Leaving the office one blazing July afternoon with an appointment in Burford, I was distressed to find the traffic out of Oxford on the A40 road towards Cheltenham stationary, for what looked like miles ahead, many drivers in the process of turning back to find another route. In this long queue I spotted what looked like a Marcos and a vintage Bugatti. An accident? No, the problem was some over-enthusiastic and too-lengthy tar-spraying, reducing the 60 mph limit to a requested 10 mph, but with the stop/start traffic moving at nearer seven mph.
One feels sorry for the older cars caught in the heat in such a hold-up. The County Council responsible for this stretch of the A40 owes many drivers an explanation; something was very wrong, for the Police were out, seemingly interviewing one of the employees responsible for the sticky black beach into which Glossop’s of Bristol had transformed the road surface, while one luckless old driver of a “banger” was being “arrested” presumably for having ignored the hand-given “wave-down” signs as he entered the morass from the opposite direction!
On the Witney by-pass I was able to get a move on, taking the comfortable MG Montego up to, shall we say, a considerable cruising speed, and overtaking the blue Bugatti, which had an “AUS” plate on it, and a keen exhaust note. Stopping briefly at Burford to transfer to the next test car, an exuberant Peugeot 205 GTi, I did not overtake that Bugatti again until I had negotiated Burford’s high street, reached Stow-on-the-Wold, and turned off onto she B4077, bound for Tewkesbury. I thought it to have been a Type 40 but perhaps it was a Type 43. Nice, anyway, to see a vintage car motoring so well. . . . — W.B.