Another one of our early customers was Andrew Hedges or “Hedgehog” as he was nicknamed. Andy arrived in Bahrain one day and we were introduced to him at a cocktail party by one of our customers Charlie Hudson, who drove a Jensen Interceptor and his partner Adrian Bartlett who drove an Aston Martin DB6, which we looked after.
Andrew was looking for a car and we put him in touch with someone selling a Mercedes 450SEL 6.9, which he subsequently purchased and we also looked after. Most of the expatriates drove fancy cars as petrol was very inexpensive then and you could fill up a large car for around BD3/- or about £5 Sterling.
Andrew had done a considerable amount of motor racing and rallying in his day and had driven with HRH Prince Michael of Kent on the London to Sydney marathon rally. He had also raced at Le Mans, went down the Cresta Run in the UK bobsleigh team and piloted in the round the Great Britain offshore power boat race, to name but a few.
Over the years I got to know Andrew very well and one day an acquaintance of his was visiting from the UK was trying to organise the first re-run of the original Peking to Paris motor rally. We duly met up with the gentleman who was visiting from London, and he told us he was trying to organise this event. Things looked like that might actually come to fruition so I suggested to Andrew, “Why don’t we enter a Porsche in this event?” Well we waited and waited for news from London, but it seemed this event would never be run again due to the politics of the participating countries. As no progress was made we were forced to abandon our plans.
It was many years later that this event finally was re-run and has been run a number of times since.
Whilst writing this book Andrew sadly passed away on the evening of Sunday 2 October 2005 in Bahrain whilst having dinner with my best friend Bob Grafham at Mansoori Mansions in Manama where he lived in one of the penthouse apartments.
I am in touch with Andrew’s son Tom who lives in the family home in South Moreton, Oxfordshire.