December Newsletter 2022

As the year draws to a close I am very pleased to look back at the launch of my book  The Past and The Spurious – The Case of Legitimacy in Historic Cars.

As well as the pride of writing and publishing the book, it has been a thrill to have the opportunity to meet many of you and to discuss the themes and questions that surround historic cars. And I could not be more pleased about the book’s media reception and the positive reviews and coverage.

I leave you with best wishes for the New Year and look forward to meeting many more of you in person at book events, as well as the gatherings with friends and familythroughout the historic car calendar.

Best wishes


Art or Function? This is one of the questions from The Past And The Spurious – The Case of Legitimacy in Historic Cars.⁠

As Clive Robertson of Healys LLP highlighted in his review in @magnetomagazine, it is now acknowledged that the Alfa Romeo BAT cars are more art than function. Or as he says:⁠
“In some cases, cars became art. The author rightly cites the three Alfa Romeo BAT coupes, pithily describing them as ‘more triptych than dipstick’.” ⁠

⁠The comments showed that there was no easy answer to that one! ⁠

Another example was the Jaguar C-type which was designed by Malcolm Sayer to be fast and to win at Le Mans, but was undoubtedly beautiful too. ⁠ A Swedish court has recently found the C-type Jaguar to be an artistic work. ⁠

What do you think?

⁠Images – Giles Chapman⁠ and The Estate of Terence Cuneo @bridgemanimages⁠


‘Of course, before the classic car hobby became an industry it was the Wild West, with all sorts of long-lost cars being recreated from scratch and ‘discovered’, identities reassigned, repeated and such… Classics gradually became ‘assets’… while pre-industry shenanigans were hardly a harmless lark, there was now a big financial incentive to wilfully deceive… You’ll definitely come away from it knowing a lot more about the law, finding several rogues rather less lovable and inevitably muttering ‘tip of the iceberg’.⁠

So grateful to James Elliott, Mark Dixon and all @officialoctanemagazine for this generous recognition.⁠


My first published review and my first thought was – ‘Oh wow!’ On 6th October I opened the November edition of Classic & Sports Car to see that The Past And The Spurious – The Case of Legitimacy in Historic Cars was the magazine’s Book of the Month!⁠

‘The presentation of Griffin‘s exhaustive research and legal explanationscould have looked dry, but Julian Balme’s colourful design offers breathing space.’

Thank you to Mick Walsh and all @classicandsportscar for the recognition.⁠

Two highlights of anyone’s racing year!

Race day at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix in May, and downhill braking into the chicane for our Connaught ALSR and the Maserati 300S of Claudia Huertgen.⁠

@goodwoodrevival in September, I was invited to race the Connaught and was pleased to share the seat with Will Nuthall. This always-excellent event honoured Queen Elizabeth II. She was a frequent visitor to the estate and Will and I were proud to be part of the Duke’s tribute before the start of the Freddie March Trophy. Once underway in our Connaught, the race developed into a spectacular competition into the night.

Image – Trevor Noble⁠ and unknown

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