Wednesday – The Real World

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All the ‘issues’ that you might have living in the real world with the Aston Martin Vanquish Volante would disappear if you could afford the £200,000 required to buy it in the first place.

Zero leg room in the back seats? You’d probably own a Range Rover as a second car. Worried about cleaning those white leather seats? Surely you just get somebody in to clean them? Slightly concerned by 18.1mpg? Here’s my Coutts credit card

Driving an Aston Martin around for a week is not living in the real world for the majority of us. I’ve driven faster and more expensive cars but the Vanquish just has a little something that is best described as the X factor. You can’t put your finger on it but it makes all the difference.

For me, it’s the ‘made in Britain’ tag, the rasping exhaust pipes that provide the perfect soundtrack to every drive and the breathtaking interior. Even though I would never pick white leather…

Thursday – A Range Rover For The New Generation

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Jeremy My late friend Tom Love was one of the first people in the country to own a Range Rover. He began a lifelong obsession with the 4×4 in 1970, when the original Rangey was only offered with three-doors and vinyl matting on the floor to make it easier to wash clean with a hose pipe!

Back then, Tom would be invited down from his home in Scotland to collect his new Range Rover from the factory. He would stay for lunch with one of the directors and then drive back home. The top brass would often ask how Tom thought they could improve the Rangey – to which Tom told them ‘add two more doors and an automatic gearbox‘. Strangely, enough, it wasn’t long before Land Rover did just that…

I’m not sure what Tom would have made of the Evoque. He certainly wouldn’t have fitted in it, being a large man who liked red wine and only ate steak, just steak – without potato or salad. I’m pretty sure he would have disapproved of the bling wheels and red seats but he would also fully understand how a brand like Range Rover needed to evolve to survive.

With starting prices at around £30,000, the Evoque has truly brought Range Rover ownership to a whole new market. It is beautifully put together too – with a first class interior, quality fittings and doors that shut with a reassuring clunk. Tom would have liked that, if he could have squeezed in…