PetrolBlog’s Real World Dream Barn

You may have arrived here following my potentially shocking confession about supercars. If you didn’t, can I politely suggest you have a read of it first?

My super cars aren’t supercars

But having confessed that a lottery win wouldn’t see me searching for a copy of What Supercar? magazine, I thought it only fair to name and shame the contents of my own Real World Dream Barn. Remember, ten cars and a maximum budget of £30k for each. Anything left over can be used for fuel or the inevitable ongoing maintenance and breakdown cover.


So without further ado and too much waffle, here’s PetrolBlog’s Real World Dream Barn.

1. Lancia Delta Integrale Evoluzione II

There has been a Lancia Delta Integrale in my dream garage for as long as I can remember. It all started when I was a young lad when I’d watch the rallying on BBC2. In those days, before multi-channel satellite TV, rallying coverage was largely restricted to a 30 minute show in the evening. I can’t remember if Juha Kankunnen or Markku Alén was my favourite driver, but what I do know is that the Martini Racing Integrale was my hero. I was in awe of the machine and promised myself that one day I’d get one of my own. As yet I’m still waiting to drive one, let alone own one. Part of me worries that it would be like meeting my hero and for them to fail to live up to expectations. But a bigger part of me knows that this won’t be the case. This will be one hero worth meeting. One day I’ll set aside the £25k needed for a good one, get a one-way flight ticket Milan and not return until I’ve found the best Integrale in Italy. I’ll then drive it back to England with comprehensive breakdown cover and the biggest smile you’ll ever see.

2. Porsche 968 Club Sport

Porsche 968 Club Sport on PetrolBlog

What’s a Porsche doing in my dream garage? Well this isn’t supercar territory. In fact, a good 968 Club Sport can be yours for about £12k. For that you get a stripped out two-seater 968 with a 3-litre engine developing 240bhp. Nice. A good old fashioned sports car, front-engined, rear wheel drive and with lots of potential for sideways action. This would be my track toy.

3. Lancia Thema 8.32

Lancia Thema 8.32 on PetrolBlog

Take a rather humdrum 4-door saloon car, add a sublime Poltrona Frau interior, then for good measure, add an 8-cylinder Ferrari engine and what have you got? The Lancia Thema 8.32. In my opinion, the Thema 8.32 is the world’s ultimate sleeper and oozes sophistication and discreetness. It is the antithesis of a showy supercar and it commands respect from those in the know. It might well be cast aside by Ferrari purists and shunned by Lancia enthusiasts, but that’s half the appeal. At £37,500 it cost three times that of the standard Thema and this probably accounts for the fact that only seven were sold here. But today you can pick one up for sub £10k. Be warned though, the cost of keeping a Thema 8.32 could easily rival that of a supercar. Still works for me though!

4. Audi RS2

Audi RS2 on PetrolBlog

The Audi quattro is likely to be in many people’s dream garage, but there’s no place for it in mine. Yes, it would almost certainly appear if the garage was extended to include a further ten cars, but the Integrale has more than enough rally pedigree for me thank you. Instead, my choice of Audi is the quite brilliant RS2. The first RennSport (RS) model from Audi, the RS2 combined the practicality of an estate car with the performance of a Porsche 911. This is hardly surprising when you consider that Porsche played a huge part in the car’s development, taking the underpinnings of an Audi 80 and producing a supercar taming machine. Better still, it would still seat five people and have enough room in the boot for a week away in the Alps. Today, an RS2 will set you back in the region of £15k, but kept in a good condition, you’ll probably make your money back. Brilliant.

5. Ford Capri 2.8i

Ford Capri 2.8i on PetrolBlog

I’m not sure how many dream garages would include a Capri, but if they did I’d hazard a guess that it would mostly likely be a RS3100, 280 or Tickford. Not for me though, for my choice is a 2.8i, preferably in white. Although the MK1 represents the genesis of the Capri and is arguably the prettiest of the range, I grew up with the MKIII and it will always be my favourite. I grew up at a time when the Capri was THE choice of practical performance car and witnessed it spiral into near oblivion when the birth of the hot hatch rendered the Capri outdated and out of fashion. I owned a number in the days before they became cool again and will always have a soft-spot for the car. But it has to be the 2.8i for me, with the amazing sound and grunt. By today’s standards it is far from quick, but for cruising about with windows and sunroof open, there are few better. Just make sure you perfect your ‘Capri elbow’ stance. Price for a good 2.8i today? Up to £5k, but prices fluctuate quite dramatically.

