DRIVING RANGE - Monaco to Colonsay part 1


Mercedes CL55 on the isle of Colonsay, Part 2

V8, 493Bhp, rear wheel drive, 5439cc 4.8 seconds to 60mph, 155mph (limited) top speed.


With the weather looking more promising it was time to bid fair well to Monte Carlo and return home to sunny Scotland with the clubs and camera packed up. At the time of typing this a good friend (who shall remain anonymous) offered up his Ferrari 430 Scuderia for the trip as it hadn’t covered many miles and needed an outing, a 3000 mile round trip would really be an outing! The memory of heifers on narrow roads and brutal potholes was still fresh in the mind from previous outings and it didn’t feel right to put the 430 through it so declined the offer. Though in the event of any body damage tipex could act as a spot paint in this instance so he would never notice the damage… probably.


So the decision was made to give the 430 a blast into Nice along the coastal road and then back along the motorway, both have their own merits, the coast offering up yet more panoramic views with every twist and the motorway crossing with high bridges and long tunnels. It’s nearly impossible to pass through a tunnel without the temptation to open the window even slightly to hear the reverberating sound emanating from the 430.


The other slight issue of course when packing for a golf trip is the requirement to pack golf clubs, sadly this rules out the 430 as the engine sits 10 inches behind your head occupying what would under normal circumstances be a boot, available storage space is under the bonnet and the clubs definitely don’t fit. There’s the option of having them strapped into the passenger seat but again the memory of doing this on a short journey to the Isle of Millport in the Superleggero was challenging enough, your always conscious of them rattling of the fire extinguisher in the passenger footwell every time you turn left, and there’s extinguisher in the 430 too but I’ve yet to meet any owners of either marque who have had to use it.


If you find yourself down this neck of the woods a visit to the McLaren garage near the waterfront which houses one of Ayrton Senna’s F1 cars raced during his time with the team. Understandably the staff are cautious about admittance to this area so sometimes you can be lucky and other times not, though our luck was extended with the help of checking the progress of an MP-4 that was ordered some months prior.


So with no MP-4 yet and the 430 declined the remaining choice is the utterly beautiful E type Jaguar, Ferrari F60, 348 or Mercedes CL55? It’s the 55 again.


That said, the CL55 is no hardship to drive, the only major gripe I’ve got with it is the five meter length, though it was used as an F1 safety car back in the day so it must have something going for it!