The latest from Eric's blog
You know where you are with Anders Ditlev Clausager. Meticulous research, clear writing, a keen eye for detail; I could not wait to get into his Wolseley: A Very British Car. Anders sums up Wolseley delightfully. “Only in Britain did cars such as Wolseley flourish – the up-market quality but non-sporting car of relatively modest size is a British phenomenon with few parallels anywhere else.”
Eight years is all we’ve got. Stanford University says there will be no petrol or diesel cars after 2025. We will all be in electrics and probably not even driving them. All our cars will be scrapped, only a handful of nostalgics will own one, car dealers will disappear and oil at £25 a barrel could make the economy unrecognisable.
While Pink Floyd was making its first albums I was watching films at Shell-Mex House in The Strand. Busy fitting words to moving pictures for BBC 2 Wheelbase and Thames TV’s long-running Drive-in programme, I wasn’t finding easy. Matching commentary to action was stopwatch stuff. Nothing electronic then. I was working with film on big reel-to-reel machines, or else providing words for “presenters” – witless actors often, on outside broadcasts. Yet it was exciting. It was, to me, new.
Teachers have no idea. Seventy years after he taught me English I am writing on my Jim Clark book, “To James K Scobbie.” It would probably make him uncomfortable. I sent him my 1970 Jackie Stewart book and he said I was his first former pupil to be an author. Scobbie was a big untidy man with a booming voice. He didn’t ever say I wrote well; he would only proclaim, “Find an essay subject Eric Dymock can’t bring cars into.”
Celebrate. The first Jim Clark books have arrived.
You can’t help feeling a bit pleased with yourself when you finally see the fruits of your labours and face the truth, the test of the real world, which is whether people will like it enough to go and buy one. It’s odd too how often, when you tell somebody you have written a book they say; “How long did it take you?” They never say, “How much does it cost and can I buy one?”
After farm tractors and rallies with the family Sunbeam Jim Clark went on to race his friend Ian Scott Watson’s DKW Sonderklasse. Ecurie Agricole was a breezy name for a Young Farmers’ motoring team and in June 1956 the pair drove to Crimond on the north-east tip of Aberdeenshire for a club race on an old airfield.