Our last night at the end of four weeks of North American book business and pleasure coincided with the the first stopover for the 73 Bugatti drivers participating in the American Bugatti Club‘s International Rally, in everything from 1920s Brescias to noughties Veyrons.
In the summer of 2010, my family and I mixed business and pleasure on a four-week sojourn around North America, punctuated with book events. This was the first one, at the Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club’s Annual Meet. It was set up by Sabu Advani. At the time he was Editor-in-Chief of the RROC’s house magazine, The Flying Lady, and I recommend any petrol head to check in regularly with his speedreaders.info site, with its plethora of reviews on transport books and media.
My first overseas talk in support of The Man Who Supercharged Bond came about because of the one of the images on the front cover: the iconic 1962 image which Loomis Dean shot for Life magazine of Ian Fleming sitting in a Blower Bentley, the car supercharged by Amherst Villiers and famously driven by James Bond in the first three 007 novels.
The Bugatti Trust possesses a wealth of primary source material relating to Bugatti, and in David Morys it has a first-rate archivist. Its on-line photo archive is an absolute treat – excellent search capabilities, and packed full of photos that deserve to be published much more often that they are.
It was entirely appropriate that the first talk in support of The Man Who Supercharged Bond was at Beaulieu. Patrick Collins still runs the Research Library there, and Jon Day the Motoring Picture Library, and they’ve both been an enormous help to me down the years.
Motor Books (1957-2013) was a fabulous, double-fronted book shop covering all aspects of transport, located in that little part of the West End rammed full of fabulous book shops. I was delighted that my first signing was there, and touched that there were posters in the windows advertising that I was coming.
Motor racing has lost a hero and an innovator. The world has lost a gentleman.
The death of Dan Gurney has been announced in typically charming fashion by his wife Evi: ‘With one last smile on his handsome face, Dan drove off into the unknown just before noon, January 14, 2018.’
On the door of my study is an old American road sign, directing drivers to a small town down the road named Whitney. Insert a comma, and ‘WHITNEY STRAIGHT, AHEAD’ is my direction of travel.