When it comes to driving, I have to say it isn’t one of my strongest qualities, but when I was invited to drive a Leyland 4×4 Army Truck for the day I couldn’t turn this down! It was going to be very different to the little cars I am used to.
After a smooth trip from Brighton up to the airfield in Bicester, Evie and I parked up and headed over to driver sign up tent to be met by one of the friendly driving team. The sign up tent was under cover (a great escape from the sudden downpour of rain) and was attached to a converted double decker bus, which sold a variety of hot and cold drinks, bacon rolls and burgers. After a quick cup of tea, we were ready to start. Simon, the main guy in charge of the track, showed us over to the monstrous variety of army vehicles – and it was time to begin!
I was to drive the Leyland 4×4 Army Truck, and it was massive! I climbed up the steps and sat in the drivers seat, with Simon next to me. He explained exactly what I needed to do and provided great tips and tricks whilst I was out on the course. My first manoeuvre was reversing out the parking space, which was surprisingly easy considering the size of the vehicle! I then drove around around the course and parked back in the space, pressing a little to hard on the breaks and sending Simon flying – oops! The experience also includes driving around a cone course and try not to flatten them in the process.
Evie and I really enjoyed the day and learnt a thing or two about driving fire engines and army trucks. The airfield is also home to many other marvellous motors you can drive, including an Alvis Stewart Military Truck which you can take as a passenger drive, as well as the Leyland 4×4 Army Truck! Or a ride in a Dennis V8 Fire Engine or Classic 1950’s Fire Engine. If you are looking for more of an adrenaline rush, try the thrill of driving a Single Seater race car or experience a high speed passenger ride driven by a racing professional, or both!
Huge thanks to Simon for inviting us along for the day, hopefully you’ll recover from the emergency break soon enough…