Wednesday, September 21, 2016

5-Car Dream Garage Challenge: My Picks

Image credit: Top Gear
This challenge has been making the rounds on social media of late in enthusiast circles. Being car enthusiasts ourselves, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to argue amongst ourselves, draw up PowerPoint presentations, fill out Excel tables, call each other stupid, and just generally spending half the day at the office not doing the work that we are supposed to.

So, needless to say, we have taken the liberty of drafting out a list of 5 cars that we wouldn't mind having in our dream car garage.

Here are the rules:
1. These are the five cars that we will not mind driving for the rest of our lives (sadly with our money, we likely won't) -- and five only.
2. Money no object -- it can be as cheap or as expensive as we want it to be.
3. Fuel economy not an issue either -- see rule #2.

We have also implemented some house rules for ourselves:
4. Despite the unlimited budget, this is not about getting the fanciest or the most expensive car in the world -- otherwise, this would look like a Dubai hotel parking lot. This is about choosing the best car that we have ever wanted. Sadly, this rule has encouraged one of our staff members to keep nominating a 29-year-old BMW... Don't know why.
5. It must consist of at least one car that we can drive everyday (because Ferraris are not really meant for only getting groceries at your local Whole Foods, despite what you see in Beverly Hills).
6. We have also broken down into five categories to make up for the cars that didn't make the list -- one hyper car, one dream car (doesn't have to be fast), the classic car (must be older than 25 years old), the crazy car (could be an off roader or something that is not a conventional dream car), and of course, the daily driver.

Everybody is allowed to dream, and here is a list of what we generally dream about:

1. 2007 Pagani Zonda F - The Hyper Car

Runner up: Porsche Carrera GT
Power: 594hp
Seats: 2
Cost: $1.4 million
Why: This is one of the last truly analog hypercars that you can buy. Unlike the newer offerings from Pagani that come with a sequential gearbox, the Zonda F had a 6-speed manual gearbox mated to a 7.3 liter V12 that screams like the God of Thunder. Oh, and it is probably one of the best-looking Italian sports cars of all time, with one of the best-looking interiors of all time -- and that list includes many Ferraris and Lamborghinis. Only 25 were made, however, so finding a willing seller might be an issue...

2. 2016 Singer 911 - The Dream Car

Runner up: Ford GT40
Power: 390hp
Seats: 4 (2 really, because the backseats are not really designed for humans).
Cost: $600,000
Why: The California-based Singer Vehicle Design specializes in revitalizing classic Porsches into modern work of art. It is not the fastest car in the world, and it is not the best handling car in the world. It is, however, a hand-crafted, exquisite weapon that takes over 4,000 hours to complete. Everything is restored with just a little extra bit of flare to let you know that this is not just any other classic Porsche -- it's a classic car that is updated with modern technology and modern engineering, while retaining the unfiltered driving experience of an air-cooled Porsche. Chris Harris loves it, and that's all you need to know about this car.

3. 1973 BMW 2002 Turbo - The Classic Car

Runner up: Ferrari 288GTO
Power: 167hp
Seats: 4
Cost: N/A (approx. $110,000 in value)
Why: It's the 1970s, and this is the car that got the turbo craze started. The Neue Klasse 2002 Turbo was BMW's first attempt at a turbocharged production car, and boy -- did they do it with style. We love the inverted "2002" and "Turbo" stickers on the front bumper to signal to the cars in front that they are about to be overtaken by something truly special. Of course, the 167 horsepower figure is nothing to write home about now -- but in the 1970s, the 2002 Turbo was just a mere 20 horsepower away from some of the offerings from Maserati at the time. What a car.

4. 2008 Mercedes Benz / Brabus Unimog - The Crazy Car

Runner up: Land Rover Defender 110
Power: 282hp... Don't be deceived though, it won't be winning any drag races.
Seats: 2 - 20 if you include troop benches in the back
Cost: $270,000 ($304,000 today)
Why: Look at this list. It is comprised (rightfully) of performance cars that emphasizes on the joys of driving on smoothly-paved asphalt roads in the dry. What if you have a ranch in the Wyoming countryside that you need to get to in the middle of December? You wouldn't be taking your 6000-horsepower hypercar, you'd be taking one of these -- the mid-slinging, rock-climbing Mercedes Benz / Brabus Unimog. The Unimog laughs at your puny Land Rovers and it scoffs at your Humvees, and it does it while climbing over a 45-degree slope made of loose mud in the middle of a snow-covered forest. This is also the most rare vehicle on this list -- only 5 were made.

5. 2001 Audi RS4 - The Daily Driver

Runner up: Lancia Delta Integrale Evoluizione II.
Power: 380hp
Seats: 5
Cost: $63,000 ($85,638 today)
Why: A Cosworth-tuned V6 twin-turbocharged wagon. 4-wheel-drive. 6 speed manual -- this is the ultimate grocery-getter that would scare the Ferraris and the Porsches of this world. The RS4 can seat 5 comfortably while holding all your groceries in the trunk, and it can do it in such speed that your kids will be crying to get out of the car by the time you get to the driveway. The subtly-aggressive styling means that you can blend in with traffic and not worry about getting bothered by the local kids who want to challenge you at stoplights every block. It is the ultimate sleeper wagon that we need. Alas, these weren't sold in North America. Ah well.

What are you five dream cars in your garage? Comment below!

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