Great company, gorgeous cars and glorious weather – the recent C&D Breakfast & Coffee Meet had it all. Here are five cool cars we picked out...
McLaren 570S Spider, Andrew Whetton
McLaren Automotive only started building cars in 2010. But it’s already created a couple of standout supercars, including the drop-top version of its 570S. With twin-turbo V8 power and a negligible kerb weight, the 570S Spider is a quadruple-shot espresso every time you drive.
‘Mine’s a 2018 car, and I bought it just over three years from TOP 555 in Oakham,’ says Andrew. ‘For me the 570S sits in a sweet spot of price, performance and design; I just think they’re beautiful cars. And it had to be a Spider – we always go for convertibles. It was the colour and condition of this car that swung it.’
Suffice to say, Andrew has no regrets. ‘It’s been fantastic to own, and the owners club is brilliant. Some of these clubs can be a little pretentious but the McLaren club just seems to attract normal, very friendly people. We did a tour with them up in Northumberland and it was a great three days: superb roads, nice hotels and they mix up the tables every evening so it’s not at all cliquey. They group you according to the speed you want to drive at, too, so there’s no pressure to try to keep up.’
Ferrari 458 Speciale, Charles Freimuth
A Maranello man through and through, Charles sells Ferraris when he’s not driving them.
‘Of all the marques, Ferrari are my favourite – I started my career working for Ferrari, back in the ’90s. I worked for Graypaul Ferrari for five years, then set up TOP 555 in 2001. Cut me open and it says Ferrari inside.’
Explaining the magic of Ferrari is easy when you’ve a 458 Speciale on hand to do the talking. Arguably ‘peak’ Ferrari, the mid-engined thoroughbred quickly established itself as a modern icon.
‘The Speciale is about as good as it gets,’ confirms Charles. ‘It’s the last of the normally-aspirated V8s of course [the bloodline went turbocharged with the 488 that followed], plus I think it’s a car with a level of performance you can actually enjoy driving on the road, unlike, say, a 1000bhp SF90 Stradale… The Speciale sounds right, it feels right and the balance is superb. I also see them as a great investment as well as a great car. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them hit £500,000 in the next five years. I’ve also got a 550 Maranello, which I bought because it turned out Graypaul supplied it new in 1999 – my name’s in the front of the service book, so I had to have it.’
Porsche 718 Cayman GT4, Jamie Bramley
Porsche’s smallest GT car is a C&D favourite, and Jamie’s shimmering Gentian Blue gen-two car looked stunning in the June sunshine.
‘I wanted a first-generation GT4 but I couldn’t get one; I was too late,’ explains Jamie. ‘I waited six years and bought this one – I had plenty of time to think about spec! I knew I wanted the flexibility of the PDK ’box, which is such a great gearbox, and the Gentian Blue. I took delivery last June, picking it up after work on a Friday afternoon. That was a good Friday…
‘This is my first Porsche. I’ve owned a lot of different stuff previously: Audi RS3; a lot of Golfs, including a couple of GTIs; two Peugeot 205 GTIs… I’m really impressed with this. I’ve covered just over 4000 miles in it now. Half of those were on a trip across Spain over the winter. That was good fun.’
Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, David Thomas
Designer Lorenzo Ramaciotti penned some of the most beautiful cars of recent times before hanging up his marker pens. The Alfa Romeo 4C was one of them, created at Alfa’s design centre under Ramaciotti’s guidance.
‘I was at a motor show a couple of years ago and saw one of these on Alfa’s stand. That was it: I was in love,’ says David. ‘I looked at a few 4Cs before I bought this one, which I found for sale at an Alfa dealership. It’d come out of a private collection and had only done 6000 miles. I’ve done a further 6000 miles in the two years I’ve owned it, including a trip to Le Mans where I was lucky enough to get four laps of the track. There was no pace car, and Porsches were flying past me on the straights. Then, as soon as we got to the corners, I was in front of them again! The Alfa’s just fantastic fun, and I love that it’s a bit different.’
Porsche 911 Carrera S, Bob Howard
Like father, like son… Bob’s father owned a red 964 Carrera 2 back in the day. That car cast a spell on the young Bob, and now he’s bought a 911 of his own.
‘My dad was a big car guy,’ explains Bob. ‘He had a few 911s when I was little, including a red 964 Carrera 2 which I loved. Decades later, when he sold his base-spec 997 about six years ago for not very much – that was before 911 values did what they’ve done – I nearly had it off him, didn’t, and instantly regretted it. Five years later I finally had the money, so here we are. I wanted a manual, gen-2 Carrera S and there just weren’t many about. Plus, I didn’t want white, grey, black or silver. I wanted a fun colour like red or yellow. That narrowed it down to two cars in the whole country, and when I saw this one at an independent dealership I snapped his arm off.
‘The seven-speed manual took a bit of getting used to, not least because it’s been a while since I had a manual daily driver. But you ignore seventh unless you’re on a motorway. I’ve done 8000 miles in it in just over a year. It’s about enjoying it, not polishing it and having it sat in the garage.’
The next C&D Breakfast & Coffee Meet is on Sunday 16th July. Click here to register.