I’ve always wondered what it might be like to buy and actually own one of the cars that we’ve thrashed to within an inch of its life during a road test. What happens, for instance, if you buy a car via the dealer network in good faith, then click on YouTube and see a video of it basically going sideways for five minutes?
Do you recoil in horror then reach for the phone and demand your money back? Or do you sit back and think; wow, that’s my car, then feel a strange sense of wellbeing about owning a mildly famous ex-press demonstrator?
Although I’m not 100 per cent sure I’d like to spend my money on a car that’s done the rounds of the various magazines, the truth is that these particular cars are more likely to have been looked after than most. They are inspected and prepared for the next thrashing between each and every road test, and when their time as a press car is over (usually within 10k miles) they are often rebuilt and readied for their first genuine customer like no other cars would ever be.
So although they work hard during their brief but exhaustive lives as press demonstrators, these are not necessarily cars to shy away away from secondhand. Which is why it was nice to get an email from a proud Cornishman recently who just so happens to have bought the BMW 1M in which I did 11,000 miles last year.