A sad farewell to Doug, the gentleman. But I will always remember him with a big smile
Shortcuts with Eddie
Sometimes words fail to convey the sense of shock and loss at the death of someone you know.
The death of Doug McCoy (pictured) is such. He was a gentleman in the truest sense of the word.
More than 40 years in the motoring business, most lately of Jaguar/Land Rover, he forgot more than most of us will ever learn about the business and yet was one of the most humble, gentle people I have met.
He died peacefully and unexpectedly last week.
He and I shared many an hour reminiscing about our young years growing up on a farm - he spent his summers on one and treasured every minute and memory of it.
He loved his rugby, racing, Tottenham Hotspur and most things sporting.
He had great stories to tell of events and characters from a bygone era in motoring.
He adored his family. He loved his job.
Last time we left each other's company it was with the usual sign-off - which stemmed from our farming backgrounds. We'd wag a finger at each other and say: "You're doing the milking tonight."
For two lads returning from driving something glamorously non-agricultural, such as a new Jaguar, the wonderfully contradictive irony of it all never failed to bring a smile. That's how I want to remember him. With a smile. That's what he would have wanted.
Sincere condolences to his wife Judy and family.
It may seem intrusive/garish to add motoring-related matters at this juncture and I agonised over it. But I decided to do so because Doug always wanted to be (and was) right up-to-date with what was going on, so here's a few snippets from the world of motoring:
* He would have been delighted to learn that Jaguar Land Rover's global sales rose 20pc to a record 583,312 cars last year - thanks in part to a 77pc increase in demand for Jaguars.
l The IM Group, importers of Citroën in Ireland, has revealed its network expansion plan for this year - it is looking to appoint as many as seven new dealerships. It currently has 20 authorised sales dealerships and six authorised repairers for Citroën.
Now they are targeting new dealer appointments for South Dublin, Cork East and Wicklow as well as partners in South Tipperary; Cavan/Monaghan; Longford/Roscommon and Sligo/Leitrim.
* McLaren's new supercar will debut at the Geneva Show. The second-generation of the Super Series is their first replacement of a 'product family' and the first of the 15 new cars planned.
* Legal action is on the way in Britain against the Volkswagen Group, as drivers allegedly affected by the diesel emissions scandal seek compensation. Several Irish people continue with their suits against VW.
* Volkswagen's next ID concept will be an SUV as the marque expands its electric vehicle numbers.
* There are reports that Mercedes will expand their small/compact car line-up to eight models. That means a 4dr saloon and another SUV.