In my job as Editor of MODERN MOTOR magazine I got to travel all over Australia, and all over the world for a good story.
My old friend, Ian Smith (below), probably the top automotive photographer of his day, recently dredged up a selection of old pix from a Kleber tyre test session.
It was a wet and rainy October day in 1975 at Calder Raceway as a small group of hacks gathered to hear the Kleber marketing manager, plus tyre retailer (and owner of Calder, Bob Jane) extol the virtues of the V12 tyre.
Yours truly (dig the posey, ill-fitting driving gloves) belted up for a few laps around the wet raceway, chasing my old friend Max Stahl in another Renault 12, and as you can imagine, letting a gang of testosterone-filled motoring writers out on a circuit for a free-for-all doesn’t bear thinking about.
We didn’t ding any cars, but a couple of the less-experienced scribes did manage a few 360s on the wet track.
Then, in May 1976, I was at Alfa Romeo’s famed test track, the ‘Old Farm’ at Balocco, with Australian journalists and Alfa Romeo dealers, to celebrate the global success of the nifty little Giugiaro-designed Alfasud.
However, interviewing the Alfa Romeo CEO Gaetano Cortese, he delivered a scoop 'sound bite' about the still-secret Alfasud Coupe! Which he agreed we could get a look at, as long as we stayed on the bus and didn’t take any photos!
Sorry about that, but the devil made me do it!
In 1977 I resigned from MODERN MOTOR to take on my most adventurous story ever – the Singapore Airlines London-to-Sydney Car Rally.