I have always had an interest in cars, ever since my elder brother forced me to line up my toy cars end-to-end and then identify them by make and model. Despite this, however, I never really had an interest in driving. I was quite content to be a passenger and didn’t really want to learn to drive.

This meant I was very late to driving, passing my test at 27 and being taught by a driving instructor who was two years younger than me. Nothing to be embarrassed about there.

Quickly making up for time – my first car purchase, via eBay, was a 1987 white Ford Capri. Bought unseen, and before I could drive, it was one of those ridiculous purchases you make without any thought for practicalities. Ford Capris are not made for commuting.

I followed this with an even more ridiculous BMW Z3. A two-seater car for someone who had two children at the time. The car was put through absolute hell, suffering multiple crashes, breakdowns and even a theft and insurance fraud claim. It’s all online, look it up. I’m happy to report the Z3 is still alive and well to this day, and lives by the seaside with a mechanic. Seriously. It looks better now than it ever did.

Top Gear Challenge

One of the most exciting things I have ever done was to drive the Top Gear Reasonably Priced Car, the Kia C apostrophe D, around the Top Gear track. My time, with the added weight of the co-driver (here come the racing driver excuses) was still better than many of the celebrities who have taken part.