I was whiling away a winter evening a few weeks ago when a friend phoned to ask what I was doing. “Shopping for cars on-line” I responded. When he asked what I was looking at, I had to be honest. I told him I was looking at new Ferraris. “Dreaming again I see.” ” Dreaming always”, I replied.
This resulted in an age old discussion, which supercar would you actually buy , if you had the means to buy one. My friend challenged me as follows: “tell me which car would you buy, with your own money and why you would buy it. I will make it simple, you can only pick one”. That made it difficult for me as my dream garage has about eight climate-controlled bays with room for expansion, of course. Selecting only one meant that I had to choose wisely, not entirely emotionally, as is normally the case for this dreamer. I struggled with the choice and, over the next hour or so, was tormented by my friend’s challenge to me. I did however make a decision, and I think a very good one. Before I tell you my story I would like to challenge you, our Car Envy readers, to do the same. Tell us about your dream car, the one you would pay your own money for and how you would use it. Be honest with this, I think it would be fun to hear about other peoples dreams. Now here is my dream car story.
The first thing I had to decide was whether my dream car would be a new car or an older model. I am a hopeless romantic at times and some of the older supercars are dear to my heart. The Ferrari 250 in just about any form, but in particular the 250 SWB, or GTO. The mid-engined GTO of the eighties is also a favourite.
For non-Italian classic metal, a Ford GT40 would be nice, to say the least. And, of course, the McLaren F1 and Porsche 959 are always good choices. With so many good choices, I had to weed some of them out by asking myself a deeper question; what would I use my supercar for? The answer to this question eliminated a lot of potential contenders.
If I had only one, I would want to drive the car on the street. Maybe I would take it to the track, but I doubt it. This decision removed the classics from the list, they would be too fragile and too precious to drive daily. This also axed a few of my favourites cars, the Porsche GT3 RS and Carrera GT, Lamborgini Gallardo, Ferrari 430, Lotus Exige and even the most super of all supercars, the Bugatti Veyron. You see, I prefer a front-engined car on the street, for two very good reasons. The first is that mid- and rear-engined cars are more twitchy than front-engined cars and, although great on the track, not so great on the road. I want to drive my car on the road. Additionally, mid- and rear-engined cars have little luggage space, I like to golf and would want to drive my car to the golf course and on weekend excursions. This requires room for two sets of clubs and luggage, given that I might want to take a guest with me.
My vision of the perfect road car is a front-engined Grand Touring (GT) car. These cars have the room for occasional weekend trips as well as the performance and exclusivity we desire in a supercar. Let us look at the prospects. Leading the way from Italy is Ferrari with the current 599 GTB Fiorano. This is a classic front-engine, 12-cylinder GT car. Also from Italy is the Maserati GranTurismo, a beautiful V8-powered GT. Italians invented the modern super car concept, so they must be considered first.
From England, the home of the classic Grand Tourer, there are two Aston Martin models, the DB9 and V8 Vantage. The DB9 uses a 6.0L v12 while the Vantage makes do with a 4.7L V8. But let’s not forget the Jaguar XK, which is gorgeous, but lives in the shadow of the Vantage.
I would like to include the Corvette, but GM has always managed to make this front-engined car with less storage space than most mid- and rear-engined cars. And a Viper, well, is just a Viper. Exciting, but not really a driver’s car. You will notice a lack of German makes, they make great cars, of that there is no question, but my car has to have passion and passion, for me, only comes from sports cars made in England or Italy.
With the list now shortened, I had to make a decision. We have the DB9, Vantage, XK, 599, and GranTurismo left to work with. Remember I want to drive this car, so it has to be somewhat reliable. Out went the Ferrari. Sadly there is no market for high-mileage used Ferraris. Besides, modern Ferraris aren’t as beautiful as they once were. They may be more efficient but not as beautiful. As for the DB9, it’s a beautiful car, but it’s not a daily driver.
Now there are three and the next to go is the Jaguar. Not that the Jaguar isn’t a good car, it’s just that it isn’t an exclusive car next to its design cousin, the Aston. (Remember we are still dreaming a little here, not actually making a purchase). On the surface, the Jaguar is the correct choice. A good daily driver with local service available. Very practical, very sensible and beautiful GT car. But, if I can only choose one, I cannot ignore exclusivity. Bye-bye Jag.
Both of my remaining choices are great cars, they are among the most beautiful road cars ever and they have a high degree of technical development. My final decision will be met with some criticism though, but it will be justified. I love the V8 Vantage, its aggressive looks, its sound, its raw performance. It is the car I should choose. With its manual gear box, great suspension and a timeless history that exudes future value, the Aston is wonderful machine.
I chose the Maserati! Why? The Maserati is Italian, very Italian. It is too beautiful to ignore. In Italy, style comes before substance and the Maserati is the most beautiful of all these beautiful cars. From every angle it is as close to perfection as a car can get. I know that there is too much technology in the car, it is a potential service nightmare with computer controlled everything and traditional Italian electrics. But in the end, I would gladly put up with a car with a personality to gain the beauty of this machine. Now, would I buy the standard touring version or the up-rated S model? Logic, for my intended use, points to the standard version. So I have chosen the GranTurismoS. You can’t be practical all the time, and who knows, I might just slide out to Mosport one day for a few hot laps.
Now you have my story, please tell us about yours.