Upon discovering Denis Jenkinson – DSJ to the readers – in Motor Sport magazine (you know, the British magazine with the green-cover, edited by WB, William Boddy) in the late 1950s, he instantly became my hero. As Continental Correspondent, DSJ’s Letter From Europe was essential reading. Jenks, wandering around Europe from race circuit to race circuit in his 356 Porsche (and later E-Type Jaguar), lived a fantasy life beyond our wildest dreams in Australia, seemingly a world away.
Jenkinson’s adventures as DSJ – he told me then the S was a fiction, but a few years later his nephew, designer Peter Stevens (McLaren F1) told me it was for Sargent – in Motor Sport in the 1950s and 1960s inspired a generation of motor racing enthusiasts. His published letters to WB captured the essence of motor racing and motoring and created a world for the reader in which there was little else but cars and racing. Jenkinson’s 356, in which he covered 560,000kms, was his home and his office as he followed the Grand Prix circus around Europe and sent his hand-written reports back to the magazine in London.