Home >

My first car was this 1953 MG TD2 which was bought for £170, largely from the proceeds of selling my bassoon, in 1967. One of the lucky few to have a sports car at university, "Dorcas" taught me everything I know about cars. Restored it once and later completely rebuilt it to near-concours condition. The family was very active in the MG Car Club during the '70s: brother Ian had 2 J2s and an MGA. Finally sold 4966H around 1982.

Whilst playing harpsichord for the Abingdon Handel Opera revivals, I met the glamorous continuo harpsichordist Margaret Hedger who bombed around in a beaten-up TR2. Knowing that I was keen on sportscars they offered the TR2 to me when her husband skidded on ice and bent the front suspension. They would otherwise have scrapped it! I paid £7 10s for it and ran it for the summer of 1971 before laying it up for restoration.

It turned out that MVC575 was a 1953 Works prototype. John had bought it from the Factory in 1955 when they disposed of it in road-trim. A very famous car, it had broken the World Speed Record for a standard 2-litre sportscar at 125mph, driven by Ken Richardson at Jabbeke in Belgium in 1953.

I sold it around 1976 to the dismay of the TR Register, because I did not have the financial resources to have its body rebuilt, and wanted to spend money on Boston Whalers for waterskiing. This was a bad mistake, giving up a car of such provenance. The chap who salted it away finally sold it in 2015 to Glen Hewitt who has painstakingly restored it to pristine condition. It is now a celebrated historic car - perhaps the most famous TR ever.

Click to see a fascinating film of the record-breaking run of MVC 575 at Jabbeke.
HERE for a YouTube documentary.

My first modern car was this yellow MGC-GT which was a long-legged tourer and excellent towing vehicle. Like all our cars, we rebuilt the engine, and gearbox of TGE750G, on the kitchen table. Around this period we rebuilt engines for my souped-up TR3 and Ian's Derrington MGA (several times) and friends' Healeys etc.

We kept the MGC for many years; after I could no longer support it, Mum used to drive it around Wisborough Green.

My first new car, this yellow TR6 was my first company car at Wellorax! TYP656M was a superb fun car, and it had quite a hard life, going out to Spain a couple of times with my flatmate and friend of those years, Derek (Verge) Howard-Orchard. Towing overloaded boat trailer, losing two wheels, breaking the back of the first speedboat Grublogger, and other adventures, eventually caused maintenance bills which Wellorax found too heavy, so it was sold.
A series of 3 litre and 2.8 litre Capris followed, at Wellorax, RSB and then CCA. I only remember the number of the first, OLT78P. This also had a hard time: - on one occasion, we were towing Verge's AC Ace and I managed to jack-knife the whole equipe. Fortunately Dad had secured the Ace onto the trailer, so it was unharmed. The trailer knocked a very square dent in the back of the Capri and bent the tow-bar into the bargain.

These top Capris were superb value cars, and they went like stink.

My last new car at Wellorax was one of the last 1978 Triumph Stags, VPA140S. A stylish brown ladies' car with a lovely V8 sound, but not a sports car.

Annabel and I were married in it, and Annabel especially loved it. As usual I rebuilt engine and body completely when it was about 10 years old, changed the colour to black. It was then very beautiful - few better. It was sold around 1999 (to finance the Ronart project) to a leading light in the Stag Owners Club whose almost identical car had been written-off, so it is still much-loved.

3 BMW 3-Series: a new 325 at LA Computer Services, another at CCA, and a convertible for a while at cma-ettworth.
A black Jaguar XJS V12 was the main car at CCA Micro Rentals.
The Lotus Esprit Turbo at cma-ettworth was a wonderful driver's car - though not terribly practical for traffic and expensive to run. Sadly I never took it on a track.
The Daimler Double-Six was a very fine saloon. I bought it during the Blackstuff period while Polly was a baby, as the family car. It did good service but stopped being used regularly when I joined cma-ettworth.

It was resurrected for service during the year of commuting to Bournemouth for VICOM (and a superb motorway-gobbler) but we were ripped off over the costs of getting it roadworthy again. I had intended it to be the donor car for a Cobra replica project but in the end sold the old girl for £300.

Probably the most reliable and least costly to run was the Toyota Supra Turbo bought while at MicroRent. However, it wasn't as urgent a car as one would imagine, and rather characterless.
This is the Chelsea Mini Convertible planned to be Polly's first car when she passed her test, but she found it a bit too 'classic' in facilities.

Link to -

Mercedes 300CE-24 Cabriolet BiTurbo 1993 - a superb four-seater convertible. Bought this when I went back to cma-ettworth, a left-hand-drive import from Mercedes in Berlin. Docile in traffic, yet rapid when encouraged.

Link to gallery -

Ronart W152 Mark II 4.2 S6 - I bought this second-hand in 2000 to tide me over while waiting for the new V12. It gave2 years' exciting service before I sold it to and drove it to a museum in Sweden.

Link to gallery -

Ronart W152 Mark II 5.3 V12 - my dream project - powerful, light, unusual, a flash-back to old-time sports motoring. I loved my old MG TD. The W152 is the same sort of driving, except really grown-up and gutsy.

Originally ordered from Ronart in 1999, GHH202 was completed in July 2004. This car I hope to keep until I am not fit to drive it any more.

Link to gallery of the W152 V12 build project -