Wednesday, September 30, 2020


Here are BMW's two latest photo releases, of the 2021 BMW M3 and M4.

I'm not sure what you think of them, but I think they are ghastly, ugly, poorly-proportioned, and any other terms of denigration you can dream up.

I clearly remember seeing Chris Bangle's original 'flame surfaced' designs and thinking they were pretty 'out-there', but compared to these abominations, they were just a mild re-imagining of the BMW design DNA.

I'm joined in this opinion by no less than my good friend of over 30 years, Ian Callum, who has designed some of the most beautiful cars on the roads.

I've admired Ian not only for his design sense, but also his discipline. This is a quality you must have by the shedload when you're designing production cars, and dealing with Boards of Directors who always want to inject their own opinions.

Getting it right, and at the right cost is a bloody difficult job, and Ian has proved time and again what a great overall designer he is.

So, I've just watched an excellent interview with Ian Callum, on a show called 'The Late Brake Show' hosted by self-described enthusiast and car perv, Jonny Smith.

Jonny asked Ian what designs available today he thought were crap?

Ian, although now operating his own design studio, paused, and despite his forthright Scottish upbringing said, carefully: "I think the new BMW designs are (pause), disappointing".

There, it's out there, from a designer thoroughly respected by his peers. I wonder what the BMW tragics think? 

John Crawford

Check out this excellent video blog:

Monday, September 28, 2020


When I attended my favourite events during Monterey Week, my camera was always at the ready to photograph either an iconic car; a rare car; something that looks to be garnering attention (but something I don’t recognise); or something that is really revolting.


One year at Pebble Beach a display of concepts which Ghia had produced for Chrysler’s various badges were gathered on the 18th fairway, and I thought they were so truly gross, I had to capture them, to remind that Ghia was not always the producer of beautiful, svelte Italian concepts.

There are some truly beautiful and iconic cars, that have taken top prize at Pebble Beach on the Sunday afternoon.

Like this 1956 Ferrari by Zagato.

Then there are the unusual, and in 2010 I snapped a car called ‘The Beast III’ which I had never heard of, but was clearly well-known among knowledgeable American enthusiasts. So, thanks to my great mate Ken Gross, I did some digging into its background, revealing a fantastic story of vision, skill and sheer determination.

In 1952, ‘The Beast III’ was the latest creation of engineer Chet Herbert, who had previously designed high speed dragsters and motorbikes. Having pushed these various vehicles to their top speed limits, Herbert had his eye on the Land Speed Record. In 1952 there was growing interest in what would be called ‘Streamliners’ and Herbert wanted to develop his own Bonneville Streamliner to take on the Bonneville Salt Flats.


Herbert wanted to harness aerodynamics for his car, and he happened upon Rod Shapel, who was working as a consultant for CalTech’s wind tunnel. Schapel was a mechanical engineer assigned to study the behavior of airplanes under various stresses and loads.


Herbert and Schapel hit it off instantly and set about to design and build a streamliner like no other, based on aerodynamic computations. The plan was to build the car and have it ready to race at Bonneville in August of ’52. With only months to build the streamliner the team set to work quickly.

Amid various challenges, given the nascent status of aerodynamically-efficient cars at the time, the ‘Beast III’ was completed on time and was powered by the most potent conventional engine available, the Chrysler Hemi V8.


Beast III’s equipment included a Halibrand quick-change tube axle unit with an aircraft type spot brake, 18-inch smooth cast Halibrand magnesium wheels riding on Firestone Bonneville racing tires, hand-operated brake and shift levers, and foot-operated clutch and accelerator pedals. Gear shifts were by a Ford V-8 side-shift unit with a Cook adapter.

Everyone in Bonneville in August 1952 was amazed and thrilled by the sleek aerodynamic shape. Designer Rod Shapel had never even been to a car race, but as all he had to do was create the needed aerodynamics, he did not hesitate to get right behind Chet Herbert’s concept.

The first runs achieved a top speed of 211mph, driven by George Bentley, but it was Art Crisman – a man who was a Hot Rod legend – who finally cracked 238.095mph and gained entry to Bonneville’s ‘200 Club’.

Now, the most amazing part of this story is that the man behind the Streamliner, Chet Herbert, had suffered polio at 20, and was in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. 

As a trained engineer however, he did a great deal of the prep work on all his dragsters, bikes, and the Streamliner, from his wheelchair – but never turned a single wheel in any of his creations.

