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Raj spent all his pocket money as a child on classic car magazines, even before he could read he loved staring at cars and studying their beautiful shapes. The first sportscar he remembers is a silver Porsche 930 911 Turbo which he was pictured with in Spain at the age of four. Raj is a sponge when it comes to car details and has honed a skill of being able to identify cars at night – purely from their tail lights. Raj is consumed with knowing more about cars, experiencing different cars and visiting great roads around the world. Raj is an ex investment consultant that studied actuary before embarking on writing about the investment potential of choice sportscars. Raj holds a National B Race License and is addicted to the ‘Ring.
‘Here are the keys to my £20 million pound Ferrari, now make it look even more beautiful.’ Richard has turned mundane cars into magnificent, ordinary cars into ‘oh my’ cars. It is Richard’s extraordinary attention to detail that has gained him a clientele of some of the most important car collectors, exclusive classic car dealers and even global car manufacturers. Following more than 20 years of constant research and development, Richard has even released his own ‘Perfection Valet Wax’.
A German born, ‘Ring addict that has been a car buff from before he can remember. He worked his way through a couple of budget Italian cars, a lively mk1 MX5 and no less than two Clio 172s before finally arriving at the peak of German motor engineering, BMW M cars. To keep his current M3 in tip top shape and full of fuel for the ‘Ring requires Thomas to work in Asset Management by day.
It started with an Italjet 50cc motorbike at age 4, then came bigger bikes, quads and tractors until I was finally allowed to hit the road. First up a Mini Cooper (a proper one) and each car swap since has resulted in an increase in power. Nearly 20 years later the Cooper’s 62bhp has blossomed into 507bhp by way of the monstrous E60 M5. My automotive church is a house of many religions however as nestled along side the M5 is a Peugeot 306 Rallye for the odd track day an B road jaunt and an E46 M3 Convertible which is just perfect for the British summer, both days of it! When not watching the F1, taking European road trips, heading to LeMans with the boys, scouring the classifieds for the next sports car bang for buck bargain, reading the motoring press or attempting to detail my car (@perfectionvalet help!) I am soaking up as much family time as I can.
I’m not entirely sure how I was first bitten by the car bug, but I do know I’ve been obsessed with cars since the age of six or thereabouts. Throughout the years I’ve owned a fair amount of the motoring greats, to name a few;
’90 Peugeot 205 GTi 1, ’01 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO VI TME, ’05 BMW M5 ’05 Lamborghini Murcielago, ’09 Ferrari Scuderia, ’10 Porsche 997 Gen2 Turbo, ’10 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG and ’14 Lamborghini Performante Edizione Technica. I don’t just let them sit collecting dust in the garage either. Car are to be used and enjoyed. I organise an annual trip to the Isle of Man during TT week with a bunch of supercar friends. Hitting that TT mountain road course with no speed limits and closed one way to traffic is something every petrolhead needs to do in their life. We also organise an annual drive down to Marbella through Spain and hire the Ascari Race Resort where we can really make our cars fly in the most incredible backdrop. There are still a number of cars I want to own and experience over the next few years, namely the Aventador, 991 GT3RS, 991 Turbo S and McLaren 650s Spider.
Some people say your earliest memories can shape your life. For me, it’s a smell. Not perfume; fabric conditioner or soap but petrol mixed with a dash of oil. Before being out of nappies and very happily ensconced in my first set of wheels (a pushchair), I was regularly travelled to various car auctions in the middle of England. Soaking up the cocktail of smells and apparently bidding on my first car at the age of four meant I was a petrol head with the stuff in my lungs as well as blood. The quality of cars I was used to as a child meant they took on a personality that thankfully I haven’t found since. Arriving at our destination wasn’t always guaranteed. The resulting familiarity of the inside of an AA truck was most exciting and I grew very strong in my early teens thanks to pushing approximately 1200 kg’s of rusting metal fast enough for it to be jumped into life. Fast forward to today and I feel generously privileged to have my 500+bhp, over-boosted Datsun tucked away in the garage, used on track as often as possible. My E46 M3 daily feels quite the luxury barge in comparison! If it has wheels, I’ll be inextricably drawn to it!
