If you happen to like cars, and travel a lot,
you can sometimes find yourself in the back of a taxi and think... I wish I could be driving this road myself.
Of course that’s not always the case. Istanbul comes to mind. But if you find yourself at the Côte d’Azur... that’s just driving heaven right there. Small, twisty roads with a beautiful backdrop of hills and of course the Mediterrean... it’s not a coincidence that they put Monaco there.
And because of the climate you can put the top of your convertible down most of the time. What more could you want?
Well, obviously, we’re going to need a car. I happened to drive a Mini Cooper convertible there, but I have to admit I have never been a fan of Minis. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with them, but they just don’t strike a chord with me. To make matters worse, the model I drove was a diesel. Just what I need, the sound of an oil burner echoing against the cliffs. Maybe I could just imagine I’m listening to a Ferrari V8 instead...
But then, an epiphany. This car was actually pretty fun! The diesel engine, whilst not exactly great entertainment, was powerful enough to make the car feel somewhat brisk and the gas pedal was so direct that it felt quicker than it actually was. The steering ratio is very low which makes you feel like you’re in a big go-kart. The car darts left or right if you so much as look at the steering wheel. It also sticks to the road like chewing gum to your shoe and before you know it you’ve got a smile on your face. Just make sure there’s no gendarmes lurking behind a corner. On these roads, going hairpin to hairpin it would be difficult to find a car that could do it better than a Mini.
Of course, if you do want to go all the way and feel like something of a James Bond, you can always rent a suitably outrageous car locally instead of shipping your precious metal abroad. There’s plenty of choice. The company we used, Red Carpet Limousines, will rent you a luxury car or provide a limo service. They have a range from Bentley to... Mini. The most fun, as usual, can probably be had in the middle of those sizes.
Mercedes S Class
There’s a Ferrari 458 Spyder or a Lamborghini Aventador just to name two. I wouldn’t bother with the Aventador personally unless you just want to make a fashionable entrance at a fancy party. It’s a bit too wide and scary to enjoy the experience of driving these tight wonderful roads. No, you’d be hard pressed to do better than the F458. It sounds glorious, handles beautifully, looks the part and because it’s a convertible every part of the experience gets pumped straight into your senses. Lovely.
Ferrari 458 Spyder
If you’re more into cruising around just looking at the scenery, a Bentley is tough to beat of course. If you want to get out of the city and finally enjoy driving, look no further.