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“The culmination of a dream”
Review of Great Escape Cars - CLOSED

Great Escape Cars
Attraction details
Piermont, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
52 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“The culmination of a dream”
Reviewed 25 September 2013

When I was a boy of perhaps 10 or 12 years the son of a colleague of my father gave me a ride in his Jaguar XK 120 convertible. Years later, when I was at Harvard Business School, Jaguar came out with the E Type described by Enzo Ferrari as"the most beautiful car in the world". My class of 1964 year book has a photograph of an E Type parked in front of the library surrounded by admiring students. So, early on, the name Jaguar became associated in my mind with the most beautiful and best performing motorcars albeit, not necessarily the most reliable. Although I have remained a car enthusiast all of my life, when purchase time arrived, practicality always trumped desire, and I never owned a Jaguar or any other high performance two seater.
With this background, it was a great thrill when we visited the beautiful town of Harrogate in Yorkshire, and my wife informed me that she had reserved an E Type Jaguar at Great Escape Classic Car Hire for a day to celebrate my impending 75th birthday.
The evening before this was to happen, Jamie from Great Escape drove to our inn to inform us that the white V12 convertible she had reserved had engine problems, and we would be getting a green six cylinder coupe instead. Great Escape had already sent us a letter reminding us that these cars were much less reliable than modern cars so this was no surprise. The next morning Jamie picked us up,and drove us to the garage where several beautiful old British sports cars plus a Corvette and a Jaguar sedan were parked. Jamie took me out for an instructional drive, gave us a map, and turned us loose. We spent the day driving around the beautiful Yorkshire countryside attracting envious looks along the way. The only problems were having to adjust to driving on the left and dealing with the close proximity of the brake and clutch pedals with my big feet. Thanks to Great Escape for enabling a very special day.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank vmfaulkner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

21 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Oxford
2 reviews
“Superb days out and stress free way of experiening classic cars”
Reviewed 23 September 2013

Great Escape has multiple locations, the biggest ones being near Worcester (covering Cotswolds area) and Harrogate (covering Yorkshire area). We have now used both of those sites, and can thoroughly recommend them as good value for a full day out which is a joyful experience.
In each case we took one of the driving days - driving around six cars for an hour or so each, following a self-guided route through some of the most beautiful scenery in the area (in the first case, the England/Wales border and in the second the Yorkshire Dales) and swopping cars with others on the day at fixed stops. There were around ten cars on each of our days, and we drove six of them - plus at the end there is the option to take any of the others for a short trip. The routes are well planned and very clearly documented, and even when we missed a turn, we soon received a phone call to check that we were OK and did not need any help (we had already returned to the main route, as the instructions were so clear that it was very soon we had missed a turn and we turned round). G.E. staff are at each change over point, plus a back-up car follows – you drive at your own pace, not in convoy, and occasionally see other cars from the fleet en route before meeting up again at the next point. This really is the most stress free way of experiencing classic cars I can imagine – all the benefits of driving yourself, with no worry about route planning, breakdown, or refuelling, plus a nice pub lunch included and local knowledge to ensure you see the best of the area. Staff are very friendly and helpful, and make sure you are fully briefed on your car before each stage. It is a really good way of trying a car which you may not be familiar with, or don’t want to try for a whole day, or simply to experience a variety of cars – you can nominate cars you would particularly drive in advance and they do their best to ensure they are on your list for the day.
We have already booked a third day and fully intend doing all the days out next year. Ten out of ten. Don’t leave booking till the last minute though, as all the ones we have booked have been sold out well before the day.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Norman P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oswestry, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“a good day out”
Reviewed 22 September 2013

