May 1999. I'd just turned seventeen. My burgeoning love of old motors was beginning to focus itself irreversibly on Dagenham and the Blue Oval.
I bought my first issue of Classic Ford:
That Escort on the cover represented everything I wanted. The bubble arches, the Super Oscars, the pure balls-out aggression of the thing. That cover shot burned itself into my mind - the archetypal mkI; the yardstick by which all other Escorts would henceforth be measured.
So I was pretty excited to bump into my childhood hero in a leafy clearing at Motorsport at the Palace yesterday. Looks like the old girl is well - not only still going, but pristine and being used in anger. This makes me happy.
They say you should never meet your heroes. But that's bullshit.