6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Cotswold Life today click here

A Maserati for the weekend anyone?

PUBLISHED: 12:21 21 September 2015 | UPDATED: 13:49 21 September 2015

Debbie Graham with her Maserati Ghibli S

Debbie Graham with her Maserati Ghibli S

Archant

What happens when some madman gives our equestrian writer Debbie Graham a Maserati supercar to test drive for the weekend

Driving to a polo match happens a few times in your life if you live in the Cotswolds and cover equestrian events for Cotswold Life magazine. But, driving to a charity polo match that features their Royal Highnesses, the Princes William and Harry, in a Maserati as a guest of the event’s sponsors, had a touch of surrealism about it.

Held at Cirencester Park, the match – the Jerudong Trophy – was sponsored by Maserati, and not only did the invitation include a three-course lunch and seeing the princes play polo close up, but also the loan of a Maserati Ghibli Diesel for the weekend. This was a detail I chose not to mention to my esteemed editor, Mike Lowe, until it was too late as I was worried he might argue, with some justification, this was not part of an equestrian journalist’s remit, never mind an equestrian journalist with questionable driving skills.

In fact, on finally hearing the news he tweeted “spending the whole weekend in prayer”. Whether he was seeking divine intervention for my safety, the safety of other motorists or the car’s, in case Cotswold Life was seized with a massive repair bill, I didn’t know.

For the petrol heads, it had a three-litre V6 engine, a top speed of 155mph and does 0-62mph in six seconds. For the non-petrol heads it was a white, beautiful car with sleek luxurious lines, a leather interior, and lots of sophisticated touches.

My inadequacy for the task in hand soon became apparent on its arrival as, seduced by its beauty and more important girlie details like drink holders and shiny buttons, I forgot to ask two vital questions: first, how to start the beast and, second, how to alter the seat.

It was a slightly different creature to my trusty seven-year-old Nissan Micra and, after a few anxious tries, it was time to call in the cavalry, aka deputy editor Candia McKormack. Together, we nervously jabbed the start button and before long realised touching the brake pedal at the same time was the magical ingredient. With the car at last in ‘go’ mode, it was time to take her out. Tentatively, we put her into ‘drive’ and prepared to speed off to visit everyone I knew in Cheltenham, and to wave regally at those I didn’t. Yes, we were actually moving, we were cooking on gas… we were doing 10-12 miles an hour.

And the other question I forgot to ask? Well at five-feet-nothing, I was struggling to see over the steering wheel and reach the pedals. A detour back to the flat allowed me to stock up on some cushions to bolster my height and leg length until I worked out the all-electric front seat adjustment system. Come on, that could wait till the morning for I had places to go and people to see in my all-new super car, I had named ‘Mazza’.

The man that delivered the car promised me it was easy to drive, and he was right. She was a dream; she balanced my faults, righted my wrongs, and thanks to the reversing camera made parking a doddle. It was like riding a Grand Prix dressage horse that had been crossed with a racehorse; an extremely well-schooled individual that was responsive to every touch yet had the explosive acceleration of a fit, highly-tuned thoroughbred.

On the morning of the polo match I could not resist the opportunity of testing that acceleration. Feeling confident, I flipped on the sport mode, put the foot on the gas (responsibly) and waited for launch off. It was almost instantaneous, and seconds later big grins took over our faces as she effortlessly caught the car in front, and the boy racers who had been circulating vanished in our wake. Forget engines purring, Mazza roared with delight. Even I knew this car is in a class of her own.

The smiles lasted until we got to the polo, until someone came from Maserati to pick her up and park her with the rest of the sleek Maseratis. Then embarrassment was our main emotion as their eyes fell onto the back seat and the three rather fluffy cushions residing there.

“We might put these in a boot…” came the response with a smile.

The whole day was magical, and to cap it off, to the delight of our fantastic and friendly hosts, Team Maserati won and the team’s captain, the Duke of Cambridge, took most valuable player.

Great day, great company, great polo, great weekend, and a great car – just a pity I had to give her back; do you think they would notice if I gave them my Micra instead? But then again, for the sake of Cotswold Life readers, maybe I should stick to horses. At least I kind-of know what I am talking about with them!

Prices for a new a Maserati Ghibli Diesel start from £48,835 (correct for 2014). www.maserati.com

You can follow Debbie Graham on Twitter @debsgraham

This article appeared in the August 2014 issue of Cotswold Life magazine

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

Thu, 15:57

Being a region so steeped in history, there are plenty of locations in the Cotswolds with spooky stories from over the years. From bloody executions, eerie apparitions and headless horsemen, we pick 23 of the most haunted locations throughout the Cotswolds to visit if you dare

Read more
Tue, 13:35

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Cotswold Life back in 2007, Candia McKormack, now our deputy editor but back then a designer, came up with this brilliant interpretation of the iconic Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club album cover. We liked it so much we thought we’d use it again on our 50th anniversary

Read more
Mon, 14:29

We never tire of pretty pictures of the Cotswolds. Here are ten of the best shared on Instagram this week…

Read more
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Walk in the footsteps of the talented and controversial socialites, the Mitford Sisters, around stunning Asthall and sublime Swinbrook. The perfect pub walk for a summer’s day

Read more
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Crunchy leaves under foot, bracing walks in beautiful countryside, mugs of hot chocolate in cosy tea rooms and charming pubs with roaring fireplaces – what’s not to love about autumn in the Cotswolds?

Read more
Monday, September 4, 2017

For 80 years now, Bourton-on-the-Water has been one of the country’s finest locations in which to catch sight of Gulliver-esque giants. Join us as we get on hands and knees to take a peek into the homes of Cotswolds’ own Lilliput...

Read more
Friday, September 1, 2017

We go behind the scenes of Oxfordshire’s largest sporting event

Read more
Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Positioned on the Roman-built Fosse Way, Moreton-in-Marsh is a town steeped in history. Complete with chocolate box houses and meandering streets, it’s the perfect place to explore for a taste of quintessential Cotswold life. We’ve assembled a brief guide to help you to get the most from your visit…

Read more
Thursday, August 3, 2017

Walk in the footsteps of Lewis Carroll and visit the inspiration for Alice in Wonderland amid the historic water meadows of Oxford

Read more
Thursday, July 27, 2017

Imposing manor houses, quiet medieval villages, idyllic swathes of countryside - the Cotswolds offers a lot for location scouts in the film business. We pick 19 famous filming locations in the Cotswolds, as seen on screens big and small

Read more
Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Reeves family, from Dursley, have always loved cycling through the countryside with daughters, Hannah and Charlotte. But as Charlotte, now 19, grew older, her special needs made cycling increasingly difficult. Their solution – Charlotte’s Tandems – is now an innovative UK-wide charity, as Katie Jarvis discovered

Read more
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Thousands of visitors flocked to BBC Countryfile’s first live event last year, and following its monumental success it will return to Blenheim Palace this summer, promising to be bigger and better than ever. We pick ten reasons why Countryfile Live is the perfect day out for the whole family

Read more
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Jane Leigh visits the Warwickshire town of Royal Leamington Spa to find a thriving independent sector amongst the Regency architecture

Read more
Tuesday, July 11, 2017

There are plenty of fantastic events in the Cotswolds this summer, and many can be enjoyed with man’s best friend in tow. Mark Lewis, Managing Director of Cotswold RAW, the biologically appropriate raw food for dogs, talks us through what’s coming up for you and the family to attend

Read more
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory
A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad
Cotswold Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Cotswold's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search