AS the raindrops bounced their way across the table and into my coffee I'd already come to a sad conclusion; this year's Ormskirk MotorFest would be a washout. It was only then the Lamborghini Countach started up.
I only saw it once last Sunday buit it was one of my highlights of a show packed with scores of cars and bikes; a brooding, black Italian supercar with silly scissor doors and a big, defiantly noisy V12 engine which ricocheted off the buildings in the otherwise quiet market town.
As it happened my bribe to the Met Office paid off; just as the show opened a few hours after my coffee, at about eleven, the sun broke through the clouds and with it came hundreds of spectators. Then it became thousands. Ormskirk, even compared to last year's inaugural event, was absolutely heaving with people who like nothing more than looking longingly at a Ferrari or three.
There was bit of automotive exotica to suit every taste - for instance, I was particularly taken by Gary Hewitt's Metro 6R4 and by an immaculate Aston DB4 - but for me the highlight was taking my own museum exhibit, the Life On Cars MGB GT, onto the streets of Ormskirk for one of the six parades taking place that afternoon. I might have been sandwiched in between a bright red Morgan and a BMW M6 - all 560bhp of it - but I reckon the MG, with its offbeat burble and polished chromework, did Ormskirk proud.
Even though I've done hundreds of laps of Ormskirk's one-way system it's a bit of a surreal experience threading a forty year old sports car through windy streets packed with spectators, especially if you've got a BMW M car doing powerslides in your rear view mirror. It might have demanded a lot of concentration but I absolutely loved it and, judging by the comments I got afterwards, so did you.
This year's MotorFest wasn't an awkward sequal to the original - it was an awesome, unforgettable event which gave everyone the chance to see F1 racers and Group B rally cars letting rip on their doorstep. Naturally, the region's petrolheads are already eagerly awaiting next year's event.
Better start saving up for my Met Office bribe, then...
P.S: Apologies to the bikers who pointed out yesterday's pictures were a little lacking on the motorcycle. Plenty of bike footage in the video though...