3 months ago

Motoring Miscellany part 1 - Pages 1 to 7

Motoring Miscellany part 1 - Pages 1 to

Motoring Miscellany by Rodney Kettel There is no doubt as one becomes older memories can fade and it is also a truism that we recall the past with nostalgia! I thought as I approach my 75 th birthday in fine fettle, (like my cars), it would be fun, at least for me, to record some 70 years of my motoring enjoyment. So turning the clock back to 1948, where did it all start? Another debate is what impacts our lives – Nature or Nurture? I am in little doubt in my case Nurture was the main influence. The Nurture influence came from my Father – a bit of background. Father, Rex Kettel, who was affectionately known as Pop, did not have a motoring background but as a child he loved cycling. He had great balancing abilities to do clever tricks such as riding backwards, on the cross bar and handle bars, teaching these fun and show off skills to me and my brother Chris, which helped us to win our school’s Slow and Obstacle Bike Races! ammunition factory at Standish - his contribution to the conflicts! At that time he had a Singer Le Mans and would recount how in the early war years he would commute to and from Wigan in the Singer often at night time with slit headlamps making the journey challenging! When my parents returned to Sutton Coldfield in 1945, Pop still had the Singer but also a Citroen Light 15. As a 4 to 5 year old, I vaguely remember both those cars and recall watching my parents competing in the Singer at SUNBAC and HDCC (Hagley & District Car Club) driving tests. The Citroen was something special and quirky - before becoming a Maigret icon! Pop graduated from bicycles to a succession of motor bikes competing in teenage years in National School Boys Trials which culminated in winning a Gold Medal Award. I know little about Pop’s early cars other than as a young man he had a great interest in motor racing which included pre-war visits to Brooklands. One eventful occasion was witnessing the drama of the Auto Unions at Donington Park in 1937. At the VSCC Red Meeting in 2000 when these magnificent cars appeared for demonstration runs. Pop commented they were disappointing compared to the real thing! Pop competed in pre-war car trials in both an HRG and a Singer and was a friend of C A N May, author of ‘Wheelspin’ and other books, who was immensely successful in those competitions. My parents married in 1939 and initially lived in Sutton Coldfield and then Wigan, where I was born in 1943, as Pop was responsible until 1944 for the production of an IMI

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