The Mercedes-Benz 300SL glistening like a giant, exquisite paperweight hewn from a solid piece of precious metal outside our Portakabin office at the track was not the only car I was lined up to drive. Alongside it were a scattering of others, some of which had brought their owners with them to lounge about, looking on as I drove and assessed their pride and joy. A Peugeot 205 GTi, an elderly Ford Capri and a splendid old Lotus Cortina all awaited my attention, and I reassured their anxious owners that I would be gentle with Their Precious and would return it without a blemish or a pulled muscle. What, then, must they have thought when I screamed onto the track in front of them in the rare, half-million-quid Mercedes Gullwing and proceeded to abuse the thing like it was a fifty quid hot hatch at a grass-track day?
This feature originally appeared in the December issue of Top Gear magazine