It’s funny what turns out to be a highlight of the day. I’d taken my 94 year old mother for her driving test. We’d arrived at the testing station in her old Suzuki Swift from which we’d hastily swept the cobwebs before setting out. When you’re sitting a test at 94 you do all you can to make a good impression. Our eyes were caught by this sleek, shiny car at the end of the queue. No cobwebs here.
I was interested by the ‘McLaren’ insignia on the car and asked the driver if I could take a photo. My brother is car-crazy and has a dog called McLaren (after NZ racing driver Bruce McLaren) and at that point that was all I was thinking – that he’d be entertained by a photo. The driver said, ‘Sure,’ then to my surprise hopped out inviting me to hop in. He kindly took a photo or two.
That’s a gull-wing door, my sister said. I found out lots more about this car before the day was much older, including the technical name for those doors: dihedral.
Turns out, only 50 of these cars have been made and two of them are in NZ. It’s a McLaren 720S Le Mans Coupe Limited Edition. And here’s a review.
The interior is very high spec, with top stitching, which reminded me of a friend’s new Peugeot which has lime green top stitching on the black upholstery – and matching lighting strips along the dashboard.
There’s no top-stitching in my new Suzuki Swift hybrid, but it has more than enough features to keep me busy.
Thinking about it now, it’s refreshing that the driver of the McLaren car was young-ish, tall and neatly dressed, supple enough to slide into the low-slung vehicle. More often you see old, grey or bald men, a bit dishevelled or time worn, driving sporty, often convertible, cars and think (with a bite of car envy), ‘What a waste!’ Like me in the photo: I don’t fit the picture. I hope he was the owner.
My brother’s response to the photo I sent him was, “Yes, but it is not a Ferrari”. Geesh!
Oh, and my mother passed her test. When you have old-lady charm the cobwebs don’t matter. And her older model Suzuki interior does have top-stitching!