Seat fitting time on Wednesday at JD Classics. There can’t be many more distracting locations on the planet – I knew I might be in some trouble when the reception area housed two Daytonas and a 275. I say reception area, but in any other universe this would be a spacious main showroom.
My co-driver Chris Ward works here and as we saunter through the enormous workshops to find the SD1, and see if we can resolve his athletic near-six-foot-frame and my more simian proportions, he casually mentions that there are seven showrooms at JD. Seven.
And I suspect that the SD1 we’re racing, though fantastically desirable to my eyes, is probably the least valuable car on site.
Nothing much has changed since I managed not to drive the car at Goodwood before Christmas, although if anything the brown velour door panels of this magnificently cool racing car look even browner than before.
The steering column has a small amount of rake adjustment, but none of reach and I can barely touch the thing. Extra seat padding can only help a certain amount because you soon end up sitting outside the seat shell, and past experience tells me that’s not a good idea.
Chris kindly allows me to pull the thing a little closer and more upright and, now that’s done, we have the chance to wander through halls and halls of the finest cars imaginable. Some are familiar, like the bronze C-Type I drove in the 2013 Mille Miglia, some have me gasping for oxygen like a recently sold 356 Carrera.
The place is simply outrageous. The bodyshop alone is the size of most classic car dealers, they can make body panels, fabricate most things and I didn’t even see upstairs!
I’ll leave you to enjoy the photos. And an onboard lap of the car at last years Gerry Marshal Trophy with Chris behind the wheel. I think you’ll agree he drives the car beautifully. I have much to live up to.
Look forward to seeing you at the circuit next week!
Photography: Tom Shaxson