Interviewing him for the Me and My Car page in 1988 was one of my most enjoyable assignments for Autocar magazine. He was late, but kept phoning to apologise because he was stuck in traffic while I played with the family's chinchillas. When he finally arrived, he cracked open a bottle of champagne to say sorry. Transcribing the tape later, I could hear us both getting more giggly as the bottle was drained. (The unfortunate snapper was driving.)
He was friendly, completely down to earth, modest and funny. For some reason I remember him explaining how someone from the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band had got drunk and fallen asleep on his sofa. When he'd opened his eyes and gazed up at the wonderful plaster hexagons on the ceiling now above us, he'd announced he needed to improve it, and painted exquisite little universes in the smallest sections.
At the time Jon had a BMW 750iL, and he swore he'd had to get the band back together and go on tour to pay for it. He talked about his many previous cars, including classic Yanks, a Porsche 911 Turbo, a 1962 Bentley Continental Flying Spur and Ferrari 246 Dino he loved but couldn't bear to watch disintegrating in British weather. I was also pleased to hear he'd owned a Rover 2000 TC.
He described this, his fourth BMW as a 'glorious car'. He said "This is everything I want in a car: it's huge, so I can carry my in-laws, children and groceries and it's extremely fast.
"The first thing you notice is it's a damned good-looking saloon. Then you notice it's very well put together, the proportions are beautiful and sitting inside it is a great feeling."
He loved all the BMW's electronic gadgets, having become a bit of a computer buff though developing his keyboards. He divided time into BCT and ACT: before and after car telephone. I'm sure he must have loved mobiles and tablets when they arrived. I'm so glad I met him. My sympathies go to his family, friends and many fans.