In the Headlights – Paul Wallace {{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

9 Jan 2018

The world of the car spotter has grown from kids taking photos on street corners to massive global empires in recent years, and one of the first on the scene was Paul Wallace, founder of Supercars of London. Since his meteoric rise to fame, Paul has worked with us here at BOTB a lot so we thought it only fitting that we got him in to choose the cars for one of our In the Headlights promotions. So here Paul gives his explanations, followed by my thoughts on them!

Ford Focus RS Mountune 375

PW: There is no better car to tackle tight, twisty country roads than the Focus RS as I found out during my Italian Bucket List episode to the world famous Stelvio Pass. All wheel drive teamed together with that manual gearbox, not only is it a petrolhead’s dream, the car pops and bangs all the way through the Rev range making it a fantastic amount of fun all the time!

TO: Well I can only say I’m highly envious to have driven the RS on the infamous Stelvio. I’ve driven that road once, but I can’t say I exploited it fully in a Smart ForTwo rental car! The Mountune RS really does give you serious bang-for-buck with 375hp and more tuneful noises from the engine, all covered by your Ford warranty. It makes the utterly brilliant RS even better. Add in the normal Focus RS’s impressive practicality and you have what is to most petrolheads, the perfect daily driver.

BMW M3 Competition Pack M-DCT

PW: What can I say about this car. Not only one of the best cars money can buy, also surprisingly practical. Covering well over 1,500 miles in 3 days, the M3 excelled in every department on one of my greatest roadtrips of 2017. The North Coast 500. The roads, scenery, company and cars made this bucket list moment so memorable and the M3 played it’s part on making the trip incredible!

TO: When the latest M3 came out it had a bit of a reputation for being somewhat snappy in the handling department, with people ending up going sideways when they really didn’t want to. But eventually BMW responded with this, the Competition Pack. You get new 19-inch alloys, a black exterior pack, a nice power boost to 444bhp and reworked suspension settings, which all add up to making the M3 a seriously impressive car now. The speed at which this car can cover ground is insane and the handling is much improved so you can revel in that lovely RWD balance and exploit every twist and bend in the road for your exjoyment.

Jaguar F-Type SVR

PW: I drove an F-Type convertible from Norway to the UK and loved every minute of it. Classically British with a soundtrack you’ll never want to turn off...and that was just the 2.0 litre version! The F-Type SVR is an animal. One of the greatest sports cars of 2017 and there’s nothing better than starting that supercharged V8 and cruising through the British countryside in the quintessentially stunning sports car.

TO: The Jaguar F-Type Coupe is arguably the prettiest new car of the last 10 years. The convertible came first and was lovely to look at, but the coupe with its sleek, swooping roofline just elevated the F-Type to supercar status on looks alone. There was always the big V8 powered model, but it always felt a little bit…. restrained. Now we all know why, as Jaguar had always planned this – the SVR model to come in and sit at the top of the tree, all growly and angry. Power is up to a staggering 562bhp from the supercharged 5.0 litre V8 and the styling is all intakes, vents and spoilers. If you see an SVR coming down the road you move, not just out of the way but probably move counties just to be safe. That’s probably because you heard it coming a good 5 minutes before you saw it though, thanks to the crazy titanium/Inconel exhaust system that sounds like Thor kicking the Hulk where the sun doesn’t shine.

Lamborghini Huracan LP580-2

PW: Throwback to Episode 1 of the bucket list. Driving my Huracan through Monaco following the famous F1 circuit. Whilst it probably isn’t the perfect city Car, it’s surprisingly good at finding small gaps and you can certainly utilise plenty of the power from that incredible engine. One of the most clinical supercars on the market, combine it’s precise engineering with the typical Lamborghini flair...you’ve got yourself a perfect Supercar package.