Chet Herbert (seen here in 2005), died in 2009.

There were a couple more variations on the Beast theme over the next few years, but Land Speed Record attempts began moving away from the USA.

Just 12 years later, the Land Speed Record was achieved in Australia, by Sir Donald Campbell at Lake Eyre, South Australia, with his Bluebird CN7 clocking 403.1mph! Bluebird was the last motor & wheel-driven streamliner, because the FIA, which regulated the ‘sport’ allowed pure jet-driven cars to compete, with Craig Breedlove’s ‘Spirit of America’ reaching 526mph in September of 1964.

John Crawford

LOOKING BACK - WHAT A LIFE! by John Crawford

Of ALL the events I frequented annually during my 12 years working in the USA, none were more special than my two favourite annual American concours events – Amelia Island in Florida and Pebble Beach in California.

The last time I attended both was 2010 – and given current health considerations, it will most likely be the last time – so forgive me a retrospective look back at both.

They were special for one reason alone – the people I was fortunate to meet and also with whom I was able to forge deep and lasting friendships. The Amelia Island Concours, north of Jacksonville on Florida’s east coast was the brainchild of lifelong car enthusiast, Bill Warner (right), who has built his event into the east coast equivalent of the Pebble Beach Concours, and we remain close friends (via email).


There are differences in emphasis, and it’s definitely the laid-back Florida-style event you want to visit, to chill out and just look at the amazing cars Bill manages to bring in each year. Just like Pebble Beach, Bill’s event raises millions for local charities, as well as giving virtual Castrol R for the veins of obsessive car enthusiasts who flock to the event.


On the west coast, Pebble Beach is held on the Sunday of what is now ‘Monterey Week’ – six days of car-focussed events that sate the appetites for enthusiasts not only in the United States, but the world over. The Pebble Beach Concours creates millions of memories, and also millions of dollars for local charities.


That’s one of the things I truly admire about American social events, and that’s the emphasis on using such events to solicit donations from the many well-heeled attendees who flock to these iconic gatherings. The level of social and community commitment by these two events is really impressive.


Since 2006 Pebble Beach has been run by an amazing woman and a dear friend, Sandra Kasky, ably supported by her husband, Martin Button. Sandra might be the person who creates ‘The Event’; but it’s Martin who is charged with importing rare, and invaluable, historic cars, to the Concours via his global vehicle transport and logistics company.

These two are a true tour-de-force, because between them they devote so much energy, passion and determination you don’t ever want to miss Monterey Week, and the Sunday finale.


As I said, 2010 was the last (and probably final) time I attended, and at Pebble Beach there were so many great memories created. It was the 75th anniversary of Jaguar Cars; Alfa Romeo was the chosen marque to be highlighted, and I had the pleasure of breakfast with my good friend, Ulrich Bez (then Chairman and CEO of Aston Martin), plus lunch in a group with former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Bentley hospitality suite.

Later I enjoyed sitting in on an interview with the great Carrol Shelby at ‘The Quail – A Motorsports Gathering’ at Quail Lodge resort.


Speaking of ‘The Quail – A Motorsports Gathering’ – it was the brainchild of wealthy enthusiast Sir Michael Kadoorie, but its execution is managed by his close friend (also a good friend of mine), Gordon McCall.

I would unequivocally call these two men a ‘Power Couple’.

Gordon (in red vest) stages his own event on the Wednesday night before Pebble Beach, at the Monterey Executive Airport, called the McCall Motorsports Revival; an event  I really look forward to, because it launches the week's activites.

It's put together by Gordon and his hard-working wife, Molly.

Then Gordon steps up for double duty as the organiser of Sir Michael’s ‘The Quail – a Motorsports Gathering’ on the Friday before Pebble Beach.

'The Quail' focuses solely on important cars in the motorsport scene, and is held (usually in brilliant sunshine) at The Quail Golf Resort in the Carmel Valley.

The Quail Resort is one of the most tranquil ways of strolling around one of the great automotive displays, spread out across the rolling green fairways, dining on exotic foods from a variety of 5-star food outlets, listening to the music of the Mariarchis.

I so enjoyed attending these two events for many years, and with Castrol R still circulating through my veins, I can only lament that I will never again have the opportunity to attend two of the greatest motoring events on the international calendar, and stand with my close fiends.

