Bespoke heritage

The notion that hand-made cars were superior died hard. Maybe it’s still true of shirts or suits, but by and large cars made by machines are better than any cobbled up on engineers’ lasts. Components used to be hand-crafted to fit but precise modern tooling makes things more reliable, more repeatable and refined. In 1989 I was underwhelmed by a Maserati 222E and Motor1.com agrees. Anthony Karr thinks the much-hyped Biturbo ruined the Italian maker’s reputation..       

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Diary of an Aviator

Nothing distinguished what trendy young people in my day called a “den” so much as precise, geometrical framed prints. For me it was sometimes a tramcar, an aeroplane but most usually a car. All they needed was a modest caption with title, date and maybe a few technical facts. Prints like that made a statement. Maybe they are now passé but I still treasure some; Glasgow tramcars recall my youth, aircraft like a BEA Pionair (a Dakota really) in which I made landmark flights to London. I have one of a 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron Spitfire that flew from RAF Westhampnett, the Goodwood circuit where I covered races and drove many memorable laps.

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Perfect Prints

Pin-ups were a bit naff. Trendy people tried to make statements through books or pictures of a different sort. I liked precise, geometrical framed prints with an engineering quality. No perspective, just careful detailing and exactitude. Hugh Evelyn prints I thought masterpieces. Beautifully reproduced, I used one in our MG Classics Book 2 1945-1965 to illustrate the transition from the TB of the 1930s to TC with which production resumed in October 1945.

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