I first crossed paths with Gavin Hicks in 1997 when I photographed and wrote about his 1969 Maserati Ghibli. Whilst road-testing the Ghibli, Gavin talked about his early experiences with the Italian marque.

From him I learned that he’d sat in his first Maserati – a 250F – at the age of 15 at the nearby Levin race circuit. Many years later he finally got to own and drive his first Maserati – a 3500GTi. At the time he had to decide between the Maserati and a Gordon-Keeble GT. A test-drive in each car quickly convinced him that the 3500GT was the car to have. It was the beginning of Gavin’s long association with Maserati.

Gavin strikes a pose in front of Careen’s Morris Cowley

That wouldn’t be the last time I drove the Ghibli and I revisited it in June 2000 as part of a comparison test with a then-current model Maserati 3200GT. As part of that test, I put Gavin into the modern car while I drove the Ghibli. It proved virtually impossible to keep up with Gavin and the 3200GT. On the straights the two cars seemed evenly-matched but every corner saw the newer car pulling away further from the classic Ghibli – I reckon Gavin was the better driver.

In between those two drives in the Ghibli, I also photographed and wrote about Gavin’s MG Midget MkIII, a car that won Masters’ Class at the Intermarque Concours d’Elegance earlier that year.

Since then I’ve driven and written about many cars that have restored by Gavin and Myles, as well as the Volvo P1800 restored by Gavin’s other son, Justin. And as they had now become good friends I soon got into the habit of dropping by the Hicks house-cum-workshop whenever I was passing to chat about cars and sample the cakes and cookies baked by Gavin’s wife, Careen. In return, I kept them supplied with fresh copies of whatever classic car magazine I was involved with at the time.

Careen and a very dapper-looking Gavin

Sadly, Careen, a lovely lady, passed away in 2015. I remembered something that she had told me many years ago – “For Gavin it’s just the satisfaction of pulling apart an old car, then putting it back together – perfectly!”

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