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The Contents of my Dream Garage !

Hmm Dream Garage? my ideal list would probably run to several pages (and several garages!), and that after several revisions. Most of the incumbents of my dream (very large) garage would fall under the title of 'classic car', and the jaw dropping collection of Pink Floyd sticksmith Nick Mason would easily do for starters, although I could omit one or two of the modern Ferraris, the GTO would however remain! Some of the cars in my list would probably would be too new to qualify as a pukka classic right now, although would probably end up as one sooner or later. Below is my eclectic selection of classic and not-so classic cars, and some of the reasoning behind my thinking, with runners up included too ... in no particular order ...

Jaguar D type longnose
Jaguar D Type, here 774 RW Mike Hawthorns 1955 Le Mans winner
Probably my all time favourite sports racing car, followed closely by the Aston Martin DB3S. Something about the shape of it, especially in long nosed form, really appeals, a shape which precious few replicas truly capture. So, an original XKD chassis D Type, a warm evening, and the Mulsanne straight ahead of me, that would be the dream ride in what is for me one of the finest looking cars of all time, the words of Mike Hawthorn as he did a commentary of the La Sarthe track whilst piloting his D around the road cars prior to a 24hr race in the 1950s, echoing in my mind. A few years back, I saw 774 RW, the reconstructed winner from the 1955 Le Mans race, in a queue of traffic as I made my way to work, then not long after at the same junction, I spied (I think) OKV 74 also in a line of work traffic, both looking slightly grubby and evidently being used 'properly'. As mentioned, runner up here would be a DB3S, preferably 63 EMU, the car which my Dodge's former owner co-drove to a win in the '55 Goodwood 9 hours. Pics of other 50s cars can be found here: 1950s Car Photos

Mini Cooper S
Mini Cooper S race car
Not the BMW badged thing either!! A pukka 1960s example, probably a 1275, sat on genuine 10" Minilites, in red (of course) with white roof, 3 monstrous Lucas lamps strapped to the grille lighting up the road ahead, tipping a nod to the fantastic works cars that pounded around the international rally stages during the 1960s, demolishing all in their wake. I've always wanted a tweaked Mini, so it might as well be the real thing, saved for local leafy backroads on an early Sunday morning. All I'd need to find would be a pair of E Types and an Aston, and it'd look like the set of The Italian Job film. Runners up spot probably goes to a Downton tuned Mini, or Speedwell tuned A40 on Frogeye wheels. Other 1960s car photos can be found here: 1960s Car Pictures

Aston Martin DB5
Aston Martin DB5, James Bond 007 famous car
Bit cliched I know, but there'd be something pretty cool about running around in a silver Aston Martin DB5, a la Sean Connery and the whole 007 James Bond thing. In comparison, I suspect an E Type just wouldn't quite cut the mustard, despite being a good looker in its own right. Purring around, dreaming of ejector seats, bullet shields and revolving number plates, pulling up outside a quaint country pub in such a cool looking motor, would be the mutts nutts in my opinion. Runner up would probably be the DB4GT Zagato, or BMW 507.

Alfa 8c35
Alfa Romeo 8C35 former Scuderia Ferrari / Tazio Nuvolari team car 1935
Not perhaps the best known, or even most successful, of the pre-war Alfa Romeos run by Enzo Ferrari, before he went his own way after the war, the 8C-35 as run by Scuderia Ferrari, specifically chassis 50013, would be the car I'd like to own most of all, simply because its the original car (now resident in the US) that my old Dodge truck used to transport to speed trial and hillclimb events after the war. To reunite the two, back in the British Racing Green colour that Poore ran the Alfa in for much of its life (after he rebuilt it following a roll in 1947), would be a real sight for sore eyes. Perhaps if I scrape together a couple of million quid, I might be in with a chance! In the meantime, I'll crack on with resurrecting the Dodge :-) Runners up spot to one of the other surviving 8c35s, if 50013 wasn't available! More info on my old Dodge can be seen by clicking here: 1940 Dodge information

