The V8. What delicious thoughts of easy potency, of extravagant urge, are evoked by that combination of a letter and a number. When we think of a V8, something American-flavoured usually heads the mental-image queue. But that's a stereotype both undeserved and outdated.
John Simister: A history of the V8 from our side of the pond
A deep concern for the planet's welfare ensures that the cars in John Simister's current assemblage of classics all have engines of under a litre, including a two-stroke Saab which causes the road behind to disappear from view after a cold start. This squares well with John's status as a Car of the Year jury member and a writer both on modern cars and old ones, the latter for Octane and Practical Classics. He has been a journalist since 1984, and lives in the Chiltern Hills with his wife Deborah and a dog called Sprocket.