Of course, I recognise my immense good fortune being able to attend since 1990 and future years, which makes me one of the luckiest car enthusiasts in the world.

John Crawford

Tuesday, September 22, 2020


 CINQUECENTO - aka 500, SEICENTO aka 600

These are the cars which really put Italy on wheels after WW2, when a great deal of Italy's factories and industrial works had been trashed by Allied bombing.

The original 500 (Topolino), was in production from 1936 to 1955, with production suspended during WW2.

These two classics were shot last weekend in Cernobbio by my mate Michael Taylor

Post-war Italy needed a capable, quick-to-build and very economical car for families, and in 1955 FIAT delivered an icon.

Fitted with either a 500cc or 600cc two-cylinder, it was extremely economical, which was fantastic, because post-war gasoline prices were exhorbitant.

Production in Italy ended in 1975, but not before the three factories making the car churned out almost 4 million of them.

It was designed by Dante Giacosa (right), who began his career at FIAT in the aero-engine department, before being given responsibility for the 500 Nuovo.

In 1964, it was Giacosa who also employed the transverse front engine, front wheel drive concept for the 1968 FIAT 128. However, with his Topolino it was Giacosa who introduced unequal length drive shafts which made the concept workable.

However, his fame also embraced racing cars. In 1944 Italian industrialist Piero Dusia commissioned a single seat racing car, of which 26 were made, ending up being known as the Cisitalia D46, which used a huge number of parts derived from the FIAT 500.

In 2003 Fiat was desperate to improve sales and 'back a winner' which led to the design of a concept car known as the FIAT Trepiuno (below). Trep-i-uno, loosley translated means 2+1, because there was only room for one seat in the rear!

Designed at Centro Stile by Roberto Giolito, the production version was developed by designers Frank Stephenson and Flavio Manzoni.

Launched in July 2007 the 'new' FIAT 500 became a worldwide hit, thanks to its looks, specification, and keen pricing.

However, good things never seem to last for FIAT, especially when it became FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles), and trying to spread minimal financial investment across the breadth of its model range unsurprisingly led to prices being increased.

At one point the Chairman, the late Sergio Marchionne. had amassed net debt (borrowings) in excess of USD$6.5 billion.

FCA attempted to 'save' the 500 from the price increases, but today, as it launches the FIAT 500ev, reality has inevitably led to the EV hitting the European market with a price of 39,000 Euros, at the same time as the basic 500 costs just 22,000 Euros!

Given the importance FIAT has dumped on its first EV, it would appear that it is not in much danger of selling enough cars to either compete successfully in the volatile European EV market; or deliver a satisfactory return on investment.Since FCA was formed FIAT appears to me to have been tragically mismanaged, and perenially short of money.

Where the brand name in the 50s was symbolic of Italy, I think it has now sunk to depths of mediocrity which would lead Dante Giacosa to tears.

John Crawford 

Saturday, September 19, 2020


Here’s the Mazda 3 I’ve been waiting to drive. This car features Mazda’s extraordinary new petrol engine, with SkyActivX technology.

Mazda is not exactly unused to developing revolutionary or extraordinary engine concepts – witness, its amazing ability to tame the Wankel Rotary engine, which powered Mazdas from 1965. There were constant revisions and improvements to the original concept right through until 2012 when it was last used in the RX-8.


Probably, for the Mazda engineering team behind the program, the greatest success was when the 900hp, Mazda 787B, 4-rotor-engined race car won the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Marked by its piercing scream as it wound up to full pitch along pit straight, Mazda took the lead 21 hours into the race and held on to beat both Mercedes and Jaguar to the chequered flag.


Several records were established. It was the first time the race was not won by a conventional piston engine; and Mazda was the first Asian car company to take victory.


I have always held Mazda in very high regard for its engineering prowess, its willingness to take on challenges, and the integrity of its approach to solving difficult problems. It is an outstanding company populated by seasoned and highly-talented, competent engineers.


So, we come to the SkyActivX engine. The car pictured here looks virtually no different to the current Mazda 3, but it’s all happening under the hood.

To explain how SKYACTIV-X works I am quoting from the press kit. This explanation is concise and without hyperbole, and I think it quickly puts you in the picture:


We’ll first need to cover some engine basics. In a gasoline engine the fuel-air mixture is ignited by a spark from the spark plug. In a diesel engine, the fuel-air mix is compressed and ignites through pressure and heat alone.