6. Alfa Romeo SZ

Alfa Romeo SZ on PetrolBlog

I was 14 when the Alfa Romeo SZ was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show and it really was a case of love at first sight. For others it was more a case of hate at first sight as the SZ’s appearance certainly divided opinion. In fact, even in the SZ’s homeland, the Italian press nicknamed the car ‘Il Mostro’ (The Monster). Zagato is often credited for the car’s somewhat challenging design, but it was in fact Robert Opron who penned the initial sketches. Antonio Castellana then took the designs forward and worked on the interior, with Zagato merely adding a few final touches before completing the final production of the car. Officially it was only ever available in red with a black roof, but Andrea Zagato himself had one finished entirely in black. The SZ was based on the Alfa 75 and was powered by a wonderful 3-litre V6 engine. It accelerated to 60mph in 6.4 seconds before reaching a top speed of 156mph. But the SZ’s trump card wasn’t its speed. Instead, the SZ won critical acclaim for outstanding handling characteristics. Only 1,036 Alfa SZs were ever produced, so they’re a bit of a rarity. That said, you’ll only need to part with £25k-£30k for your very own ‘Mostro’, just don’t expect replacement panels to be cheap. Best not park it in your local Tesco car park, eh?

7. MK1 Volkswagen Scirocco

MK1 Volkswagen VW Scirocco on PetrolBlog

For me, Volkswagen peaked in the late 70s and early 80s. In fact, pretty much every MK1 Volkswagen is a class act, with a purity of design that is lost on their modern day counterparts. The MK1 Golf, the MK1 Polo, the MK1 Passat and the MK1 Jetta are prime examples. But the ultimate MK1 Volkswagen is the Scirocco and in my humble opinion it represents one of Giorgetto Giugiaro’s finest pieces of work. I nearly bought a Scirocco Storm when I was 18, but an insurance quote of £3,000, for what was then a £300 car, put me off. Shame. I should have just bought it so I could spend some time just looking at it. Beautiful little car and yours today, depending on condition and spec, for around £3k.

8. Vauxhall VX220 Lightning

Vauxhall VX220 Lightning on PetrolBlog

Every dream garage needs a lightweight two-seater sports car and my choice is the VX220 Lightning. I’ve owned a normally aspirated and a turbo version of the VX220 and I much preferred the standard car. Although breathtakingly quick, the turbo just didn’t have the purity of delivery of the NA, so when I buy another VX220, (and it is when and not if), it’ll be non-turbo for me. Pick of the bunch being the limited edition Lightning from 2001 which added such goodies as black wheels, hard top and black windscreen surround. With the largely bullet proof 2.2 Ecotec engine, a Lightning can be yours for just £10k. Bargain.

9. Land Rover Defender 50th Anniversary

Land Rover Defender 50th Anniversary on PetrolBlog

If every dream garage needs a lightweight sports car, then it also needs a 4×4 and there’s only one real choice. The Land Rover Defender. There are many to choose from, but the 1998 50th Anniversary would be my ideal choice. Powered by a V8 engine and driven by a four-speed automatic box, the 50th Anniversary cost £26,000 when new. Only 385 out of a total production of 1,071 cars were available in the UK, so they’re highly sought after. Each one came with air conditioning and extra sound proofing, so if you can live with the thirst, they make for an excellent everyday proposition. Yours today for £15k.

10. Citroen AX GT

Citroen AX GT on PetrolBlog

A surprising and controversial choice? Maybe. Up until this year, it would have been the 205 or Golf GTi fighting it out for a place in my dream garage, but not anymore. For now, the place for the small 80s hot hatch is taken up by the Citroen AX GT. It is poorly built and the position of the pedals is totally at odds with the position of the driver’s seat, but none of this matters. For the AX GT presents an engaging and involving drive and is every bit as good to drive as some of its better known counterparts. After years in the wilderness, I sense a growing sense of appreciation for the AX GT, I just hope it hasn’t come too late. Many have perished and the majority of the survivors have made far too many visits to Halfords. Good ones can be bought for less than £800 and pound-for-pound I reckon this represents the best value hot hatch on the market. Period.

