"Do you remember a time when your vehicle didn’t answer you back? A time when you got in, turned the key and all you heard was the sound of the engine? No beeps? No buzzes? No rings to admonish "
Deutschland über alles!
Paul Anderson: BMW 1502
Paul Anderson lives in the Pembrokeshire resort town of Tenby and works for clothing company Howies. When he’s not surfing and tinkering with his pretty little 1976 Beemer, that is. “The Marks & Spencer taupe colour matches the clothes that I wear. It somehow seems to fit my style, “ he tells me as the setting sun bathes car and driver in a vaguely retro pool of light. Paul swapped the car last year, which he has subsequently restored to mint condish, for a decidedly less-than-stylish beaten up old Mondeo estate. “I used to drive past it on my way to work, and it was just rotting away there being ignored. I don’t think the guy really knew what a little gem he was sitting on and he bit my arm off for the deal.” Just shows you. One man’s meat is another man’s poison.
Bob: Heinkel Trojan 200
You can see from the design of Bob’s characterful little bubble car that its antecedents lie in the realm of aeronautics – the whole issue from many angles resembles the top turret of a Luftwaffe bomber. “The detail is incredible. Even down to the fixings of the door and the workmanship of the bumpers, the quality is amazing.” Bob is no stranger to interesting exotics. As the owner of a near perfect Facel Vega, an E-Type Jag (in its fourth decade of Bob ownership), as well as a 1962 Corvette project, he knows a thing or two about how cars are put together. Having rebuilt the Heinkel as a barter for the build of the garage where he keeps his cars, the civil engineer-turned property developer finds stillness in the constant movement of owning and restoring classics. “I spend about a day a week out in the garage, slowly returning them to the original condition. It’s actually quite therapeutic.”
James Clayton: BMW 330 CS
Somewhere in the windswept field of Worcestershire is a haven of BMW love. Having owned a series of BMWs and falling in love with their functionality, James came across his current project last year and snapped it up for £400. “Considering the steering wheel alone was worth around £100, it didn’t seem a bad deal to me!” Having completely rebuilt a E24 6 Series a couple of years back James had learnt a lot about what makes German heavy metal tick, and is now deep in the process of stripping the bodywork back to the base, repairing all the corroded panelling and pretty much starting from scratch. And what is it about German cars that inspires this sort of devotion? “It’s just that they work really well. That’s all there is to it.”
Mark Tomlinson: Porsche 911 Turbo (996)
“ Out of any of the cars that we drive around this circuit the Turbo is my favourite,” says Mark Tomlinson, chief engineer at the Racing School, which based at the Rockingham Motor Speedway in Northamptonshire. “It’s really, really fast, but very forgiving because of the four wheel drive. It hardly ever goes wrong, and you could still fit two kids in the back for the school run.” Not that the school run is this particular car’s usual line of duty. More than the express trip to the local primary, the Turbo performs a bridge between the slower cars and the single seater racers that he runs at the school. “There’s just a lovely controlled drift with these cars as you come out of the corner and put the power down,” he tells me,” but you can tell you can still tell there’s an animal beneath the bonnet.”
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