This month it’s consultant editor Chris Horton losing himself in piles of dusty back issues, when he’s meant to be writing about what’s in them
Journey through 911&PW’S past
AUGUST 1998 (ISSUE 53)
Throughout 1998, unsurprisingly, we were marking not 70 years of Porsche but 50, and that August there was just as much to celebrate as there is today. Shortly before the magazine closed for press Scottish driver Allan Mcnish had piloted the winning Porsche GT1-98 across the finishing line at Le Mans – itself the 50th running of the race since the war – and on the front cover our tongue-in-cheek renaming of the Goodwood Festival of Speed as the Goodwood Festival of Porsche accurately reflected what felt like saturation coverage of the marque at the iconic West Sussex event. But nobody seemed to mind!
Continuing the same theme, we gave contributor Peter Morgan 12 pages to explore the legend of what is still arguably the greatest Le Mans car of all time, the 917, and in a fascinating sidebar Gordon Wingrove, many years earlier a 917 mechanic for the JW Automotive team (and himself later a fairly regular writer for the magazine), recalled driving one out on the public road at Sebring. And, thanks to a slightly over-exuberant right foot, very nearly crashing it.
Half the age of Porsche in 1998 was well-known UK independent specialist Autofarm, established in 1973, and we devoted three pages to a Specialist Topics story on the company, complete with a picture of a remarkably young-looking Josh Sadler – now retired, of course, but still very much associated with the business. Bit of a surprise, as well, to see a shot of then 42-year-old yours truly, sitting in front of two now classic Apple Macs in what to this day Mrs Horton disparagingly refers to as The Hovel (ie the downstairs spare room). Many was the long night I spent in there, editing text or writing captions – much to Mrs H’s predictable annoyance!
Elsewhere in the magazine were other signs of the times: four pages each of readers’ letters and Running Reports (where are you chaps now?), and a massive four-page ad from Coventry-based usedPorsche specialist Autobahn, now long defunct.