Part Two – 1981- 1999
Ford Escort Mk 4 XR3i (black) [Jane]
Jane soon realised she liked to have a bit of power under her right foot and upgraded to the Escort XR3i.
Jaguar XJS (white) Reg: ONV 146P
Sarah and friend with it outside
her grandparent’s house
Business progress and Jane’s car choice, liberated me to have something a bit more out there. It is interesting that it got much more attention (shown in to parking spaces at calls for example), much more than the BMWs below, yet cost me a fraction of the cost.
It was horribly unreliable needing constant re-tuning of the carburation side. It also had one major flaw, when I parked it at a service station and Toby, our cavalier King Charles spaniel, was tracking left to right across the front seats while I filled up, and he stepped on the lock button. I had left the keys inside the car. Many minutes of luring him left and right in the hope he’d step on that button again failed. Jane had to bring me the spare keys from home.
BMW 635csi (red) – the first to wear the Reg: RSD 800
Micronet 800 and Prism led to us making some personal money and I went all-in with this BMW 635 csi – at the time my dream car. I bought the personalised plates RSD 800 for £595 to celebrate Micronet being sold to EMAP. But the dream turned nightmare because it was so frisky (later models added ABS to stop that). I had lost it twice, and then Jane, with the kids and Toby, lost it under an artic. Fortunately the shell meant they were all OK, though Toby jumped out the back window and we never found him again.
Porsche 924 (red) Reg: JUL 11W
Jane changed her car for a Porsche.
BMW 735 (silver) Reg: RSD 800
I next went for the 735 because it had ABS and all the trimmings though it was not as agile and speedy, or head-turning as the 635.
BMW 520i (blue) Reg: RSD 800
Prism had an unfortunate end and I joined Granada TV Rentals as their Retail Controller, to run a six-month project that tested them making retail offers alongside their rentals. I ran the 735 for a while but then changed it for a BMW 525i. At the end of the project they appointed me as General Manager for their Business Services Division based out of Aylesbury.
VW Golf GL (silver) [Jane]
Reg: WTM 276E
Jane and me in Switzerland
with her Golf
We used Jane’s Golf to travel down through France, to Italy and back through Switzerland and the Black Forest.
BMW 325 (dark blue) Reg: RSD 800
While at Granada I became involved with satellite receivers, seeking to get Granada the roll-out business for the new satellite racing hardware in bookies offices. They needed an independent installation company to install dishes and so I set that up as Vista Satellite.
We had great early installations at Brighton Marina and Canada House, and the EMEA division of Marriott Hotels. Then I became associated with Anglo Atlantic Entertainments, to jointly form Vista Entertainments PLC and sought funding on the Unlisted Securities Market. We offered 3,000,000 shares of 5p at 12p to raise £360,000 before expenses and commissions. The offer was issued to close on 19Oct1987 – which would become immortalised as Black Monday as the financial markets crashed worldwide, as we made money!
BMW 525i (silver) Reg: RSD 800
Mitsubishi L300 Camper (white) Reg: A489 MBH
Having the touring bug we swapped my car for a camper, nicknamed Hugo, because ‘h’you go’ wherever you like in it. The middle pic is Jane at a site in France. We took a six-week trip going down the French west coast, across the north of Spain , then right down the Portuguese coast, and along Spain’s southern coast, where we passed the delectably named Playa de Poo in that third pic. Then mooched back up the through the centre of France.
Toyota Supra 3000 Turbo (maroon)
Reg: RSD 800
Toyota MR2 (blue) [Jane]
Having got campers out of our system we jumped back into more interesting cars, without meaning to, we both went Toyota. I was launching the Activity Breaks Show, sadly it had to be abandonned when the Gulf War put an end to long-haul trips. Matt and I went for a driving day at The Forest Experience, who was signed up as an exhibitor, and took the Toyota up to exceed 130mph. This was on a lovely decending dual carriageway in mid-Wales – fastest I have ever achieved in a car – in my defence it was perfectly dry and there were no other road users – and the statute of limitations is well exceeded. Of course Matt later trumped that as a member of his biker 200 mph Club (off-road on monitored airstrips).
Vauxhall Viva Estate (white)
Vauxhall Astra (white)
I got head-hunted to join News International Exhibitions to launch LIVE! the Consumer Electronics Show and was back in the business of company cars, with offices next to Tower Bridge. The first car they gave me looked as if it had been used by every News of the World reporter on stake-out, it reaked of smoke and looked generally pretty unsavoury.
But they soon switched this for a newish Viva Estate. The most I remember of the Astra was that I came back to Bedford Railway Station, got in and realised something was wrong. But I couldn’t immediately work out what, until I realised that there was no steering wheel, someone had tried to break the steering lock by yanking the wheel and it had sheared off. I found it, thrown on the back seat. The AA arrived and gave me a mole wrench to grip the steering spline and drive it home!
Vauxhall Cavalier (red)
Clearly New International had a deal with Vauxhall, because they next supplied me with this Cavalier.
Renault Clio (green) [Jane]
Reg: N785 PDG
Peugeot 206cc convertible (grey) [Jane]
LIVE! was sold to Blenheim and our offices to Chiswick. We moved into town, Fulham, and Jane downgraded to more sensible city cars. First to this Clio, which we later gave to Matt when he’d had his (uinsured) car stolen. We replaced it with the Peugeot .
Toyota RAV 4 (red)
We moved back to our roots, Redland in Bristol, as I did various events and consultancies, but then took the role as Commercial Director at the Royal Bath & West in Shepton Mallet. Naturally I went for the RAV4 to enable me to traverse the showground’s acres. We then moved out into East Harptree, Somerset near Chew Magna lake,bought some good walking boots, then Foot & Mouth struck and all routes were closed.
BMW Z3 (dk blue) [Jane] Reg: RSD 800
Jane, now free of London conditions, reverted to type and went for the BMW Z3. Here it is shown outside Redland.