Heard a quietly uplifting tale the other day, about a chap I know who drives a Mini. It’s not really a normal kind of Mini, even though it looks much like any other original Mini from the outside. It has a highly tuned Honda Integra R engine in its nose, and is rapid enough to dispense with most things this side of a superbike until three figures. Which is amusing.

Anyway, there this chap was, in his Mini-mental, minding his own business, tootling along a dual carriageway at 70ish (apparently), when all of a sudden a silver BMW comes howling up behind him, and then just sits there, a few feet off his back bumper. Waiting.

So Mini man looks in his rear view mirror (which isn’t especially clear in the view it offers of what’s behind due to a) the car’s rock hard suspension, and b) the full roll cage that occupies the rear seats) and thinks to himself; ‘Fancy a piece of me, do you?’ At which point he drops it down a cog, gives it a handful so to speak, and leaves the BMW for dead.

A few seconds later, however, he sees something so awful he thinks he might throw up on the spot. He sees a pair of blue lights come on, mounted craftily within the BMW’s grille. So then he pulls over and waits for the end of his world to begin.

They ask him how fast he thinks he was going. He says ’85mph, maybe 90mph?’ They say 110mph.

And then right out of the blue one of the boys in blue admits that he and his colleague had been a bit naughty, and that they’d goaded him deliberately ‘because we saw the roll cage and wondered how quick it would go.’

After a bit more chat abut the Mini, they then tell him to be a bit more careful next time, climb back into their unmarked BMW and that’s that. No harm has been done. No tickets have been issued. No big deal basically.

One question: would the same thing have happened if the chaps in the BMW had been able to issue an on-the-spot fine?

Answer: no chance.