From runway to racetrack: Under the hood of Jodie Kidd's car obsession

Updated 3rd July 2015
Credit: Infinity Creative Media
From runway to racetrack: Under the hood of Jodie Kidd's car obsession
British model, racer, TV presenter, and classic car aficionado Jodie Kidd might be the only person to have walked the runway as a Burberry model and cruised some of Europe's most prestigious circuits as a Maserati race driver.
In recent years, the 36-year-old has returned -- after a break when she had her first child, Indio -- to front Jaeger's Autumn/Winter 2014 campaign and walk for Moschino at Milan Fashion Week. She currently showcases her passion for vintage autos as the host of The Classic Car Show on UK television and has recently returned home after completing the thousand-mile Mille Miglia endurance road race in Italy, with model David Gandy.
When was the most fun you've had behind the wheel?
Probably doing the Mille Miglia this year with David and an amazing Jaguar heritage car, an XK 120.
When was the last time you were scared in a car?
When David was driving!
Your most embarrassing moment on four wheels?
When I first started racing cars, I was at the starting grid at Imola [the racetrack that hosts the San Marino Grand Prix] and the lights went off. I put my foot down and I went backwards. I had it in reverse!
The most stylish car you've ever seen?
It would be the mixture of two Ferraris: either the 250 California Spyder or the 500 Mondial.
On the runway in 2004
On the runway in 2004 Credit: ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images
What's more intense: the runway or the racetrack?
After your crash at Silverstone, were you ever afraid to get back behind the wheel?
Yeah. Absolutely. I was subconsciously breaking earlier, I was not keeping my foot down. Subconsciously the "life-preservation button" kicked in and I couldn't stop that. I had to go back and retrain that side of my brain.
If you could take a drive with anyone, who would it be?
David Attenborough [the British naturalist and documentary broadcaster]. Because I just love him. I think he's one of the most amazing men on this planet. Knowledgeable, kind, wonderful broadcaster, the most amazing voice, the stories -- just everything about him. He'd be an incredible partner to have in a car.
What car do you drive when you're with your son?
What else is in your garage?
I have a 1970s Land Rover Defender, I've got a Jaguar F-Type Coupé R, and that's it -- for the moment.
Do you have regrets about giving up your Ferrari and Maserati after having your son?
Yeah I really shouldn't have gotten rid of my Ferrari, because that will be an amazing classic one day, the 550 Maranello.
If your son wanted to follow in your footsteps, would you let him race?
I would prefer he became a professional golfer. Of course, I'd let him.
1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder
1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder Credit: Courtesy Ferrari
Classic or Contemporary? 1960s Ferrari 250 GT or 2015 LaFerrari?
250GTO. No question.
Why is it classic cars that catch your eye?
They've just got such pure lines. Everything about them is style. There's something about them that's not machine-made.
Of course there were factory production lines in those times but you can see that there's so much more time and effort that goes into them. And you can tell, they've just got something extra about them, something beautiful. A lot of the lines I found nowadays are very harsh and classic cars are much softer, I find.
Do you have a favourite new model?
I love my F-Type, the Jaguar F-Type. I think that's a beautiful car. Very, very pretty. [Jaguar Design Director] Ian Callum has taken on a few traits from the classic E-Type and that's possibly why I like it -- because there's a few bits that remind me of older cars.
Who's the biggest petrol head in fashion?
Probably Ralph Lauren.
Have you talked to him about cars?
I talk to him about polo, but next time I see him I'll talk to him about cars.