Petrolheads

Ferrari Prancing HorseMuch as I enjoy watching Top Gear, I’ve never been much more than a two-star petrolhead, by which I mean that I like cars, but have never been fanatical enough to worry about the difference between one Ferrari and another. Cars can be pretty enough, just not something I lusted after.

Actually that’s not quite true – there was one. The Ford Puma was the one car I daydreamed about in 1997. It might have been its curvaceous retro styling or that cool Steve McQueen ‘Bullitt’ ad, but it was the one car I was determined would be mine.

And so it was, but only after I’d taken Mrs P to the showroom to demonstrate that I could fit the kids in the cramped back seats, helpfully Miss P said that it was just like being on an aeroplane, so small were the rear passenger windows.

Ferrari How WheelsThat particular love affair lasted for four years in which time the kids had grown and I had to trade in my favourite ever car for a more conservative family saloon.

But I digress. Cars may not have always been at the top of my ‘if I won the lottery what would I buy?’ wish list and yet that hidden desire is probably lurking somewhere not too deep in my subconscious.

And like the hidden treats in a bran tub, they rise to the top when you give it a shake as it was shaken yesterday when I accompanied Master P to Prestwold in Leicestershire for his Everyman Racing Driving Experience.

Aston Martin DB9It was actually one of last year’s Christmas presents that he had only just got round to organising. A boy racer’s dream of four laps in an Aston Martin DB9, four in a Ferrari and a fast lap piloted by a trained driver.

The sight of that Aston on the left set my juices flowing and left me feeling jealous and wondering why I hadn’t booked myself down for a trip in its leather-seated luxury. As Master P put it, it was like driving from the comfort of your favourite armchair.

Arial AtomBut the car that really stole my heart was the Ariel Atom on the right. It wouldn’t be my first choice for everyday driving, even if the one you see is taxed and insured for that purpose.

You see it lacks some of the features we take for granted. Like windscreen wipers, but that’s okay because it doesn’t have a windscreen, or least no one worth the name.

There is no radio, cup-holder, loose change tray or vanity mirror, but it does have a sizeable fire extinguisher between the driver and passenger seat. Which is perhaps as well as its Honda accelerates from 0-60 in 2.8 seconds and has a top speed of 155mph.

So if it isn’t a the top of my lottery win list, a trip in one certainly is for the next time we visit Prestwold. Below is the video of Master P’s experience to give you and idea of what it must be like.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

6 comments… Add yours
  • Roger Green 4th October 2012

    Cars have never interested me, if it had sufficient legroom (not VW Beetle).

    Reply
  • Jeremy Puddingson 4th October 2012

    Was that up and down whining sound the car’s gears or Master P moaning with fear? Regarding cars, I’m with Roger Green. I despise the boorish Top Gear petrolheads and what they stand for. I wonder if you can buy a few laps in a Ford Anglia, an East German Trabant or a Reliant Robin? A potential Christmas gift for you.

    Reply
  • Mr Parrot 4th October 2012

    Cars can be beautiful, like the Aston Martin, or is it just in the eye of the beholder?

    As for Top Gear, I know that you have a downer on the programme, but I’ve been unable to workout whether it is just Jeremy, James and the Hamster and their general laddishness you object to or the cars themselves.

    Reply
  • Jeremy Puddingson 5th October 2012

    Re. “Top Gear” – everything. The presenters , the guests, the cars, the theme music and the gawping audience. All bollocks. The main message we should be getting across to people about cars are these:-
    a) Their purpose is to get you from A to B.
    b) Don’t buy gas guzzlers as they are wasteful of the earth’s precious resources.
    c) Drive with care and follow regulations. Never speed.
    d) Make sure your car is professionally maintained.
    e) Keep some spare change in your vehicle for parking fees.
    f) If you see Jeremy Clarkson, feel free to tar and feather him, haul him into your boot and in the dead of night dump him in a gravel pit.

    Reply
  • Mr Parrot 5th October 2012

    I guess then that Jeremy Clarkson is one Yorkshireman you not happy to own up to!

    As for you ideas for Top Gear, they are all very laudable (apart from f possibly) but I don’t think that sensible driving tips would make for good Sunday night entertainment, even for BBC2.

    Reply
  • john 5th October 2012

    cars leave me cold…..as does mr clarkeson who just likes the sound of his own voice….. however I do have the fantasy that I actually own one of those old fashioned station wagons ( the ones with wood trim) from 1940s american movies…..
    I could easily look cool in one of those and I could even get a pig in the back!

    Reply

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