P71 to Monaco
If you need to get from London to Monaco for an urgent photoshoot, you need a decent car - and a reliable driver
The grand tourer is a bit of an odd thing. Fast, yes. Luxurious, even more so. Front-engined, rear-wheel-drive configuration allowing for maximum sidewaysness around roundabouts to shred insanely expensive tyres, yes.
But practical? Useful for a spot of real touring? Not so much.
Sure, there’s usually space for a toothbrush – or two, if you buy the pricey, optional luggage rack. You might even be able to squeeze in a spare box of Just for Men. And you can effortlessly cover half the continent in one go, so long as you’re going in convoy with a refuelling tanker.
The real problem, though, is that you risk people thinking you’re a bit of a…well, a bit of a posh prat.
What you really want from a grand tourer is a lazy, burbly V8. A large boot to store actual things. Back seats so that you can pretend to be car-sharing for the environment. A comfortable ride. And all wrapped up in something that makes people nod knowingly, approvingly, affectionately.
For the record, the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor isn’t that. It isn’t that at all.
Yes, it has a detuned Mustang engine. Yes, it has uprated suspension, bullet-proof doors and a boot that could house a nuclear bunker if Brexit for some reason doesn’t go swimmingly. Yes, it has a petrol tank large enough that you wouldn’t send it near Iran without an armed escort. Yes, it has a charming American honesty and simplicity which seems like a world away from today’s uber complex and technological cars. And the whole thing costs less than a set of wheels on a GT car from Woking, Crewe or Maranello.
However, there are a few things which make the Crown Vic less than practical for grand touring, as we found out on a jaunt from London to Monaco. We’re not going to list them here. Instead, watch the film, add your comments and join the discussion.
(And, for the record, we loved every minute in the Crown Vic. Well. Most of the minutes. And no one thinks you’re a posh prat.)
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