Oh how the mighty have fallen...

What my pathetic 40 trips around the sun celebrations have sunk to...

I'll be honest. I actually still think my idea of taking my Focus ST3 for a bloody good blat around Donnington Park, would have been the perfect way to celebrate successfully staying alive for forty years.

However, my wife strongly disagrees. She cites the expense, track fees, insurance, fuel, tyre-wear, brake wear, risk of wrecking my relatively expensive car...

Focus ST3

Focus ST3

Could I win this argument? MAYBE, however I don't like arguing with my wife. It tends to be less stressful and easier to just let her win. She did concede to me hiring a Caterham, except my chosen trackday organizer has ran out of Caterhams on the day I intended to go.

The Caterham Option.

The Caterham Option.

I did debate doing the Jaguar Tour and Classic Track experience. You get to drive some awesome classics like a D-Type on that! It's a tad pricey at £650 + £150 per spectator (They get a meal and to join you on the tour, as well as watching the driving.)

Drive Classic Jaguars!

Drive Classic Jaguars!

That's a lot of money.

Then I considered the Virgin Experiences Super Car blast. There's a centre near Stafford that does it, but it doesn't look an interesting track. I've always fancied driving Anglesey and thought I could tie it in with a family weekend away. Uou get drive a selection (Up to 6) of supercars around a track - 3 laps each at Anglesey I think.

Supercar Blast

Supercar Blast

I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion I'm going to get NONE of these wonderful treats for my 40th.

Now, as well as being a poverty petrolhead and an author, I'm also a Gamer. For the last few months I've been ploughing through Witcher 3 on the Xbox One. Now I only have one game for the One, I don't get much time to play these days. I COULD get another. A favourite on the 360 was Forza 4. I played that for hours and amassed a huge collection of cars, and interestingly 'high performance' vans. I like the track driving. I'm not bad at it either. It's certainly a lot cheaper and less dangerous than actual track driving, but also less fun.

So! Do I get another driving game for the Xbox One? My wife will still pull her face a bit. I work full time, study part time, write novels and do a lot of DIY (I built our garage last year and spent 3 years building our house with my father-in-law!). We don't really spend much time together and me starting a new game wouldn't help. However I think I could swing this.

At the moment there are essentially two contenders. Forza Horizon 3 and Forxa Motorsport 6. I've never played a Forza Horizon game so I have no idea what to expect. The closest I've played to that sort of game is Driver or Grand Theft Auto. Does anyone know what you actually do in Forza Horizon 3?

The idea of driving cars around roads instead of tracks is kind of appealing, but I suspect the novelty factor will wear off. Eventually you'll have done the fun, silly, fooling around bit to death and that will be that.

Yes, driving on a track is more limited, yes the more simulator style of Forza 6 maybe makes the game less forgiving, but I'll be honest I quite like that. I find it very satisfying getting as fast a lap as possible in a car. I actually rank really highly in a modified Triumph TR3 on an American race track, it's not Laguna Seca, I can't remember the name of it.

I'll be honest I really feel like forgetting that idea too. I'm 40, I probably shouldn't be getting into MORE games at this age. It'd only take me away from writing my novels and I'm just not as inspired to game as much as I was.

When I priced up, doing the Jaguar Tour and Classic Track experience, it occurred to me that the price was more or less £1000. Yes! It WOULD be a memorable experience, but once it was gone it'd be gone.

For a long time I've wanted to build a kit car, but something relatively easy which leaves you with a fairly usable car. I don't think many such kits exist. HOWEVER, there is one car which I'm really tempted to build.

It's called a MEV Replicar and it's an MX5 based replica of a 1950's Aston Martin DBR1.

The Aston Martin DBR1 it's a replica of.

The Aston Martin DBR1 it's a replica of.

The MEV Replicar.

The MEV Replicar.

Rear view.

Rear view.

Now the build is really easy compared to most kits. You basically buy an MX5, strip a few bits off. Lift the body off the axles, prop shaft and engine, then drop the new tubular chassis on top.

Replicar is an easy build.

Replicar is an easy build.

Once that's done you put the fuel tank, wiring loom and ancillaries back and take it for an IVA test! It's lighter and stiffer than the MX5 and I think they look a nice car. It has opening doors and a useful boot, you can even get a tonneau cover now! So if it rains while you're parked up you don't end up with a bath-tub (Plus it means it doesn't have to live in the garage when finished!

The tonneau cover fitted.

The tonneau cover fitted.

Now for £1000 I could get a REALLY decent donor car to begin stripping. Yes I'd need another £6k for the kit, but I'd end up with something to show for it. Plus, if I fitted a turbo-charger or supercharger kit, I'd probably have a more fun and sensible trackday car than my Focus ST3!

I mentioned the idea to my father-in-law who loves building and mending things. (He's recently stripped down and rebuilt our ancient JCB 8015) When I said I didn't think my wife would go for it, I think he was disappointed. I really DO need to build a car while he's still young and fit enough to help - because he's a brilliant engineer.

SO! Those are the options. Those are the sort of things I'd like to do to celebrate making 'mid-life crisis' time. I suspect, knowing my luck NONE of these things will come to fruition and I'll just have to settle for spending an evening catering for people, and listening to innate banter about things I'm not interested in. If I'm lucky I might get a Victoria Sponge, a few candles and a couple of verses of 'Happy Birthday'... And I hate Victoria Sponge... :(

Martyn Stanley

[ICT] Irreverent Car Talk

drivetribe.com/t/T7MA7Qb-Rdi6gJL1fUzFpw?iid=JBzrgg4ZRD2_dM-rDgjIfg

Replicar :- www.mevltd.co.uk/kit-cars/mev-replicar

Bookatrack :- www.bookatrack.com/

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Comments (4)

  • Haha! Ironically 3 years later I bought Porsche 911! 😂😂😂

      8 months ago
  • Having a midlife car crisis from the sound of it. I have not played any racing games for xbox . .. I have a 360 but no racing games. Closest I get is hauling ass in a warthog playing the original Xbox 360 Halo games.

      3 years ago
    • I think I've just never been able to scratch my motorsport itch. :( I tried my luck on the Top Gear auditions, obviously failed miserably. I think that was my last shot at getting to drive lots of interesting cars - fast. :(

        3 years ago
  • Somebody deleted this post! I have no idea why. I appreciate it wasn't my finest hour but... IT'S BACK! :)

      3 years ago
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