It was a July morning, and the first thing that I saw,

was an Audi R8 ‘Spyder’ convertible

delivered right outside my door

(with apologies to Joni Mitchell and ‘Chelsea Morning’)

We had been looking forward to this moment, having road tested several cars in the Audi range, and been suitably impressed by them, but this was the José Mourinho of the automotive world; this was ‘The Special One’!

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When the ‘F’ type Jaguar first appeared, the hardened Car Journalists were only too ready to write it off, but, as we found, it is a car which definitely grows on you, and after a few days it is easy to start getting very fond of it, despite certain shortcomings like a boot that is hardly big enough to put a pair of boots in, and a cramped cockpit where you need to practice Yoga to get the seatbelt on.  So, providing you don’t want to take any luggage with you, this is a very pretty sports car!

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One of the ‘perks’ of publishing a lifestyle magazine like The Vintage Magazine is that you occasionally get to drive some of the most wonderful cars, eat the finest food and drink the finest wines in the best restaurants, and stay in the best hotels, so I thought I would write a ‘Review’ of the past year to record and remember some of these experiences.

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Life in the Fast Lane the 12 cars reviewed in 2013 by The Vintage Magazine

Do not be distracted by the rather plain looks of this luxury saloon because this is one of the most advanced motor cars in the world with an incredible specification and  many impressive technological innovations. This elegantly understated luxury saloon shares its heritage with nothing less than the Bentley GT Continental. Read more…

VW Phaeton at gates to Preshaw Estate

During the past year or so, I have driven many beautiful and impressive cars and each have their charms, but for sheer driving enjoyment and exhilaration, the new Range Rover SD V8 ‘Vogue’ takes some beating.

This impressive monster does everything it says on the tin.  It is powerful and sure-footed, and has a tremendous turn of speed if required, whilst its off-road performance is equally impressive.

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Range Rover Vogue

Pronunciation may or may not seem to be important. Probably the best advice would be to speak the language of your own country when you are in it, and at least attempt to do the right thing when you are abroad.

“Porsh” is how the British say the name and we all know what it means, mystical, Teutonic, iconic, elitist, exciting and probably fast. Right on all counts except the name, “Porsha” is the correct Germanic pronunciation as is Miela for those best of domestic appliances.

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A six litre V12 four seater, four-wheel drive that does 208 mph and 0-62 in 3.7 seconds, this is the most powerful 4-wheel drive in the World.  Motoring does not get much better than this!

Of all the names that conjure up thoughts of power and style, Ferrari must surely be the most magical, so when we collected the new FF model, I was prepared to be amazed, but I still felt a quickening of the pulse when first I saw the elegant machine which was going to be mine for the next three days.

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Ferrari FF at Birdham Pool with boats

Imagine the exhilaration of racing down rural country lanes in an iconic British handmade sports car, in the blazing sunshine, with the top down and the glorious countryside whizzing past: a cliché craftily exploited in the image of Matthew Crawley racing home to Lady Mary, concluding the last series of Downton Abbey.

This fantasy became reality thanks to my friend and neighbour, Robert Jarman, who founded and edits The Vintage Magazine, inviting me to accompany him to collect a Morgan 4+4 from the factory at Great Malvern.

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