John Langley, who has died aged 76, began his career as a Daily Telegraph motoring reporter in 1961 by driving the first E-type Jaguar at 149 mph on the M1.
He had not long joined the paper when he was asked to take the wheel of the world's most exciting car several weeks before its launch in Geneva. Thirty-five years later he was still awed by the E-type's docility and effortless speed, as well by as its reasonable price compared with foreign competitors.
"We were cruising very easily along the M1," Langley recalled, "when a clear stretch of road gave me the chance to see what it could do. Within a few seconds, the needle was nudging an indicated 149mph before a distant glimpse of traffic made it advisable to lift off.