Posted by: Paul | January 6, 2011

Pinch Me

I’m having one of those slightly surreal weeks, where I can’t quite believe events.

It’s been a bright start to the New Year – first that fun interview recording with Doug Nye on Monday, then a client called wanting a quote for a fairly large sounding chunk of work (still just a quote, not a done deal), and then I get a text yesterday morning about another interview so I had to drop everything and race back to almost where I conducted Monday’s recording – to meet the actual designer of the ‘ultimate supercar’ I recorded Doug speaking on!

Gordon Murray, designer of the McLaren F1, was a very nice chap. Busy man so I didn’t get to spend long in his company, but he was down to earth, affable, and humble about his great achievements in the field of automotive design. It says a lot that a car which is getting on for 20 years old now – it debuted in 1992 – is still so iconic, and has only been surpassed in terms of top speed by four other cars, and is still the fastest ‘naturally aspirated’ car in the world. Just don’t ask me what that means šŸ˜‰ Plus, though it’s the grand old age of 19, even now it looks like it’s just driven straight out of the future!

This week is the closest I’ll ever come to driving one of these things – spending time with two people who have. The man who actually designed it, and the man whom he fondly describes as ‘the foremost expert on motor racing history in the world’.

There’s also a funny personal connection here, which got me almost as excited as meeting the man himself. Back in the early years of Antenna, our CEO’s assistant left to join McLaren Cars as Gordon’s PA, and is still with him now as Head of Communications for his new firm. I haven’t seen her for more than ten years – and sadly she was off sick yesterday so we didn’t get to catch up! I’ve left a business card though. I dispense those things like Pez when I’m out and about meeting new people!


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