But thanks to Skoda I have achieved the first of these ambitions. Last week the company took me to Prague, drove me to a forest on the outskirts of the city, strapped me in their Octavia WRC next to works driver Kenneth Eriksson and let us loose on a six kilometre stage which winded its way through trees which were just inches from the road.
I'd love to tell you more about the ride, but it's all a bit of a blur. I remember the savage acceleration as we shot off from the start, I remember the Tommy Gun noise as the Octavia's anti-lag kit burnt up the unused fuel, I remember as we slewed sideways into the first corner and I remember glancing across to Kenneth as we headed down a straightish piece of road at 120mph. But the rest of my journey is a blur of violence.
Watch any in-car footage from a World Rally and it looks impressive but you just can't appreciate how brutal a World Rally Car is. The brakes are astonishing, the acceleration mind-blowing, the ride pile-inducing, the smells almost toxic and the speeds unimaginable. It gives you fresh respect not only for the drivers but also the co-drivers, who have to put up with this ride from hell for three solid days on each rally.
And although the Octavia WRC may slightly resemble a road-going car, underneath it's a different story – this is a car designed to be driven to the maximum in all conditions.
As Skoda's brand image continues to improve, the sight of an Octavia pounding through the World Rally Championship is a great moving billboard for the company.
Model: Octavia WRC
Engine (cc): 1,999
Max power (bhp/rpm): 300/5,500
Max torque (lb-ft/rpm): 442/3,250
Max speed (mph): depending on gearing 0-62mph (sec): c.3.0
Fuel consumption (mpg): N/A
CO2 emissions (g/km): N/A
Transmission: 6-sp sequential manual
On sale: Never
Price: Several hundred thousand pounds