We could think of no better way to celebrate the launch of our limited edition Ponting Black GMT than a journey from the heart of London to the famous Ace Cafe. Bringing together two eras of motoring with a 1956 Jaguar XK140 SE Fixed Head Coupe and a 2018 Royal Enfield Himalayan motorbike.
Meeting in St. James's at 2.30am, we prepared the crew for a cold night on the dark streets of central London. The route would take us on some of the capital's most recognisable roads and past landmarks old and new - our stealth-like motorcade matching the black DLC case of the Ponting Black GMT.
The Jaguar XK140 FHC is a proper hot rod from the old school and is the only fixed head variant of the legendary XK Jaguars to race at Le Mans. It combines the pure original curves of the XK120 with the practical space of the XK150. With body-coloured wheels and a 3.8 litre engine, the XK140 is a masterpiece of British engineering and design.
Darting down side streets and weaving between traffic, the Royal Enfield Himalayan provided an excellent foil to the 50s Jag - a beautifully raw adventure bike, it is as comfortable on the road as it is off-road. Given the cold temperature, the XK140 was certainly the warmer of the two but our dapper bike rider was more than up for the adventure.
After meeting in St. James's we headed down Constitution Hill and onto The Mall, before swinging beneath Admiralty Arch and onto Regent Street. Sweeping off Regent St, we navigated our way up to Park Lane and out through Notting Hill. The streetlights flashed by as we skipped past the confluence of night owls and early birds.
On we sped, out towards the shining lights of Westfield and the open roads of the Westway. Bombing along the A40, we turned onto the North Circular and neared our destination. Originally built in 1938, the Ace Cafe has an almost biblical reputation amongst motorheads - famed from movies like The Leather Boys and popular with the Ton Up Boys and the Rockers in the 1950s and 60s.
The current building was rebuilt in 1949, following bombing in the Second World War but it later closed in 1969 only to reopen in 1997 following a campaign led by Mark Wilsmore. The legend was reborn and now the empire stretches far further than Willesden, with outposts in Finland, Luzern, Beijing, Barcelona and Orlando.
Like many before, it was a fitting place to stop for a refuel after a long night on the road. As ever, huge thanks to our crew - especially our heroic bike rider and our night-vision videographer Mackie.