Top Gear South Africa
My Life In Cars Richard Noble Image Credit: Top Gear South Africa
My Life In Cars Richard Noble Image Credit: Top Gear South Africa

My Life In Cars Richard Noble

Former land-speed record holder and Bloodhound SSC project chief has been going quick in cars for longer than you might imagine…

It all started off with a 1936 SS2 Jaguar 1.5-litre, which I bought from a scrapyard in Guildford for 19 quid. This amazed my parents when I got home to Hampshire because they asked, “How did you get here?”, and I replied “I’ve got my own car.” “What sort?” “A Jaguar!” This raised quite a lot of eyebrows, as you might imagine.

It was a beautiful car, and it taught me a lot about car mechanics. The big problem was the engine was on the way out, and I lived in Cornwall Gardens in London and the only way we could get the car going was to ring Bell’s Garage around the corner, and for five quid they would tow it around the block until we could get the engine started.

I had my first speeding ticket in the Jaguar on the Great West Road when I was 19, and when you’re in a Jaguar, that doesn’t look too good [to the police]. Had a lot of trouble with the windscreen wipers too, so I made use of the manual override.

Then I moved on to a Ford Anglia, which my father said was a sensible car, but which I didn’t really like. But it made up for it as I lived in Birmingham at the time and there was a lot of informal drag racing that went on. We had a great trick with that which was to have a separate switch for the brake lights, so when you went off from the traffic lights you could flick the brake lights on and leave a lot of very confused people behind.

After that a Minivan. It was wonder


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