If, like me, you’ve been reading Fast Ford for a number of years you may well recognise me. My name’s Paul Linfoot, and I’ve been lucky enough to have a couple of magazine features on some of the cars I’ve owned in the past. My most recent was on an ex-Graham Goode RS500 race car from the July 2017 issue, but before that I’ve appeared in the August 2015 issue with a Lui-liveried RS500 race car, or even older readers may remember me from a feature on my Caltex-style RS500 race car from January 2010.
You can see there’s a bit of a pattern here; I like RS500s. In particular I like RS500 race cars!
Over recent years, my business has evolved from breaking fast Fords, Cosworths in particular, to specialising in RS500s. They’re a car I love, and have been heavily involved with in recent times (including acting as the RS500 Registrar for a number of years), so it was just a natural progression for me to combine my business and my biggest hobby. So now, I mess around restoring RS500 road, and race, cars for a living.
And it’s the later that has got me hooked on racing. I remember watching these legendary cars battle it out on track during the ’80s, and now I’ve been lucky enough to work on – and even own – some of those iconic cars I remember watching my heroes racing in back in the day.
And that leads me neatly to why you’re seeing my ugly mug on these pages again; over the last couple of years I’ve taken part in a few track days at shows like Ford Fair and National Day as well as a couple of historic touring car races too, including the Silverstone Classic. While I do still own the Lui car (currently in the Texaco livery it also competed in), I was always a little nervous about potentially damaging what is, in my mind at least, an irreplaceable piece of RS500 and motorsport history. I mean, I’m no race driver, I’m just a fan of these special cars… and I couldn’t bear the thought of being the man responsible for damaging one of them.
But the thrill of racing has got me hooked, and I’m looking to compete for a full season in 2019. And I’ve even managed to secure the talents of one of the original RS500 BTTC drivers, Karl Jones, to share the drive with me on these two-driver events! However, I’m too scared to use the Lui car, so I needed an alternative solution…
Then, as luck would have it, my old Caltex-liveried car came up for sale at a sensible price. Those of you who remember the original feature will know that this is actually a car that I built up from a shell to be a race car. Therefore, it has all the spec (well, most of it) of the race cars, but without any of the priceless provenance. Perfect for racing, then?
A deal was done, and the car is now back at my workshop where I intend to get it fully race-ready over the next few weeks, ahead of the 2019 season. And, as I now have this little slot in the mag, I can keep you all updated with how things progress. Now, where’s that Classic Touring Cars rule book…?