I pride myself on the fact that Driving and Life was my genuine and sincere take on cars and the car industry, and that what I posted was relevant and sensible.
There were many benefits flowing from 40 years of networking, and developing friends and contacts all over the automotive world, and especially when we got to look 'behind the curtain'.
Along the way, my longest stints were with two of the greatest marques in history - Jaguar and Bentley.
Not to forget Land Rover, Rover, Peugeot, Honda and Daewoo.
It was very enjoyable digging out some obscure facts, rare and important photos, some controversial developments and the resulting ramifications, but the fact is that for someone who retired (in 2006) from being very active in the car industry for almost 40 years, it becomes time consuming, and tiring, ensuring that you keep up to speed with the most important developments on a week-by-week basis. So, I'm hanging up my helmet.
The car industry has always been volatile, with competitive, commercial pressures and imperatives informing decisions made by competing car companies, but the pace has certainly quickened in the last five years. Who knows what the next ten years will deliver?
The developing technologies hold no appeal for me. I am not interested in riding around in an autonomous aluminium shell, with all the decisions taken for me. I am not interested in enduring 'range anxiety', hoping my electric car will have enough juice to get to work, or get home.
The so-called 'Driver Aids' software is insidious and instrusive, and I do not care for such tech either.
Sadly, when you talk with today's car company executives about various aspects of their business and/or products, many are alarmingly ill-equipped to explain strategies, business decisions, simple basics, or the latest tech. Also, it doesn't help when the PR suits are barely out of puberty, have a degree in PR, but zero mechanical knowledge, and bugger-all background to offer about how their company operates.
I fear that all of the preceding blathering appears to eventually render the personal car as we know it, irrelevant, unecessary, and of course (according to The Greens), a blight on society. That could mean there is no road ahead for people who are genuinely enthusiastic about cars and driving!
I have lived through the glory days of the modern motor industry, and motor sport. I have driven some oustanding, and innovative cars - and also cars which frightened the shit out of me.
However, on the flipside, I was at Le Mans (as a Jaguar employee) in 1988 when the company won the 24 Hours of Le Mans; and equally I was in the pits (as a Bentley employee) when Bentley won Le Mans in 2003.
I've seen the highs and lows of motorsport, lived through the frustrations of failing to finish races, quietly packing up and optimisticly looking forward to the next event.
I have worked for seven incredible chief executives from 1977 to 2006, and learned a lot from the experiences, especially how a car company should be run and managed effectively and efficiently.
My Contacts book lists a huge number of friends, who are both impressive high achievers in their fields, including CEOs, engineers, designers, professional racing drivers, world champions and innovative thinkers.
These near 40 years of intimate involvement in the car industry, as well as diversions, such as competing in the 1977 Singapore Airlines London-to-Sydney Car Rally;
and being Editor of one of Australia's two most significant monthly car magazines, has repaid my toil with great experiences, great challenges, and in most cases, enormous satisfaction.
I am a 'Child of the Motor Car' and bloody glad I can be proud of that mantle. I hope you've enjoyed sharing the posts on Driving and Life - it's been a pleasure to record them for posterity and hope the vicarious pleasure of you seeing this life through my eyes has not diminished the passion I hope I was able to project.
I will now stop, switch off, and retire - a Winner!