For a confirmed petrolhead, Martin hasn’t had a very inspiring car history. He acquired a new Golf GTi 16v back in 1997 and promptly got a new job the City of London and has travelled mostly by train ever since. The GTi only managed around 35K miles in the following 15 years. In 2009 however, he realised a long term dream and built a Caterham Superlight R300 which has been tweaked and upgraded ever since. The perfect weekend antidote to the miserable commuter’s existence. His next goal is to restore a sports/race car from the year of his birth and maybe enter it at the Goodwood Revival one day. So if anyone has a 1968 GT40 rusting away in an old barn that they don’t want, do get in touch.
Richard ‘Jackal’ Morris
A devout petrolhead for over 20 years now, trackdays since 1993, yearly european roadtrips and a commercial car photographer on my days off from retailing and distributing Highend Audio. Over the decades I have moved through all sorts of circles from the Lotus fraternity to Blatchat, French hatches, Japanese cars and more recently very much addicted to all things Porsche. The Ferrari and Mclaren phase will surely come but one thing is for certain, 911’s will stay with me till the grave. Cars and this great hobby of ours has enriched my life to a point where words can no longer express it. So many adventures, moments and great people. My wider motto though remains constant: ‘life, the unfolding of the self’
Welsh boyo and farmers son, learnt to drive a tractor when I was 8 and been driving cars since I was 10. Growing up in the wilds of North Wales gives plenty of time for B-road driving across some of the best roads in the UK, with my Clio Trophy being the weapon of choice. Motorsport and trackdays or anything to do with engines and racing, whether it’s on the side of a wet Welsh rally stage, on the banking at a race circuit or in a pit garage.
I grew up interested in race cars from a young age, and from my youth followed Formula one, and the Indianapolis 500. I was aware of Jim Clark, Andretti, and my favorite F1 cars were the mid/late 60’s era. The movie “Grand Prix” was a pivotal moment for me. I first watched it in Cinerama, when my Mom took me. Cinerama was the old equivalent of the current IMAX. I was enthralled! My first car however, was an old 1940 Plymouth that my parents had sitting around. That was my first foray into learning how to take apart and modify cars. I did a head gasket replacement on the old flathead six, welded up my own custom exhaust system with glasspak mufflers on the car, and in the great American tradition “cruised the ave” in it.Unfortunately, the old flathead could not withstand the 70+ mph runs on the freeway I was pushing it to, and it was my first spectacular engine failure! After that, started rebuilding my engines and modding various Fords, including an iconic ’66 Mustang Fastback 2+2. 4-wheel drive vehicles occupied my time for many years after, with a small break to drive a delightful MGB-GT, then back to off-roading again. The E30M3 has been in my possession for the last 18 years, and has occupied/and satisfied most of my car adventures during that time. I also love Motorcycles, owning a 2001 Harley/Davidson Dyna Wide Glide, and I both love and fly planes as well.
Michael (www.lightsniper.de) is a passionate german photographer who loves to capture the beauty that surrounds him. So it was only a matter of time until he arranged a photo shooting with his friend Christian an his beloved and well-groomed DeLorean. One day when Christan has finished his flux-compensator they will meet again for a second shooting…
My mom bought a new 325e in 1985 and I was in awe of the car. Having a power sunroof, power windows and on-board computer was a big deal back then. The car was just so smooth and classy compared to other cars of the time. It was really the beginning of my infatuation with the E30. I ended up buying it when I turned sixteen in 1993 and immediately started modifying it. I made friends with a couple of BMW Master technicians who had opened their own shop and worked there as an intern. It was there where I gained a lot of knowledge and experience with these cars. In 1998 it was rear ended and I set out to buy an E30 M3. As luck would have it, I found a Lachssilber M3 locally for a great price. I bought it and drove it daily for four years before picking up an 88 325iS for daily driver duty. As a college student I couldn’t afford to keep the 325iS so I sold it and got a Honda CRX Si B16. When I graduated, I replaced the CRX with a BMW E39 528i sport. I then later added a 91 M Technic convertible in Macao blue and the 89 Alpineweiss M3. Over twenty years I have watched the BMW E30 scene grow into what it is today and I still remain an active member.
