Choosing cars for my characters was like going shopping at the best car lot in the world… with an open ended budget. The rally was always going to involve iconic classic cars – because they’re so much fun.
Picking Alex’s car was easy. When I was just a kid, I used to watch The Avengers on TV. Emma Peel, played by the fabulous Dame Diana Rigg, drove a sexy little sports car. It was a Lotus Elan 26R, one of the rarest and most sought after sports cars in the world. Our TV was black and white, so I always assumed the car was red. I was devastated when I discovered it wasn’t. In my head, it will always be red. This was Alex’s car.
Keir needed a real hero’s car. I gave him a Ferrari Dino. This was another tribute to the TV heroes of my youth. Danny Wilde (played by a young and handsome Tony Curtis) drove one in The Persuaders! Then a few years later there was Magnum PI – watching Tom Selleck put those long legs behind the wheel was always such a treat. When I picked the Ferrari for Kier, I didn’t know it was going to come to such an inglorious end so early in the book.
Paul’s car was easy too. That’s one of the cars my brother drives in his races. I got to sit in it and play with it as I researched the book – so it had to get a role.
And as for the silver Porsche… I had to give that team a car which could seriously challenge Alex and her Lotus. That’s when I first heard the saying ‘pricks in Porches’. Car rally mythos has it that Porsche drivers are… well… not nice people. Personally, I think the saying is more likely to come from the fact that Porsche drivers win a lot of rallies. Still – the Porsche is such an icon, I couldn’t have a race without one. And I do apologize to Porsche drivers everywhere – Alex didn’t mean you!