When Land Rover celebrated its 65th birthday in 2013, it held a gathering at a country house in the Midlands. There was a fabulous array of historic models parked around the place and a decent amount of open land to try out a few of the cars.

Just before lunch, a Royal Naval helicopter from RNAS Yeovilton put on a display over the grounds and then landed in front of the house. It was delivering a 65th birthday cake for Land Rover.

After the photoshoot was over, I found myself sitting next to one of the helicopter crew at lunch.

When I heard RN man Andy was based at Yeovilton, I asked him whether he knew much of the Royal Naval Historic Flight planes based down there, specifically the Hawker Sea Fury.

It turned out he often flew in the two-seater Sea Fury and the Swordfish biplane when the aircraft were on the summer air show circuit.

Well, as much as I am deeply fascinated by the car industry, a man who flew Sea Furies put me straight into the realm of childhood fantasy. When I was a kid, I didn’t have pictures of cars on my bedroom wall. I had a Sea Fury poster.

The Hawker Fury was just too late to see action in WW2, but it was about the ultimate expression of the piston-engined fighter. A huge aeroplane, it was powered by the spectacularly complex Bristol Centaurus radial engine, which had two rows of nine cylinders and was good for 2500bhp.