At the beginning of 2007 I took delivery of a Bentley Continental GT. I fell in love with the looks of these cars the moment they first appeared. To me they were pure sculpture on wheels, and next to my DB7, one of the most beautiful cars ever made.

But my joy of owning this car lasted a mere 18 months – before it caught fire as Helen and I were driving in it on our way to a charity event at Glyndebourne Opera House (see earlier blog!)

In the long ensuing saga, about which there will be a further blog, the car was off the road for a staggering 12 weeks. I got fed up in the end and bought another one, the massively uprated Bentley Continental GT Speed, (pictured) a car with real attitude!

It has has 600 BHP, will do 203 mph and handles as sharply as a Porsche. Jeremy Clarkson, I believe, said it was the best road car he had ever driven and I completely agree with him.

I recently let a traffic police officer friend of mine have a lengthy drive in it, and he was grinning from ear to ear as he drove it, saying it was the best handling road car he had ever driven. He is right. It is a glorious beast and at least if this one catches fire – well, it is fire engine red!!!