The Club’s final Drive-In of the year was blessed with some Autumn sunshine as over 80 cars and 100 members gathered on the Cedar Lawn. Astons were the order of the day, with 10 parked up the lawn.
Some special Derby Bentley’s were also parked up, a fitting tribute to the manufacturer celebrating its centenary year. As ever, it was good to see handful of motorcycles joining the morning.
With a heart breakfast offered to members inside the Cedar Room, it was a great start to the day for all those who attended.
Drive-Out to Nigel Webb’s Mike Hawthorn Museum
A couple of guests chose to continue their day with a Drive-Out to Club member Nigel Webb’s private Mike Hawthorn museum near Guildford. Nigel began his collection in 1978 and 1979, and since then has accumulated an impressive collection of memorabilia over the years from various sources, including Mike’s past girlfriends. Today, it’s a fitting tribute to Britain’s first Formula 1 World Champion, and includes original steering wheels which had been used by Mike, a gift which he’d given to a previous partner, his bow-ties and of course some of the Jaguars which he raced in.
Among the standout vehicles at Nigel’s museum was the C-type Jaguar which Mike had won the 1955 Le Mans in. In addition there were also Mark 1 Jaguars (VDU) and a stunning blue Mark 1 vehicle which Nigel still regularly races in. On the morning, Nigel explained the subtle design differences between Mark 1 and 2s which are based around the different lines on the car’s front.
Several other impressive cars under the ownership of Nigel were also on display, including a Jaguar 3.4 Litre IVA 400 – one of only four. It was previously driven by the British race and rally driver, Jack Sears.
On the day Nigel introduced members to his collection and offered some interesting stories about the famous racer. A little known story was that of Mike’s kidney operation. In either 1952 or 1953 it’s know that Mike had a kidney removed illegally.
As the operation was no completely successful, Mike often suffered from blackouts. Whether or not this was a cause for his crash on that fateful day in January is unlikely, but it certainly could have been a factor.