editorial, August 1997

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

I am reading, with increasing frequency, the impassioned bleatings of those who fear that motoring in old cars will be outlawed by European legislation. And while I share their horror at the thought, I do not believe it will happen. There are many reasons for this. First, any such laws will be aimed, rightly, at getting rheumatic Cortinas off the road, not preventing you and I from enjoying properly maintained road and racing cars; and while some have observed that legally defining the difference may not be easy, I do not think it will prove impossible.

Given that the way exists, it is finding the will that is crucial and this depends on the strength of lobbying taking place within the European parliament. I think it unlikely, for instance, that Mercedes-Benz will take lying down the removal of its right to use its heritage to sell cars. Mercedes, you’ll not need reminding, is owned by Germany’s largest company. Unite the might of all those European manufacturers in similar situations into a single fighting force and I’ll bet it will take a braver Eurocrats those with which we are currently blessed to make this insanity law.

My real comfort, however, comes from the US, birthplace of hateful political correctness. You haven’t been able to buy leaded petrol there for years. Many classics run unleaded without valve seat recession anyway, others use stainless steel valves and alloy seats, some bypass the problem simply by topping up the tank with commercial AvGas or, failing the above, all you need do is fill up with unleaded as usual and, as you pay, pick up a bottle of lead additive and pour it in on your way out. If they can make it work out there, we really have remarkably little to worry about.

Magic moment of the month came at Le Mans where I found myself sitting on the start-line in just one of 120 vintage Bentleys gathered to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Davis/Benjafield win. To drive down the Mulsanne Straight at 100mph, on race-day, in the type of car that put this greatest of all motor races on the map, was quite unforgettable. I will never be able to tell the car’s owner quite how much it meant.

I will not even attempt to describe the sight of the Ferrari Super Squalo and Mascrati 250F hammering around Silverstone; you have to go to Coys to see it for yourself. What you will not yet know about is the extraordinary array of other Coys competitors we also drove that day. Rather than blow the lot in one issue, I have decided to drip-feed them to you over the coming months. We will be deep indeed into next year before the supply is exhausted.

I hope you will be as amused as me to compare the story of the doomed Beatrice F1 team with that of the Hesketh team (MOTOR SPORT, June). One was a team of super-talented professionals with dazzling amounts of money, the other seemingly a bunch of public school twits. One squandered the talents of a world champion, the other effectively created one. I doubt you’ll need me to tell you which was which.