Lam­borgh­ini Mur­ciélago

The Lambo at­tracts cus­toms of­fi­cers (twice) and meets its dop­pel­gänger on a Scan­di­na­vian odyssey

Evo - - FAST FLEET - Si­mon Ge­orge (@6gear­ex­pe­ri­ence)

ACOUPLE OF MONTHS AGO THE BIG Lambo and I found our­selves in a sunny but bit­terly cold Swe­den, head­ing to­wards the Norwegian bor­der at Halden. I’d al­ways fan­cied tour­ing this part of the world, so a week or so ear­lier I’d taken the ferry from Hull across the North Sea to the Nether­lands, from where a 1000-mile trek north be­gan.

It had been a pretty bad win­ter, even by Scan­di­na­vian stan­dards, with far more snow than usual. Al­though, un­sur­pris­ingly, Scan­di­navia was far bet­ter pre­pared for se­vere weather than we are in Blighty. So apart from an all-over layer of caked-on rock salt, which I guess would have a garage queen’s owner in tears, the Mur­ciélago fared rather well.

Which is more than could be said for me. A cou­ple of weeks ear­lier I had taken a tum­ble from a steplad­der, badly sprain­ing my left wrist. I’m not a fan of pad­dleshifts, as some will have gath­ered, but on this trip I would have killed for a semi auto. The man­ual shift in the Lambo is slow and me­thod­i­cal and re­quires some mod­icum of strength – es­pe­cially when it’s cold – so I had to mainly use my right hand to change gear, which wasn’t ex­actly ideal.

Upon dis­em­bark­ing the ferry at Rot­ter­dam, the run north-east to Ham­burg was ticked off in a steady four hours. The city’s Crowne Plaza ho­tel pro­vided overnight ac­com­mo­da­tion, and upon check­ing out the next morn­ing I was amused to find ‘Trig­ger’s Broom’ had picked up an iden­ti­cal twin dur­ing the night. It turned out the Lux­em­bourg-reg­is­tered Aran­cio At­las-coloured Mur­ciélago also sported a man­ual ’box and an or­ange in­te­rior, and with 80,000km on the odo was nicely run in.

Its owner, avid evo reader Bo Christensen, a Dane liv­ing in Lux­em­bourg, was trav­el­ling back to his home­land. On the way he’d be stop­ping at the Jyl­land­srin­gen race cir­cuit in cen­tral Den­mark to take part in a pho­to­shoot for Dan­ish car mag­a­zine Bil Ma­gasinet. Hav­ing recog­nis­ing SG54 LAM he in­tro­duced him­self and in­vited me along, so that morn­ing we found our­selves in two iden­ti­cal Mur­ciéla­gos snaking through rush-hour Ham­burg traf­fic. Once over the bor­der we al­most stopped the traf­fic en­tirely as gob­s­macked Danes did a dou­ble take: su­per­cars are all but non-ex­is­tent in Den­mark due to huge ve­hi­cle im­port taxes, so two Lam­borgh­i­nis beat­ing up the E45 high­way was bound to at­tract at­ten­tion.

Talk­ing of which, Dan­ish cus­toms didn’t hes­i­tate to wave us both down for a few ‘rou­tine’ ques­tions – closely fol­lowed by po­lite re­quests for a few self­ies with the cars.

Af­ter a cou­ple of en­joy­able hours at the cir­cuit it was good­bye to Bo and his twin Lambo and time to point the Mur­ciélago’s nose to­wards Fred­erik­shavn, at the north­ern tip of Den­mark, where I found a pretty ba­sic ho­tel for the night right next to the port.

Next morn­ing saw a ram-packed Easter ferry (lots of Danes own hol­i­day cot­tages in Swe­den) and a pretty rough cross­ing of the Sk­ager­rak strait. Dock­ing at Gothen­burg four hours later, Swedish cus­toms – also ex­tremely po­lite – couldn’t re­sist a quick poke around be­fore wav­ing me through. Not like their French equiv­a­lents a few years back, I might add. Reg­u­lar read­ers may re­call they had their snif­fer dogs all over the Fer­rari 458 I was driv­ing on that oc­ca­sion. Mind you, I didn’t help the sit­u­a­tion by mix­ing up the French word for dog with the word for pig…

Jönköping was the next des­ti­na­tion, around two hours east and sit­u­ated on the south­ern end of Vät­tern, Swe­den’s sec­ond largest lake. Af­ter a few pleas­ant days here with my feet up I de­cided on a whim to travel to­wards Karl­skoga, around 150 miles north, hug­ging the east shore of Lake Vän­ern on the way, be­fore turn­ing west to­wards the Norwegian bor­der at the afore­men­tioned Halden.

Sure, a trip such as this would be a tad more com­fort­able in the sum­mer, par­tic­u­larly com­pared with when it’s -10deg C out­side and you have a tem­per­a­men­tal heater that only bangs out hot air when it feels like it. And I’ll ad­mit to oc­ca­sion­ally wish­ing I was in a big SUV in­stead, but where would be the sense of ad­ven­ture in that?

The re­ac­tion from a Swedish ho­tel re­cep­tion­ist summed it up best. Upon eye­ing the filthy Lambo in the car park sur­rounded by sim­i­larly dirty Volvos she looked in­cred­u­lous, ask­ing: ‘So you drive all the way from Eng­land… in that?’ ‘Urm, yeah.’ So where next? I was un­de­cided whether to con­tinue on the E18 hug­ging Nor­way’s spec­tac­u­lar south­ern coast round to Larvik, from where I could catch a ferry back to Den­mark, or if I should wimp out and turn back sooner. I’ll let you know what I did next time.

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