The route cuts across to Ludlow, runs down through the Welsh Borders then back across the Malverns towards our base at Astwood Bank. It’s a demanding but beautiful drive with some brilliant driving roads, including two of our UK favourites – the B4520 from Builth to Brecon and the B4521 from Abergavenny to Ross on Wye. These meandering switchback roads are always traffic free yet technically demanding for drivers – with beautiful scenery for passengers.
Our weapon of choice for this trip was a 1989 Saab 900 Turbo 16. This often-overlooked 80s classic is surely one of the era’s greatest everyday driving cars. Values are finally beginning to rise as more fans begin to appreciate the dynamic balance of the chassis and the jaw-dropping performance of the blown 2 litre. For a front wheel drive car, the Saab is beautifully poised with excellent weight balance and sweet steering and controls. Our car was one of the 16 valve H engine full pressure turbo cars developing 175 bhp. Back in 1989 this was believed to be the maximum power that could be delivered through the front wheels.