There are few things in life that give me as wide a smile as the roaring V8 of the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante Spyder – a bit of a mouthful, I know. Its name is Italian for ‘Flying Saucer’, but it’s based on the gorgeous and rare Alfa 8C, and its 444bhp 4.7-litre V8 doesn’t quite reflect the whistle of the third kind flying overhead.
Instead, it’s raucous, angry and crackling. Exactly the sound a V8 should have. Coupled with numbers in the region of around 4.5 seconds to 62mph and a top speed of 180mph, there’s not much to dislike about this Italian sports car. Its sleek styling juxtaposes this aggressive powertrain with curved body lines reflective of a yacht, and its interior consists of oceans of leather and Alcantra.
Only eight coupés and seven convertibles were ever made, each to the exact specification of their owners. It’s pure boasting material, and that’s before the car even comes into view.
“It’s the most soulful sounding car I think I’ve ever heard,” Clarkson said. “It’s as though the entire exhaust system is actually made out of Otis Redding.”