Now in essence, once I had got my historically-minded head around that shuffle, it became possible to ‘read’ the fabric of the car itself, and trace all its changes through from origination in 1953 to Monaco Sale in 2016. I photographed the car from every angle to preserve the evidence – just in case some future owner might grow bored with its paint cracks, dents and chips, and (stupidly in my view) ever restore/repaint it – because full restoration is also, inescapably, a process of obliteration. Once original evidence has been lost, it can never, ever, be retrieved. And as the world’s treasury of original, unspoiled-from-period, great cars loses examples to unthinking restoration – so they become ever more rare. Rarity enhances value within a connoisseurial market. Hence the £5-million-plus price just achieved for ‘POV’.
This warming experience took me back to the day in the winter of 1997-98 when I tramped around a lap or two of the Goodwood Motor Circuit, taking record photographs simply to preserve a proper idea of how it was before restoration commenced to revive its active racing career.
Here are just a few of the shots I took that chill but bright and sunny day. as it was before the inescapable restoration work began which won a track licence again and enabled us to resume racing on the old site.