Last night, along with a few other hacks, I was at a Jaguar Land Rover dinner, and very enjoyable it was, too. 

For most of the evening we talked back and forth about JLR’s successes and its even more stellar prospects. 

Then, just before the meeting was due to end, a familiar-looking tall bloke arose from the fringes of the meeting and started talking about driving at 1000mph across a South African desert in 2016. 

It was, of course, Andy Green, the 52-year-old RAF officer and former fast jet pilot, world-famous for his exploits in various land speed record cars, the most important of which, Thrust SSC, he drove at 763.035mph in September 1997, breaking the sound barrier on land for the first time, 50 years and one day after the equally legendary American pilot Chuck Yeager did it in an aircraft.