"Oh, no. I still enjoy driving very much, especially at the wheel of something fairly fast like the Jaguar. The run to and from Snetterton is usually most enjoyable, for instance-the roads are fast and do not carry too much traffic."
We sailed up to a roundabout with a "Yield to the Right" sign in our favour, myself rather hoping all the characters coming from the left could read. They
could: we survived. "Very good system, this," said Graham. "Pity it doesn't-apply to all roundabouts. Very confusing at present but it's so much better than traffic lights which just gum everything up." On M 1 the Zodiac cruised at a steady indicated 90 until the usual road repairs slowed us and drew caustic comments from Hill on the lack of advanced warning signs. Which led him to hold forth disapprovingly on the new "Keep Left" road sign with its downward pointing arrow. "In all other road signs, you follow the direction in which the arrow is pointing, but you can't in this case. The arrow should be pointing upwards at an angle, not downwards."
When testing at Silverstone teams do not use the paddock but park on a road on the outside of the circuit between Abbey and Woodcote almost opposite the farmwhere, in fact, the start line used to be before the pits were moved to their present position. Awaiting us was the big B.R.M. transporter with parked alongside it a B.R.M. and John Coombs' Formula 2 Brabham-B.R.M. Also present were the Cooper transporter which had disgorged a Cooper Formula 1 car and the works Formula 2 Cooper powered by the B.M.C. twin overhead camshaft engine. Alongside the Cooper transporter was Ken Tyrrell's van with a pair of F2 Cooper B.R.M.s which John Surtees, driving a red Alfa Giulia Sprint, arrived to test, and farther down the road stood the Firestone van with the works McLaren-Elva driven by Chris Amon in attendance as a tyre testing machine.
The usual chill Silverstone wind swept through the encampment, and an occasional rain shower would damp the circuit, sometimes on one stretch only. The B.R.M. was warmed up, Graham fetched his helmet from the boot of the Zodiac and climbed aboard to begin the usual test routine of a series of five laps or so, followed by a pause for chassis tuning. Damper settings would be modified, thefrontlocation of the rear suspension radius arms changed, the anti-roll bars at front and rear given different settings, spacers'added or subtracted between the front wheels and the hubs and even the rear coil springs changed for softer ones. And after each change Hill would set off on a few highspeed laps to try the effect. By 5 p.m., he had covered over a hundred laps in the B.R.M. alone--the British G.P. when at Silverstone is only 82 laps plus many laps in the Formula 2 Brabham.B.R.M., and with the departure time of that Rome-bound aircraft now uncomfortably close, we set off for London again in something of a hurry. "Better belt-up"said Graham as we swirled round a right hander and the heeling Zodiac nearly deposited me in his lap. "How do you like. the Zodiac?" I asked.
"Oh, a bit barge-like on comers, but the steering is pleasant, surprisingly light and quite accurate."
"Do you like an automatic transmission ?"
"No, not at all. You're not in complete charge when driving a car with an automatic transmission. When you lift your foot to slow down, an automatic system will at once change up and the car surges forward-the complete opposite of what you want."
Graham was hurrying now, building up speed on even the shortest stretches of
more or less straight road and then holding 80 or so until the very last moment before braking really hard. The Zodiac swept into that abrupt right hand comer on the twisty lane between Blisworth and M1 at what seemed an impossible speed. "He's overdone it this time" I thought, but the car swept round in a controlled slide which took us right up to the outside verge, but no further.
"Does normal main road motoring seem irritatingly slow after you've been racing
or testing?" .
"On the contrary, I feel much more tolerant, much more relaxed. Probably it's
because I've got all the speed urge out of my system. We're only motoring fast now because I've got that plane to catch. I sometimes think it would be a good thing if normal drivers could have a bash round a circuit now and then to get the stupid aggressiveness out of their systems. I can't understand the aggressiveness of many drivers. It's so very stupid." ,
" We continued to press on, but Graham never took a chance, never overtook unless it was obviously safe to do so, although he did grasp every opportunity with that flashing decision and marked precision which are the hall mark of a good driver.'
Back on M 1 we encountered more than our fair share of drivers cruising earnestly along in the fast lane at around 60 m.p.h., but Hill would merely close right up on their tails and wait. At the far end as we passed the Watford leg,' closed to South bound traffic by the extensive repairs it now requires, he commented acidly on the lack of vision in its planning and construction. "It's an absolute disgrace and a national scandal. Anyone would think it was the world's first motorway. Why didn't they learn from Germany or Italy where they've been building motorways for over 30 years?" We came off the motorway into the
home-bound rush-hour traffic, and with the time fleeting by, Graham tut-tutted at little men who sat blocking the traffic stream at roundabouts, too terrified to move. A complicated back street route to dodge a congested roundabout, and we were back at his house at last at 6.15 p.m. Still in his overalls, he hurriedly collected his gear from the boot of the Zodiac, gave affectionate acknowledgement to the noisy welcome of his two children and hurried inside to change.
That night he slept in" Rome and the following day he began practising in Sicily for the Targa Florio.