It's almost familiar but not completely so: the big LED sign. The intimidating gatehouse. The narrow, curving lane next to a lake filled with expensive carp. You daren't study the water for fear of running out of road in front of them all. Then there's the curved-edge structure by Foster and Partners. The glass. The pod lifts. The inward-opening doors. The Boulevard. Bruce's Austin Seven Chummy. And the rest of the Can-Am and F1 cars: orange at first, then red and white, then silver.
You whisper. The occasion, and the building, demands it. For this is the McLaren Technology Centre. And you tread softly, for there, backlit against the lake, sits the McLaren 570GT sportscar, doors up. And you reflect that you saw Bruce drive; you saw Denny win with an M19 and then with an M23. You were there when Emerson and James won in the '70s - and upwards it went. Ayrton and Alain in the gorgeous, Steve Nichols/Neil Oatley McLaren-Hondas. Mika. Lewis in 2008. You know the bloodline. You know the essence of what this part of Surrey, England, is inevitably all about.
Yet nothing compares with this moment. You slide into the leather interior, inhaling the aroma. All of those fluxes flowing into this. This isn't your Lambo or your Ferrari or your Jag or your Aston or even your Porsche. This is a McLaren. And Bruce would love it. Even in plum.