Charles Rangeley-Wilson is Country Life’s motoring correspondent. Better known as a fisherman, writer and river-doctor, Charles grew up in a family of amateur racers and petrol-heads and the vice is in his DNA. On some best-forgotten day in the 1980s Charles crashed his first and only Formula Ford at Paddock Hill Bend … before the corner! … and decided in the medical centre to stick to fishing. He hasn’t quite managed to.
Since that fateful day Charles has ridden and owned various bright red Italian motorcycles – lots of Ducatis (750GT, 750SS, 900S and an MHR) and a Laverda 750SF. Upon growing up Charles moved to four wheels. His favourite motor of all time was a beloved Peugeot 1.9 GTi (there’s no lift-off oversteer if you don’t lift off!), closely followed by a Mk1 Elise and a Scooby Imprezza WRX. He now drives sensibly in a sensible A4 allroad, but has a racing Frazer Nash special tucked away for sunny days.
Charles first job as a journalist was as assistant editor at Motor Sport in 1989, his first task on that job an interview with Sir Jackie Stewart, which he recorded at Donningon Park on a boom-box: the three times World Champion was too polite to raise an eyebrow. Later Charles wrote columns for a home-counties magazine no one has heard of or ever read. Finally in 2015 Country Life decided they needed someone of equal stature to a former incumbent, James May, and Charles got the job. They haven’t sacked him yet.