“However, a year or so ago I was chatting to Gordon Murray, who is an old friend, and he said ‘Vic, you should see this new little Alpine A110’. I remember the Alpines from the 1960s and knew about their history. They were built for competition and were enormously successful and, I thought, very French - so small and efficient and lovely in their trademark blue. I’ve always associated blue with Alpine, just as I do red with Ferraris.
“After Gordon mentioned the car I read a few road tests and did some online research and everyone was raving about the car and how great it was. I started getting interested, not least because it was so different to today’s supercars, which are too big, too wide and too close to the ground. I have no interest in these cars; they do nothing for me. They’re fine if you simply want to show off, but they’re next to useless, have totally unusable performance and are too big for country roads.
“I got more and more interested in the Alpine, so I placed an order for an A110 Première Edition – in Alpine Blue of course. I knew I’d like it but I hadn’t sat in one or even seen one in the metal.
“When I went to collect it and first saw it I thought, ‘yeah, that looks really nice’, but I was thrilled when I opened the A110’s door and saw inside it for the first time.
“You see all the detail, the machining, the beautiful seats and where they’ve saved weight. I got the same feeling when I bought a Czech Zlin 50 aerobatic aeroplane which, like the Alpine, was made like a Swiss watch with the same attention to detail.
“There’s nothing in it that you don’t need yet it’s a very usable everyday car. It is easy to get in and out of and I like the automatic gearbox, which is perfect for modern driving. I’m not particularly technical but the multimedia system is useful: it’s handy being able to link your phone up to it.
“And relatively speaking this isn’t an expensive car. Certainly it’s going to be very easy to run and economical to look after. Ignoring the money side of it, I wouldn’t swap this car for a new Ferrari or Lamborghini, or a Porsche for that matter.”