ERA single seat racing car
1930s ERA racing car, by Raymond Mays, this example raced by Prince Bira before the war
If I got the Alfa then I'd be mighty satisfied, although if funds allowed I think I'd still try to get one of Raymond Mays' mighty fine voiturettes in my stable, not least because it is one of the most successful English racing cars of all time, and especially from the 1930s era, one that still kicks ass in historic racing meetings today, despite often being significantly older than many of the single seaters it runs rings around. A close second, if I couldn't run to an ERA, would be a 1950s Connaught, if only because the Dodge has carried one of them before now, specifically the yellow example often campaigned by Barrie Williams to such good effect nowadays. I've plenty of 1930s car photos you can view on this site by visiting this page: 1930s Car Photographs

BMW 3.0 CSL 'Batmobile'
The BMW 3.0 CSL Batmobile from the 1970s
These appeal in the same lary way that 70s F1 cars grab me, probably because I vaguely remember them as a nipper. The lightweight CSL was for my money the ultimate in vaguely-roadcar-like racing cars, battling with large engined Ford Capri RS 3.1s and the mighty (yet sadly unreliable) Broadspeed XJ12 across the circuits of europe. If the XJ hadn't been so prone to shattering transmissions it'd have probably trounced Munich's finest, but the Beemer was usually the one to cross the line first, despite having a power disadvantage to the mighty 12 cylinder Jaguars much of the time. My runners up choice of course would be the Jag, and maybe a Dolomite Sprint for good measure, some of which can be seen here .. Click here: 1970s Car Pictures

Ashley 750
The rare early Ashley 750 Special
Coming back down to earth with a bump, the next on my list is the Ashley 750, the earliest of the fibreglass bodied, Ford-based specials, from the mid 1950s, produced by Ashley and arguably prettier than my slightly later Ashley 1172 (see my Ashley Special page for details), especially in hardtop form. I can just picture a nice example of a 750 in my dream garage, all tricked out with period goodies such as the desirable round-hole Ballamy wheels, trick IFS courtesy of E.B. Components or maybe Buckler, remote gearchange, the full complement of Aquaplane tuning bits and pieces, tackled up to a nice supercharger and even the mega rare Willment overhead valve conversion, with a healthy number of VDO gauges keeping a watchful eye on the engine's welfare. Runners up spot goes to a Falcon Competition, another swoopy 50s special, although a Rochdale Riviera or Olympic would be nice too.

Prewar yank
Classic American car photo
This selection is somewhat broader than those already listed, as I don't have any firm favourites from this era, as most of them display the fantastic styling that makes the cars from this era my favourites in terms of US built cars. I did indeed identify a prewar yank for sale in this country, in the heavenly shape of a rhd 1937 Buick hearse, complete with straight 8 powerplant and fantastic streamlined front end styling. Alas those around me had very strong opinions on having a hearse in the drive, so sadly I had to drop my plans to bid for it, although my desire to track down an affordable 30s yank auto is as strong as ever.

Austin K8 van
A bit of an oddball choice this one, but it reflects my interest in older commercial vehicles well. My first thought was to go for a Ford E83W van, but with 2 similar pickups in the fleet already, my desire is to find something a little odder, odder even than the Morris J-Type van of which I also approve strongly. The K8 wasn't produced for long, so survivors are a little thin on the ground, especially as unmolested panel vans. Runner up would be the Morris J, or perhaps the similar but later JB, fitted with the B series engine. A selection of pictures of 1950s vans, as well as cars, can be found on my 1950s Cars photo page, accessed by clicking this link: 1950s Cars.

1930s streamlined dodge petrol tanker
Another commercial vehicle, my eyes were opened to these futuristically styled prewar Dodge fuel tankers when I began reading up on Dodges following my acquisition of a 1940 truck. The styling of the streamlined tankers is to my mind amazing, a true reminder of when engineers and stylists had more influence than today, where bean counters now rule the roost. Runner up would be the Ecurie Ecosse transporter.

