Josh Cornelius, who I had known from being at King Edwards School in Witley, has kind of a dangerous passion for cars. Classic cars in particular but I remember chatting to Josh and James, his brother, about them at school before roll call or just on the way to lunch or between lessons. We had been planning doing a photo shoot for maybe like 2-3 months but because of problems with the Opel and either Josh or I being busy we weren’t able to do so. Early May bank holiday rolls around and Josh and I finally have the chance to photograph their gorgeous 1972 Opel GT, which had recently come back from the mechanics and been polished earlier in the week by Mr Cornelius so we was in for a treat.
My day started at 7am as we had planned to shoot earlier in the day rather than later because there was a chance of rain in the early afternoon. As I was staying in LDN, the trip down was around 1 hour 30 mins so I was down in Haslemere at 9am.
I was expecting Josh to pick me up from the station at 9am in the Opel already but nope, he pulled up in their trusty “granny like” Nissan Note. I feel so sorry for you Josh. We pulled up at the Cornelius house and proceeded with getting the beauty out the garage, after a quick bite to eat and coffee, of course.
Right so we planned a target to basically get down to Goodwood and then along to a road that Mr Cornelius said would be great fun to drive and really good for photos. I can’t remember which road it was, sorry. And so off we went…
Josh said, even within the first few 100 meters that the car was running the best he had ever experienced so we were feeling optimistic about having a successful day. All was well. Happy faces all round. However after about 20-30 minutes around the Petworth region, we started to encounter some backfiring and mis timing from the pistons in the engine and etc.
Picture a Frank Underwood address: the Opel GT, yes wasn’t that pricey in terms of money/investment value but the car had been in the family for donkeys. Josh’s grandfather first bought it around the 25-30 age and it had stayed in the family ever since then.
Josh being overly cautious decided to pull over at West Sussex Specialist Cars, opened the bonnet and have a peak around before calling his old man to find out what he thinks given the symptoms. The verdict… try driving back home and rethink what we could do to not make the day a waste.
So a quick check over and drive by his old man and we were back out. Josh and I took this time to go and look though the documents, photos, articles and just cool shit he had. I only have this 1 photo which I took on my phone of this. I wish I had taken a few more with my big camera tho.
All seems fine as long as Josh kept the revs high by staying in a higher gear longer. Opel GT’s only have 4, incase you didn’t know. Our first stop was back at our old school, King Edwards School in Witley. I had been back a few weeks prior as I was in the area anyway shooting some bikers at some dirt jumps in Milford but Josh hadn't been back in donkeys. Around 5 years.
Right, time for some pub grub. We headed for the most middle class, countryside pub you can think of, The Noahs Ark in Lurgashall. Yes, it did come complete with cricket playing just across the road.
2 burgers down and a beautiful Aston Martin DBS Volante turned up, among other cars, which actually followed us a bit down the road when we left. It sounded and more importantly looked fuckin’ magical.
Next on our adventure was Cowdray Ruins in Midhurst to try and get some dramatic more period style photos.
The weather was a bit iffy around early/mid afternoon as there were a few cloudy lying around up there but we decided to make the push down to Goodwood. Im so glad we did because it was my first time there and we were able to make these beauties:
It was around 4pm by the time we left Goodwood and headed back to Haslemere. By the way the Opel had been running really smoothly all afternoon, we had like 2 little hiccups from the engine on the way back but that was it. It started raining just as we pulled in home so we were happy to call it a day there. I spent like 30-40 mins going through the photos with Josh already rating them for ease of finding the better photos in the future (as I do always) and doing quick edits. I was able to have a shiT as I wasn’t able to have one earlier in the day. Sorry Josh and family. I was on the train headed back to LDN around 5pm.
Overall, what a bloody fantastic day out, THANK YOU! We sure will be doing that again. All I need now is a classic Porsche or E30 or something.
Catch ya later,