Doctor, I have a problem. It’s almost a month since I drove an Ariel Nomad and I’m still obsessed. I lie awake at night wondering whether, if I sold this, pawned that, gave up the other, I could afford one. Just for a while.
Just so that its remarkable driving characteristics were always waiting at the end of the garden. So that any time I brought a needlessly crashy, thumpy-riding car home from work, I could wheel out the Nomad and it would make it all better.
But more than that: I can’t stop thinking that the Nomad’s suspension points to a different way. Perhaps a better way. A way where compliant suspension is cherished and nurtured, where a car’s body movements are not just allowed but encouraged. Where dips, crests, potholes and road lumps are isolated from a car’s cabin yet it remains brilliantly composed and perfectly damped.
The more I think about the Nomad – and I think about it a lot – the more I sound like a deranged evangelist for a cause that’s noble but unviable. The Nomad is, I should accept, an exception. It sits alongside sandrail buggies and specialist rally cars in having a wonderfully limited brief: to provide great fun on any terrain.