Hi! Or, Hello, if you're English or, allo, if you're French or does it really matter now that we're all on this web thing?
A few words of background if this is the first time you've clicked on to this page. I'm a self-confessed Sports/GT racing freak who got so far into his hobby that I turned it into a business. I won't bore you with lines like: "poorly paid", "barely scratch a living" although they're true. You've heard them all before and I wouldn't want to insult your intelligence, would I?
I started racing in an Elva-BMW in British Hillclimbs a long time ago; After spending all my parents and my friends money on this lark (which I thoroughly enjoyed), I settled down to marriage and two kids until age 30. An XK120 Jaguar just begged to be bought and so I promptly equipped this with a roll-over bar and damn near killed myself at Mallory Park. After this, a few more years went by during which I ran a folk club, managed a very successful comedian and indulged myself in Porsche 911s. I'm currently on my twenty-fourth! I acquired a Ferrari 250 GT "Tour de France" and did all those jollies like the Mille Miglia retro and Coy's Silverstone until I felt the need for something a bit more serious.
The racing bug bit again after I'd acquired a 1974 Porsche Carrera RSR, (see upper left corner) and off I went again, only this time to the circuits. I loved it and purchased a Porsche 935 that scared me silly. (In retrospect, the suspension was poorly set up. The power was of the "Oh my Gawd" variety and the combination was, shall we say, overwhelming. Definitely a brown trousers job, that one!) Still love em though.
Sold that, bought a Lola T70 Coupe. Love. What a car! Great poke from the Chevy, lovely handling and brakes. Had a wonderful time racing on the great circuits of Europe like Monza and Spa. Sold that, bought another. Did Daytona 24-Hours. Loved that.
All this time, I'd been writing books about motor racing. I'd written four when Chris Renwick called from San Diego. "Would I like to go there and write a book about Ferraris?" Would I?! I was fed up of English winters, so I sold the T70 and moved to San Diego. Met a friend, Robert Tornello, who invited me to Florida to race his 935. What a man!
Su and I moved to America permanently in 1998 and settled in San Diego for the first two years. There, we worked with the Symbolic Motor Car Company, surely the greatest dealership for exotic cars in the World! I cataloged Bernie Chase's (the boss) incredible automobilia collection.
Now Rick McLean has been a pal in the car-dealing World for many years, having had many good racecars through his hands. He lived near us and I visited one day and asked him what he had in stock. He showed me his March 84G, an ex-Leon Brothers Chevy-engined GTP car and, almost on a whim, I bought it and set about bringing it back to life.
Although we liked San Diego, we soon realized that house prices had become pretty much unaffordable and so, as I'd always had a fondness for Florida, having visited there on holiday for many years, we upped sticks and drove across America, (what an experience!), to settle here in St. Petersburg. It's a great place, falling into the "Places time forgot" category.
Here, we bought a house and the March got finished being restored. I did Daytona and Sebring with it, but then swapped it for-you guessed it! - another Lola T70. This I raced just twice, in 2002, before a very nice man literally bought it from me and enjoyed racing it himself.
Su and I started Gryfon Publishers and I've written and we have published another twelve books on motor racing and traded the odd car. We have two more books currently in the process of production and life is busy.
Two years ago, we bought a Jones-built hydroplane from 1960 and I have raced that on several occasions (see articles). That also is, shall we say...... exciting!
A quick update to 2010: A very kind customer, George Tuma, bought an RSR in 2007, with our help and asked me to help him race it in Europe in the Patrick Peter-run Classic Endurance Race series. George also bought a Jagermeister-liveried replica RSR and we've had a great three years enjoying that racing over here in America too.
I've been very lucky to have experienced the very best circuits in both North America and Europe on which to race, and some of the best vintage/historic racing cars to enjoy as well.
This is a wonderful life!