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Peter Giddings Racing


I have just returned from the celebration of David Love's life ... a bitter/ sweet occasion, which, for the first time in many years, brought so many of us grey beards together. For this alone, David would have been very pleased.

Many took the microphone with nostalgic reminisce of David. Whilst I was invited to talk, many had already done so, the evening was stretching out, dark autumn cold was descending, and beer, wine, and nibbles were beckoning, so instead I decided to "keep my powder dry", and collect my thoughts for another day.

When, decades ago, Judy and I moved to the USA, we ended up, as total strangers, on the east coast, where, along with our "calling card" 1924 "Lyons" Bugatti Type 35, and ex Royalty Rolls Royce Sedanca de Ville tow vehicle, we were quickly adopted by the likes of automotive purists Austin Clark, Freddie Willitts, Miles Coverdale, and the VSCCA, so that any apprehension or homesickness quickly evaporated.

After a while, one of these wise old men said "go west young man", so with our Talbot Lago GP car loaded backwards on our Don Parker trailer, and pulled by our anemic Toyota Land Cruiser, we arrived in San Luis Obispo, once again bereft of friends, and feeling a little lost.

In no time at all, we were taken in hand by David, and through him became a part of CSRG, so, once again, our love of vintage and historic cars opened doors, and enabled treasured friendships, which have endured to this day.

As David and I fused on so many levels and subjects, our relationship, both on and off the track blossomed.

Whilst admittedly with more than my fair share of podiums, to David and I, consistent lap times, and always hitting our marks gave us the most pleasure and satisfaction. Not for him (nor me) cheater, wider, sticky tires, with weird looking aspect ratios, "improved" suspension, brakes, and "steroided" engines .... Instead, purity and originality was the norm.

David's Testa Rossa was never a trailer Queen, or concours high point winner. Instead, it was a battle scarred on the outside, but as close as possible to perfection on the inside, icon.

When David decided to acquire a 6c 1750 Alfa Romeo (we both agreed that Nuvolari was the greatest driver of all time) he turned to me for advice and we looked at several, weighing up the pros and cons, David's probing questions keeping me on my toes. He eventually decided to purchase a blood red Zagato bodied example, which featured a Monza grille matching that of my 8c, which was fitting, given our dozens of memorable gentlemanly race track synchronized dances.

Later, David (and another much missed friend, George Newell) partnered on the overhaul of my Alfa Monza's gearbox, the opportunity for David to delve into Janos' masterpiece proving irresistible. After that my gearbox never worked better, and the notes and drawings penned by David were worthy of framing, and more than a little reminiscent of Leonardo da Vinci's earlier mechanical doodling.

As we all strive to describe David's attributes, personally I would say that his greatest talent was the way he made us all feel in our conversations. We were all, as a result of his sage comment and advice, emboldened and more confident. Why, we positively glowed, whilst all the time thinking that it was just us, whereas he had surely similarly inspired and worked his magic on hundreds of others.

Steve Earle talked about David's ability to inject us with his love of automotive history, the insistence on originality, and the carrying of the torch. Whilst, when I arrived in California I was already bitten by the bug, David, by example, kept me on track, and thus I continue to try and emulate his low budget example via unsullied cars, transported on simple trailers.

Years ago, at an early CSRG Thunderhill event, our race director at the time (Dan Radowicz, I believe) decided, as dusk descended and shadows lengthened, that David and I should run alone in our Ferrari and Maserati race cars. As the glorious noise of our twelve and six cylinder engines echoed and reverberated off the hillsides, we were both transported to another place and time - Spa perhaps. It was very special for us all.

So these are my abiding memories of David, who will be missed, and fondly remembered, by so many.

Peter Giddings