IT’S been a very busy week for me – as you may have guessed from my lack of blogs, so apologies for that but I hope you understand. Although my life’s largely the same as it was before, its pace and quality has certainly picked up during the past few weeks. Please, then forgive the following lame and feeble attempt at what Steve Cropley does so well in Autocar magazine – I reckon that it’s the only sensible solution…
The urgent rush to find a Ford Mustang for an upcoming feature in Octane magazine prompted me to make a call to John Neville at Ford Heritage. He’s always been amazingly helpful in the pastand enabled me to find all manner of cars for Practical Classics – even at the shortest of notice periods. He’s one of those nice guys you come across in this industry who will do anything to help, knowing that his promises are backed up by a turn-key fleet that’s kept in tip-top order… Gaydon, please take note. John couldn’t help on this occasion but put me in touch with someone who could and, one ‘phone call later, the loan of a Roush Shelby GT500 was arranged – for ten days! Given it has 540bhp and that up to now, the most powerful car I’ve driven (I think) is the Aston Martin DB9, you could say I’m more than a little nervous…
Off to Banbury to watch the studio photo session of one my all-time favourite cars. Seeing a full-sized studio that a number of manufacturers (and their advertising agencies) use and the level of professionalism and commitment the guys on the shoot had was a real eye-opener. George Bamford was the snapper and, at one point, he was so into the job, that his exertions had him puffing and panting like a 100m runner. The results look stunning, though.
I’ve finally managed to free some time to go and collect the SD1 restoration project from Poland. It’s been far too long since I published the pictures of this almost completed project and I am acutely aware of the stash of parts that I need to deliver to the guys. I’ll be off in early October for my last-but-one visit to the workshop – probably in the Scooby (because of the big boot that I can sleep in on the way back). I seriously cannot wait to see the results of their masterful work myself. I’ll be sure to take pictures…
Future issue planning at Octane – and I get a couple of stories in! It’s going to be fun planning those… logistical nightmares! I’m still hoping to get an Allegro in the mag but the looks from my colleagues are enough to convince me it may take time. I’m prepared to wait. Test cars from Audi and Mercedes-Benz roll in for a job on What Diesel magazine and I couldn’t help but smile when our editor, Robert Coucher, commented dryly that the CLC 200 looked perfect for the thrusting middle-manager.
New issues of the mag come in and I’m proud to see my 19-page lead feature in. Even today, after four years in this game, it still gives me a massive buzz when one of my stories makes it into a mag. However, the James Bond feature I’ve penned and George Bamford’s stunning photography, are particularly satisfying. I, for one, hope that the feeling of satisfaction never wears off…
Off to the Goodwood Revival. It’s the first one for me – and it’s an event I’ll admit to having always fought shy of attending. I managed to bag some period clothing in the charity shops in Wellingborough (I’ll keep the flat cap for when I’m driving my SD1), so looked the part. However, as much as I love motor racing, the biggest interest for me was idly wandering around the car parks – both pre- and post-1966. Yes, there was a smattering of supercars – and the whiff of money was ever-present – one thing that’s consistent is the enthusiasm that just about everyone has for cars (except for the parking marshals who let an Alfa Montreal and Citroen SM into the pre-1966 area. Forgivable, of course). I loved it but was conscious of the middle-manager-spec CLC 200 I’d turned up in. I would have given anything to have been in my (soon not to be, though) ZAZ 968, Alfasud, or SD1. Next year, for definite…
Roll on next week when things get more interesting.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Latest posts by Keith Adams (see all)
- Opinion : Why Roy Haynes was ahead of his time - 20 February 2019
- Concepts and prototypes : Austin ADO22 (1966-1968) - 19 February 2019
- History : BMC, BL, Rover and other Development Codes - 19 February 2019