And there are various other memorabilia. I have a small collection of model cars, mostly in 1/43 scale, but a couple in 1/18 scale.
(It being the time of year for such things, anyone fancy doing a "who, what, where" on any of these?)
I feel very lucky to be able to do what I do in the motor-racing world. A long time ago, I used to go to races (on my own) and keep a lap chart, trying to hear the commentary over the loudspeakers and follow what was going on. And at various times, something really interesting would happen, that the commentators hadn’t noticed, and I really wanted to nudge the bloke standing next to me and tell him: “fifth place should change on the next lap - watch car no. 7!” but I never did, and he probably wasn’t interested anyway.
Nowadays, it is other people nudging me (often electronically) to point out something that I have missed as I am trying to keep track of races. The beauty is that I now have an audience (yes I admit it is only a small one) who is actually interested - and that I find very heartening.
It’s a funny world, the world of motor sport. I suspect it is like many sports, in that it often takes itself too seriously, but on the other hand it is unlike other sports as there are so many aspects to it. The rarefied world of Formula 1 is to my mind as far (or further) away from club motorsport as the top and bottom rungs of any sport. Then there are the pursuits of rallying, sprints, hillclimbs, motorbikes - it is all motor sport. Should I also include powerboating? After all, I’ve been to a couple of such events (consider the different challanges facing the competitors in the offshore event from Cowes to Torquay and back compared to the Formula 1 event at Bristol docks that I attended in the mid-1980s).
But it is a world in which the skill of the driver is frequently overshadowed by the car he is driving. For my money, this is part of the appeal. Less appealing is the fact that as a consequence, the amount of money that is invested also casts a shadow over things. But then again, by investing large sums of money into their activity, some drivers have had the opportunity to practise their art, an opportunity that the less wealthy may not have - but which results in them undoubtedly becoming more skilled.
It is a sport in which participants need to approach, but not go over, a line which separates driving safely from crashing; a line which separates triumph from disaster. Watching someone consistently improving, edging ever closer to that line without going over it, and then maintaining that level of performance, is fascinating and provides an insight into the way that racing drivers, proper racing drivers are.