Bentley Turbo R
Bentley Mulsanne Turbo R V8
If ever there was a British bulldog saloon of recent times, then the Mulsanne Turbo R must be it. Improbably large, being based on the slightly staid Rolls Silver Spirit, the Bentley Turbo R exudes brawn and intent, courtesy in part to its styling, and in part to its turbocharged 6.75 litre V8 warbling its way through a gallon of fuel every 10 miles or so. Equally at home pottering along with a dignified air, or shredding tarmac on any autobahn you care to mention, scattering lowly BMWs and Mercedes with consumate ease, the Bentley would probably be my ultimate choice for a lengthy european trip. Runner up, albeit non-Brit, would be either the 450SEL 6.9 Mercedes from the 1970s, or the earlier 600 Pullman Merc. The understated BMW 3.3Li saloon could also be a contender, assuming a grot-free example could be found.

Lotus Carlton
First of the nutter cars in my dream selection, the introduction of the 180+ mph Carlton enraged the tree huggers and brought forth wails of self-opinionated criticism from the do-gooder nanny brigade. Ok, so it was about as unsubtle as an England supporter after downing some Carlsbergs, but the frowning set conveniently ignored the monumental improvements to safety that these performance figures demanded, with brake discs the size of a satellite dish being employed to keep this wild child in check. Finding an untrashed example may take a little time, and the thought of spending #15k or so on what is after all a Vauxhall Carlton of all things might take a little work with my 'significant other', but the rewards (so long as no bugger nicks it) should make it all worthwhile. Runner up would be a Sierra Cosworth RS500, or more likely a Lancia Thema 8.32 V6.

Lancia Delta Integrale
Lancia Delta Integrale rally car
The roadgoing Integrale was born from a need Lancia had to homologate a 4wd fire-breathing monster for World Championship rallying, for the likes of Juha Kankunnen and Auriol to take the fight to the Toyota Celicas and Audi quattros on the worlds rally stages. I've always had a soft spot for an Integrale, ideally an end-of-line spec'd up 16v, although I doubt I'd inflict daily use onto it, the reliability and build quality still being of questionable levels. Runner up for me would be a short wheelbase Audi quattro Sport, or the mid engined Renault R5 Turbo.

AC Cobra 289
The original Cobra, the 289 cid
Ok this will appear on most people's wish list, but in terms of all round appeal its hard to beat, the original 289 not being burdened with the lard-boy flared arches of the future 427, hiding its 289 cu in V8 heart behind a more subtle, more AC Ace, facade. Still capable of tearing up strips of tarmac with relative ease, the 289 has more than enough grunt for its primitive chassis to handle, and I think would be the one I'd rather live with on a regular basis. Runners up spot to a works Austin Healey 3000, side exiting exhausts and fitted hardtop naturally. To see more Cobra photographs, pop by my image archive page for 1960s cars, available here: 1960s Sportscars.

Jaguar XJR V8
Jaguar X300 XJR Saloon Supercharged
The X300 based XJR initially came out with the supercharged version of the AJ6 straight 6 engine, in both manual and automatic, followed later by the new V8 version in automatic only I believe. One of my favourite looking exec luxury cars of recent years, and, so long as Jags build quality issues are a distant memory, definitely on my list of 'must haves'. This is probably one of the few cars in my dream garage that could become a reality in a couple of years time, by which time secondhand values will have dropped considerably, not least because an all new XJ is out. Runners up spot would go to the manual gearbox'd BMW 850CSi, a Coombs-spec Mk2 3.8 Jaguar, or the highly modified twin turbo 750 BMW by Dinan in the USA.

