I wasn’t going to bother you with this had I not seen Steve Sutcliffe’s opinion of Advanced Motorists in Autocar. I remembered then that I had taken the IAM test — and passed!
It was years ago. My wife was on holiday with a daughter and I was bored. When motor-noters were offered a reduced test fee, I thought, ‘Why not? Another experience’.
On the way to the rendezvous, I drove untroubled through two terrific hailstorms. Once arrived, my examiner removed his police hat, got into my car and we set off.
In slow traffic in a congested town, following a truck, he suddenly asked me to pull in. The hail had recommenced and he considered it was too hazardous to proceed. I said I thought the truck driver in front of us, with a
good road view, would manage, so I was reluctantly allowed to follow him.
At the test’s end I had yet to do a reverse, which I have always been bad at. But no gap in the lines of parked vehicles could be found, so my luck held. I was given my Pass, with the comment that I drove too close to kerbs at corners, which I said I did to save road space.
When I told Jenks I was now an Advanced Driver he gave me that quizzical look over his glasses. When I then told him that if he wanted to drive my car I would have to put a cover over my IAM car badge, unless he too had passed the Advanced test, explaining that this would even apply to Stirling Moss, things became very difficult! Which is why I never pursued the subscription…