Drive it like I bought it

Aston_Martin_DBS_V12_coupé_(front)_b-wSo it’s Sunday and I’m out for a drive with the air temperature reading at a surprising 5 degC (Surprising for December in Scotland). I’m nursing my vehicle back to base at about 55, because of the now-usual set of red indicators glowing across my dashboard (Coolant temperature is a surprisingly high 90 degC). Then the Messerschmitt Twitch I developed as a bike rider activates and my rear view mirror picks up a glimpse of something wide and black -gaining fast.

My first instinct is to say “Bugger you, whoever you are. This is my favourite local road.” I accelerate around a tight bend and then remember that the guts of my car’s circulatory system are held in place by a single, leaky jubilee clip.

Just then the beast above becomes visible in my rear view. Like some kind of primal instinct, my twitching rear has triggered an attack run. This is a huge car, with a soft-top that looks like it was designed by Silver Cross. An umbrella that will soon invert in its own slipstream. Otherwise, I admire the design. It’s not a 996, but it has a brutal charm.

Actually, what I admire most is the commitment of the owner (assuming the driver is the owner). Spending that kind of money and then not caring about the real possibility of side swiping a stone wall takes a certain sang froid.

Five seconds later, I hear an enormous engine (weirdly located in front of the driver) scream past. The road is really too narrow for this craziness. It’s wet and pensioners scuttle to church along this route. Then, he’s hammering on the brakes, having only just got by me in time for the next right hander. It’s a skilful bit of timing and this is clearly someone with a big budget for bodywork emergencies.

Me? I’ve narrowly avoided an underpants emergency.

Two minutes later and I see him again, speeding away through a residential area…no doubt on a pub trip to brag about buzzing some old guy in a 911. “Driving like it was a Cayenne, he was…”

Anyway, when I was young and foolish, I’d have chased him in my Astra GTE, maybe even shortcut and caught him. My driving skills were (and are) probably less well honed than this James Bond, but any fisticuffs on the pavement might have been worth watching.

These days, I’m less inclined to road rage and more aware of the danger that inappropriate aggression can pose to innocent drivebyers. My insurance company recognises and approves of this new me (even if I do secretly hanker after a rematch -on a tight, dry track).

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