So there you have it, my very own Real World Dream Barn. OK, so I admit, some of the cars may not exactly fit the heading of ‘Real World’, but each car can be purchased for sub £30k and in 2011 you can spend that on the top of the range Ford Mondeo estate.

Some quick calculations suggest that I could fill my dream garage for around £125,000, an average of £12,500 per car. Most, if not all, are free of depreciation and there’s something in the barn for every occasion. So is it wrong to dislike supercars? Perhaps you can tell me. But if nothing else, I’d very much like to hear about your own Real World Dream Barn. Remember, £30k budget and ten cars. Over to you. Who knows, I might give away a packet of Hobnobs for the best one…

Lancia Delta image courtesy of Tony Harrison, Lancia Thema, Land Rover and Porsche images courtesy of Wikipedia, Audi image courtesy of Timmaaa, Alfa image courtesy of Axis of Oversteer.

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Gavin Big-Surname
The chief waffler and founder of PetrolBlog in 2010. Has a rather unhealthy obsession with cars from the 80s and 90s, and is on a one-man mission to collect the cars nobody else wants. Also likes tea and Hobnobs.


  1. April 25, 2011
    Jon Bradbury

    Think I’d have a few agreements there, could quite happily fill a barn with some older cheap motors, and just one more expensive modern daily.

    1) Capri, 1st car was a black 84 1.6 Laser, lotto win would put a black 2.8i in there.
    2) mk2 Golf GTi little bumper 3dr in Tornado red. Loved my old mk2 and would have another in a heart beat.
    3) 4) & 5) Have to agree on the 968CS, RS2 & Land Rover SWB v8
    6) Have to have some form of 911 in there for me, should be able to secure the prettiest 993 Carrera 2 on budget
    7) Alfa GTV, keep looking at these, probably wouldn’t be in the barn, but in the office, as pointless trying to take it anywhere.
    8) Bentley Turbo R – Bit more obvious than the thema £15k for a £160k 150mph gentlemans drawing room on wheels…
    9) Ford Mustang Convertible – I love my cabriolet, but it’s best as a wafter rather than out n out blaster, other cars above to cover blasting, so doesn’t matter that the Mustang is crap. But for wafting in the peaks between dry stone walls with the v8 rumbling…
    10) Ford Sierra RS500 – Can’t afford the RS200 in here, it’ll have to be RS500. One of the first cars I can remember when young making me point & go WOW

    • April 25, 2011

      Ooh, good list Jon. I see we agree on 40% of the garage too!

      Can’t disagree about the MK2 Golf to be honest, it would easily fit into my top 20! As for the Turbo R, it has an interior to rival the Thema!

      As I say, a nice list with some really good reasons for each of the cars. Might have to work out a budget and see how it compares to mine…

  2. April 25, 2011

    In fairness I could probably include a few 911s – 3.2 SSE and the 964 Celebration spring to mind, the NA widebodys. I suspect I am well under budget. Nearly in was the Fiat Barchetta. This list assumes I get to keep the Z4.

    1. Citroen C6 – Exclusive in a dark blue
    For wafting around, possibly one of the most stylish saloons on the road today. Very rare too.

    2. Renault Megane R26R
    One of the hairdest hardcore hot hatch.

    3. BMW E30 M3 Evo II
    Needs no explaining!

    4. Toyota Celica Fastback GT (Late 1970s)
    Looks a lot like a Mustang fastback. Although a Mustang would beak the price rules, I really like these.

    5. Porsche 986CS
    This is high on my to do list, no dream!

    6. Fiat Panda Sisley 4×4
    Awesome country city car. Fully restored of course.

    7. Alfa Spider Convertible
    The 1970s/80s ones that never work for very long.

    8. Porsche 912
    Another Porsche. But this is an early 4 pot late 1960s 911 looking thing. LHD only and slow, but looks stunning!

    9. VW Karmann Ghia Coupe
    Not built for speed, more made to cruise by.

    10. Maserati Quattroporte V8
    Running close to the budget and will double it in servicing, but class saloon.

    • April 25, 2011

      What a great list. Have to agree about the C6 and the R26-R. Cracking choices, both of which would be knocking on the door of my barn.

