I have always had a weak spot for cars that aren’t sensible. For years I ran old Bentley’s born in the 1950’s and 60’s (an R Type, an S2 and an S3).  They were far too large for my needs, too thirsty for my pocket, and my wife was always embarrassed to be seen in them. 

I thought I had got over my ownership of silly cars, until two years ago when I cycled (yes cycled) past a garage that sold second hand cars.  There on the forecourt was a silver Mercedes SLK 350.  For those of you who don’t know, this is a sports car with a far larger engine than it needs, with only two seats and with a hard top that, at the push of a button, miraculously folds away into the virtually non-existent boot.  In other words, it is just plain silly.

Anyway, I stopped to look at it and I liked what I saw.  But I knew it was silly, so I rode away on my bicycle.  A couple of days later I passed the garage again.  The day was sunny and the Mercedes had its bonnet open, revealing a lot of engine, and the hood had been stowed away.  It looked absolutely magnificent.  But I knew it was silly, so I rode away again. 

I tried but I couldn’t get that blasted car out of my mind.  So, I played a game with myself.  I resolved not to pass the garage again for a whole week and, if by then the car had gone, I’d be pleased that fate had intervened and saved me from myself.  If, on the other hand, the wretched thing was still there, I’d have to resign myself to the fact that it was meant to be.

A week later, it was still there, looking inviting and shamelessly seductive. I went home and for the first time mentioned it to my wife expecting her to say, ‘Don’t be silly’.  To my amazement she said, ‘You’d enjoy driving that, I think you should have it’.

So I succumbed. I only mention this now because this summer has so far not been a sensible one for sports car ownership; very few HDDs (hood down days).   But yesterday, after all the gloom, wind and rain, the sun came out.  Shorts went on, the hood was retracted, and off I went.  All the more glorious for being so silly.

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