There’s another X Files movie in the cinema with the tag line “The truth is out there”, that might well be correct, with all the possible truths presented to us, how on earth would you know which one was THE TRUTH. Russia invades South Ossetia to deal with Georgian ethnic cleansing or Russia invades South Ossetia in order to increase its control of the region. In the past the history books always gave us a version of the truth to believe in. The winners write the history books. Today just as your washing machine, or even your toaster has more computing power than the Apollo landing craft, we have more information at our fingertips than ever before. Five minutes on a computer will tell you anything you want to know about any subject. The only problem is the chances are that what you read will be distorted to suit a particular agenda and it always gives rises to doubt about the voracity of that particular truth. The other morning I was listening to a cancer charity arguing the postcode lottery over the provision of cancer drugs. One local authority allowing 97% of the applications, whereas the neighbouring local authority allowed none of the applications, a persuasive and passionate argument which was then slightly tarnished by the assertion that all of the research had been financed by the cancer drug industry. The implication being that by creating public unrest over the decisions there would be pressure to allow more cancer drug treatment which would increase the profits of the cancer drug industry. The charity involved was a small charity that couldn’t raise funding any other way and it was obvious the spokesman was hurt by the implication that they were just giving information to suit the commercial interests of the sponsors of the research.
On a more personal level, I have recently been driving a Type 54, 5-litre Grand Prix car, the history books label it as “The Widowmaker” in fact to such an extent that when I told my daughter that I was going to be driving the car at Prescott she was upset that I was putting myself in such mortal danger. Obviously I wasn’t, the cars only go as fast as you press the pedal and on driving the car I found it was, okay a handful, no where near as balanced as the Type 35 Grand Prix car, but it certainly didn’t feel any more dangerous than something like the 8 CTF Maserati. I was really looking forward to the chance of developing the car for next year, but unfortunately, as is the way with important Bugattis, it sold last week. So next year I will be bereft of the Type 54. However we still have the 54 here for the time being and it was one of the stars of the show of our latest open day last weekend where we had over a hundred people turn up to look at the workshop and hear about the developments planned for the next couple of years. Firstly, the expansion of our engineering department to allow us to manufacture crankshafts, con rods, pistons and camshafts as we’ve found that in order to keep to the tight deadlines which are demanded by customers who have events booked well in advance, we need a certain flexibility on delivery. Something which unfortunately our current suppliers in these areas cannot accommodate. In order to justify these investments we will have to take on customer work but we intend to stick rigidly to the vintage and historic market and not be distracted by the lure of touring cars or even compressors. The other major event is travelling to America in 2010 when Bugatti is the featured marque at Laguna Secca. This time we are going to try and cram as many events into a six or eight week period as we can. We will be dedicating a page to it on our website so as the plans and costs firm up you will be able to see on line. I think it is going to be a once in a lifetime trip. Once again because of a full summer the trialing season is rushing upon us with the Welsh now only eight weeks away. Having spent the summer paddling about in the rain I am sure that the Welsh Weekend will be dry, sunny and hot. The trusty Model A has received a bit more development work over the summer, while Mags has been hill climbing and driving the Brescia. Given the weather at Prescott, getting out of the camping field was like a trial, so she’s been keeping her hand in.
So as the summer starts to wind down, with just Cadwell left, Goodwood is not having a Brooklands race this year. The high spot of the summer has got to be those few meetings in the Type 54, one of which was the Chalmondeley Pageant of Power. On the radio round here at the moment there’s an advert for a local health club, which is one voice extolling the virtues of the club, while another one talks over saying “now you’ve told everybody that’s going to really spoil it”. Chalmondeley was very much pitched as being the Goodwood of the North, and in many ways it reminded me of the early Goodwood Festivals, a good mix of cars, terrific atmosphere, not a huge crowd, but knowledgeable and obviously enjoying the event including the boats, watching those boats cornering at something like 3G, they were pretty impressive. I didn’t do the festival this year and it’s likely I won’t be at the Revival, but I won’t miss it because as Goodwood has become more popular, for me it lost the charm that it had in the early years. I thought I was jaded from doing the same thing year on year, but actually after doing Chalmondeley, I realised how much things had changed over the years, so a bit like the radio ad., it’s really good but don’t tell everybody! I will be interested to read the reports in the press over the next few weeks of the event, as the weather certainly didn’t help, with lots of rain. All I will say is that the truth is out there, but the best way to find out is to see for yourself next year.