The weird driving position will nevertheless prove a lesser trouble should your journeying occur on a warm day. None of the windows open, the temperature within soon turning as hot as a harvest-ripening sun. There are a couple of vents, but they only dribble air when the Orange is in motion.
Speaking of motion, it’s a surprise to discover that the Orange corners with the quicksilver zest of a standard Mini, the steering instantly sharp and the tight-packed chassis unexpectedly resistant to understeer, at least at low speeds. With more ambitious pace – and 30-40mph feels ambitious in a globe with the head room to support top-hats – the Orange succumbs to corkscrew pitching that could quickly turn into a headline-grabbing incident. It’s easy to imagine the Orange toppling and rolling away, the tangerine orb advancing like a giant bowling ball attacking a cluster of skittles. It would be hard not to laugh, if painful for all occupants other than the belted driver, his fellow passengers flung around the padded cabin like socks in a tumble dryer.
Happily, if not for onlookers in need of entertainment, this Orange remains upright at all times. Its womb-like orange world proves oddly soothing despite the threat of toppling and despite the pith-taking lack of pace. Much more than 40mph is pushing the juicer, 30mph decidedly wiser if you’re to continue enjoying the Orange’s charms.
Many of these emerge merely by staring at it. The more you look, the more thoughtfulness you see. There’s that green fibreglass stalk moulded into a depression in the Orange’s roof. Its rind suffers with heavy orange-peel – “it takes ages to wash because of the dimples”, says owner Sandy Delgarno, who displays the car at the Grampian Transport Museum – while a palm-filling glassfibre orange doubles as the door handle to the fruit’s psychedelic womb. The familiar brick-like tail-lights of a Mini hang jauntily from its rump, the headlights hide behind fairings and much of the glass is orange tinted. That once included the windscreen, but the law no longer allows the driver a more optimistically hued view of the world. Never mind. No car I’ve ever driven has triggered so many smiles, so many looks of startlement, so many fumblings for smartphones and so many thumbs-up for every mile driven. It’s the ultimate orange sales aid.
More edible motoring treats to savour