We met for lunch in a local pub and headed off over a route I pretended to have sweated over for weeks but which I more or less made up on the spot. The wonderful thing about being in this part of the world with no specific timetable or destination is that if you’re not enjoying the road you’re on, you can just turn off and enjoy another instead.
Actually we did have a goal in mind, a road I’ve been using for nearly 30 years – a dozen miles of wide open space, light on traffic, long on quick, challenging corners and with car parks at either end. And so we just thrashed up and down until we’d all driven every car.
The Triumph made me sad, because it’s so easy to see what a success it could have been had it been better looking and less approximately constructed. Impossibly softly sprung, it rode and handled beautifully. I thought the BMW would be a pudding with a lovely engine and was proven precisely half right. Any BMW straight six engine from that era was a thing of wonder and for its smoothness, voice and response and it still is, but it’s the car’s balance and precision that I’ll remember more because it was so surprising. What I feared might be a somewhat sloppy tourer proved to be a real driver’s machine.
As for the Stiletto, even on the way it had surprised simply by its ability to keep up with cars with engines two or three times the size of mildly tuned 1.0-litre motor in its boot, but to drive it was a revelation: so tight, taut and like an early 911 to handle. A hoot in other words.
Once we were done, we popped into the pub for a quick sharpener before going home and letting the food, wine and tales of derring-do really flow. How much fun did we have? I ask only that you believe me when I say there have been days when I’ve driven cars worth more money than most people will see in their entire lifetimes and enjoyed them less than this.