To this day the Caparo T1 is the fastest, most insane, and certainly the scariest road car I have ever driven – although I use the term road car with tongue wedged firmly into cheek. I drove it only for a short while, on a wide open airfield, so not – thank heavens – out on the road where there are other cars about. But before I got to drive it myself I was taken for a passenger ride in it, with Caparo’s ace test driver at the wheel. I remember being wedged in to it but having to sit sideways, with my face squeezed into said test driver’s shoulder, which meant I couldn’t see where on earth we were going.
When the throttle got stuck open half way down the runway, I thought it might well be my last few moments in this life.
It was absolutely terrifying, not just because of the ridiculous second seat position and lack of view forwards, but also because the acceleration and grip and traction it had. It was ludicrous really – because essentially, when all was said and done, the Caparo T1 was basically a Formula 3000 car with number plates on it, plus a one and a half seater cabin.
When I drove it the sense of thrust, of pure and massive acceleration, was total. It was violently fast in a straight line, and around corners it appeared to have 100% grip, no matter how fast it was going. And when the throttle got stuck open half way down the runway, I thought it might well be my last few moments in this life. Eventually I managed to hook my right foot behind the accelerator and unstick it, at which point I trundled the T1 very slowly back to its owners, climbed out – still oscillating with fear – and said thank you very much.
They don’t make the T1 anymore. And maybe that’s a good thing in the overall scheme.