Like A Boss
Fast Car|March 2018

Jules wanted something powerful and comfy. So why didn’t he end up in a sensible Jag or a Range Rover? Because he’s the boss, that’s why…

You always dread that tap on the shoulder, don’t you? You know the one. When your boss says ‘Hey, I’m going to shadow you for the morning so we can assess your progress,’ knowing full well that the morning is your set-aside Facebook time, with occasional forays into dream-shopping on Auto Trader. Or when your supervisor suggests that perhaps you might like to submit your week’s timesheets to the board, so you can prove your worth. You know you’re good at your job. But when someone’s watching? That’s a whole other story.

So when boss-man and Fast Car head honcho Jules casually slips into the conversation a loaded little nugget like, ‘Oh yeah, and can you write the feature on my Beemer? No pressure’, you know that the pressure’s cranked up to the goddamn max.

Fortunately, I know Jules’s Achilles heel. It’s a sumptuously padded leather armchair by the fireplace in the Dog & Duck. So I distracted him with some shiny things (if you’re ever in a sticky spot with a meeja type, shiny things always work), and led him down to the warming embrace of the tavern. A couple of pints of seasonal ale, then a couple more for good measure, and I had him in my clutches. Easy meat.

So, big dog, let’s begin at the beginning. What on Earth got you all fired up about cars in the first place?

“Funnily enough, I’ve owned a few modified cars in my time,” he grins, easing himself deeper into the studded leather upholstery and shuffling off his shoes, warming his toes in the wood-fire’s mellow pre-Christmas glow. “Even before I worked on the magazine I was obviously into the scene. My first car was a Nova GTE, then a Mk1 MR2, Calibra Turbo, Honda EF Civic Si, couple of Mk4 Supras, all before I was 23. My dad worked at a big insurance company, that’s how I managed to get insured on the hot cars at a young age. Are there any more of those pork scratchings?”

I beckon Vince over. Vince is the barman. He knows the score. Salty pig-snacks flow like a waterfall.

“You don’t look much over 23,” I leer, smarmy as hell and transparently angling for a payrise. “So what happened next?”

“Well, I sold the Supra to pay for a house deposit,” he explains, artfully sidestepping my fawning by pretending to be a grown-up.

“It was then a long journey of building my cars and funds back up again! I started by buying a fucked MR2 Turbo off a colleague for £500, while having an IS200 as a daily. I spent two years building both of those before selling them and buying a BMW 330d. Again, I spent another two years on that project, which then brings me on to this one…”

This revelation comes frankly as a relief. I’m sure diesel has a place in this world for, um, transatlantic shipping and long-haul freight, but fast cars? Gimme petrol any day of the week.

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