Me & My Motors – Philip Hankinson

Tees Life, Me and my Car. Phil Hankinson with his Mclaren sports car. 22-1-19 Pic Doug Moody Photography

He started with a battered Vauxhall Astra but now Teessider Phil Hankinson is the proud owner of a McLaren 12c…

My current car: I currently own a McLaren 12c, Range Rover Vogue, Range Rover Autobiography and a BMW 3 Series. I bought the 2012-registered McLaren early in 2018 from my good friend Chris Andrews of Acklam Car Centre. White and black carbon fibre, I bought the car due to it being McLaren’s first road car since the legendary F1. Its performance is simply outstanding, with the early models still competing against or beating newer generation Lamborghinis and Ferraris. The 12C pioneered the use of carbon fibre in road cars, with the entire chassis made from a solid carbon fibre composite tub. The dihedral doors also give the car a certain wow factor – at least once you’ve mastered the tricky touch-heat sensor opening mechanism!

Best feature: That has got to be the mid-mounted carbon fibre covered 3.8 litre twin turbocharged V8 engine. 0-60 times for this model have been recorded as low as 2.9 seconds on track.

Best drive-time music: Mood dependent, it can be anything from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, the Eagles and Bob Marley or even a bit of early 2000s trance!

Best place to drive: Any empty winding country roads, with the Lakes and North York Moors being favourites.

My favourite car when I was young: Jaguar XJ220. When I was ten, that was my fantasy car. Well, that and the McLaren F1, which came out when I was six or seven, which remains one of the fastest production cars ever to grace the planet.

My parents’ cars: We didn’t have much money when growing up on a Guisborough council estate, so they’d spend a few hundred quid on a rust bucket – typically Mondeos or a Mazda 323F. Sometimes we didn’t have a car at all. Nowadays, I’m lucky enough to be able to buy my mam a car every couple of years.

My first car: A battered Vauxhall Astra. It was black with wheels painted black because they had been curbed so many times. It also had blacked-out windows, so I thought I was an absolute boss! I think it eventually gave up on me.

My worst car: A used Lexus 220d, which suffered catastrophic engine failure. I paid about 11 grand for it and I couldn’t believe it was mine. I was on the way to a meeting when the engine blew up on me. But Lexus’ service is just the best, so they not only fixed it but bought it off me.

My other car: A Range Rover Autobiography and BMW 3 Series. My cars are colour co-ordinated, all white. I had the white McLaren first, then came the Range Rover, which I think was a Boro player’s before me, then when I went for a run-around BMW it had to be white too.

My last car: A Bentley Continental GT Supersport. That was an absolute weapon. A W12 six-litre 700bhp monster that did 0-60 in about 3.7 seconds. It was absolutely mental! I swapped it for the McLaren – MMcG and I partially regret it as I could fit my kids in the Bentley, while it also looked respectable.

My dream car: That’s got to be either a Bugatti Veyron but probably a McLaren P1. They are about £2.1m so I’ll always have better things to spend my money on.

Maddest place ever driven: Milan in Italy. The drivers there do literally whatever they like – they drive the wrong way around or even reverse around roundabouts, or stop in the middle of dual carriageways, while I remember a horse coming towards me on a road leading to Lake Como.

The car journey I will always remember: Driving from Guisborough to the south of France over the Alps in a Ferrari F430 on a route to Monaco. The roads on the Col de Galibier are just beautiful – mountainous alpine roads on the cliff edge, so a driver’s dream.