Automotive

Route One – Shelby Mustang GT350R

I got out of my chequered yellow cab and pushed my way past the airport bus queue, headed for the hotel’s reception. After three days sampling New York’s finest destinations, I was ready to leave the Big Apple, get behind the wheel and onto the road. The journey had seemed endless out to JFK airport, as I knew waiting for me was a car not officially available in the UK. I had already christened it out of homage to its predecessor, the feature car in the film ‘Gone in Sixty Seconds’, Eleanor. Having collected the keys from the front desk, I returned to the parking lot, but was unable to…

Mustang

My last experience of driving the Ford Mustang was on the Pacific Coast Highway from Los Angeles to Napa Valley and back. I vividly remember stopping en route at Pismo beach, to dig holes in the sand, rather childishly with the big V8 and its rear tires. I burnt badly in the sun with the roof down, ensuring I wasn’t the only lobster for dinner. And there was a gap between the rear and front windows wide enough to get your hand in to lift the locks. Some prodigious stops at wineries led to my precious cargo of some sixty bottles of wine to be locked in the boot whilst the luggage travelled in plain…

Rolls Royce Dawn

When I called Rolls-Royce to ask if I could borrow a Phantom Drop Head, I was a little despondent when informed, “I’m terribly sorry, sir, but we’re phasing them out”. In the most first-world way possible, I was sad about this. Although that was quickly swept away by the follow up of “…have you tried the Dawn?” Thinking that, as a consolation, they were going to send me to lunch with the lady who cleans the offices, I enquired gingerly as to what he was talking about. Well, it transpires that the Dawn is just over seventeen-foot of wood, leather, aluminium and automotive pornography. Because (in England, at least) we…

Volvo XC90

My first encounter with a Volvo came in the form of a friend’s mother’s 245, sitting outside her modest home like a trusted family friend. The Volvo 200 series ran from 1974 to 1993, selling over 2.8 million units and becoming ubiquitous with British life in the process. It was overtly safety-conscious; the equivalent of fitting your child with lifelong orange armbands. But the idea that a car represents a certain set of society is becoming rarer as the automotive industry rushes to build as many vehicles with international appeal, using as few distinctive parts as possible. Despite being regarded as decidedly Swedish, fast forward to 2017 and we’ve seen…