About…

…why this site, what spins my crank?

1995_Venturi_400GT1

Sports GT cars have been my passion since a young boy. I remember from a very young age excitedly asking my dad about such rare sights as a red and black Austin Healey residing near home, an MGA, a Morgan and even a Goggomobile Dart I saw pictures of! I particularly liked different sports and GT cars, and limousines of special interest.

When in my 20’s I was instrumental in setting up the Sports Car Club of New Zealand Inc. As Secretary I wrote and produced most of the club’s Sports Car Talk magazines in the first 12 years of its existence. There were other publications such as membership and technical directories which were more than just bare lists, and three 128 page magazines published under the title of Sports Car Talk Special Edition.

In 2010 I decided to research material for the club magazine article on Matra, starting at the beginning with René Bonnet and the cars leading up to the Matra D’jet. I sent it to my long time proof reader, David Cass, who’d proofed our special edition magazines back in the 1980’s. After giving it the once over David commented “there’s a book to be written here Richard, there is nothing much on this subject in English”. So encouraged, I took some well needed time off work but ended up spending over two years living in my motorhome, buying books and magazines from France via the ’net, and really getting into it. In the end, dwindling resources sent me back to work late 2012, and since then I have written very little.

CCMI-MatraLaser-007

My approach has been to provide as much information about each car as I could, from history, personalities to design and engineering, as it is unlikely that many if any of them will ever be written about again in English.

I would have liked to published what I have written as Volume 1 of a series books on the subject, but my big concern is that there are many ‘borrowed’ photos contained within, many from unknown sources and quite possibly some of which payment for use is expected.

For me this offered a two-fold problem. I am not an internet junkie and especially in the early days I’d just gather material as I could find it – actually it took some time before I got proficient at finding suitable material – it seems there is an art in this; often, when I’d go back to relocate some information or photos, the material was ‘gone’. And even when there was a name attached to the photo, I didn’t know what to do about that with regard to making contact. My second problem is that this has been a labour of love, and has cost me considerably through lost work time that I am unlikely to ever recover. Consequently, no funds to fund photos. And hence my reason for presenting the material this way, through the net, direct to enthusiasts, so if need be I can remove a photo and hopefully find another in its place, or add a photo credit.

Mega-Monte-Carlo_1

It has taken me a long time to find the best way of presenting these articles, but friends who had used WordPress encourage me to learn how to use this medium. After a long time deferring the matter, here it is, my first attempt at making my articles available to the enthusiast public. In the long term I would quite like to add a PayPal link for those who’d like to support my continued pursuit of this subject – I have many more articles in waiting..

Sincerely, Richard

1953 Gordini Type-24S

photos in order:  Venturi  400 GT1,   Matra Lazer by Michelotti,                     Mega Monte-Carlo,   Gordini Type 24S

 

 

 

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One thought on “About…

  1. Bravo Richard!, I am Guy Mismaque s, the creator of the 60’s Squal s cadet son and I want to thank you for your work : ). the genesis you present of my father s car the Squal before it was born in 1960 seems more accurate than most descriptions I read in french. 7 or 8 models were made. Simca got bought over by chrysler to crash not long after hmmm. And citroen gave its word to provide my father with engines and my grand father (a vet) but they never honored their word and this was taken for a major betrayal. They were more confortable making ds or grand pa s cars at the time and jumped in the 21st cent.only 5 years ago with new Young designers. France failed considering the sportscar market which went to the brits, italians, germans ands japs with success. I ll talk to my father who is 82 today and my brother who is a busy satellite components engineer to check what information and rather old pics we can send you… Iam a film writer and greenie Garden maker. I m aware this very light car was already very ahead of its time then , in particular for its light gaz consumption and excellent weight / power ratio & aerodynamics (and floating capacity on flooded roads). During a road trip of my parents to 1963 Spain and Portugal, people were calling from village to village to check the Squal s arrival, they had never seen such a thing airing slightly above the crops fields, almost invisible. The weat was blown away as the Squal was passing through leaving a trail above the blond fields…oh oh!! …Dad s going to be happy about your article… A french cars collector saved the last Squal from wreck, invested a lot of money to have it running on raceways. This one has been changed but the original Squal concept would deserve descendants in a todays way. Thanks Kiwis… Le bonjour en Nouvelle-Zélande! Franck Mismaque elephantpapillon@hotmail.fr

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