Wednesday, 15 January 2020

The Oliver Winterbottom Diaries – December 2019

Welcome back to Oliver Winterbottom's diary! In the first instalment of the year, we take a look at how Oliver rounded off his jam-packed 2019. 

5 December – I finish emailing my annual newsletter to my friends and acquaintances worldwide. 118 recipients living in China, Thailand, USA, Canada and France, as well as the UK. Many have been connected to my motoring life, so it is nice to keep in touch.

6 December – Journalist Mike Taylor kindly sends me a photograph (below) of a JCL Marine Mirage, for which I did the basic styling back in 1976. It certainly looks well cared for.




10 December – The Eastern Daily Press has been highlighting the disastrous introduction of brand new trains in the Greater Anglia region. These Swiss-built trains are incompatible with the automatic signalling systems, which has resulted in major cancellations and lateness for quite a number of days. I continue to have misgivings on the massive reliance on computers. So much so, all the trains costing £1.4 billion were delivered at once – and sat in sidings for some months. I think if it had been a car company project, it may have just got one train and thoroughly tested it prior to relying on them 100%. One incident saw a car being missed by a train on a level crossing by 1/4 second; words fail me. Computers can be tricky!

13 December – The EDP has again highlighted a computer compatibility issue. On 6 June last, a glider flying from Tibenham in Norfolk to Cambridge was forced to take evasive action to avoid being hit by a Boeing C-135 on its final approach to RAF Mildenhall, the Boeing being part of the USAF. A report found the two aircraft were unable to make contact with each other because their traffic alerting systems were incompatible with each other. Evidence from the military pilot stated they did not even see the glider until after it had already swerved away from them due to the scattered cloud layer. As I have said, computers can be tricky!

13 December – From 2022, all new cars will have their speed controlled through a computer – hopefully totally accurate and reliable. I think not.

26 December – Gratified that John Bailie, creator of the revised TVR logo in 1979, has obtained a copy of my book A Life in Car Design. As I have a copy of his superb book, Donington Park, The Pioneers, we must now organise a mutual book signing meeting.

31 December – I wish all the Oliver Winterbottom's Diary readers a Very Happy New Year!

You can purchase your own copy of A Life in Car Design here, and make sure to keep checking the Veloce blog for the next instalment of Winterbottom's diary!


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