Following on from my earlier Dream Garage post, there were several conversations along the lines of "you missed out on this, and that, and what about the other thing…" These are all fun, and it’s all fantasy anyway - but I just wanted to share the ones that just barely didn’t make the cut.
Top of the list of cars that almost made it into the top ten is this beauty. In the end, I felt it did not make sense to have both the Morgan and the Jaaaag. With the big cat being a classic, it’s just less practical than the Morgan, which is thoroughly modern - at least underneath.
I was lucky enough to be able to borrow an XK120 that looked almost exactly like this one for my wedding day, though, and it was the second most beautiful sight I saw that day. The engine sounded wonderful, and was still very strong. What let it down was the brakes, or the complete absence thereof. I was absolutely terrified that I was going to wrap an extremely expensive car that did not belong to me around something! In the end all went well, and I have one more amazing memory from a wonderful day.
If I can ever figure out a way to justify it to myself, I would love to own one - but I’d upgrade the brakes before driving it anywhere!
AMG Rote Sau
The whole Lotus, "simplify and add lightness" thing is all very well, but what I really like is a big bruiser that actually has too much power, even if that means it struggles to put it all down. The Rote Sau (Red Pig) was the motorsport evolution of Mercedes-Benz’ already pretty fast 300SEL 6.3, and it is utterly bonkers.
They are getting pretty rare, so the sensible option might be to start with a stock 300SEL and do a "restomod" version. I’d be after a street car anyway, not a racer, so I’d plan on losing all the racing stickers - although I’d keep those outsize front lights. If I went that route, I'd probably also delete the roll cage and give it a more street-friendly interior.
Or then again, maybe I do buy into the Lotus-lightweight thing? The way to do that nowadays is to get Caterham’s up-to-date interpretation of the Lotus 7, add a full-faced helmet so you don’t get a mouthful of insects, and then enjoy the amazing handling. The power-to-weight ratio of 520bhp per tonne on the R500 is nothing to sneeze at, either.
Every car lover should own an Alfa Romeo, at least once. I’m okay on that front, as I have owned and loved both a 156 2.5 V6, and a 147 Blackline. How could I not have an Alfa in my dream garage, though?
This may look like a classic, but it’s actually been thoroughly updated, so it’s about as practical as old Alfas get. I might want a bit of a body kit on mine, though - just slightly rolled arches and a front lip spoiler, something like that. Nobody seems to do exactly what I want, though, which is why it didn’t make the cut.
As long as we’re talking about classic Italian marques that have had their history shamelessly destroyed under Fiat ownership (ahem), we can’t forget Lancia. Much as I’d love an S4 or 037 Stradale, if you’re going to go, you have to go big. Lancia Stratos it is, with classic Alitalia livery, and maybe even Sandro Munari’s name (all hail) emblazoned on the side.
This is one case where I would actually want an original car, so that I could take it up the hill at my local historic hill-climb, the Vernasca Silver Flag.
Just go ahead and file this one under "scary". Depending on which generation it is, you’re looking at anywhere between 350 and 440 bhp, a fibreglass body, and no ABS, traction control, airbags - or much of anything else. On top of that, all the controls were insanely positioned, to the point that nobody could ever get in, and once they had been shown how, could not get out again.
When I was working in the UK, a colleague had a yellow one of these monsters. You could hear him coming from a mile off - but he was always the slowest thing on the road, because it had a nasty habit of spinning up the rear wheels in third and even fourth if provoked. Taught you respect, it did.
Talking of scary cars…
This one didn’t make the cut into the top ten because I felt that I couldn’t have two Shelbys, and between the two of them, I slightly prefer the looks of the Daytona Coupe. It doesn’t help that the Daytona is also that little bit more practical, what with its effete concessions like, I don’t know, a roof.
Still love the look of these, though, and if the dream garage did expand, I would definitely add one.
Lincoln Continental (Mobsteel)
Forget about all that lightness nonsense with the Caterham up there - we’re back to the big stuff! Mobsteel are a Detroit crew, and appropriately, they only work on classic Detroit iron. The idea is big, comfortable rides, done for cruising and the occasional burnout. I might go for slightly less flashy rims than in this picture, and I’m still torn between hard and soft tops, so that indecision is why this one didn’t make it higher up the list.
This is definitely a Marmite car, and I freely admit it's an odd choice as the first Lambo in the collection - but I love the looks of the big thing, and it's actually far more competent on the road than a more mainstream classic like the Miura. It does share a designer with the Miura, Marcello Gandini, and the V12 is from the same Giotto Bizzarrini lineage too. It's a car that lets you share the Lambo experience with your friends.
I also really think that scene at the beginning of The Italian Job should have featured an Espada rather than a Miura. It just suits the character of Roger Beckermann far better.
And all the rest
I didn’t forget about supercars! It’s just that I cannot decide which one I would want, and it seemed silly just to make a huge list. Here are some of the ones that I was considering, before I realised the problem:
- Lamborghini Murcielago/Diablo SV (open-gate shifter FTW)
- any Koenigsegg
- Pagani Zonda/Huayra
- Noble M600
- McLaren F1/P1
- Ford GT (2005 version)
- Porsche Carrera GT
- Ferrari F40/288 GTO
- I don’t particularly care for the Enzo - but I’d definitely have a Maserati MC12…
Realistically, these all overlap with each other. Sure, they have their differences and blah blah blah, but I don’t see much point in just having a row of supercars in the garage; you’d never drive any one of them enough to get to know it properly, so you’d only be depriving someone else of the chance to own or at least see them.
I already picked the Bugatti EB110 as my ultimate supercar, and I stand by that. If I were fortunate enough to be looking at more supercars, I’d probably just join one of those fractional-ownership clubs to scratch the occasional urge to check out something different.
In the same vein, I would love a Porsche 911 993 GT2, or a 964 Leichtbau, and I even have an unreasonable lust for some sort of RWB 911 - but I already chose my ultimate 911, so it would seem greedy to add more.
Finally I might add something silly like a Citroën Méhari for a beach house, or a ridiculous project like, oh, a Hayabusa-engined classic Fiat 500 - but that sort of thing is more spur-of-the-moment than stuff of dreams, as far as I’m concerned.
I suspect this is an ongoing topic…