Michael Scott (affectionately known as Scottie), hardly needs introduction. He was born and christened Michael Henry Scott in 1940, and can trace family geneology through his mother, Joan Grace Willis, back through three generations to the cricketing great WG Grace.
Scottie’s father, Richard Eric Scott, served his apprenticeship as an engineer at AEC. There appears to be a pattern there…
He then worked for ‘Specialoid’ who made aluminium pistons, and ended up supplying Rolls Royce and Bentley with them. He drove a 4.5 litre Bentley and was well acquainted with WO Bentley. Scott Senior went on to design and build the Atalanta sports car in 1937 – the success of which was thwarted by the onset of the Second World War.
Scottie remembers, as a schoolboy, going for afternoon tea at W.O. Bentley’s house with his father at Shamley Green. He recalls W.O. as a very shy and reserved gentleman who always wore a tie and smoked a pipe. It’s little wonder that a fascination with cars was nurtured in childhood.
Scottie learned to drive in a supercharged Morris Minor owned by the wife of Maurice Smith, then editor of Autocar magazine. Upon passing his driving test he was invited by Smith to drive his own DB3 Aston Martin convertible over to Weybridge to meet his Road Test reporter – one Ronald ‘Steady’ Barker.
Steady was, and still is, a fanatical devotee of old cars in general and Lancia in particular. Amongst his personal stable of thoroughbreds at the time, Steady owned a Napier, a Lancia DiLambda, a Baby Peugeot and a Lancia Astura. This car had, in fact, started life as a six seater Astura Limousine and it had been owned by Malcolm Anderson, BOAC’s Director of Engineering.