1961 Ferrari 250 GT California: Ferris Beuller’s Day Off
1963 Aston Martin DB5: Goldfinger
1967 ShelbyMustang GT 500: Gone In 60 Seconds
1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT: Bullitt
1968 Mini Cooper: The Italian Job
1970 Dodge Challenger R/T: Vanishing Point
1981 Rolls-Royce Corniche convertible: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
1983 De Lorean DMC 12: Back To The Future
The Nürburgring is nearly 13 miles long, travels over extreme height changes and is one of the most difficult courses in the world to drive … yet anyone, whether driving a Ferrari or a saloon from the hire shop, can give it a whirl provided they pay their fee. Here’s what to keep in mind on the track:
Don’t try to memorise the track – there’s too much of it. Instead, drive instinctively.
Power is key. Lightweight cars struggle with the changes in height.
Don’t get lost. Some corners resemble others meaning it’s easy to get confused – which can be fatal.
Look out for motorbikes, lorries, vans, nutters – if the track’s open to you, it’s open to anybody.
Don’t race a local. They know this place like the back of their hand.
For those who have never gambled in a casino, it can be an intimidating business. So when people who know what they’re doing are out to take your money from you, it pays to have a rough idea of what’s going on. The first time you head into the place, it’s worth keeping your eyes open. Watch how things are done, then join in only when you see a table that seems to match your ability.
While casinos are no longer the bastions of elegance they once were, someone’s got to have standards and it may as well be you.
Before gambling in a British casino, you’ll have to become a member first. Bring ID, but keep your phone, camera or other electrical devices away from the tables.
Know the rules
On top of the knowing the game you’re playing, you should know the house rules – whether or not you can talk to the dealer, for example – and the table rules: don’t touch cards dealt face up, don’t touch anyone else’s chips and keep your own cards in view.
Be a good sport
Winning a cool grand should be treated the same way as losing one: with grace and dignity. By all means throw a fist in the air (or into the wall) later, just don’t let anyone see you doing it.
The line that you drive for show, but putt for dough is almost as old as golf itself. Still, when you’re on the first tee and the members terrace is busy behind you, it’s not your putting that you’re hoping to impress with. While not everyone can crush the ball 300 yards like Bubba Watson, there are a number of ways to improve your distance.
Go to the gym
Your glute muscles are the engine for big drives – work on them to increase your distance. For right handed players, the right powers the backswing and the left drives the downswing.
Work on your wrists
Swinging a weighted club at speed will help you develop more power and explosive energy. It will also strengthen your wrists, giving you more snap. Wrist strength can also be increased by swinging your club with just the right hand or the left hand.
Use your imagination
As you pull back your swing, imagine you are using your big, core muscles to build up power then – as you bring the club down – imagine it is now your wrists in command. It helps maintain equilibrium in your swing.
Hit the range
Before teeing off at the first, hit 20 range balls for 20 minutes to loosen up. Failing that, swing two clubs with your left hand, then two clubs with your right. It will help get your wrists working correctly.
There are any number of extreme challenges – crossing the Poles, the Iditarod, or the Polar Challenge being perhaps the toughest cold-weather ones – but climbing Everest remains the most impressive. There are a number of professional agencies who can help make it happen – but before you approach them, here are the basics.
Agencies won’t simply take anyone on: you must have high altitude experience before tackling Everest. You’ll need to have already successfully completed an expedition at over 8,000 metres and be able to climb AD-rated routes or higher.
Assuming a basic fitness level, you’ll need to start focussed training 12 months before. Aim to be running an average of 8mph in hilly country on a near daily basis. Build up upper body strength, and also put on weight – you can lose up to 20% of your body mass on Everest.
Get your head right
Climbing Everest is as much a mental challenge as a physical one. Don’t go up there with any doubts.
Plan your route
TheSouth Col route is supposedly easier than going up the North Ridge as you spend less time over 8,000 metres. However, the South Col is more expensive as permits are cheaper where it begins in Nepal and it includes the notoriously dangerous Khumbu ice fall. The North ridge will take longer, be more hazardous and bring about more extreme conditions though.
Bring a doctor
Altitude sickness, throat-shredding coughs, frostbite, hypothermia, sunburn, thrombosis and trench foot are all common hazards. Oh, and death of course: one person tends to die for every 10 successful attempts.
There are, of course, any number of things on which to spend your bonus responsibly: house improvements, a new car etc. But there are only a few ways in which to really enjoy the thing. While some of the bankers who laid out £44,000 at Gordon Ramsay’s Petrus restaurant in 2002 (including a £12,300 1947 Petrus and a £9,200 Chateau d’Yquem) were sacked for their actions, and the banker who sprayed £20,000-worth of vintage champagne around a London club 2005 was handed a £15,000 cleaning bill, there are slightly less obnoxious ways to spend your money.
Fly a MiG overMoscow
For around $13,000 you can be flown in the classic Cold War era plane over the heart ofRussia.
Drive an F1 car
Accelerate to from 0-60mph in under three seconds, and hit top speeds of 200mph with a Formula One track day.
Drink a 1945 Chateau Mouton Rothschild
1945 was one of the great vintages, and Mouton Rothschild is one of the great wines. A mere $23,000 will secure you a bottle.
Buy an island
The Emir of Qatar recently bought six Greek islands for £7.35m. Lower your ambitions a little, and you too can own an island retreat.
There are, of course, a thousand rules on how to order wine. This goes with this, that goes with the other. This year is great, that year isn’t. It means that, when a waiter hands you a hefty list and invites you to make a choice, it can be an overwhelming business. It need not be.
If you know there’s a wine expert at the table (rather than someone who thinks they are), ask them to choose.
Ask your table what they are eating and use that to guide your choice.
Ask the sommelier. It is his or her job. Tell them what food the table is ordering, give them a price bracket, and allow the benefit of their experience to guide you. You trust the chef to cook for you – why not trust the sommelier to choose your wine?
If you find the wine’s name unpronounceable, simply order by number.
When offered a taste, you are being offered the chance to see if it is corked. Screwtop wines cannot be corked, so require no tasting.
Just as football might have its World Cup, or tennis its Wimbledon, so horse racing has the Cheltenham Festival. For four days, the world’s best jockeys and horses battle for glory in front of one of the greatest race crowds of all. Glorious, exciting and nerve-shredding, it’s the most thrilling four days of racing all year. Before it starts (tomorrow, 12 March) it’s worth brushing up on some best-betting practice tips. This is not meant as a foolproof guide to winners, more advice on the right attitude…
Keep your ears open: listen to chatter around the bookies and take your cues from them. They know. It’s why they’re still in business.
Accumulate: stacking your bets can bring massive rewards for very little outlay. But you’ve got to stay lucky.
Bet to win: each way bets can offer better value, more chance of success and a whole host of other appealing traits, but can never match the swagger of laying down your cash on the winner. And really, who wants to cheer for the nag who came in third?
Never ignore a sign: a horse shares a name with an old girlfriend, wears your favourite colours or looks like your mother-in-law? It’s always worth a punt.
Smile: nothing beats a big grin as you relieve a bookie of a stack of notes. And it makes it all the more painful for them.