As a result of all this, the Interceptor sits in the bargain basement bin of the nation’s classic car market. While you are now expected to pay hundreds of thousands for an Aston DB5 or an E-type Jag, a decent Interceptor can be yours for around ?5,000.. Of course, there are other cars that can go this quickly, but none of them feels like a Ferrari. The paddles, for instance: when you pull them, they feel as if they aren’t actually connected to anything, which in reality, of course, is a fact. They aren’t. They work the gearbox in the same way as the light switch in your kitchen works the bulb. Only a little bit faster.. And here’s the best bit. Despite the madness, it is not a stripped-out racing car. Unlike Porsche, which removes even the satnav and the radio from its track cars and replaces the back seats with scaffolding, Mercedes has left pretty much everything you could reasonably expect in place. It will even, if you ask nicely and cross its palms with silver, put the rear seats back.. Because even though there is now a rather worrying Dynamic option for those who wish to take their Rolls-Royce around the N?rburgring, the Phantom still feels, drives and looks like nothing else. It is a sublime experience, like getting into a warm bubble bath and then getting out and finding yourself somewhere else.. And so it goes with the SLK. Mercedes may have fiddled with the camber and perforated the brake discs. The little convertible may have all the racing paraphernalia, but it’s still a car you have to wrestle if you want to get the most from it. It’s a car that’s happiest when it’s a little bit sideways.. Her views were echoed on the road.‘That is ridiculous,’ was the most commonly expressed view.. If I go back to Africa, will you take it away again?. So, there is nothing about this car, either on paper or in the showroom, that is going to tickle the tickly bits of Clint Thrust, the lantern-jawed hero from the planet Oversteer. And yet there is, because, unlike most cars of its type, the GT86 is rear-wheel drive.. But what in the name of all that’s holy caused Jaguar’s board to say, ‘Yes. We
have the legal and moral right to make it look like an E-type. But we won’t’?. Let’s look at the obvious problems first of all. Number 1: the man with the box on his head is plainly still in charge of styling because the list of things I’d rather look at includes every single thing in the world.. And it gets worse, because although the roof has many layers of fabric and fits with Germanic precision, you still get a fair bit of extra noise. Which is annoying when you just want to listen to the radio and go home.. Then, in an alarmingly short time, the cars are suddenly as good as their European rivals. Toyota went from the Toyopet to the Lexus LFA in about five weeks. One minute Kia was making the woefully awful Rio, and the next it had the bloody good Cee’d.. I know the rules, of course. No man over the age of thirty-eight can drive a car with the roof down when he can be seen by other people, as it sends out all the wrong messages. You think you look good on the high street, sitting in the sun. You think you come across as suave yet carefree. But to other people it looks as if your gentleman sausage no longer works properly.. I was driving the high-spec Tech version and it was festooned with switches. And equipment. You get a tremendous satnav system, and a button that changes the look of the instrument panel. You get voice activation and iPod connectivity. You get far more than you would get on a Golf GTI, that’s for sure.. Some say it was Ronald Reagan’s proposed Star Wars technology that finished the Cold War and brought down the Berlin Wall. Others reckon it was the accident at Chernobyl that caused Mikhail Gorbachev to come to do the business with Margaret Thatcher. But actually it was the registration-plate change. Because that one single thing ended the demand for cheap-at-any-price new cars..