TO: Driving your orange Huracan around the Monaco GP circuit. It’s easy to go off people isn’t it? Anyway, ignoring the fact that I’m going green with envy while writing this, let’s talk Huracan. The original Huracan LP610-4 was always a deeply impressive car, but with AWD it always felt a little blunt, a little safe, a little, dare I say it, un-Lamborghini-ish? Well thankfully deep within Lamborghini there are still some people who are somewhat unhinged and it is they who we can thank for the introduction of the LP580-2 – a RWD Huracan with 580hp so that you can feel seconds away from death with just a simple squeeze of the throttle pedal. The LP580-2 isn’t all about Clarkson-style power oversteer though, with no power going through the front wheels they can be left to get on with dictating where the car goes, which means the steering is lighter, far more feelsome and just a million times better. This really is the Huracan to have.

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Okay, so those are the car, what about the person? What makes Paul tick? We found out…

Given Paul Wallace often appears in the media, it seems appropriate that we should refer to that legendary publication, the Sunday Times, for his introduction. Wallace’s interest in filming supercars couldn’t have more bizarre origins. His father had taken him to the Victoria and Albert museum as part of his GCSE art studies. As they waited to enter the museum the young Wallace saw two Aston Martins, which he promptly photographed. Excited at the prospect of seeing more supercars like them, he persuaded a friend to go back to London with him the next day to film them on their mobile phones.

“I never looked back,” says Wallace. “I kept returning to film more cars, something I still do.”

He kept up his filming while studying for a business degree at the University of Winchester. His lecturer was so enthusiastic about his work that he invested funds in Wallace’s fledgling production company created to make and publicise his films. Today, Supercars of London is well on the way to 750,000 subscribers. His channel has reached such dizzying heights that he recently bought a Lamborghini Huracan. Or, as The Sun puts it, ‘Supercar Vlogger buys £160k Lambo with YouTube cash!’

Yet his motoring journey starts long before his GCSEs.

“My first car memory comes after my nan’s birthday. We were driving through Buckinghamshire and I remember seeing a Rosso Corsa Ferrari 360 Spider coming towards us on a narrow country road, just after they came out. I freaked out and will never forget the road, nor the moment.

“I got into cars through Formula One. I was a Ferrari and Williams fan when I was 9-10. I then got a car book for Christmas and saw the Lamborghini Murcielago (which was probably 2001).

“I started photography/ videography to capture cars when I was 13 or 14, started my YouTube channel when I was 15 and it was only when I graduated from university in 2013 that I realised I could try and create a stable income from ad revenue from the videos. I’ve been shooting YouTube videos for nearly 10 years now and it’s only been fairly recent that I’ve actually started to break even!”

Aside from the Huracan, Paul drives a BMW M3 too. So which one does he choose each day?

“I currently drive a BMW M3 which is brilliant, but I am trying to sell it! Only because I want to explore something new. My best new car I think had to be my AMG GT-S. It was so raw and had a real personality, yet became a tame little kitten when I put it in comfort and pootled around town. I don’t have a worst car, because even the worst cars ‘on paper’ have a story and will always remain fondly in memory as part of my journey.”

None of this love for cars came from his parents.

“My parents really weren’t petrolheads. My dad had Volvos mainly, and a 2002 Ford Galaxy. My mum had a Vauxhall Astra that she ran into the ground with 150,000 miles and now has a 2004 Ford Focus that really needs replacing. I don’t know how that’s still running to be honest.”

While many will think he already has the dream job, Paul’s bar is higher.

“It’s got to an F1 driver! Does that count? The skill and ability that those guys have is super-human first of all. But the lifestyle surrounding those super heroes seems to be seriously cool.”

He’s got close to the lifestyle, driving around Monaco with BOTB’s own Christian Williams during last year’s road-trip series.

“There’s nothing better than driving in convoy, planning routes, lunch stops, overnight stops and laughing about each other’s driving,” he smiles. “The best memories are definitely made when you’re on the road.”

And if BOTB were to pull up to his house with the car of his dreams, what would that car be?

“A Murcielago LP640….but that’s a bit old now. So if it had to be a new car straight from the dealership (non-limited production car) then an Aventador S please!”

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