Humber Imperial sv
The regal Humber from the early 1950s
As a young Spitfire-driving youth a few years back, I remember being pretty gobsmacked when I happened upon the early Humber Imperial and Super Snipe from the 1950/51 era, fitted with a large sidevalve engine and majestic lines. I think what caught my eye was the HMV radio built into the rear side window surround, the quality of it's luxury fittings, and the overpowering 'presence' of this crafted leviathan from the days of flag waving patriotism, that is, it seems, so out of kilter with modern day thinking. Close runners up spot goes to the lesser-spotted Daimler Majestic Major, a personal favourite ever since sitting in a derelict example many years ago and admiring its hefty dial-laden plank of dashboard, and tasty all-alloy 4.5 V8.

Ferrari 312 T
1970s Grand Prix Ferrari, ex-Jody Scheckter
I'm not quite sure what I'd do with this 12 cylinder Ferrari F1 car, as running it might be quite a headache, so one possibility would be to mount it on the wall of my snooker room. Assuming that if I could afford this dream garage, I'd have a snooker room of suitable proportions in which to put an ex-Lauda example. 1970s F1 cars to me are a fantastic sight, when designers really pushed the envelope to get one over on the opposition. In a few short years there were examples of twin chassis cars (Lotus), 6 wheelers (Tyrrell, and experimental versions from March and Williams), the fan car (Brabham) and emerging technologies such as turbocharging (Renault) and ground effects (Lotus). The 312 may not have been as groundbreaking as these others mentioned here, but the look of it sums up the wild looking Grand Prix cars of the era, big air intakes, manual gearshifts, different engine configurations, vast sticky slicks n all! Runners up spot to the P34 Tyrrell 6 wheeler, and maybe the Martini-sponsored Brabham Alfa. You can find all manner of 1970s cars photographs on my photo archive page for 70s motors, just by clicking this link: 1970s cars.

Peel
From the sublime to the err, very small, the Peel microcar was the brainchild of an Isle of Man based company, back in the pre-Mini 1950s when lots of little companies were knocking up fibreglass moulds and producing curious little bubble cars. The Peel is diminutive to say the least, and is definitely not recommended for larger framed people, or indeed more than 1 person full stop. As soon as the Mini landed in '59 it sounded the death knell for these weird little runabouts. Very few Peels remain, and I'd really fancy having one in the dream garage to use for popping to the local for a bite to eat. Runners up spot to the 3 wheeled Nobel and Bond Minicar.

Ferrari 250LM
A beautiful 250LM Ferrari, only hours before being demolished at Goodwood
When thinking of classic V12 engined sports racers, to most the obvious choice would be the swoopy 250 GTO, campaigned to great effect by Maranello Concessionaires drivers inc Graham Hill during the 1960s. However, if it was my stack of dosh being spent, I'd be tempted to think seriously about the 250LM, as having watched them being pedalled around Goodwood at lary angles by Messrs Surtees and Piper, there's something about them that definitely appeals. Runners up would go to the lightweight E Type Jaguar, or the Ferrari 330 LMB. To read about the Goodwood Festival of Speed, click here: Goodwood Festival of Speed page or alternatively find out more here about the Goodwood Circuit Revival. The yellow car pictured here at the 2002 Circuit meeting was to have 2 mighty heavy shunts, one rear end, then a large front end crash in the main race, leaving it looking very sorry for itself. Sob.

Austin Pathfinder pedal car
The Austin Pathfinder pedal car
This one's a little short of horsepower, but makes up with a dab of pedal power. The Pathfinder was based around a successful fullsize Austin single seat racer of the 1930s, the pedalcar being produced by former welsh miners using steel offcuts from the real Austin factory if I remember right. Sister pedal car, and easier to find, is the Devon-inspired Austin J40, but its the Pathfinder I'd really like to buy. Replicas are available but as with all the entries on my wishlist, original is best. To read more about collecting old automobilia in general, please see this page, available by clicking here: Collecting Memorabilia.




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