Octane July 2006Words and Photography by Mark Dixon
Classic tyre supplier, Dougal Cawley, is one of the old car world's true characters.
With his trademark long, tousled hair and bushy beard, Longstone Tyres' proprietor Dougal Cawley is as familiar a sight competing on VSCC trials or races as he is in the paddock, fitting tyres to vintage cars.
Dougal comes from a family of vintagents - dad Andy drives a Frazer-Nash, while mum Penny pilots a GN - but he didn't get into the classic tyre business until the 1990s, after several years spent bumming around Australia and India. On his return to the UK he bought the long-established business of Longstone Tyres, and has since turned it into one of the old car movement's most pro-active companies; its maroon-painted lorry is a virtual fixture of classic race events.
When he's not helping car owners find the right rubber for their classics, Dougal is usually to be seen driving the world's rattiest Model A Ford roadster or his 'modern' car - a Zetec-engined Cortina that's the archetypal scrapyard special.
Mug of tea
Milk, no sugar, please. You don't mess with perfection - though a Jammy Dodger wouldn't go amiss.
Welcome to the world of 'retro chav'. People find the 'Me... Aaarlass' windscreen sticker amusing and the car is a laugh too, thanks to its 2.0-litre Zetec.
Although my Model A gives me hours of pleasure, whether I'm trialling it or just driving to work, five minutes in Piglet is so thrilling it makes the endless hours of fettling worth it.
I love to try unusual food such as chicken's feet, snails or sea slugs. My philosophy is that if someone else likes it, I should at least give it a try.
People have been hanging pornography on their garage walls since the dawn of the motorcar, and Longstone is no exception.
I get a real kick out of fixing someone's car by balancing the wheels properly, when they were convinced they had a serious problem.
VSCC and Dunlop
It's thanks to Dunlop that so many vintage cars have been kept running over the years; the VSCC provides the playground for them.
The wife and kids
My 'pan lids' Albert, Stanley and Wilfred are a constant reminder that life can be fun, while wifey Liz is up for anything - besides being a 34DD.