Stig and the BAC Mono
This 519bhp/tonne single-seater is one of the most exciting British cars in years: we take it up north for a debut outing
Posted: 10 Oct 2011
Click the wheel-mounted paddle into first. Brilliant: a hill start in a car with a) no handbrake, b) a racing sequential ‘box and c) a gathering crowd of Welsh pensioners. Easy on the clutch, don't stall... and the Mono pulls away without a twitch or a hop, smooth as single-malt Scotch. Again, unexpectedly civilised.
Bobbling over the potholes and manhole covers, the Mono serves up another surprise. Far from turning my lower vertebrae into sneezing powder, it rides sublimely. That open wheel, pushrod set-up provides 100mm of vertical wheel travel, allowing the Mono to articulate over Rhyl's nastiest ridges. The damping - a BAC speciality - is top-drawer, too. Unlike a narrow-body Caterham, there's enough room in the Mono's footwell to flex your toes without sending the car careering into the North Sea. OK, at idle, the Mono chunters a little, and the gearbox emits an alarming clack on upchanges, but this isn't the highly strung, twitching live wire I was expecting.