Rod Wells was born in Warwick, England and emigrated, as a 10 year old, with his family, to Southern Rhodesia in 1950s colonial Africa. During the following years his passion for all aspects of motoring and motorsport were fulfilled until the changing face of Africa caused an inevitable return to England in the late 1970’s.
Rod has written and published two books, the first of which is 'The Part Time War'. (Fern House 2011). This book reminisces on life in 1970’s Rhodesia, fighting a full blown terrorist war on a part time basis. The highs, the lows, the camaraderie and the humour are all included.
It gives an insight into the life of an ordinary civilian removed from the comforts and security of everyday life and thrust into the dangers and stresses of a war situation. If one was deemed reasonably fit, every male up to the age of fifty was required to serve in one of the security units for blocks of time during the year. Training was minimal and disruption to work and family life was inevitable. It made life for adult males in Rhodesia during the conflict very strange to say the least.
'Strip Roads and Sports Cars' (Fern HOuse 2013) is a second book and recounts the three decades of motoring life in Southern Africa which can be described as the ‘Golden Era’ or motoring.
Relating personal memories, the journey weaves its way through the recollections of a motoring enthusiast who first discovered the fascination of the motor car as a child.
There are tales of under-age driving; discovering old, but fascinating cars; escapades in his first sports car; modifying MGs and a Cooper S for competition and completely restoring a rare ex-works Austin Healey 100S.
There are many other compelling recollections of a motoring life in Africa, but in the background there is a continual warning of impending political change threatening the free and easy life style.
Rod Wells lives in Cambridge with his wife Vi.