As assignments go, this one wasn’t bad. Go to Ibiza, they said. There will be sun, sea, sand, superclubs and other things beginning with S. Best of all, I would be given the fastest car in the world. This may come as a surprise to anyone who’s just ordered the new Bugatti, but hard luck, because everyone knows that the quickest way from A to B isn’t with a two-metre-wide hypercar, but with a twenty-quid-a-day holiday rental from the airport. Especially a shabby one with no roof.
You know the sort. Dirt-cheap jeeps – and I mean that with a small ‘j’ – with engines that never blow up no matter how much you abuse them. Normally it’s a Suzuki Jimny, but if you’re lucky it might be an actual Jeep, and if you’re really lucky it’ll be a Citroen Mehari, an original one with plastic panels and mechanical bits from a 2CV. Along with the Mini Moke, it was one of the first proper beach buggies – it weighed next to nothing, you could hose down the interior and despite the majority being two-wheel drive, it could scamper over the sand without getting beached.
Photography: John Wycherley
This feature was originally published in issue 283 of Top Gear magazine.