A rarity in the Kutuka Camp, in that this was a car without any fundamental problems, a swift turnaround time, and relatively few modifications.
Our association with John dates back to a rather unfortunate race at Mallory Park in 2009, which ended with the then-hire car “Megan” getting a lot shorter. John accepted his gentle mocking with good grace when we made him pose for photos with the wreckage, and not long afterwards we were wielding spanners for him to help him out with his own car as he gave man-birth to his racing career and ran into all the problems that people do when getting started.
The brain cues up images of Brands Hatch 2010, a fast head gasket swap for him when his failed, and we refused to let him go home, and dragged him back into the race so that there were more cars to lap. My memory of that race was a sixty-foot orange, blue and burgundy XJS as Bob, junior Coppock and John fought it out and the leaders cut through that snake in a grey downpour with one hand over their eyes. So it is possible to stay on good terms with people who’ve had a bad day at the office.
After another crap Mallory with another head gasket failure that year, John did something remarkably stupid, and left racing for 4 years to do strange domestic things. Had one of those “family” things I see advertised on the tele. Weird, but each to their own. What he also did was to take his car largely to pieces, put all the pieces in little plastic bags with neat labels on, and then shut the garage door.
Mallory 2010, the car's last outing.
When he opened the garage door, it has mysteriously not fixed itself. The error he made is that, being so neat and tidy, he probably hasn’t got any maintenance spiders. This left our tame Gregory in need of a substitute. Pleading emails followed. We met him at Castle Combe and before you could suggest that Robert should marry your dad’s sister the car was delivered to Kutuka Towers for reassembly. What a heartwarming tale.
The brief as given: One car with many parts removed, and a small hole in. One unknown ex-Paul Merret 4 litre AJ16 bought and posted in the front, but not connected to anything. Please put back the parts I need, and take off any I do not. Do something with that spaghetti of wiring so that electricity goes where needed when demanded. Can I have it back by Castle Combe please?
What we heard: do whatever you think, I need it yesterday.
Cue the music.
PART 1 - HERE
PART 2 - HERE
See, it is possible to do this and not fall out with us. John's first race didn't go so well...