Diesel is more energy dense than gasoline, which also means more air and less fuel goes in, making for better fuel economy. And although diesel engines tend to release less carbon dioxide than gasoline engines, they traditionally emit higher levels of particulates that can cause pollution. 


Diesels, which are often turbocharged, have a reputation for having lots of torque even at low revs, while gasoline engines can rev higher and produce more horsepower at those high revs.


SKYACTIV-X offers the best of both diesel and gasoline engines with none of the disadvantages. It does this thanks to a new technology called Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI).


Running on regular gasoline, SPCCI works by compressing the fuel-air mix at a much higher compression ratio, with a very lean mix. The SKYACTIV-X engine uses a spark to ignite only a small, dense amount of the fuel-air mix in the cylinder.


This raises the temperature and pressure so that the remaining fuel-air mix ignites under pressure (like a diesel), burning faster and more completely than in conventional engines.

Mazda claims 10 to 30 percent more torque than the current SKYACTIV-G gasoline engine, with better fuel efficiency than the current SKYACTIV-D, and a power increase of 10 percent.

The Engine - Nothing to see here. It's all buried deep inside.

My takeout on the new engine. It is generously powerful, has a nice subdued, but throaty roar, and is very flexible. From behind the wheel you shouldn’t expect to experience any ‘real’ differences’, but the overall performance is very impressive. 


Quite frankly I don’t think owners will notice any difference at all, but the improvement in torque, fuel economy and emissions results (even though they’re on paper) are outstanding.

I had only two criticisms of the test car. The secondary ride was poorly controlled, making the car feel ‘jittery’ over less than perfect surfaces, and from my driver’s seat setup, the Heads-Up Display created a really annoying reflection in the windscreen.


Apart from those two minor complaints, the main impression you are left with is that Mazda has produced a premium car in every respect. It offers outstanding interior finish, equipment and comfort; excellent road manners and the major gains in the engine data we’ve highlighted. The margins, fit and finish are excellent.

At around AUD$42,000 it's quite a step up from a regular Mazda 3 petrol at AUD$26,000 - so, is it worth the difference?


Whatever Mazda is charging for this Mazda 3, it’s worth it. The quality and finish rivals anything coming from the premium car makers of Europe.

John Crawford


Formula One is waiting for Aussie Oscar Piastri after he clinched the FIA Formula 3 Championship for 2020.

As Mark Webber welcomed him with a hug at the end of his winning campaign, the big question now is where he will land for 2021.


Having won the 2019 Formula Renault Eurocup title, Piastri was named as a new Renault Academy driver for 2020, with a new team.

This year was supposed to have been a learning year in F3 for the Melbourne teenager, but the rookie has already proven he has the right stuff for a graduation to Formula 2 next year, and perhaps to follow Webber and Daniel Ricciardo onto the grand prix grid.

Piastri showed his class and commitment as he kept his head through the championship decider at the undulating, fast and twisty Mugello circuit in Italy, although he could not resist a last-second pass that took him to seventh place on the finish line.

“That was a massive sigh of relief. I cannot believe I just won the title,” Piastri says.

He faced an uphill battle at the start of the decider as he was only 11th on the grid and his main title rival, his American team-mate Prema Racing’s Logan Sargeant (top right), was six places closer to the front.

But Sargeant crashed out of the race at the second corner and Piastri only had to manage the points gap to mercurial German youngster Theo Pourchaire (bottom right), who rose steadily to finish third but could still not stop Piastri taking the title with a three-point margin after 18 races.


“I feel so bad for Logan. You never want to see that. I would have wanted to fight to the death,” says Piastri.


It’s been a tough year for Piastri, who has been a little short on qualifying speed and also had a series of mechanical dramas in the middle of the season.

But he dug deep and did the job in Mugello, showing once again why he has earned Webber’s backing, and won a place in the Renault Academy that is being used to groom future F1 stars.

He looked completely drained after the championship decider and was happy to admit it.

“Exhausted. To be honest. Tough race. And the last few weeks have really tested me emotionally,” he says.


“I think I’ve been quite consistent over the year. And the way I’ve bounced back from all the setbacks. I think my consistency, and keeping my head cool, was the biggest thing.”


But he is not alone, as a long line of Australians have used success in Formula 3 – often against the odds – as a springboard into Formula One.

The first was little-known Dave Walker (below), who is now retired in Queensland after a relatively short career in the 1970s that pivoted on an F3 title in Britain and took him into the Lotus F1 team.

