Legendary technical writer John Bolster was full of tales – and some of them were clean
Recently I had a chance to chat to rally organiser and raconteur Jim Gavin – material for a future column – and in passing he mentioned John Bolster, Autosport Technical Editor, special builder, GP driver and commentator, who was always dapper in houndstooth tweed jacket and deer-stalker.
Bolster died in 1984, but I’m glad our careers overlapped; I drove with him on press launches and, while I don’t get many compliments, I rate highly his comment that he liked to share with me because I was quick and smooth. Those runs would be packed with stories of his racing, testing and people he’d met. Shame it was before the days of mobiles that could record conversation. But I do remember Bolster entertaining us over dinner with a tale of Continental travel with his wife. They missed the last ferry at Boulogne and the only room they could find was in a seedy place down a dingy side street.
“All night, doors opened and closed and people came and went until I finally wealised what sort of establishment it was,” said John in that distinctive high, clear voice, glass in hand and wicked glint in eye. “I must be the only man who’s taken his own wife to a bwothel and not been charged corkage!”