BL16 - Page 72

The McLaren 720S Spider is a supercar star that brings
Robin Swithinbank some unwanted attention in the Arizona backlands
have one of two recurring dreams
that make me leap from my bed,
yelling, at least once a week. One
is about someone breaking into my
bedroom; the other is about
a cop who’s pulled me over for going a
bit fast on the motorway.
I blame boarding school for the
former, and long-held frustrations at our
national speed limit – last adjusted
when cars were made of tin foil and
sawdust – for the latter. Thankfully, I’m
not normally like this in real life, and
wasn’t when I was stopped by an
Arizona state trooper earlier this year
for going a fraction over the limit in
a McLaren supercar. As the officer
stepped out of his vehicle, divesting
himself of a pair of wraparounds as he
approached, I thought it best to set my
demeanor to ‘Hugh Grant’.
“How fast you go in this thing?” he
asked, his eyes caressing the McLaren’s
sinewy flanks. “Erm, good morning
officer. Uh, the top speed’s 212 miles
per hour. Although that’s with the roof
up – I think it’ll only do 202 with the
roof down,” I replied. Not strictly the
answer I suspect he was looking for;
and he could perhaps see I was trying
to obfuscate him with detail. Besides,
the so-help-me-God answer would
almost certainly mean my bed for the
night would be rather uncomfortable.
“How much it cost?” he continued.
I tried to convert £237,000 into dollars.
“What’s the exchange rate at the
moment? Around 1.2, I think. Or did it
go up again? I’m not sure. And I’ve not
added in the extras. Maybe $300,000?
“That’s a helluva lotta money.”
Yes. Yes, it is. But the brand new
McLaren 720S Spider is also a helluva
lotta car. The convertible version of the
blisteringly brilliant 720S Coupé, the

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