Thursday, February 22, 2018

Joe Murray - 1

Gaydon Revisited

Morris heads the line up!

Every year, Jaguar Land Rover employees at the Gaydon headquarters are invited to bring their classic and interesting cars to work for the annual 'Wheels' event.  A dedicated area outside of the main Engineering building is set aside for displaying the various vehicles of all eras, shapes and sizes. Gaydon played host to the Morris Minor 60th Anniversary Celebration in 2008 and the first Morris Minor resides there in the heritage museum.

For the past number of years I, as Land Rover Product Manager, have displayed my 1968 Peat Brown 2-door saloon to much admiration and interest even amongst some of the newer and high performance vehicles.

Generally over 100 vehicles take part including classics such as MGs, Jaguars, Minis, VW and Land Rover models which line up alongside performance cars like Caterhams, Porsches and fast hatchbacks.

The highlight of the day is driving four laps of the high speed test track with some vehicles touching 150 miles per hour.  At last year's event, I progressed at a more modest speed after struggling to keep pace on the warm up 'familiarisation' lap!  However, my trusty Morris coped admirably which was more than can be said for the fast lapping Ford Sierra Cosworth which suffered engine failure and the pristine VW Camper which lost its extending canvas roof at speed on the track.  Attempting to test the tuned VW's top speed discovered the limits of the roof a little before the limits of the engine!

Zooming ahead?

From this driving picture, it's hard to believe there are others on the test track. As you can see, I was left behind but I got a round of applause every time I passed the spectators and I was lapped three times by some of the supercars! 

Joe Murray   

article posted 2011