DROVE MERCEDES AMGS IN THE SNOW FOR US; P97
Your two favourite cars in movies?
Mad Max 2’ s 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT351 Coupé. Or, to put it more succinctly, ‘Mad’ Max Rockatansky’s preferred choice of wheels. Thanks to its apocalypse-spec body mods, this was actually the first time I’d seen a car that I couldn’t immediately name. Yeah, I was that kid. And the 1987 Aston Martin V8 Vantage from The Living Daylights still sends a twinge through my delicates when I think about it. It’s Britain’s muscle car, a 12-gauge shotgun with a marquetry stock. Oh, and this is as underrated a Bond film as Timothy Dalton is as Bond.
Your best car-related story?
It was stupid, and long enough ago, that I was able to watch a Sony Discman hover weightlessly next to my head as we soared through the air. Turns out elevated railway tracks are ideal ramps.
Why should everyone be able to drive a manual?
For the joy of an intimate connection with the car… Nah, even if you don’t care about driving, it’s a skill you never regret learning. One day, there’ll be an opportunity, or an obligation, to use one. Being capable and unflappable in those situations is an impressive, and attractive, quality.
What does your wife think about you driving at dangerous speeds ‘for work’?
She sometimes asks if the cars need to be so thoroughly tested, especially when she’s in the passenger seat.
How many cars have you written off?
I’ve never had a proper, airbags-out crash. And, tempting fate, it’s a more than half a decade since I’ve even scuffed a rim.
The funniest description of a car junkie?
It has to be ‘hoon’ – because you know it’s been written by someone in the depths of moral outrage, apoplectic that people are still willing and able to enjoy cars.