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Backfire

Alan Clark

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Prose: non-fiction, Politics & government

Alan Clark's passion for cars - that he bought, drove and wrote about over 50 years.

Alan Clark was passionate about cars from an early age. He bought his first car - a secondhand 6.5 litre Bentley - while still a schoolboy at Eton and without a driving licence. By the time he was 24 he had been banned from driving three times, not only for speeding but in one instance for driving an open Buick Roadster with a girl on his lap. He dealt in 'classic' and vintage cars and soon built up an impressive stable of his own. One of his first published pieces of journalism appeared in the US magazine, Road and Track, for which he was briefly UK correspondent. BACK FIRE, the title of a column he wrote in Thoroughbred and Classic Cars magazine, ran for three years until his death in September 1999. Alan Clark's elder son, James Clark - who has inherited his father's motoring enthusiasms - provides a Prologue; Alan Clark's widow, Jane writes a moving Afterword.

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Alan Clark

Alan Clark, educated at Eton and Oxford, read for the Bar but did not practise. He was the Tory MP for Plymouth Sutton (1972-1992) and for Kensington and Chelsea (1997-1999). He held various junior ministerial appointments in the Margaret Thatcher and John Major governments. He kept a regular diary, which was published in three volumes as IN POWER 1983-1992, INTO POLITICS 1972-1982 and THE LAST DIARIES 1993-1999. They were adapted for television by the BBC and shown in 2004. Clark died in 1999 of a brain tumour.

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