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.
Ion Trewin is a London publisher. Originally a journalist, he was Literary Editor of The Times 1972-79. He was Alan Clark's editor and publisher for the original 'Diaries' and following his death edited two further volumes of the celebrated diaries. In 2008 he edited and introduced THE HUGO YOUNG PAPERS: Thirty Years of British Politics Off the Record (Allen Lane) which won the Channel 4 Political Book of the Year Award 2009. Married with a son who is a literary agent and a daughter who is a teacher, he has since 2006 been literary director of the Man Booker prizes. He was chairman of the Cheltenham Literature Festival 1996-2007.