Yesterday my son and I took part in a 'Dash across the dales' experience day, it was a birthday present. There were about 20 people taking part, it was a full day out and we were able to drive a number of different classic cars. The organised part of the day had us driving 6 different cars for approximately 20 miles following a map we were given [very easy but not follow my leader], we then met in a pub car park and changed cars. We also stopped for a pre booked lunch that could have been better but we were here for the cars not the food. We got back to base at 4.30 and were then invited to help ourselves to any of the cars, [not to take home although it was very tempting to drive off into the sunset with the roof down] either one we hadn't had chance to drive or one we would like to drive again.
This was a most enjoyable day out, well organised and very friendly staff.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank William H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gje99, Owner at Great Escape Cars, responded to this review, 23 September 2013
Thanks for letting us know about your day on the rally, I am really pleased that you enjoyed it and have passed on your comments to the team. I note your comments about the pub and we will bear this in mind with future events. Thank you again.
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Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Excellent customer service and fantastic cars.”
Reviewed 16 September 2013 via mobile

In 2012 I hired the V12 convertible E Type. The service I received was exceptional, everything was explained when I went to collect the car. Full insurance and breakdown cover was provided.
The guys I met own and maintain the cars and have a real passion for classics and it shows in the quality of the cars, yes they don't handle as well as modern hatchbacks or return great fuel economy but once I had the keys to the Jaguar neither was an issue. It was like a dream come true.

Just take it easy on the bends, the back end caught me out on the first roundabout and the first time I used the brakes from 50 mph my heart sank as it took ages to come to a complete stop.

But I had such a great time with the convertible V12 that in August this year I returned and took the red coupe. This was a better car and prettier I think. The best bit was that there was an offer on at the time and I got 40% off. The offer was on the website and in the regular emails I receive.
Best time to book would be when the offers are on. At normal prices it can be quite a lot to spend if like me you want to drive as many of their cars as possible.

For 2014 I plan to hire the green 911 and the Mini Cooper out during March/April and the green E Type in the summer on my birthday.

Finding the site can be difficult. I did get lost the first time but I called Graham and he pointed me in the right direction. The best way would be to use satellite navigation until you reach the site and then follow the signs.

All in all a great experience and once or twice a year is well worth it.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Hussain47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gje99, Manager at Great Escape Cars, responded to this review, 23 September 2013
Thanks for your kind review, I am really pleased you returned and enjoyed the red E Type. You are on our mailing list so will receive our Christmas offers over the next few weeks. Thanks again, the feedback is very useful.
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North Yorkshire
Level Contributor
51 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Great Fun”
Reviewed 10 September 2013

I recently hired a Jag E Type for my husband through Great Escapes. He's a car fanatic and want's to buy a clasic, but I was hoping that driving one for a day would be enough. Booking the car was straight forward and the information we were sent was good. We were met at the pickup point in Harrogate by Jamie, who was very friendly and extremely helpful, he took a lot of time and care explaining everything to us. I was however a bit disappointed as the car I had booked was white and appeared from the numerous photographs and description on the web site to be in fairly good condition, but the car we got was red and pretty tired. The paint work was bubbling in places, the interior was very shabby and the hood needed replacing. However the engine proved to be fine and my husband absolutely loved driving it. So despite it being very ready for a refurb, we had a great day out and really enjoyed the car. These cars are extremely expensive to buy and maintain, so to be able to take one out for a day for a relatively small fee is a fabulous experience.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Carolyn566
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gje99, Owner at Great Escape Cars, responded to this review, 11 September 2013
Thank you so much for your positive review and kind comments. I am however very sorry that you were disappointed by the condition of the E Type. I offer my apologies and note your feedback. The white car you mention recently suffered a head gasket failure so we substituted it with the red car. The cars are otherwise identical but I accept we should have told you. The condition of our classic hire cars does not always truly reflects the money we spend on them because, due to their heavy use, as you can imagine they deteriorate quickly. We then have to balance letting customers down with providing a serviceable car. The red car has suffered damage to the roof and seats due to use and has begun to bubble along the bonnet seams. Regrettably old cars deteriorate very fast compared to modern ones. These problems are all new in 2013 - as the car would have to be off the road for several weeks to address them we chose to avoid letting customers down. This car has, however, received over £5,000 investment this year alone, including a new gearbox, rebuilt back end and new clutch. Our priority is to provide a reliable and presentable car that can be comfortably driven 200 miles in a day without breakdown. The red car will be going in for bodywork and interior work over the winter. I am glad you enjoyed the day and thank you for raising the car issues I hope my comments help to address your concerns and that the issues did not detract from your day. 
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