Alongside 'do you want to swap mate' the 'so what’s the best car you’ve ever driven' question is the one I get asked most frequently as a motoring journalist. Especially at dinner parties. And my answer is always the same.
'The Ferrari F40' I will reply, hoping secretly that the speed and confidence of my answer will force the conversation in another direction. To which the person who originally asked the question will inevitably ask 'Why?'
Thinking about it now, I’m not entirely sure why I always say it’s the F40 – because I’ve driven many cars since that are 'better' than the Ferrari in every conceivable way, ie faster, roomier, sexier, better sounding, more economical and so on. Yet the F40 is always the one I come back to.
I think this is because it’s the car that left its mark on me the most the first and only time I drove it, which was on a cold and empty piece of road that winds its way across the moors just north of a town called Kirkbymoorside. It terrified and thrilled and excited me, all in equally overwhelming terms, and all at exactly the same time. It freaked me out to be honest, and for a while all I wanted to do was climb out of it and be somewhere else.