The inspiration which has energised and motivated me throughout my life are two things really – music and cars. A big part of my background which informs these personality traits are that I spent many years as a freelance auto journalist, plus five years as the Editor of MODERN MOTOR magazine; and around ten years as a Top 40 disc jockey in Sydney during the rockin’ sixties.
Those two elements could not come into sharper relief than in 1976 when I was invited by Alfa Romeo Australia to undertake my very first international trip, to Italy, to see the country, soak up the culture, enjoy the food and wine – and, oh yes, visit Alfa Romeo factories and drive Alfa Romeos. Rough lot, isn't it?
As I settled into my seat on the Alitalia DC-10 at Sydney airport on Saturday, March 21, 1976, I plugged the headphones into the aircraft’s entertainment system, and the very next track to play was “One of These Nights” by The Eagles.
Consequently, that song became an ‘anchor’ for my life amongst cars, and every time I hear it, I am instantly transported to the Alitalia DC-10, and subsequently walking across the tarmac at Milano Linate, to begin the trip that forevermore gave me a great love of Italy, and all things Italian. Especially Alfa Romeo!