It’s got to be Colin Chapman. As a designer he was the man you matched yourself against. He had originality, that rare commodity. You were always intrigued to see how he would tackle a certain problem. He didn’t always get it right, but that made him even more fascinating.
I started working for Lola in 1962 and the first thing Eric Broadley told me to do was to go to the Racing Car Show to check out Chapman’s new Lotus 20 Formula Junior. A beautiful car, way ahead of the opposition.
I ended up as Colin’s chief engineer during the time of the first Lotus ‘wing car’ in F1. There were lots of reasons why you would want to work for Lotus, but my main priority was to see up close how Colin worked. All the stories you hear about him are true. It was an education.
& favourite road car:
I have always had a soft spot for Jaguars — I run an S-type on the road today— and I have lots of fond memories about my time with the TWR sportscar squad. And of all the Jaguars, the one I like the most is the MkII. In the early 1960s I ran a Hillman Husky so it’s no surprise that I lusted after a MkII —they were the ‘Kings of the Road’. Even today, its performance can be considered more than adequate. It also looks fantastic. And by modern standards it’s small; there’s a lot to be said for having a narrow car. A very usable classic.