In most circumstances a score of 5 from 25 is a very poor result. Not so in our case. According to “Car” magazine (issue 638 September, 2015) there are 25 British cars you should drive before you die and we have 5 of them (or at least close relations).
So which are the 5. All need little introduction: Mini Cooper; Caterham 7; MGB Roadster; Land Rover and Range Rover.
The Mini Cooper lives up to expectation. It handles like a go kart. At a little over 3 metres long and 1.5 metres wide it’s actually not much bigger than one. Yet can accommodate four people easier than a modern MINI. But it’s the driving experience that counts. Sitting close to the floor speed is multiplied by a factor of 2. You might be hunched over the steering wheel with the pedals offset to the left and your passengers may complain about ride comfort or lack of it but you can’t help but smile. Every journey is an experience, an event. Nothing comes close. Unless of course you’re in a Caterham 7.
The Caterham is one of the purest driving experiences you can get. Seat of the pants stuff; whatever the time of year – provided it’s dry. Sheepskin bomber jacket, bobble hat pulled over ears, glasses, goggles or better still a helmet, thick socks in narrow shoes and a pair of lined leather driving gloves. It’s “bonkers” but you will keep coming back for more. It really is that addictive.
For the more sedate open topped experience there is nothing better than an MGB Roadster. It epitomizes classic car motoring in its purest form. Our MGB is a 4 speed with stainless exhaust. The gears literally snick into position and the burble from the exhaust with the top down mesmerizes. A pleasure to drive. Simple and effective. While the MGB is long gone there is nothing around today to compete. No wonder it is the most popular classic on our fleet.
We do not have a LR Defender, nor a contemporary Range Rover. However, we do have a LR Discovery 2 and a couple of Range Rover classics. While we admit the Defender remains on our wish list no one can deny that the Discovery shares the same genes and is equally capable off road. Both are go anywhere workhorses and “Tonka” toy tough.
The classic Range Rover though is something else. When Spen King and Gordon Bashford engineered the original and David Bache finalized the design the legend was born and like the Mini and Caterham 7 each remains unsurpassed in automotive history. Yes it would be nice to add an Aston Martin, Jaguar, Lotus, Morgan and a TVR but for now from our selection we claim 3 from 3. 100%. Now that’s a result!