Dashing designer Duncan Quinn—aka DRIVEN’s own 007—recently had a run-in with a topless Italian supermodel at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles on Burns Night.

But we’ll let him tell you about it…

I’m not really quite sure where to start to describe this smorgasbord of vicious indulgence.

Where to start to describe this smorgasbord of vicious indulgence?

Around 10 years ago, a rather entertaining Glaswegian who was then the maître d’ at Soho House in New York engaged in a chat with yours truly that resulted in a small gathering around January 25 to celebrate the greatest of all Scots exports—Robert Burns.

Rather ironic, given that my father (when he was not chasing bank robbers, serious smugglers and other notable questionables) had founded the “Burns Supper” at Scotland Yard, and latterly was the president of The Burns Club of London.

Our Man in Lambo Land

Burns Night; click to enlarge (Evi T’Bolt)

In true Churchillian form, I decided I knew better when he tried to gently cajole me every year to partake of the Robbie Burns Kool-Aid, and so, for many a long year, I dodged the bullet that would later return to find its target through the able assistance of the aforementioned Mr. Andy Young.

It could always be that any excuse is a good excuse for a party

Some might say it was destiny that drew me, malt whiskey, a philosopher poet’s annual remembrance shindig and a group of characters munching on haggis, neeps and tatties together.

I’d like to think I just eventually realized what great fun it is to get together with like-minded spirits to indulge in some high spirits.

But it could always be that any excuse is a good excuse for a party.


Burns Night: Macallan Scotch; click to enlarge (Evi T’Bolt)

And thus, almost 10 years, many a dram of the finest of Scotches, good, bad and indifferent haggis, and some rather serious butchery of the good bard’s poetry later, I arrived at the doorstep of that most hallowed of grounds, Chateau Marmont—with a loch full of Macallan, a bagpiper and the intention of having myself some right royal times.

 I arrived at the doorstep of Chateau Marmont with a loch full of Macallan

Just as well, as they’d seen fit somehow to deposit me in one of their infamous bungalows.

Yes, those of John Belushi overdose and Lindsey Lohan hiding fame.

If celebrity turnout were the criterion for the allocation of hotels, the Chateau would probably score higher than the Sharm El Sheikh.

Our Man in Lambo Land

Chateau Marmont; click to enlarge

After spending most of Friday evening dealing with an urgent DQ matter for a rather royal type, the night was ushered in with some people-watching and a fine bottle of one of Sean Thackrey‘s spectacular wines, just to prime the nerves for a little exercise in the AM.

The highland hubris required to pull off such a task with aplomb

A brisk four miles, some calisthenics, and pondering how my fellow gym rat could possibly train to Madonna at full volume at 7 am of a morning got Saturday cooking as I mentally prepared for the abuse I was about to inflict on my long-suffering liver.

Not to mention the victims of the night who would be asked to read some words in a strange, long-forgotten dialect of Scots, with only a large glass or three of Macallan to provide the Dutch courage and highland hubris required to pull off such a task with aplomb.

Our Man in Lambo Land

Cohiba cigars; click to enlarge

Needless to say, the 50 or so guests had a roaring time, but God only knows what everyone else at the Chateau dining outside in the garden thought as we in the lobby gradually crescendoed, bagpipes and all, into a buzzing hive of honey-colored Scotch mist.

We crescendoed, bagpipes and all, into a buzzing hive of honey-colored Scotch mist

I awoke on Sunday morning feeling rather foggy and thinking yet again that cigars are always a friend at the time, especially the odd Cohiba, and more than especially when chin-wagging heavily in the garden of a bungalow at Chateau Marmont with chums old and new after a rather spirited dinner wearing a kilt.

And yet come morning, they seem to always have turned into the sensation of waking up with an old sweaty boot in my mouth.

Hmmm.  Note to self.

Our Man in Lambo Land

Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder; click to enlarge (Nicolas Ramirez for DRIVEN)

That of course was my cue to hop into the Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder that Lamborghini had kindly provided in lieu of aspirin so that I could clear my head.

Forced oxygen at speeds-that-may-not-be-mentioned

Forced oxygen at speeds-that-may-not-be-mentioned is more than sufficient competition for the best of Cox-2 inhibitor pills.

The baby brother of the Lamborghini line is of course rather more of a beast on paper than most would think, with enough power to remind you that the back of your head belongs on the headrest, and enough limpet-like grip with its full-time all-wheel drive to give a Scandinavian rally merchant a sideways grin to rival the Cheshire Cat’s.

Our Man in Lambo Land

Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder; click to enlarge (Nicolas Ramirez for DRIVEN)

It’s not the snorting, menacing, baby-eating machine that is the Aventador, but then it’s no wallflower, either.

I’ve always been a fan of the madcap styling of Lamborghinis

I’ve always been a fan of the madcap styling of Lamborghinis, and although the Gallardo could never be accused of having the grace of a Miura or the swagger of a Countach, it is a very pretty car indeed.

Perhaps not one that polarizes its audience, but it would be tough to accuse it of being ugly.

Our Man in Lambo Land

Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder; click to enlarge (Nicolas Ramirez)

I’d even go so far as to say the LP 560-4 Spyder was rather elegant in the gunmetal grey I had to play with; although the guy who was kind enough to lean out of his window to exclaim “asshole” upon my having lost my way and made a particularly choice maneuver only possible with 560 hp to cut to the front of the lane to turn may not entirely agree.

You soon learn that when the heat goes up, tops come down

And yet, alas, for me, the soft top automatically gave her the “hairdresser-handicap,” even in the case of a piece as lithe, able and willing to use as this.

That said, if growing up in the South of France teaches you nothing more, you soon learn that when the heat goes up, tops come down.

Our Man in Lambo Land

Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder; click to enlarge (Nicolas Ramirez)

So I had to love the push-button miracle that lopped off the canvas and hid it nicely under the carbon fiber covering the tasty V10 so that I could tan my pasty swede while on the attack.

In Corsa mode with the exhausts barking like banshees and tickling my fancy

As we blasted up the magical Route 33 after a brief respite to ingratiate ourselves with the local chapter of the Hells Angels and some damn fine BBQ at the Deer Lodge, I couldn’t help but think of Woody Allen’s Orgasmatron in Sleeper.

Especially in Corsa mode, with the exhausts barking like banshees and tickling my fancy.

Our Man in Lambo Land

Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder; click to enlarge (Nicolas Ramirez)

Although she doesn’t blow your mind, rock your world and leave you weak at the knees and gagging for more like a fix-deprived crackhead, you certainly have an insistent and constant urge to go play more.

The LP 560-4 Spyder is a phenomenal piece of kit

More smack, less crack.

The LP 560-4 Spyder is a phenomenal piece of kit, and the soundtrack while you thrash her to within an inch of her redline will both send a tingle up your spine and alert the local constabulary to your spirited progress.

The worst thing (if this can be a bad thing) is perhaps the fact that she’s so good at getting from A to B exceptionally fast no matter how twisty the road, with not one iota of fuss that it almost spoils the fun.

Our Man in Lambo Land

Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder; click to enlarge (Nicolas Ramirez for DRIVEN)

But I did say almost.

She makes all the right noises at all the right times

She makes all the right noises at all the right times, and I’m still not sure if that was because of me, or because she knew that that was what I wanted to hear.

But when it’s really good sometimes, you never can tell…

– DQ

The Breakdown:

Chateau Marmont:  ***** (5/5)

Route 33:  **** (4/5)

Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder: **** (4/5)

Macallan 25: the dog’s danglers