One of my more adventurous trips was to motor up to watch Nick Faure at Croft in Yorkshire. Bill was always talking of the days of 356 motoring before Motorways and so I decided to motor to up to Croft without using any motorways.
I left home in London very early around 05.30 hours and my Porsche 356B was running beautifully. I was pushing on very hard at the time and probably doing around 85mph along a stretch of the A1, when I ran into a flock of crows, which were on the road in front of me. I had pushed my horn to disperse them and they all took flight, but to my utter surprise several hit my car.
I had done a fait bit of wind tunnel work in my days at Hawker Siddley, where we used to fire birds from a special gun at various velocities at the Harrier test planes to see what damage they could do, so I was well aware of the potential bird damage to my Porsche.
One of these flew directly at me and I instinctively put my arm up across my face to protect myself, even though I was safely in the car. It hit my windscreen very hard indeed and really frightened me at the time. There were a few other bangs on the front of the Porsche. I pulled into a lay-by and inspected my Porsche. There were two cracks across the windscreen from top to bottom, a broken headlamp glass and there was a little surface damage to the aluminium horn grill. I was very angry and a bit shaken up, but I motored on to meet up with everyone at Croft and had a good day racing.
Later in the week, I ordered up a new screen and headlamp glass from AFN and fitted this myself. The horn grill was bent back into shape and the bodywork polished up thankfully.