In the late 1950s I had a school friend in Newcastle-under-Lyme who had two older brothers and a father who were all car mad. One of the number of cars they had was a 1941 Lincoln Zephyr – enormous compared to the cars I was used to. It should have had a V12 engine but that was long gone, replaced by a V8. In those days V8 engines and gearboxes were easily available from World War II surplus trucks. Fields of them, half hidden in grass, all seemed to have a V8. Suspension parts were another matter, hence those travelling in the back had to lean over when cornering.
I had been to motor racing events with my father at Oulton Park but never to Silverstone, so I was delighted to join them for a trip to the 1958 British Grand Prix. We had two people in the front of the Lincoln and the moveable ballast of three in the back, plus a few planks and short scaffold poles.
At Silverstone we erected the home-made stand just at the end of Woodcote and had a fine view of cars coming round the long, chicane-free corner. It was here that I learned the precision of the consummate racing driver. Stirling Moss was driving a Vanwall and would appear already halfway round the corner in a perfectly controlled four-wheel drift, finishing the slide every time within inches of the same piece of grass at the edge of the track. Sadly he did not finish the race, retiring about halfway through, but even so it was an unforgettable experience.
I would be pleased to hear from anyone who recognises themselves in this story.
Roger Stretton, Fritton, Norfolk