In late July 1970, Ginger called home one evening and asked if I would like to spend my holidays with him helping out. I jumped at the chance and he said to book time off for three weeks on the following dates. He subsequently arrived at our parent’s home shortly after and I got Bob Grafham to come over to see us.
Ginger had previously dropped off a Porsche 910 in Leamington Spa, in the English Midlands, which was having a special body built and fitted to it that Richard Broström had designed. Ginger asked Bob if he wanted to come and help and he said yes, provided it was no longer than a week maximum. So we all set off to visit the factory in Leamington Spa and meet the owner Roy and his wife Pauline.
When I first saw the Porsche 910 Special it was completely stripped of its body shell down to its tubular aluminium chassis. Roy showed us the moulds he had just finished and part of our job was to help fit the new body shell once it was made. Making and fitting the new body took the best part of a week and Richard Broström flew in to see the finished car the following weekend.
Richard invited Roy and his wife Pauline along with us to dinner. We all met at the most prestigious Chinese restaurant in the centre of Leamington Spa and when Roy and Pauline arrived, Richard asked who was looking after their 6-month-old child? They said they had a friend sitting in at their home and then conversation turned to cars and other matters. Roy had whispered to Ginger that he needed to go out to their car parked outside the restaurant to check on their baby, as they had left their baby in their car! When Roy left, Richard sensed something was wrong and enquired if all was well? Ginger then said they could not get a babysitter at the last minute, so they had left the baby in the car outside of the restaurant. Richard completely blew up upon hearing this and stormed out after Roy and told him to bring the baby in its carry basket into the restaurant. The restaurant manager came over and said the baby was not allowed and Richard promptly started talking to him in Cantonese or whatever. There were a few minutes of heated exchange and the baby stayed with us and we had our meal. Richard was not a person you said no to, and he was very intelligent, cultured and spoke a number of languages fluently. He doted over the baby all night and told Roy and his wife off in no uncertain terms.
Back at Richard’s hotel we all had coffee together after Roy and his family had left. Richard asked us, “Do you want to come to Sweden and Denmark with us?” I said, “I would love to” but Bob made his apologies, as he had not booked any more holidays from Hawker Siddley. I did not have enough holidays myself, but I knew I had to find some excuse to take the additional time off, but that was a problem for later on.
Richard said his goodbyes and told us he would see us in Karlskoga, Sweden for the first race with the new Porsche 910 Special the following weekend.
The following morning we collected the Porsche 910 Special from Roy’s factory and drove the Chevy van towing Porsche 910 Special on it’s trailer, back to our family home in Hounslow. Bob headed off to his parents and I said I would see him on my return from Scandinavia.