I’ve been to John ‘O’ Groats and back this week. A pointless journey in an apparently marginal car in a stupidly short time frame.

As it was for charity no one actually questions your sanity, but they
an question your mode of transport.

As this was an exclusively motor trade event it was packed with vehicle technicians who spend their entire lives shaking their heads, drawing breath, skinning knuckles and muttering accusingly: “Who replaced these suspension arms then chief?”

Obviously they criticised my blameless Rover Sterling reckoning that it would expire within yards in a haze of blue smoke, boiling coolant and chunks of sauteed motoring hack. How they laughed.

Well at least a Sterling is a comfortable place to be with deep leather seats, a lazy V6, CD, working air con and pretty much electric everything. It proved to be utterly magnificent, whether it was munching up the motorway miles, or negotiating the tricky Highland hairpins.

It was certainly the longest, most powerful and when new, the most expensive car on the rally. It was also one of the most reliable, as an old Land Rover expired and other cars had coolant, brake and warning light dramas.