these days, of course, you’d just put a post on some forums but gathering a crowd was more complex then. I called the MG Car Club and was amazed to be put in touch with Don, with a cheery: “I’m sure he’d love to come bring his V8 roadster”. So, my first contact with Don was to phone him, cold, and effectively ask him if he could come and stand up to Jeremy Clarkson!
He couldn’t have been nicer and it was obvious, even on the phone, that he totally ‘got’ the idea of the filming and would enter into it in the right spirit. I thought having someone so instrumental in the design of the MGB, which let’s face it, is the archetypal British sports car, perhaps even the archetypal classic car, was a great idea. Don stood up to Jeremy, though, and in fact was too good! His contribution ended up on the cutting room floor because he presented too convincing a case. Afterwards I was able to have a few minutes to chat with him and actually ask him about SRX 210, my ‘Uncle Ted’s’ (Lund) Le Mans car. I’d always sort of vaguely assumed that it had been wind tunnel tested in some way but Don licked his thumb and held it in the air as if testing the wind before saying “no, there wasn’t the time or the money for that. We just made it look right and it achieved pretty much exactly the speed Syd (Enever) had predicted.” Famously, of course, Ted Lund and Colin Escott won the 2-litre class at Le Mans in 1960, an enormous achievement in an era when MG were not officially allowed to race. The win was much aided by Don and Syd’s innate ‘feel’ for aerodynamics, which gave the car the performance it needed on the Mulsanne straight.