Ben is a long-life car and motorsport fan. Brought up in the 80s, he has a love for 4 wheels that only death will dissolve. After leaving the UK for south east Asia, and a 2 door coupe for a 4 door hatchback 7 years ago, he now gets his kicks racing in the maddened rush around the back streets of Thailand against tuk-tuks and motorcycle taxis, some of the time coming out victor, some of the time left crying in shame at the side of the road in a pool of his own tears. Ben currently drives a Fiesta Sport with the facial imprint of a motorcycle taxi driver in the nearside rear door, but that won’t dampen his spirits; it’s bright red after all. Alongside work he co-manages Omega Racer, is an admin on the ITR-DC2 forum, occasionally takes on freelance SEO contracts and watches way too much F1.
Born and raised in Southern California can turn anyone into a car enthusiast. I have been into cars for as long as I can remember. I have always been a fan of German cars especially Mercedes and Porsche. I own a Harley Davidson motorcycle only because Porsche built the engine. You know you’re a car nut when you wake up at 5:00 am on a Saturday morning to go look at cars parked in a parking lot or meet up with a bunch of complete strangers just to go for a drive. Only a car nut.
I’ve always liked the notion of having fast cars but until I got older priorities and money meant I only played with the hot hatches as a youngster. The most lively being a 205 GTI 1.9 which had brittle build quality but was a great car to nip about in. I’ve progressively upped the power and performance of every car, progressing through 4wd cars; Mazda6 MPS, Evo X FQ330SST and on to the GT-R. When my lads got old enough to have fast cars I relived my youth by helping them get some nice cars that we share and use today the best being a (fettled with) Cayman R. At my age and level of fitness driving and track days are the only activities that I can really compete with them in now and we do attend a number of driving events. These range from Palmer Sports days (which are fantastic) through to the obligatory Ring, SPA and British track days which are the best ways to enjoy performance cars “safely”. Ideally in my dream garage I’d have some exotic (Mclaren 650), a Caterham, an M3 (or 5) but there would also be a GT-R. There are many WTCC, BTCC and F1 drivers that have modded personal GT-R’s and that speaks volumes.
I have a passion for cars, their noise, shape, and performance. The SLK 55 AMG I own is being enjoyed. Have had Westfields for the past 20 years, but latest evolution is making progress, Rover has come out, and the LS2 is in. Next job is to do the plumbing and wiring. The carrot at the end of the stick (should I need one) is to do a road trip across Europe in it. Rough route will be ferry to Bilbao, drive through Pyrenees, Andorra. Spending some time in southern France, before going through Alps to northern Italy. Before returning via friends in Switzerland.
A Latin American corporate lawyer, cigar & whisky fan and Aston Martin enthusiast. He has been to the Aston Martin factory twice, and is part of the Aston Martin Owner’s Club, even though in his country of residence, club meetings are non-existent (mainly because a gathering of three or four individuals would not qualify as a club meeting). He has taken his V8 Vantage to the track more than once, where he realized how awesome the car was, and how rubbish he was as a pilot. His other passions are his one year old daughter, his wife, his dog and Lagavulin 16YO accompained by a Partagás Serie E.
David RS Smith
In the interest of full disclosure, Dave is from a Ford family, his father owned several mk2 Escorts and also a Sapphire Cosworth. His brother had a series 2 Escort RS Turbo. Having this strong Ford background led him to fall in love with all RS Fords. Dave is a motorsports nut, watching Colin McRae in the WRC Focus in the early 2000’s made him aspire to having a rally car for the road.
Having owned various VW’s for the last twenty years, Alan is a true fan of the marque. Alan has owned a VW Golf R32 Mk IV since new and has performed various modifications to it to improve its essence, including fitting a supercharger, coilover and Porsche 911 996 Turbo front brake callipers. Alan is also a keen photographer, his photos were featured in Issue Three of MotorStars, alongside his stunning R32. Check out some of his photos on his dedicated website here.
Andy ‘Hof’ Villiers
If it’s good enough for Ironman, then it’s good enough for Andy! Andy has long been a fan of super cars and his desire started before he was 10 having a large poster of a Lamborghini Countach on his wall. As soon as he started earning he set up a savings account especially to purchase the car of his dreams. Twenty four years later and the release of the Audi R8, a 2.5 year old V8 model was within reach. Use his savings as a deposit on a house, you must be mad! Some bucket list items have to be fulfilled and the R8 was right up there at top of the list. Passion for a machine in a package that appeals to the heart rather than the head seems a bit alien to an accountant, but once you’ve set your heart on something there seems no stopping the desire.