During life, friendships and acquaintances develop and fade over time and some of these relationships can have a far reaching effect within our personal and professional lives far beyond what we think in the present is imaginable. The friendships don't necessarily have to be particularly strong or close for a small gesture of kindness or a spoken word from someone nearby to have life changing effects. Many years ago one such gentleman by the name of Mike Webb who owned a traditional filling station/MG dealership near Cirencester started helping me in various ways whilst racing one of my MG's. Helping me with trailer hire, fuel/oil costs and general technical help whilst developing the car into a faster beast was to prove invaluable.
His nature was of a quiet friendly man who only ventured from his garage to the aid of a broken down car some where or his occasional trips to speedway, his own favorite sport! I was once told by another friend of mine that "Mike thought a lot of me" which filled me with pride....(Mike was nearly forty years my senior and what he thought exactly of this young man trying to make his under dog race car into a winner, working to the early hours of the morning... God only knows) Mike Webbs garage must of contained every BMC part & part catalog ever produced, old tools bicycles, motor cycles and 1960's diagnostic equipment littered every corner! I eventually rented a property from Mike and spent many a evening with him and his wife watching the snooker or whatever sport was on at the time.
About six years ago Mike sadly passed away and the church was standing room only as it would appear that most of Cirencester was there to pay its respects and his garage which was famed locally for being chock full of cars to the point of them being parked on the road side in various states of disrepair was slowly tidied up by the family and the remaining work force slowly got to grips with running the business with out Mike. Forward the clock some five years and a chance conversation with his daughter led me to a car under a blue sheet, that being a 1955 Aston Martin DB 2/4 3 Ltr! I was astounded that this gem had been hidden away right under my nose for all those years.
The car had been purchased back in the late sixties by Mike's father with a blown head gasket....The intent was to put the car back on the road when he retired but Mike was never really going to retire he loved too much what he did so there it sat for over forty years hidden and therefore remaining beautifully preserved, no repairs/welding/retrims...as it left the factory all save for ten years worth of work..... Spring forwards to 2014 and CCCR was approached by a media company looking for a story to which I mentioned the 2/4 they came filmed and all was forgotten until two weeks ago when I am alerted by multiple sources that this car and its story has gone viral on the web! World wide fame for a car that hardly anyone new existed for so long! The car is for sale now with restoration/or not ready for the next chaptor in its life ironically all the more special for it being neglected for so long. I hope Mike approves of the fame that his old Aston Martin has achieved and I hope this car keeps alive the memory of him and his unique garage and the rarities that were in it.
The DB 2/4 Cylinder head sat on the old garage work bench surrounded by old tools