So here’s a letter I got from a reader just recently, regarding his ownership experiences with Ferrari and, soon to be, with McLaren.

‘Dear Steve, I enjoyed your piece about McLaren making the MP4-12C cabin engine noise a little louder. I have an MP4-12C on order, and expect delivery later this year. My choice was, in part, on the basis that its engineering is truly superb, and, in part due to your reviews of the car. However I thought you might be interested to hear about one or two of the ‘soft’ issues that helped me to choose the car after many years of Ferrari ownership.

I have bought six Ferraris – all new – in the UK over the years, typically paying a £5k deposit against the next one each time I bought a new one. Shortly after I bought my F430 in late 2006 I tried to do this again, but was told that the deposit would now be £20k.

This I could handle, but I was also told that it would be non-transferable and non-refundable – and this was before the price of what was to be the 458 was even announced. On enquiring why, I was told that it was to “discourage speculators”, but in my view it was a very arrogant way to treat a loyal customer.

My disappointment was compounded last year when I took my very low mileage car in for servicing to be told that a manifold was cracked. Because the Ferrari factory were on holiday and no replacement was in stock, I had to do without the car for nearly eight weeks last summer.