321kph in a Bentley GT Speed!

In 1923, Cheshire-born mountaineer and explorer George Mallory was asked by a New York Times reporter why he was bothering to attempt climbing Mount Everest. It seemed like such an impossible task that it could only end in disaster, he had to hear why Mallory and his team were even thinking of doing such a ridiculous thing. "Why?" said Mallory fixing his steely gaze on the writer. "Because it's there."

Ninety years to the day, I'm sitting in a Cheshire-built Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible, engine wuffling away like a contented dray horse, at the end of a 4.6-kilometre runway in the high Californian desert, seconds away from trying something similarly questionable. Seeing how fast you can go in a four-seat convertible with the roof down. Why? Because I can.