We cannot pretend to know Ronald “Steady” Barker well, but like many motoring enthusiasts have a warm regard for Ronald Barker having grown up with his writing. In our case with Car and SuperCar Classics magazines.
Our brief in-person involvement was sitting next to him at a Bugatti Trust meal at Prescott Hill, where he had both my wife and I in stitches with some superb risque jokes and anecdotes before his rounding up speech at the end of the day.
As per further information on the “Steady Special” project, we cannot say that he was very interested in the body of the “Steady”, much preferring to focus on the engine detail, but the two brief meetings we had with him were very enjoyable.
Our three favourite Ronald Barker quotes are:
On dealing with a cold at The Bugatti Trust – “Of course nowadays, it is only my nose that runs”
Rounding up a Bugatti Trust AGM – “It is not often you can start a speech with Lords, Ladies and Gentleman and have a reasonable chance that you are correct on all three accounts”.
At lunch on recounting the editorial decision to change the title of “Small Car” magazine to simply “Car” and his response being “I hope Country Life don’t follow our lead”.
A full biography of “Steady” was written by Matthew Bell and published in The Automobile magazine in the June 2013 edition. Additionally The Automobile have produced a superb DVD about Steady. A back issue and the DVD can be bought from www.theautomobile.co.uk.