We have just, very reluctantly, returned a RANGE ROVER ‘AUTOBIOGRAPHY’ Long Wheel Base (LWB) model, having driven it in a variety of driving conditions, including a stint off-road, and over 1000 miles of motorway driving, to this year’s CLA game Fair on the Harewood Estate near Leeds in Yorkshire and I can honestly say that this is one of, if not the most impressive car, we have driven since starting ‘The Vintage Magazine’ three years ago.
The name JEEP is synonymous with vehicles used by the US Forces in the 2nd World War, and the word ‘Cherokee’ with a Native American tribe indigenous to the South-Eastern United States, so what on earth do they have in common?
Well, they are both iconic names in their own right, and joined together as in ‘JEEP Grand Cherokee’ they conjure up images of the wild frontier, waiting to be tamed.
The old Grand Cherokee was certainly getting a bit long in the tooth, and has been given a new lease of life by its new owners, Fiat, who are intent on reversing its decline, and they are certainly capable of this.
If heaven is a place on earth, then one place it might be is the south downs on a perfect summers day, and one good way to enjoy it is by driving a Midnight Blue, Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe, with a cobalt blue sky above, surrounded by acres of the palest off-white leather interior, on our way to collect two of our best friends, Malcolm and Jane Gill to take them on a Magical Mystery Tour to celebrate their wedding anniversary.
They did not know about the Rolls-Royce, and were astonished to find such a vision of beauty sitting in their drive, and after a welcome coffee, we headed for our surprise destination, at a sedate pace, which, in a Rolls Royce means just taking your foot of the brake and letting the V12 engine just ‘tick-over’ at its most effortless pace.
The arrival of the Ghibli marks Maserati’s first serious challenge to Mercedes, BMW, AUDI and Jaguar’s dominance of the luxury car market, and with prices starting at under £50,000 and a choice of three versions: a 3.0-litre, 272bhp V6 turbo diesel, and single and twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 cars, with 325bhp and 404bhp respectively, Maserati are looking like a serious challenger in this market for the first time.
At £48,830, the diesel clearly appeals to business users despite the fact that it is less powerful but pricier than Audi’s impressive A6 Avant with its bi-turbo V6 engine.
Over the past three weeks we have road tested three Mitsubishi models, each one representing a different aspect of their extensive range, and the results are impressive.
We started with their ‘top of the range’ Shogun LWB 3.2 DI-DC, the latest version of this well tried and tested off-roader which established their reputation for being robust and reliable 4X4 workhhorses, then the Outlander and finally the ASX.
A ROAD TRIP TO CORNWALL
We were recently lent over a long weekend a very special car to review for The Vintage Magazine; a Tungsten Silver Aston Martin Vanquish Coupé. We quite naturally wanted to make the most of this opportunity to drive one of the most iconic sports cars in the world, so we sat down to plan our route and itinerary. We chose to head west and decided to try three very different hotels which would take us from The Manor House at Castle Combe to Budock Vean near Falmouth and back to Hampshire to the Limewood Hotel at Lyndhurst in the New Forest – a round trip of over 500 miles.
In a previous article about Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saison, The Vintage Magazine alerted our readers to Raymond Blanc’s annual Festival of Music held over three nights at his sublime hotel which is made for celebrations.
This was their 23rd festival so they have really got the hang of it by now, and it showed. Over the years many of the most established artists from the worlds of opera, classical music and jazz have been welcomed and allowed the guests the rare chance to get ‘up close and personal’ with some of the greatest artists in the world.
Having recently driven the latest Range Rover Vogue, and been very impressed by it, I was looking forward to seeing what the Sport could bring to the party, and was very pleasantly surprised.
Firstly, the Sport benefits from having the new all aluminium platform which it now shares with its big brother, the ‘Vogue’, resulting in its weighing up to 420 kg less than the old car, using less fuel, but going faster!
CHEWTON GLEN was one of the first ‘Country House’ Hotels in Britain, and I first experienced its charms in the early 1980s when I was introduced to the then owner, Martin Skan, who was one of several owners of the first batch of what became known as ‘Country House’ hotels.
At that time, I was the Managing Director of Debrett’s Peerage Limited, and we initiated a marketing plan to promote the charms of a number of early Country House Hotels, all owner occupied and run, to the American market.
It took a Frenchman to lead the revolution in British cuisine and an Indian company to show us how to build our own iconic sports cars, and they have both exceeded all expectations.
Since The Vintage Magazine first appeared in 2012, we have gained a reputation for combining hotels with car reviews, and we have had some pretty impressive ‘combinations’, but our latest must rate as one of the best yet.