      I love the choice of the Panda 4×4. Sums up all that is good about Real World Dream Barns!

      Thanks for the list!

  3. April 26, 2011
    Steve Favill

    Excellent choices! I’ll have to try hard to come up with some alternative suggestions…..

    1. Citroen DS23 Pallas
    The Goddess, what can I say? Quirky, beautiful, technologically decades ahead of the competition. Slam dunk.

    2. BMW E34 M5 Touring
    The E34 was the original and, to many who should know about these things, still the best. Never offered in either the USA or the UK for some reason. The standard edition 525iT is a wonderful car, I can only imagine how good the M5 version must be!

    3. 1967 Mercedes 230SL
    The Pagoda-roof Benz. Over-engineered, outstanding build quality, a great car!

    4. Citroen SM
    Another Citroen! This is the Gran Turismo in the group. Citroen complexity and Maserati engine, what could go wrong?

    5. Alfa Romeo GTV
    Small, gorgeous and fun to drive.

    6. Rover P5B Coupe
    Rover at its finest, wedded to that Buick-derived V-8. This one is my Gentleman’s Express!

    7. Saab 900 Turbo Convertible
    Another quirky car. I just love these!

    8. Land Rover Defender
    A copycat I know, but it’s the best at what it does.

    9. Series I or II Jaguar E-Type FHC
    Coupes still fall within the price bracket, or at least here in the States they do….. You can pick up a coupe in beautiful condition for a lot less than the roadster.

    10. Mini Cooper ‘S’ 1275
    A departure from the hot hatch.

    There are few others I could suggest……..
    Last, but not least

  4. April 26, 2011
    Darren Leslie

    I don’t think I could rule out a Ferrari, Porsche or Aston per say, but they certainly wouldn’t be this side of the 1990’s.
    Looking at any of the above lists brings a smile and a nod of appreciation on every single car. This is the problem I have, my list constantly changes. So, instead of setting down list, I thought I’d throw a few more cars into the mix that would be on a short list.

    Citroen SM, Mercedes 190E 2.5-16 Cosworth, Bentley Arnarge, Jensen Interceptor, Audi quattro, Audi 100 Coupe, Range Rover Mk1, Cobra kit car (a decent one, and just because originals are really expensive) Nissan Skyline R32 and for some strange reason, a Nissan Elgrand E50 (look it up….).

    • April 26, 2011

      Agree with the ever changing list scenario. Difficult to pin down ten lifers, but I think I cracked it on mine!

      Nice list Mr Leslie. Especially liking the SM, Interceptor and Range Rover…

      Can I assume that the Elgrand E50 is on your current shopping list?!

      • April 26, 2011
        Darren Leslie

        The Elgrand was something I stumbled across when looking, but the other half wasn’t to keen. It’s made an impression though, so much that if I ever replace the Audi, I might get one…

        • April 26, 2011

          Darren, you will NEVER sell the Audi. NEVER!

  5. April 27, 2011

    Submitted by @dannyroyston on twitter:

    Lotus Exige S
    Renault Megane R26.R
    Peugeot 106 Rallye
    Renault Clio Trophy
    Renault Clio V6
    Mini Cooper S (original)
    Ford Escort RS Turbo 2
    Peugeot 205 GTi
    Ford Escort Cosworth
    BMW Z3M Coupé

    Excellent line-up from Danny, with a distinctly French feel to it.

  6. April 27, 2011

    Submitted by @AdamMoran on twitter:

    Renault Megane R26.R
    Renault Clio V6
    Renault Clio Williams
    Renault Clio Trophy
    Renault 5 Turbo 2
    Renault Sport Spider
    Renault Alpine GTA Le Mans
    Renault 8 Gordini
    Renault Alpine A110
    Renault 5

    Now I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there seems to be a common theme throughout Adam’s list. Answers on a postcard…

    In the meantime, it has to be said…nice list!

