Following a rather quiet, shit day in the office I jumped on my black bitch and ‘zoomed’ home in the dark. My pal Jack, what lives in NYC, was in London on business, as he was involved in Bernie Ecclestone’s Classic Car Auction… you may have read about it in the papers, if not ta da
I took the tube to Balham and the overground to Battersea Park passing lots of little people running about as bats and witches and George W Bush yeah. I arrived at my destination, Battersea Evo, after navigating my way through a thoroughly calm and peaceful park; it was almost restorative to be in away from the austere concrete angles of the city proper. A few cyclists and joggers zipped and hopped past me respectively; I slouched onwards with a cigarette grinning within, the occasional sodium light cast a subdued golden glow on the magnificent London Planes and Horse Chestnuts, my pace steadied, I could feel my muscles unwind.
Battersea Evo isn’t a particularly pretty structure; it looks like a vast conservatory, there is something temporary about it and it strikes a discordant note with its opulent Victorian surroundings. Ironically what was contained within the Evo was the epitome of opulence. Huge bygone vehicles sat motionless as the super rich, both familiar and unfamiliar, poked and prodded at them as if they were strange cuisine, a silver 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster, loomed over a perfect example of a Ford Anglia, a 1954 Ferrari 250 Europa oversaw George Harrison’s Aston Martin DB5, which I took some time out to sit in and fondle. George bought the car from new and still had it until his death, it was totally un-restored, the leather seats were perfectly worn, the steering wheel grazed by rings, there was even ash in the ashtray.
The auction was a long drawn out affair but not without interest, at anytime you were entitled to have a second, third, infinite look at the cars around you, I decided to lift the bonnet on George’s car and fiddle with the dashpots, the oil smelt like perfume. In the end it went for £200,000. I thought it would be more. The 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster went for over £4,000,000.
At 10.30 the auction closed, Jack, his dad, brother in Law and Paul, all Jumped in the Bentley and we all fucked orf up to Chelsea for a late dinner in Daphne’s. Jack’s dad is a Barnsley boy who made good in the 60’s with a retail chain, despite his and his son’s wealth (I met Jack in desperate employment circumstances a long time before he made his wonga, incidentally) they are down to earth and excellent company. (Rude) Jokes were exchanged over some of the finest fucking food I’ve even tasted; to start I ate pheasant in Ravioli over a rich gravy which blew my socks off. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever eaten. That was washed down with a 2003 Barolo and I ate braised meatballs and roast potatoes in a rich tomato sauce, which, despite it’s magnificence couldn’t compete with the starter. Pudding consisted of plums coated in crushed Amoretto and Mascarpone ice cream, again, sensational but I was still carrying a heavy dick for the pheasant.
Jack paid the bill, of course I offered to pay my share, fuck knows what it would’ve been, but he insisted this was going on ‘the company’. He’s used this phrase a few times, I’m still not entirely sure what he means but I’m happy to take him at his word.
I arrived home at 1.30 feeling quite surreal following an unimpeded black cab journey back through a sleeping London. I still feel slightly removed typing this, I’m not entirely sure why.
This was inevitable. Nice car mate