AFTER a busy few months, I’ve decided the time is right to take a few days off for a well-deserved break. No trans-European trips behind the wheel of some turbocharged Rover of the Nineties this time for me, though.
We’re staying on the mainland, and are taking a few days out to root-out some of the finest driving roads in the UK – the sort you see used liberally in the pages of Autocar magazine, when they have a new trackday-based car to test, or a multi-cylindered Italian exotic. You see, we do have some great roads in the UK – you just have to know where to look…
Take for instance my commute into work at Kelsey Towers in Peterborough. I have three choices: take the A14/A1M route, which is quick and ultimately very boring, or perhaps the A605, which is so choked by meandering trucks, it is impossible to get from Thrapston to Peterborough without spending most of the time peering at the trailer of some filthy HGV – wondering why the driver seems unwilling to go over 45mph.
The B660 contains just about every bend
you would ever need in order to test
your mettle as a driver, as well as the
ability of the wheels beneath you.
The third choice is my favourite, though – the B660. You see, it contains just about every bend you would ever need in order to test your mettle as a driver, as well as the ability of the wheels beneath you. There are open fourth gear corners, with perfect exit visibility, second gear 90 degree bends, to test brakes and traction, and there is the most delightful blind ‘chicane’ at the bottom of a dip, which is guaranteed to get your attention. The real icing on the cake has to be the fact that absolutely no-one seems to use it – favouring the clogged and boring A605, citing a saving of five miles as the reason why.
In the space of ten miles or so, you will know all you need to know about the car you’re driving – and because of that, it makes any drive into work a real pleasure, if I choose to use the B660.
So, over the next week or so, I intend to find a great deal more of these roads. Shame I’ll be diesel powered for this exploratory trip – I suspect this’ll not be the case the next time round…
See you on April 1st – and if you want to send a blog to us in the meantime, ping it over to Brian Gunn, and let him know I sent you.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.