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My TVR Sagaris has done about 85 tours of Spain and Portugal. I reckon if I got in and said ‘Parador de Lerma’ it could take me there on its own!

Driving through historic quarters steeped in tales from the Age of Discoveries. Taking in breathtaking views as you push down on the throttle, the exhilaration pulsing through your veins. And when the Mediterranean sun is caressing your cheeks through the windscreen or open roof of your soft top classic car, adventure road tripping is one of life’s greatest pleasures. So, grab your sunglasses, pack a road map – its time to Drive Espana!

Established in 2002 by petrolhead and tour leader, Jasper Gilder, Drive Espana curates and delivers 10-14 tours a year across Spain, Portugal, and France. With a maximum of 20 cars per trip, and 235,000 miles on his own TVR Sagaris, we caught up with Jasper to reflect on 20 years of road trips, the best roads to drive in Spain, and what makes Drive Espana a popular choice with classic and sports car drivers.

What inspired you to set up Drive Espana, Jasper?

I have always been a petrolhead and when I set up my own management consultancy in 1989, I got a TVR, and I’ve had them ever since. In 1999 my dealer emigrated to Spain. He sent me a Christmas card in 2002 saying he’d bought a race circuit, so I did a field trip to look at the track and we agreed on the first TVR track day in early 2004.

Today, we aim for 8-10 tours a year but then we’ll do private tours on top. So in 2024, it’s looking more like 14 tours. Usually, we limit the number of cars to 20 per tour, the boutique hotels will struggle after that.

What attracted you to the Spanish regions?

Spanish roads are smooth, untroubled by traffic and the people are lovely. All car nuts it seems, so we get a great welcome! We also have a deal with the Spanish Parador hotels, so the stops are spectacular, and often in historic buildings with great views. The scenery is fantastic, Spain is very mountainous and not just a big plain.

What do the tours typically include?

Unless requested otherwise, the trips include return ferry crossings with outside cabins, dinner bed and breakfast at all hotels, and occasionally an exclusive track day or tickets to a race meeting. Every participant receives a comprehensive road book with routes, maps, and hotel details, as well as an old-fashioned paper map. It’s primarily a driving tour, participants pay for their own beverages.

I’m there to book the hotels and ferries, write the road book, send out tickets and meet the participants at the ferry. I’ll organise mealtimes, sort out any running problems, provide help and advice and if there’s a car problem – I often know local garages or mechanics along the route.

Tell us about the roads and passes that drivers can experience?

We have tours that go into and through the Pyrenees, the Gredos mountains, the Picos de Europa, the Sierra Guadarama and the mountains of Portugal. After 20 years of driving the continent, I’ve found a lot of great routes. But it’s always fun to discover new roads. Often on tour I’ll go off-piste and see what’s what!

The driving is the highlight. What additional experiences are available?

We do two track days a year, occasionally we may do a post-driving wine tasting. Twice a year we join up with the Spanish Supercars Drivers Club for events in Santander which cover a wide range of experiences from safari parks, boat trips, and ballooning, to car museums. We take people to the Fernando Alonso museum in Oviedo, the Museo de Historia de la Automoción de Salamanca (MHAS) car museum in Salamanca, walking tours in Pamplona – there’s so much to do and see!

Can car clubs join a tour with Drive Espana?

Of course -In 2024, Drive Espana is arranging exclusive tours for TVR, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche, and Jaguar marques. Some are car club tours, others alongside clubs, but we also do a number of all-marque tours.

How about you Jasper, what do you drive?

I bought my TVR Sagaris in 2006 with 10,000 miles on it. It’s now on 235,000 miles! It’s done about 85 tours of Spain and Portugal. I reckon if I got in and said ‘Parador de Lerma’ it could take me there on its own! The TVR Sagaris is a great choice for driving in Europe. It’s got a surprising amount of luggage space; it’s glued to the road and ideally suited to Spain and Portugal.

Best road you’ve ever driven?

Has to be the EX118 from Guadalupe to Navalmoral de la Matta in Spain. It’s not like the Stelvio Pass. Its more flowing, endlessly engaging, no traffic and no motorbikes. Someone said it makes the Stelvio look like a Dutch mountain!

What’s your craziest moment of driving abroad?

I was driving through a Spanish village and the Guardia Civil Trafico pulled me in.

“You have been speeding and I must take €30 off you!”, the Guardia exclaimed.

“Well, I don’t think I have, but if you say so”, I replied.

“I’ll put your details in to produce the paperwork” … It doesn’t compute so he calls his chum in the bush with the radar gun about 5km away.

“English Sports Car!”, he asks. “Yes, Grey Aston Martin”, the colleague replies.

“No!! Red TVR”.

“NO, NO, NO Grey Aston Martin”.

At which point a tour member cruises past in his grey Aston Martin and waves.

Downcast, the officer says, “I cannot fine you – have a nice day” steps out, stops an oncoming truck and waves me out.

20 years is a fantastic milestone, how are you celebrating?

Just by enjoying what I do and seeing the pleasure it brings to people on tour. If they’re happy and having a good time, that’s celebration enough for me.

Any personal recommendations of places to visit in Spain?

Toledo is a must-see spot. Guadalupe in Spring and Summer is gorgeous. In Oropesa, there a castle where you park in the castle keep. Baiona on the Atlantic coast, is worth a visit and is where the first of Columbus’ caravelles made landfall on the way back from the New World. San Sebastian is also a real treat. But my personal favourite place to visit Spain? Hacienda Zorita at Valverdon. Columbus stayed here twice. The food and accommodation are both spectacular, and the beautiful city of Salamanca just 10 minutes drive away.

As the official insurance partner for Drive Espana, if you are looking for an insurance policy that covers you to drive your classic car or sports car in Spain, Portugal, and France, contact ClassicLine Insurance. With ClassicLine, you’ll policy will cover you for up to 90 days in Europe and includes full UK and EU breakdown cover as a standard, giving you peace of mind to sit back and enjoy the drive.

To find out more on Drive Espana and upcoming driving tours of Spain, Portugal, and France, visit

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