The partner of a former helicopter pilot who died after an air accident has purchased a supercar as a ‘unique and touching’ tribute to him.
Paula Parkinson, from Ambleside in the Lake District, got in touch with the team here at John Holland when she decided to purchase a white Nissan GTR in memory of her late partner Nigel Feetham, a Nissan Skyline and GTR enthusiast who died after an air accident at Breighton Airfield near Howden in East Yorkshire in July.
As well as being a well-respected pilot Nigel, from Hedon, East Yorkshire, previously owned three Nissan Skylines and was a member of the Hull Modifiers’ Car Club, which held a memorial event in his name in September.
Paula, who said her much-missed partner had been passionate about Nissan GTRs ‘forever’, will now share her first-ever supercar purchase with her and Nigel’s friends and family, in his memory.
Nigel died aged 37 in hospital from complications associated with his injuries eight days after the accident, which happened when his private Alouette helicopter – which he was piloting at the time – came down to land on a runway at the airfield, before encountering problems and plummeting 30 feet onto a grassy verge.
Paula said: “Nigel had been a Nissan Skyline and GTR enthusiast forever, and I wanted to do something special in his memory. I decided to search for a Nissan GTR, as he was so passionate about them, and I found John Holland online.
“I am sure it is what he would have wanted me to do. He would have wanted me to live his dream for him.
“Within a couple of days of finding the vehicle I wanted, I’d travelled to Sheffield to make the purchase.
“I bought the GTR so that our family and friends can all enjoy driving it and think of Nigel whenever we do. I’ve already met so many great people and I’m hoping to meet more and more, to properly remember Nigel, as he would have loved this car.”
The Nissan GTR, launched in 2007, is the multi award-winning successor to the Nissan Skyline GTR. Hand-built in Japan, it came to the UK in 2009, and is currently one of the fastest hand-built cars to lap the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany.
Added Paula: “I’ve driven the GTR all the way from Hull to the Lakes, and even in the dark I enjoyed it. You don’t see too many GTRs on the roads and the attention you get is unbelievable – I even get the occasional thumbs-up!
"The idea is that Nigel’s family and I can share it for about a year before thinking what we want to do with it. John Holland have said they'll buy it back if and when I come to sell it which is a great help, too.
“I’m now also a member of the Supercar Driver Club thanks to John Holland, who gave me a free 12-month membership, which will be a great opportunity to tell people all about Nigel, his story, and the tribute we’re paying to him.”
Peter Lefley, our business and marketing manager, said: “It’s been a pleasure dealing with Paula from start to finish and we’re privileged to be able to be part of what is a unique and touching tribute to an exceptional man.
“We’d like to wish Paula and her family and friends the very best when it comes to enjoying the car she’s bought from us and look forward to seeing where Paula’s new GTR will take her, in Nigel’s memory.”