Larry Perkins, best known for his six wins in the Bathurst 1000, was also an F3 champion in Britain, and raced F1 for a string of middling teams including BRM and Brabham.

David Brabham, youngest son of Sir Jack, also won the British F3 title but never made it beyond the tail end of Formula One, while Daniel Ricciardo was also the British F3 champion before graduating to F1.


For Piastri, there are also examples of Aussies who were more than good enough for F1 but didn’t quite make the grade in F3.


Alan Jones never had enough money in his early European racing and lost the British F3 championship at the last round, while Mark Webber – also cash strapped in F3 – finished his series in fourth.


The 2020 campaign has not been easy for Piastri, even though he is a member of the Renault Sport Academy, and was placed with the crack Prema team for a serious tilt at the title in his F3 rookie year.


Oscar was a star from the start, winning the first race of the season, but mechanical problems have cost him points. The F3 format, where the second race each weekend has a reverse grid for the Top 10 finishers from the Saturday feature, has also cost him points.

However, he is now being managed, mentored and guided by one of Australia's high achieving F1 drivers, Mark Webber and his wife Ann.

Yes, the future looks bright for this talented youngster, and I'm sure Australian Formula One fans will be watching his progress with a keen eye - I know I will.


Paul Gover


The glorious undulating, snaking roads around Adelaide are pretty enticing, especially when the authorities agree to block off some of them to allow assorted maniacs and enthusiasts to have a blast in their rather eclectic choice of machinery, new or elderly.

Or, better, a machine thoughtfully provided by someone else, like a car brand or a collector.

This was Classic Adelaide, an excellent idea dreamed up in the mid 1990s by collector and enthusiast, the late John Blanden, to give lovers of motorised transport the opportunity to drive their glorious sporty machinery in the manner intended.

Above: John Blanden (Ctr) with Moss & Fangio - Adelaide 1985

Back in 2003, the year highlighted in this recollection, the event unfolded as a lovely, crazy blend of all manner of vehicles and pilotes.


Conveniently most of the stages were within 50km of Adelaide’s languidly beating heart– jinking through the wine country - Barossa Valley, the Hills, McLaren Vale and around Victor Harbour.

Spectacular Aussie scenery, brilliant and challenging roads for drivers both brazen and, if they choose, less adventurous. 

In 2003, there was a record 34 closed road special stages totalling 250km, rimmed by gaping, appreciative spectators taking in the sounds and sights of a fast-moving car museum.

There were reconstructed competition cars; restored historic cars, and a lot of newer machinery which really turned heads - given the total value of ALL the cars on show.

They were driven by a cast that ranged from world champ Jack Brabham, and his old mate and rival Stirling Moss, Le Mans winner Vern Schuppan (left), television star Glenn Ridge, author Doug Nye and a host of assorted characters and car cuddlers. 


Gals, blokes, teenagers, septuagenarians, European toffs, colourful American collectors, Aussie characters… with varying skill levels, but petrol heads all.

Classic Adelaide was a heady $35 million mix of the exotic, the well-preserved, the new and efficient, the rare, and in the case of a Volkswagen Beetle, the questionably bourgeois. The oldest car in this event was the 1920 Frontenac Indianapolis Special driven by Victorians Wes and Dianne Wilkinson. 


“I love looking at old cars, but I don’t know about driving them,” Schuppan told me by way of explaining his choice of weaponry, a modern Mercedes AMG SLK 32.  Brabham’s silver plaything was a current SL 500 but fellow knight Moss, was entrusted with something from “his” era, a sonorous 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SLS sports car flown out from the Benz Museum in Stuttgart, specially for the event.

Despite recently turning 74, Moss was clearly not disposed to nanna naps when he could either be wringing the neck of the $1 million dollar (back then; circa $2 million today) museum piece, or enjoying Adelaide’s finest restaurants.


For when everyone was done with getting the adrenaline pumping and armpits moist, there was some serious socialising at night.


The Thoroughbred Touring category was where Moss, Brabham, and Schuppan lined-up, along with many others in vehicles of assorted vintages and value.  This category was favoured by many of the overseas enthusiasts, particularly those not prepared to fit cages to their precious toys. 


The regulations permitted the absence of a roll cage but insisted on a helmet and CAMS competition licence. The stages were untimed, and competitors were pegged to a 130km/h limit.  This last imposition was no hardship on tight, narrow and ever twisting roads.  Even constrained to these speeds, there were some expensive crashes.


