Fenderbaum: We’ve got a secret weapon. God is our co-pilot!
The Greek: You’ll need him!
Jamie Blake: *God* is our copilot?
Fenderbaum: Uh huh…
Jamie Blake: Remember our car?
Fenderbaum: Uh huh…
Jamie Blake: Two seats?
Fenderbaum: Two seats…
Jamie Blake: Where’s he gonna sit?
Jamie Blake: Where’s he gonna sit?
Back in 2007, the Guide competed in the Cannonball Run. From sea to shining sea (or Miami to L.A. to be more precise) we raced across the United States, raping its fair highways as we went and hurtling towards a victory party at which we were destined to be declared the, er, losers. There was epic scenery, peerless race pedigree and it was all undeniable fun but, truth be told, something was amiss. Tellingly, we spent way too much time on the trip discussing how we’d change things if we were in charge of “this Cannonball Cockamamie.” The three things we most wanted to fix were: getting rid of the other participants, shifting the whole thing to Europe’s far more challenging roads, and – crucially – selecting stops along the way that really spoke to our passions.
And so the Prodigal Run was born: a grueling four day road trip across Europe with the singular purpose of savouring some of the most challenging roads, finest food and coolest watch brands the continent has to offer, then returning to London in one piece and in time to enjoy a finish line party with our friends and readers.
The Prodigal Run 2012 is happening this week and, though we say so ourselves, we think we’ve lined up our best yet.
Wednesday, 14 November
We’ll leave London first thing in the morning and race to Paris to park our supercar in the Place Vendome and spend some time browsing its illustrious watch shops. From there, it’s a hop and a skip round the corner to our lunch date with erstwhile Prodigal Guide contributor, Patito, at Hotel Costes. Though we’d love to linger over Cognac and coffee, there’ll be no time to do so. That afternoon, we’re due in Reims for a private tour of the Piper-Heidsieck Champagne estate. And since, in our experience, Champagne tastings never end in anything less than inebriety, we plan to park up and call it a night there.
Thursday, 15 November
Thursday morning presents perhaps the most challenging leg of the journey as we depart Reims and make a mad dash to Germany where we have a 10:00 appointment to tour the factory that made our car. This, we’re told, is likely to tie us up most of the day. Either it’s a very large factory or they have some pretty spectacular things to show us. There is one last item on the agenda before Thursday draws to a close however: making it to Villeret in Switzerland where our Friday morning appointment awaits.
Friday, 16 November
We’ll spend Friday morning visiting the Montblanc Watch Manufacture in Villeret. Having not spent much time with the brand’s pieces yet heard amazing things, we’re eager to get to know it a little better. Friday afternoon is currently open. We may take the car to see what it can do on a few Alpine passes, we may drop in and see another watch brand. It all rather depends on who tweets us in the meantime with an interesting suggestion. If you’re a watch brand and have something you think we should see on Friday afternoon, now’s the time to drop us a line!
Whatever we do on Friday afternoon, one thing’s for sure, we’ll be handing the car over to valet parking at our hotel in Geneva that evening and starting our night at an old favourite: Le Relais de l’Entrecote. After that? We’re footloose and fancy free but let’s just say there’s a good chance that the rest of the evening will be built primarily around Scotch and cigars.
Saturday, 17 November
The last day of the Prodigal Run is all about the race home to the finish line. We have some rather stupendous Cognac lined up at a central London at 20:00. Can we wake from our hungover slumber in Geneva and blast across the continent in time to take our rightful place at the bar? Only time will tell.
Of course, you can expect full reports here on the site in due course on everything we do (well, er, most of it!) But if you want a more real-time account of this year’s Prodigal Run, follow the #ProdigalRun hash tag on Twitter. We’ll be providing live coverage throughout the week.
We’d be happy to see you along the way. Whether it’s Paris on Wednesday, the Swiss mountains on Thursday night, cocktails in Geneva on Friday night or the Finish Line party in London on Saturday night, we’d welcome a chance to say hi. For details of exactly where we’ll be when, just follow #ProdigalRun on Twitter.
Now, if you’re anything like us, you’ll have read the preceding few paragraphs all the while shouting “Er…tell us what damn car you’ll be using!! It’s the most important part of the trip and you cretins haven’t even said what it is!” You’re right of course. A trip like this demands an extraordinary car. Something outstanding in both styling and capability. Something iconic. Something able to demolish the thousands of kilometers we have to cover without breaking a sweat. And, boy, do we think we’ve found the perfect thing…
Tune in tomorrow when we’ll introduce you to perhaps the most exciting part of the Prodigal Run 2012: the car we’ll be completing it in.
The Prodigal Run 2012: All kinds of awesome
The Prodigal Run 2012 is happening this week and, though we say so ourselves, we think we’ve lined up our best yet: a grueling four day road trip across Europe with the singular purpose of savouring some of the most challenging roads, finest food and coolest watch brands the continent has to offer then returning to London in one piece and in time to enjoy a finish line party with our friends and readers.
Our editor-in-chief, the self-proclaimed "greatest wit, raconteur and bon vivant of our age", borders on delusional. Over the years, the fool has squandered more money on fast cars, Swiss watches and electronic gadgetry of all kinds than he – or Mrs Fool – cares to remember. Come nightfall, he can invariably be found stumbling out of Dukes mumbling “just one more Martini; I could have handled just one mmmmm… [thud!]”
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