Every so often in this job, we get lucky enough to live out deepest-rooted dreams, and so it was for me in Italy last week.

I was there to do a story about the Bertone BAT11 concept that you can read about in next week’s mag, a handsome recreation of one of the company’s 1950s one-offs. The venue for the story was Stile Bertone, the company’s design centre, housed in a wonderful architect-designed building which features a wing full of Bertone’s most famous car designs.

The classic collection reads like a world’s best list - Alfa Giulietta and Montreal, Lamborghini Miura and Countach, Lancia Stratos, Iso Rivolta  — and all kept in running order.

After an hour or so chatting, Bertone’s Scottish-born design director David Wilkie made the offer of a life-time: “We could get a couple of cars out of the collection for you to drive if you’d like...”

What to choose? No question really, it had to be the Miura, the first mid-engined supercar, and a car I’ve lusted after since I wore short trousers. And a second? Go on then: the Lancia Stratos, which I first glimpsed in well-thumbed copies of Autosport magazine in the days of black-and-white pictures.