We all have bad days and sometimes one leads into another. Many times in life I have said to myself “Why me?” Looking back I now realise that having witnessed the plight of others my life has been pretty good. I have never had the wealth that many captain’s of industry seem to get today. It does not appear that they need to be good at their jobs just in the right place and a little greedy and self-centred.
So imagine when I was invited to Miami and Grand Bahamas with an opportunity to test drive a new vehicle and my first reaction was “Why me, I don’t want to go”.
This was a stupid response and I soon got to grips and understood many would change places with me at the drop of a hat. It was a quick trip and full on but just fantastic and one that I felt very privileged to undertake.
The car in question was the new Jaguar F-Pace and what a car. A SUV with sports car performance. Those that know me will be aware that I am a Die Hard Land Rover fan although I did buy a new Jaguar XJS around 1990. I was at best sceptical about Jaguar making a SUV as in my mind they are good at only one type of vehicle and that is a sports car. Their most recent efforts such as XF and XJ did not strike any notes with me.
From the moment I got into the F-Pace I knew this was something different, the first new Jaguar I just might actually purchase. Its performance and handling is sublime.
Another highlight was getting to drive it around a NASCAR oval in Miami. This gave me a new respect for NASCAR racing as at over 100mph holding a car at the top of the oval is terrifying. Imagine double that speed and four abreast, I can’t. Testing the car on a small track with curves and chicanes plus an ice road further made me realise how good this car really was.
The icing on the cake at the end of our day at Homestead Miami Speedway was another first. I had often wondered how cool it would be to drive from A to B like H. M. the Queen or President Obama with police outriders holding back all traffic. Well our host Jaguar Land Rover organised the trip back from Homestead to Miami Port, nearly 40 miles across many Freeways, in convoy with Police outriders stopping all other traffic. Our escort of some 8 to 10 officers all riding iconic Harley Davidsons was a once in a lifetime treat.
Waking up next morning to sun in Grand Bahamas was tough work but someone has to do it.
The F-Pace on tarmac, gravel roads and along sandy beaches did it all and made me want one even more.
We sat and drank fruit punch on a beach used for Pirates of the Carribean but with no sign of Captain Jack Sparrow just an old friend Uncle Ken Knight working for JLR and looking very suntanned.
The following day we were back in Miami and visiting Wynwood Walls an area just filled with spectacular art and artists. If you ever go to Florida/Miami don’t just visit all the fun parks and studios make time for Wynwood. I have never seen anything like it anywhere else in the world.
It was only a 4 to 5 day trip but I packed in a year of new experience. I have my health and I realise I have nothing to moan about. It is corny to say it but I think I am blessed. I should be saying “Why me? - I am so lucky”.