I DON'T recall ever praying quite so hard for sunshine and after five days of unanswered pleading with a greater force it was down with the roof and off into the sunset in a Jaguar F-Type Convertible.
Well, it wasn't quite so dramatic as that in all honesty, but I was pleasantly relieved when persistent rain halted for a good three hours enabling me to sample the beauty that is open-top motoring in one of the most beautifully-styled convertibles to grace our roads.
This is the Jaguar F-Type and I've come to the conclusion that on this occasion the ‘F' stands for fwor!
The car looks gorgeous from every angle and you'll never tire of walking round the vehicle admiring its athletic, muscular styling cues. These include 20-inch alloys, chrome side power vents, bi-function high intensity xenon headlights with washers and LED signature lights, power-folding mirrors, quad exhaust pipes, body-coloured roll bars, red brake callipers and a red convertible roof which contrasted neatly with the glacier white paintwork.
The sports interior has the likes of fine leather upholstery with an ‘R' theme and badging, an eight-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system, sat nav, Bluetooth connectivity, a 10-speaker Meridian sound system, bright stainless steel pedals, a flat-bottomed leather ‘R' sports steering wheel, dual zone automatic air conditioning, illuminated treadplates and plenty more besides.
The space within the cabin is cosy but not claustrophobic with the seats offering 14-way electrical adjustment in order to find the perfect driving position.
The layout is so beautifully flowing that all instrumentation and systems are easy to operate without taking your eyes from the road ahead.
This car carried a price-tag of £97,165 which was increased to £101,465 with a number of options fitted.
Powered by a 5.0-litre V8 550ps Supercharged petrol engine it can blast from 0-60mph in just 3.9 seconds before maxing out - in theory - at 186mph.
You can almost watch the fuel gauge drop with combined fuel economy of 25.0mpg and carbon emission of 269g/km but this car was never designed for anyone with an eye on the pennies. It was created for pure driving pleasure and it delivers on every count.
The F-Type starts up with a mighty roar and that's without even touching the accelerator. Apply a little pressure to the throttle and the noise from the four exhausts is a hint at what's in store.
That's because the F-Type's performance matches its loud fanfare and muscular looks. It is blisteringly fast, yet somehow composed which means it can be driven enthusiastically with confidence.
The power at your disposal seems relentless and you just know you will bottle out of a tricky manoeuvre long before the car does.
There are different driving modes - including a rain, ice and snow mode. But the most interesting one has to be ‘dynamic' which is aptly highlighted by a chequered flag.
Select this and the instrumentation turns red in colour and the exhaust volume cranks up to a whole new level.
The road-holding is incredibly assured and the steering very precise with plenty of driver feedback.
And, as expected from Jaguar, the car is packed with a comprehensive list of safety features to help protect occupants and pedestrians.
Admittedly, the car is not without its faults. For example, the boot on this car was filled by a spare wheel which meant there was not even room for an overnight bag (unless you ditch the passenger of course) and the visibility if reversing from a parking space is nigh on non-existent.
The reversing camera and parking sensors do help, but you will learn very quickly to reverse into parking bays for easy exiting later on.
But those minor gripes aside the Jaguar F-Type is the ultimate two-seated sports car.
It looks amazing, delivers awesome all-round driving dynamics and is guaranteed to make you the envy of the neighbourhood.