Doug, it's interesting how some people can be such complex characters, isn't it?
And let's not forget that sometimes a man's thoughts are not completely his own.
Harking back to what Graham wrote in that Sports Car World
article on the subject of the body...
The body was going to be a headache, and very early in the project I approached Stan Brown, the legendary aluminium panel-beater who had emigrated to Australia after working for Lotus' London panel-shop. Stan quoted $3000 so I had to find another way.
In 1973 I scored another junket to Europe and got to meet Doug Nye and out of this came the idea that I would research some Australian history for Doug, and Doug would see if John Cole, the Donington Museum's panel man, would rough me a set of panels while he was making the panels for Donington's replica 12.
Well, that duly came to pass, with Barry Garner's Johnfletcher company handling the Customs of course. The red tape was unbelievable, but finally Customs was prepared to let me open the crate. There was my long-awaited bodywork, freight paid, cartage paid, duty paid, tax paid, stamp duty paid... packed in still-green, germ laden, English straw! It was going to have to be sealed up again and sent away for fumigation, but they relented on condition I personally, under Customs supervision, took every piece of straw to the Customs incinerator. I ripped an unmentionable hole in my special lightweight summer suit climbing in and out of that bloody crate.
And by the time I was allowed to take the raw body home, it had cost altogether about five dollars less than Stan's quote for a complete fitted body.
...we can see there was a lot of emotion involved. And, I daresay, two sets of emotions when it came to those ripped pants.
It is difficult, too, to accurately convey what degree of 'roughness' might have been implied. Just how much finishing work Graham expected to have done locally.
Add to that the frustration of the exercise with Customs, the 'negotiating' which would have taken place to convince the Customs people that nobody else should unpack this fragile consignment (amid stories of careless and callous handling by wharfies) and all that this entailed.
I can see it was a recipe for disaster with plenty of room for tempers at both ends to be frayed.
Edited by Ray Bell, 05 April 2018 - 23:06.