* A collection of significant Lancia Works Rally Cars *
John Hughes CBE (awarded for Services to International Telecommunications in the 2011 Queen's New Year Honours List) was a passionate collector of cool stuff. Be that Lancia rally cars, Brabham F1 cars, Riva powerboats and performance cars. He swapped between a Range Rover Sport SVR or stunning Bentley Mulsanne LWB (previously, the CEO of Bentley official car) for everyday use but also had a Jaguar Project 7 and a Ferrari 512 for having fun in, plus a Land Rover Defender SVX used in the James Bond film, Spectre, that made him giggle every time he clapped eyes on it.
In business, John was Chairman of several companies at the time of his untimely death in June 2017, these included the app-based company ‘Just Eat’ that soon became a business phenomenon and Chump & Co., which produces The Grand Tour on Amazon and Drivetribe, making John effectively Jeremy Clarkson’s boss. John was also President of the FIA Historic Motor Sport Commission from 2007 to 2013, and was undoubtedly one of the FIA’s most passionate ambassadors for historic motor sport. Here’s a quote from FIA President Jean Todt;
“It was with great sadness that I heard of John’s death, and on behalf of the entire FIA community, I would like to express our support at this particularly painful time for his family. We have very fond memories of John as a genuinely passionate man, who devoted many years of his life to motor sport, in particular to historic disciplines.”
John worked for a time in F1, for an outfit RAM Racing, where his timekeeping duties earned him the nickname ‘Clock’. RAM ran the likes of Alan Jones, Guy Edwards and Kenny Acheson, and this was where John became friends with the future power brokers of F1, Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone, that lead to his role setting up and then being President of the FIA HMSC.
This background in the higher echelons of Motorsport makes it easier to understand why John’s collection of Lancia Works Rally cars was so dear to him. He kept them all in near perfect working condition, as he loved to enter them on some of the great European Historic Rally events, with the Historic Monte Carlo Rally being a particular favourite.
Having got to know John well over recent years, I know he would like nothing better than to see these wonderful cars being enjoyed on these great events again by another equally passionate owner. Maybe that could be you.