Continuing directly on from where we left off with the beautiful Yorkshire countryside gliding past our windows and the two cars doing what they do best, turning heads and bringing childish smiles to our faces. Ken and I chose very different cars though and therefore our experiences differ dramatically. The Porsche just sounds beautiful, that lovely rasp under load and the lovely little wriggle from the back end as the car manages the power for optimum grip. Whilst being an incredibly raw car it is still however typically German, clinical you might say. This is in my opinion a double edged sword as we love these machines for the thrills they provide, for the rush of it being dangerous or even at times slightly irresponsible. The Porsche is simply that good that I fear some of that is lost. Take Lamborghini for example, a prime example of a car that through getting better thanks to Audi’s incredibly deep pockets made me fall out of love with it. The bonkers crown I feel is now probably held by Zonda. They are producing cars that will be found stuck to the bedroom wall of your average teenager. I think the point I am trying to make here is a super car should be over the top, it should be so far removed from the Malaysian death boxes we see around every corner that you take a triple take at it. The Noble has this in spades! Even stationary its poise is purposeful bordering on menacing. The Porsche looks friendly or welcoming even. I don’t want the cosy welcome of German efficiency and reliability. I want borderline fear and adrenaline at the turn of the key. I absolutely chose the right car for me with the Noble.
Now I am aware the question of why “Ken” is called “Ken” needs answering. Despite my feeling that the Porsche is a little “safe” let’s not lose sight of the ferocious performance under Ken’s right foot.
As we climb now driving into the North Yorkshire Moors the road begins to glisten. Not the product of rain but more the sheen of a recently departed mist. Conditions the Power Rangers on their A&E machines hate! The grip in the Noble thanks to its enormously wide rear tyres is more than up for the job. Ken however definitely has a shimmy. Now for those who sit reading my words picturing the road I am talking about please continue as this next section will bring a wry smile to your faces I am sure. With the Porsche in front and me following perhaps a little too closely in the Noble we swoop down now towards a sharp left turn that crosses a little bridge. The bridge is framed with stone like a mini Hadrian’s wall on both sides. The road narrows often causing a bottle neck at busy times but happily today we are alone. As we swoop down towards this sharp left in the dip the Porsche surprises me by surging forward aggressively at the corner. Already aware we were approaching at a credible pace my eyes widen as Ken approaches this rather sharp bend now at a heroic speed. With what I can only describe as an act of lunacy Ken throws the Porsche into the corner, completely loses the back end (at which point I think, “that’s it, he’s dead) and slides the car at a near perfect 45 degrees through the corner. So as I am sure it is no surprise I call this gent “Ken” as a tip of the cap to Mr Ken Block who is one of the best in the world at this sort of driving. However, whilst this all looked very impressive I am left suspicious this was complete fluke. No tyre smoke meant his foot was off the throttle and a spin I suspect was only avoided by the gradient of the road on the exit.
Now again, for those of you who are still picturing this road you will know just after this corner as you climb there is often an Ice Cream van on your left positioned skilfully in a beautiful view point. As Ken, who is now sat beside me on a bench looking longingly at the ice-cream in his right hand, there is no longer any doubt he had got away with it. He sits there like he is suffering a one-man earth quake rendering consumption of his confection impossible.
Time for a car swap I think as Ken is now clearly a little afraid of his weapon of choice and the mid-engined Noble now looking very appealing to him I am sure!
Return in the next instalment to read how our hero gets on with the British beast.
The Auto VIP.