TIME MACHINE

J. Grahame Booth, via email

MY APRIL edition of Wheels has just arrived, and as I had a quick thumb through, I stopped dead at Bucket List. Hereís why.

England, 1963. I was 22 years old when my sisterís boyfriend in Rome asked if I would like his old Lancia Aurelia GT, a 1953 silver fastback coupe minus bumpers, grille and hubcaps, with cracked and faded paintwork.

All sporting Lancias were RHD, a throwback to the days of horse-drawn carriages. The driverís window was wired shut as the winder was broken, and the indicators didnít work.

But she started and ran beautifully.

I started a complete rebuild. I took the front axle to Lancia in London and had it rebuilt.

I stripped off all the paint revealing bog and dents. Did you know that the handsome front end shown on the main photo in Wheels was welded together from several small handbeaten panels?

The highlight of the renovation was when my sister married in England, her husband drove them away on honeymoon in his old Lancia, which was now my concours Aurelia GT.

In 1971, I was offered a job in Adelaide, so I had to sell the Lancia. In 1995 I tracked her down to a barn just south of the Scottish border. She was now a tragic, dilapidated old lady. I could have cried. I envied your drive.