Exhilarating time at our annual Autocar Stars bash in Chelsea’s swanky Hurlingham Club, watching Mr Holder dish awards to the purveyors of the cars that have achieved our testers’ ultimate five-star accolade this year. When that was over, I was privileged to present our two ‘people’ gongs: the Sturmey Award to Citroën’s master designer Mark Lloyd and the Issigonis Trophy to Wolfgang Hatz, Porsche’s high- flying director of R&D.
Autocar invented car awards 25 years ago but gave up when they became an industry-wide craze and guests started dying of boredom. No one should be asked to feign excitement over ‘Best Small Estate with Shiny Hubcaps’. Now we reckon we’ve found a way of rewarding those who’ve excelled, without obliterating their achievement with verbiage.
Dashed to the Midlands to see my new Lotus Elise (currently being fitted with a four-point harness so we can sprint it). Took the Suzuki Celerio because it’s quick through the traffic between our office and the M40 out of London.
However, since I find it hard not to drive economically in economy cars, I tried my best to save fuel while pressing on a bit and felt rewarded with 64mpg on the trip at the other end. Then things got urgent at home so I had to hurry back and forget frugality. Result: 64mpg again, which was good but sort of bad as well. Decision: I’m giving up on feathering accelerators. I’m simply going to let my right clog weigh what it weighs.
Never thought I’d miss Top Gear, but I do. Despite the fact that every two-bob Freeview channel is dedicated solely to the rib-tickling antics of May, Hammond and Clarkie, I feel weirdly bereft, because I can’t get satisfaction on what has always been the essential TG question: what will they do next?