DRIVING is such a big, everyday part of life for so many people, most of them tootling along in wee hatchbacks on slow roads.

Well, the Scottish Car Show lets them get closer to the fantasy of fancy cars and, yikes, even high speed. Gotta say right away that it’s all controlled and, indeed, the show is partnered with Road Safety Scotland.

If you take a drift taxi, for example, the first thing you’ll be given is a safety briefing … and a helmet. This is the area of the show in which an experienced driver takes punters for three adrenalin-leaking laps of the track, powering sideways into corners and shooting off in a haze with engine screaming and tyres screeching. Ain’t for tootlers.

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But the show isn’t all white-knuckle rides either. The hub is made up of owner-exhibitor cars provided by hundreds of clubs all over the country, with the top 50 displayed under genres such as modified/hot hatch; classic retro; Japanese import; prestige; performance-tuned; and smooth. Sounds funky.

A variety of supercars – Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Porsche, Audi R8 and Ford Mustang GT (“astonishing,” it says here) – will offer rides which are normally only the stuff that dreams are made on.

The Army will be on hand, not to quell anything (such as mass outbursts of envy), but to show off some of their own tanks and vehicles. Intriguingly, they’re also providing a shooting range, though the ammo is only paintballs.

For nippers, the show is providing a petting zoo (of wee beasties not cars), inflatable castles, and face-painting (becoming popular with adults, disturbingly enough).

All in all, around 2,000 cars will be on display this year, and 20,000 visitors are expected. For the first time, the event is running over two days, after 13 years of doing just the one.

A car is just a car. We ken that. But sometimes they aspire to art. And sometimes they inspire us to dream of a world in which we are king of the preferably quiet road.

Visit scottishcarshow.com for ticket prices and other details of the event, which takes place on Saturday, July 15, and Sunday, July 16, at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston.