The ‘terrifying story’ recounted by Nigel Roebuck about Commendatore Ferrari’s reaction to Castelotti’s death (‘Castelotti morto… e la macchina?’) prompted a memory of a distant event at a distant time, location unspecified, names withheld. Two drivers shared a car. It was a fine day, when motor racing seems the ultimate sport. At last news started to filter back to the paddock; someone had gone off, in a big way. ‘It’s Trevor.’ How bad?’ Dunno.’ At that point Trevor’s co-driver strolled past, still in his overalls, eating an icecream cornet. ‘How bad, Jack?’ Jack made no reply, continued to nibble his cornet, gave a thumbs-down and passed on. He had just learned Trevor was dead.
Jack had come through the war, as well as the hazardous formulae that existed then. He had even made it, briefly, into Formula 1, a fine driver though not of the top rank. We supposed it was a situation he had encountered many times before, in battle and sport. We gave him that. But we never discovered if he asked about the condition of the car…
Frank Barnard, Peasmarsh, nr Rye, East Sussex