Here was my close shave with a legend, part of a story I wrote for Wheels magazine…

Wow, that was so-o close, folks! 


At Yankalilla I nearly have a jolting head-on shunt with Stirling Moss. But at the last possible moment, he propped, and I jinked left.

It happened when he was coming out of the toilet, and I was heading in…


Yes, participants and spectators get more than the chance of a brush with fame during the Classic Adelaide Rally. Some lucky sod probably had his boots splashed by Sir Stirl.


In what other motor racing event do regular people get the chance to compete with the elite in their sport?


Part of the attraction of Classic Adelaide, apart from the extraordinary machinery, and the thrill of sharing challenging roads with the legends, and the bonhomie among the competitors, is the social stuff.

On Thursday, the luncheon stop is at Peter Lehman’s winery, cars parked on the rolling lawns.  So steamy hot is the weather that a couple of gals in an E-Type Roadster reportedly whip off their tops, and remove their bras.  Someone provide the photographic evidence, pullEEEEZE!


Out and about in just about any place on the planet, Stirling Moss was never unaware of the significantly-elevated place he earned in motor sporting antiquity. Sir Stirling, who died earlier this year after a hectic 90 years on earth, held a special place in the hearts of motor sports followers. 


At Classic Adelaide for the first time, the best driver never to win a world championship donned his familiar old pale blue Dunlop racing overalls and Herbie Johnson helmet. He mingled, chatted, signed autographs, posed for photos…


He told me he competed in about 10 historic motor sporting events a year – “four like this one and the Tour de France, and the rest are race festivals such as Goodwood”.

“I do all I can, but it’s not that easy, especially in old cars.”


Moss proved to be an enthusiastic advocate of the event and its host city. “The roads here are stunning and the whole set-up is unbeatable - and I’ve done a lot of great road races.


“Adelaide and its people are so welcoming and enthusiastic,” said the great man from beneath his characteristic 365-days-a-year tan. “I’ve never known a village of one million people and I say that in the nicest possible way.  They have sensational wines here too, and that is important to me.


“It’s an event of great character.  People have been telling me for ages, ‘Stirling, you must do it’, and now I’ve managed to fit it in, and I’m so glad.

“Pace notes would be helpful, though, I must say.”

And what would be an ideal car for Classic Adelaide?  “Oh, a Chevron B16 on treaded tyres, or maybe a Lotus 7.”


Until slowed by a bad fall down a lift shaft in his home in 2010, Moss continued to participate in historic races and rallies.  


On 9 June 2011 during qualifying for the Le Mans Legends race, Moss announced he had finally retired from racing, saying that he had scared himself that afternoon. He was 81.


We should all count ourselves lucky that we had so much of the great man for so many years.


Peter McKay

Friday, September 18, 2020

WELCOME, PETER McKAY - by John Crawford

When you're as old as I am, and been around cars and motor sport most of your adult life you collect some great friends along the way.

Such is the case with my good friend Peter McKay, whom it's been a pleasure to know since I first began writing about cars and motor sport, so that's more than 40 years on. We've enjoyed each other's company many times on press drives when I was Editor of MODERN MOTOR magazine.

Peter is an extremely talented driver, who has enjoyed some great competition drives on the racetrack, and has been a longtime correspondent for Australia's WHEELS magazine, and The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

He possesses that rare combination of skill, experience, commonsense and humility. Oh, nearly forgot, he's also a bloody good journalist too.

It was this combo which provided an opportunity for me to introduce him to the Bugatti Veyron in 2008, on its one and only visit to Australia, and for Peter to enjoy a few laps of the Sandown Park circuit under the eye of the car's 'Pilote Officiel' Pierre-Henri Raphanel.

In fact, Peter is one of only two Australians who drove that Veyron - the other being my close friend and regular contributor to DRIVING & LIFE, Paul Gover.

 Here's a link to Peter's story:

Of all his motoring exploits one stands out in his memory, and that is the 2003 Classic Adelaide Rally, attended by a pantheon of luminaries including Sir Stirling Moss and Sir Jack Brabham - among others.

Peter has contributed a valuable insight into the event, the cars and the characters for DRIVING & LIFE in the next Post.

So, welcome Peter, and maybe you'll be able to let us look in on other aspects of your life with cars.

John Crawford