Questions from 45Bvtc
A nice sunny day, little or no traffic, just enjoying yourself as you would and the driver of the police vehicle that's just filled your rear mirror invites you to pull over. Having pulled over safely, and still wondering why, I'm persuaded to drop all 4-windows before the baton-toting police officer (hat or no hat) arrives at my door.
Q1) What preparation, if any, would you make?
Assuming the said officer is an attractive female in true reverse Cannonball Run opening style I’d simply unfasten the Velcro on my Alpinestars race suit (which of course I always wear to drive just in case this incident happens) and unzip the suit a little to reveal my medallion. Nature should take its course, I mean how could she resist, she is only human At the risk of mixing my film metaphors even better if this turns out to be a Cole Trickle truck stop moment from Days of Thunder…
Reverse this image, lovely Police lady sees me in the car and the ticket is soon forgotten, lol.
On the other hand if the officer is large, male and angry looking I’d switch on the Go Pro camera, I find them much more polite when a camera is running. Oh and I might just delete the live journey tracking histories from the live tracker too, just to be sure!
2) My first car was a 1955 Rover 60; it cost me £50, I kept it for a year, and sold it for £50.
Q2) What was your first car, why did you choose that particular car, how long did you keep it, and did you sell it for profit or loss?
My first car was just wheels to get me to and from RAF training, I bought a well-used Ford Orion 1.6 from my dad’s private hire firm. It had covered about 75,000 miles and was a bit leggy. I kept it for about 9 months, until I’d passed training and knew I had a confirmed job. I honestly can’t remember how much it cost or I sold it for! I was much more interested in flying machines back then.
Just a picture from the web...blimey it’s worse than I remember!
3) We enjoy eating at reputable establishments and are prepared to travel for the experience. Back in the 1972 we finished a set £50 set-lunch at the Waterside Inn, Bray, with a glass of Port. On checking the bill we found that the Port was £17 a glass, but even now was the most memorable glass of (edible) Port we've ever had, and we've certainly drunk lots since.
Q3) What is your most pleasurable cuisine experience?
I always find a quarter pounder satisfying after duelling the local Corsa’s round the golden M’s car park…loser buys, that’s saved me a few ££ over the years.
More seriously I don’t think there is one moment that stands out above all the rest but I’d probably have to say some the RAF dining in nights in the mess, not for the food but for the great company and some truly silly antics too. A few massive bar (and the occasional repair) bills followed too!
4) As an art student in the early 60's I visited the Courtauld Gallery in London to view their display of paintings by Paul Cézanne, one of which I found most stunning and remains a memorable moment.
Q4) What non-family related painting, picture, and/or photograph, has made a memorable impression on you.
For sure this. I grew up reading comics like Commando and it was WWII images like this one that really captured my imagination. I always wanted to be an RAF pilot growing up and no doubt it was images like this that made it so. Books like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piece_of_Cake_(novel) and later http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Good_Clean_Fight were my favourites at the time so hardly surprising the career I went on to follow for a few years at least.
Questions from Rs3copilot
As driving is obviously a passion -
1. What car did you learn to drive in?
A Fiat Panda, wow just look at that…:
This did not start my passion for cars…picture from the web, look at those seat covers, I can’t think why I didn’t take one of the actual learner car!
2. How old were you when you passed your driving test?
18, but actually back then I was more in to flying than driving. I could fly a plane before I could drive a car, this is my claim to fame when they ask those type of “what is something we don’t know about you?” questions!
3. Did you pass first time, if not, what did you fail on?
2nd time, the first time, after successfully parallel parking I then blew it by pulling out in front of another car when moving away…ooops!
4. What was your first car?
See John’s second question, don’t you two talk at home!?
5. How many cars have you had since then?
I did count this up a while back shockingly its 33 cars in 18 years…many of them at the same time we’ve usually run 2 road cars and a track car. The list includes 4 Pug GTi’s, 2 MX5’s, an MR2, 4 Subaru’s, 4 Honda’s, 3 Caterfield an Evo, 4 Cupra’s a special Renault and 3 Audi. Front, rear, 4wd and FF/FR/MR drive layouts, all good for learning different handling balance characteristics. Many more to come yet too!
6..How did you become a Wolves supporter?
Just a family thing, my dad was a Wolves supporter, closest ‘big’ club when I was growing up as a kid. Out of darkness cometh light. Up the Wolves. Being able to buy my dad a season ticket for his 60th birthday and going to the matches (I’d always lived too far away before that) was a great thing to be able to do. Enjoy the time you’ve got with people!
Question from Kelza
1. Mark come on whats the next car ,GTR ?
Yes the GTR next but you know I’m busy saving up my pennies in the hope that the McLaren P13 really is going to be around £120k. I might just be able to stretch to that in a couple of years and I’d love to own a McLaren!
Questions from Ghost
1. Name 3 members of ASN you'd like to meet and why
Sandra and Smillie13 would have to be top of the list as I think we share a similar outlook on life. They enjoyed this funny thread too What do the moderators, sponsors & infamous look like?
The other person well that would have to be Sidibear and his mum for both hunting and sartorial elegance tips. The random nonsense that putting user names in photobucket produces still makes me chuckle, especially this one.
2. Any 3 people from history you'd like to have met and why.
I think I’d link that in with John’s best dining experience and make this a dinner party. I’d invite Richard Feynman of Manhattan project fame because of his ability to say what needed to be said and not care what anyone else thought. James Hunt, racing legend and what a boy, he’d have some great stories to tell. Then someone from my world with Albert Ellis one of the creators of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, one of his favourite phrases was ‘musterbation’ (yes that is spelled correctly) how we all ‘must’ and ‘should’ on ourselves and make life more difficult than it need to be.
