A beautiful area is hidden to the west of the Portuguese capital Lisbon. During Estoril Classics we made a four-day press trip, as you now know, and one of the components is the exploration (read: discovery) of the Cascais-Sintra region with three classics. A wonderful trip is made with a Peugeot 404, a Mercedes-Benz 220 S and a Daimler 250 V8. The British classic in particular made a great impression.
The starting point is the large courtyard of the Citadel in Cascais, in front of Pestana Cidedela Cascais, our hotel. Three beautiful classics from Top Emotions are ready for a dream route that will lead you through fantastic National Park Sintra-Cascais and the cultural landscape Sintra past fantastic places. First we get into the Mercedes-Benz, a W187 that displays an unbelievably high degree of reliability, and furthermore has the M180 six-cylinder engine used for many years in the front. The solidity, the solidity is impressive for a car from the fifties, which again sparks the love for the brand with the star on its nose.
Daimler, not a Jag
The favorite of the three cars is a Daimler V8 250, I skip the beauty of the beautiful Peugeot 404 - yet also a favorite for it. There are a few traveling companions who regard the Daimler for Jaguar Mk2, and that can be explained initially. The Daimler has the same bodywork as the Jag Mk2, but more luxurious, and in the front is not a six-in-line, but a V8 and that is a beautiful engine according to the credentials, which also fits very well with this British carriage. And that's right in this case. The eight cylinders develop a nice collaboration with the other technology.
Step higher, automatic not shock-free
The three-stage Borg Warner automatic transmission - usually a silky smooth form of transmission - is not entirely shock-free in the Daimler, but it does its job. The Daimler is enchantingly beautiful, the woodwork, the countless switches, the beautiful meters: we know it from Jaguars of that time, but the Daimler shows to be next level in its time. A little more luxurious, a little more delicate, a little more upholstery, we see it from the furniture with that ventilated leather. A showpiece.
Nice engine, strong road holding
The small 2,5 liter V8 engine develops power and flexibility, it is a jewel of an engine in a ditto car, which is also constantly in the lead The handling is punishment, and reinforces the Sports Saloon character without the chic atmosphere in the car being tarnished . The British did that very well, keeping that balance. There is also balance with the environment, which was already visible in the Mercedes when there was a view of the Daimler in front. Aristocracy meets aristocracy, that idea, the British heritage fits well in time with that environment, which breathes historical nobility and beautiful nature. Relaxation at its best, the surprise is there when the Daimler driver says that a Morris Minor Tourer is his favorite classic. Nice, everyone's preference but in the Daimler the outpouring is good for raised eyebrows.
This also applies to what passes us by. Beautiful roads through the hills first take us to Praia de Gaucho, a large and fantastically situated beach, suitable for surfers, once setting for filming of Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Then on to Cabo da Roca, the most westerly point of the European mainland, it is a really beautiful cape, which rises dangerously above the ocean. We continue through the hills, I stay in the Daimler, the route becomes more beautiful and the three classic convoys dock at restaurant Angra at Praia Grande. You can enjoy the view of the beach and the large rock behind it. The sea swells the waves towards the rocks, that typical atlantic and slightly boisterous face is mighty. It makes the Latte Macchiatos taste even better, and the little cigar with it too.
Classically beautiful combination
On to the last stop, I step back into that fantastic one, Azulhas do Mar together with Praia de Macas is something great. The white cliff village is situated on the rocks, and the roaring sea doesn't stand a chance. What a beautiful sight. Via Serra de Sintra, part of the cultural landscape Sintra World Heritage of UNESCO and the historic Sintra we drive to the circuit. And that in the knowledge that a relatively small part of Portugal has made a big impression. Discovering the landscape and being on the road in a classic proved itself again as a fantastic combination. Certainly in the beautiful region of Cascais-Sintra.
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Photos: Estoril Classics and Erik van Putten