One of the delights of getting old is the realization that you don’t need to pretend you care about jack shit any more.
You’ve been around the block a few times and you know what you want. Pretending you actually give a flying crap about what other people think goes right out the window, along with the ability to avoid telling them to STFU when they start whining on about subjects they know nothing about.
So my new year resolution is to buy a new car. A proper car, with a supercharged V8 that does 0-60 in less than five seconds. God knows how long I’ve got left before I shuffle off this mortal coil to the great newsroom in the sky, so I’m going to enjoy myself while I still can.
When I was a lot younger I enjoyed scaring the living crap out of people by riding large motorcycles at excessive speeds, but now I’m rapidly approaching senility, this is no longer sufficient for two important reasons: firstly, motorcycles don’t produce nearly enough CO2 to kill anything like an adequate number of baby polar bears (unless they cross the road without looking); and secondly, my arthritis is kicking in and it's just too damned cold blasting around the mountains of North Wales in the middle of winter.
The car I’ve driven for the last five years is far too sensible for my liking. I bought it because the previous one was costing me about a thousand bucks a month just to drive to work, so replacing the supercharged four liter Jaguar V8 with a meagre 2.7 liter twin turbo diesel Jaguar V6 was obviously a smart move economically.
The diesel did – and still does – around 40 miles to the gallon compared to the XJR’s 19. It’s by no means a slow car, offering pretty much the same 0-60 time and top speed as my old XJS.
You may have spotted a trend towards Jags here.
But now, in the twilight of my years here in semi-retirement amid the snow-capped mountains of Wales [Get on with it – Ed] I realise that fuel economy means squat when I’m only doing a 100 miles a month rather than 1,000 a week.
That’s why the S-Type has to go. It’s still a great car and still fun to chuck around the twisty roads of Gwynedd, but it’s not a five liter V8 with a screaming supercharger that’ll make me smile from ear to ear as I enter my dotage and enjoy the spectacle of pedestrans, cyclists and global warming apologists leaping for their lives.
So my New Year message to you all is this: get out of my way, you miserable, whiny environmentalist scum with your macrobiotic muesli and Greenpeace cuddly seals – I’m headed your way at 155mph (limited) while I still have the chance.
And you’d be a fool not to do likewise. If you want a manual shift S-Type, one reasonably-careful owner, never raced or rallied (well, never rallied, anyway) - drop me a line.
You only live once. Cheer up and get out there.