It is not every day that you get to dine alongside a £500,000 1963 Porsche 356 Carrera 2, but that is where I found myself the other day. The location was classic car specialist Hexagon Classics in north London, one of the most venerable car dealers in town and home to some truly mouthwatering automotive wares. It is also now a bustling restaurant and events space. But more of that later.
It so happened that the day I arrived for lunch with the owner there was only one topic of conversation for car people: the recently run British Grand Prix. The debate over the collision between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who was to blame and which team principal had embarrassed themselves the most was lighting up social media and pub beer gardens across the country. Everyone, it seemed, was suddenly an expert on the correct line to take at 180mph through Copse.
Fortunately for me, the owner of Hexagon Classics, Paul Michaels, is as far from a keyboard warrior or armchair expert as it is possible to get. Readers of this magazine will remember him from his brief foray into F1 as a privateer, firstly in 1972 when he ran John Watson in a March 721 in the non-championship Victory Race, then a one-off entry for Watson in the 1973 British GP and a full campaign with customer Brabhams in 1974.