These Are a Few of My Favourite Things

Octane July 2006

Words and Photography by Mark Dixon

Dougal Cawley

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.

Cortina MkV

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.

Dougal Cawley

GN-Ford 'Piglet'

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.

Weird food

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.

Saucy Pictures

People have been hanging pornography on their garage walls since the dawn of the motorcar, and Longstone is no exception.

Wheel balancer

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.

Michelin XAS tyre

Most cars built before the era of the Falklands War handle better on a Michelin XAS or XVS than on stupidly inappropriate modern low-profile rubber.

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