Oh and if you don’t know the link between the three they were a bit wild and liked the ladies so I think we’d have to invite each a lady friend for the night. I think Feynman would have liked Rachel Riley, Hunt and Willoughbooby, Ellis maybe Kelly Brook she certainly seems to need the help of a renowned sexologist. Oh and I suppose if I have to I’ll have Natalie Imbruglia along to accompany me!
Albert Ellis would have loved that Rachel Riley picture. This would be one fun dinner party, 2 bad boys and a sexologist renowned for his views on liberal sex and 3 gorgeous girls. What could go wrong?
How did I get all that from your question? No idea but hey there it is!
3. Which one of the Seven Dwarfs best describes you?
Well it has to be Happy! If you know what I do for a job you’ll understand, I work in the applied science of happiness. We help teach people who are already high functioning in life how they can be even happier, successful and enjoy life more. I often get asked “so are you happy”, so there you go all those people were clearly trying to tell me which Dwarf I am.
4. If you could pose a question yourself to MBK. What would it be..... And the answer.
So now you know I work in psychology, your question raises a bigger question for which we have to turn to Experimental Philosophy. Is there even a self or is it just an illusion created by the mind? If there is a self where can we find it? Are we just a collection of nerves and automatic reactions? Are we the same self when we get older? If you like that join my world and take a look at this on Edge.org where they explore the strange world at the frontier of science. Even I occasionally think about something other than cars!
Too deep an answer? Ok well then:
5. What was your favourite toy car as a kid?
This surely requires no further comment.
Questions from Daytona500 (ben)
1.What was your first performance car?.
First proper performance car I’d say was my Peugeot 205 1.6 GTi, what a great car in its day. That car started a Peugeot addiction for me. I owned three Peugeot 306 GTi-6 in a row during my time in Germany (the joys of Tax Free cars!) which included many trips to the ‘ring.
2.What car has been you're favourite that you've owned and for what reason?.
There are 2 I can’t split for favourite. My favourite ever road car was my brand new 1999 Subaru Impreza WRX Turbo 2000, I longed to own that car at the height of Colin McRae’s success. I was even offered Nicky Grist’s own used car to jump the waiting list. I decided to wait for the new car. I loved every minute of that car, turbo charged 208bhp felt like incredible power back then after the 150bhp Pug 306 GTi. There was nothing much to match the WRX at that tiume, it was winning performance car of the year awards against super cars. There was the whole feeling you got from, driving a Subaru at the time plus grip, ride and traction that were about perfect for the UK. £1100 insurance stung a bit though! I owned a few Subaru’s after that, all of them faster but none ever better than the original. It’s shocking to note how far cars have developed in the last 15 years because the RS3 was so much faster than the WRX in all conditions that is was almost unbelievable and in some ways a little sad that the memory of the WRX icon doesn’t quite stand up today.
My Turbo 2000 was a sliver one just like the car in the background of this picture, no blue paint or gold wheels, I waited for the STi for that.
The track car that has to be considered an equal is the Renault Megane R26.R, it really is a GT3RS for the rest of us. So capable on track, perfect to drive at the limit and capable of some truly quick lap times. I’ve never know a car give such clear feedback through the wheel. I did more track laps in this car than any other. If they build a Megane RS265.R I’ll buy one.
3.We all know you like a bit of track action, what is you're favourite circuit that you've driven on?.
In Wales it has to be Anglesey:
In the UK Cadwell Park, even though it truly scares me, this was a great fun day out in the Evo IX.
In Europe well it has to be the ‘ring, I only wish Go Pro cameras had been around when I used to go there in the Pug.
4.What was you're most memorable moment on track and which car were you in?.
Most memorable moment has to be this in the Megane R26.R playing with an Atom (3m30s onward for the spin)
Though to be fair this little duel (2m08s onward) between my standard S2000 and a supercharged Clio is right up there too. I do like a bit of touring car style action…
5.Where would you like to go for a weeks driving holiday anywhere in the world, what route would it consist of and in what car would you like to drive it in?.
Yes this route would actually work…
A week? It would have to be a European road trip Cannonball Run style with a bunch of other performance cars starting in London going to Belgium for a day at Spa, some early morning flat out Autobahn then a day at the Ring, next day at Hockenheim followed by a day on the Stelvio Pass. Next a day at Maranello just because I’d love to take the car I’ve chosen there…[I’m sure I’d learn a few new Italian words for ‘go away’ at the gate if nothing else] Down to Monaco for a few laps of the closed GP circuit and a special stage on the Col De Turini. Back up through France via Paul Ricard for some classic GP before the final track session on the Old Le Mans Circuit (without the chicanes) to vmax the car I’ve chosen to take on this epic trip.
Oh and the car:
It’s British and it’s brilliant, oh yes please.
Questions from Sandra.
1. Mark i will give you a budget of £75,000 what car would you buy?
At 75K there is only one choice for me, I love this picture from Evo a couple of years ago, mine isn’t arriving until the weather gets better.
2. If you could take any car on a track day, what would you choose? What track would you take it on?
Ariel Atom at Laguna Seca. As I’ve already had my P1 and track trip it would have to be the Atom through the corkscrew. I love Anglesey’s little tribute version of the corkscrew flowing down over the hill, it’s a great place to get all 4 wheels sliding. So to try the real corkscrew and have the guaranteed sun the Atom needs that would be an unforgettable track day. Another great British car too.
3. What is your favourite road to drive on, and why?
Our local mountain road, the A4059 from Hirwaun to Brecon is a great open mountain A road, glorious scenery, wide open visibility for overtaking and some challenging corners. This is my reference road I know a car will be great to drive if it performs well here. I’ve only had one run in with the wildlife, a sheep that took out the front left wheel of the Westfield, the sheep just got up and walked away, the Westfield took a bit more to repair.