Around this time of year, my friend Jon Giacobi usually organises a get-together at the Guinea Grill in Mayfair for his ‘car mates’. It’s fun, but it gets packed with jostling city-boy revellers who seriously piss me off.
Anyway, this year we determined that the venue was losing its appeal and really we should be organising something down at my car shed. I agreed and left Jon to sort it out, except he thought I was ‘sorting it out’, which I wasn’t, and the upshot was that we found ourselves putting a party together at the last minute.
My partner Mia thrives on this kind of activity, so I pretty much left her to organise drinks, lighting, food etc while I cleaned the floor and made sure the car Feng Shui was correct; deciding which vehicles stayed inside and which went under the car-port.
I gave the 2800 CS a rub-down because it’s up on axle stands and is a fixture until the welding is done. Local lad Steve Wilce very kindly set up his disco lights and professional sound-engineering kit.
Mia doesn’t ‘get’ the Ro80 ("It's like a Maxi...") and was keen for it to be removed from its position outside the side doors, but I gave it a clean up, too (a wipe with WD40) and, even if she still doesn’t appreciate its significance, at least it looks pretty good. She will learn.
We set up the Scalextric to keep any kids happy, fired up the DVD projector and played the usual selection of cheesy tunes and film soundtracks. John Antonaki brought his Sound Gallery CDs: great stuff, although I thought people must have wondered why they were standing listening to the theme from Nationwide (the 1970s news magazine programme on BBC1, you’ll recall).
It all went off well on the night, although I was conscious that people were staying well wrapped up or huddling in my office to keep warm, which is hardly conducive to a party atmosphere. Still, we didn’t get rid of the last lot until nearly 3am so it must have gone decently enough.
As he left, Jon’s XJ-S was making so much white smoke that he could hardly see to reverse it. Head gaskets anyone?