Membership of the GDC costs £129 per year, and further details of future events can be found on their website.