    Of course, I’d have to list the 12 Gordini…

  7. April 27, 2011

    Submitted by @pickerchu on twitter:

    Noble M12
    Holden Maloo
    Ariel Atom
    Vauxhall VXR220
    Datsun 240Z

    A short but very sweet list! Something tells me that Matt is a two-seat kind of guy…

  8. April 27, 2011

    Submitted by Claire Bolitho on Facebook:

    Morris Minor convertible – for those Miss Marple moments
    Chevrolet Corvette (1966) – to turn heads
    Saab 9-3 convertible (black of course) – for high days and holidays
    Audi A3 cabriolet – necessary equipment for any good PR girl
    Austin Healey ‘Frogeye’ Sprite
    Citroen DS Pallas 20 (1969, in black! – because they don’t come much cooler than that!

    Nice list! DS Pallas FTW! 😉

  9. April 29, 2011
    Steve Favill

    Difficult to narrow things down to just ten, and I find it hard to argue with any of your picks but I’ll try to make a few different picks.

    In no particular order:

    1. E34 BMW M5 Touring.
    2. Citroen DS23 Pallas
    3. Alfa Romeo GTV
    4. Citroen SM
    5. Jaguar E-Type Coupe (Yes, it CAN be done on the budget!)
    6. Saab 900 Convertible
    7. Lotus Elan S4
    8. Rover P5B Coupe
    9. Land Rover Series II or III SWB
    10. Mercedes 230 SL

    • April 29, 2011

      Have to agree with a lot of them! Some decent French flair and some classic British metal too. Rover P5B Coupé is a fine choice sir!

  10. May 5, 2011

    Submitted by MikeyGTV on another blog post:

    Hi, i like your thoughts here are mine,

    1) Sierra Cosworth D500, had one loved it sold it when marriage and child came along biggest ever regret.

    2) Alfa Romeo 164 Cloverleaf, another reminising of the past, learning that use of the correct antifreeze will stop the alloy heads from corroding and trashing the enigine…ah hindsight.

    3)Volvo 850 T5, nuff said

    4)Holden VXR complete insanity!!

    5)Renault 5 Turbo, ah well to dream they were interesting.

    6)Alpine A110, what a body..

    7)Ferrari 246 Dino, yes the one and only beautiful Ferrari.

    8)Fiat 125 Arbath, my dad had one, it was fun, pity the silly beggar set fire to it….

    9)Vauxhal Nova SRi (mk1), another of my Dad’s cars, this one sprouted legs and did a runner one night never to be seen again, but it was a fun car.

    10)Triumph Dolomite Sprint, yes i had a bundle of these, you learn from the first one what keeps them going, comfy, fast, handled well, oh and my third Dolly sprint was abused by Bodie and Doyle in an episode of the Professionals, had i known that i’d still have it gutted is the word i am thinking of….

    Not a definitive list but certainly 10 cars i’d have in my garage today…


  11. May 10, 2011

    Submitted by via email:

    Vauxhall Nova 1300 Sport – white with original decals

    Ford Escort S1 RS Turbo – black would be nice but might break budget so settle for white!

    Ford Sierra Cosworth – 2WD, preferably in light metallic blue

    Vauxhall Astra Mk2 16v – Championship edition in Bordeaux red obviously

    Peugeot 309 GTi Goodwood

    Lancia Delta HT Turbo – again, in white

    MG Maestro Turbo – got to be British racing green

    Vauxhall Cavalier SRi 130 MK2 – Nimbus grey

    Volkswagen Golf GTi MK1 – Mars red

    Citroen ZX 2.0 16v – Venetian red

  12. August 5, 2011

    Starting to wonder if my comment got lost in trans— ehh moderation? Unless having more German than Brittish cars on a list is considered profanity, I think I behaved…

    Just in case, I will resubmit my list. Surely, it will be different from the original one I made this very morning, as I have way more than 10 in mind and it’s just a matter of chance which pops up in mind first.

    I’ll try to throw in a few non-Porsche’s…

    1. Porsche 911 (993) Carrera in Iris Blue with Classic Grey leather
    2. Audi RS2 in Speed Yellow
    3. Porsche 914 with retrofitted flat 6 (genuine 914-6 wouldn’t fit the budget)
    4. TVR Tuscan in the weirdest possible colo(u)r
    5. Peugeot RCZ 200 THP in meteor grey or how they called it.
    6. Lancia Thema 8.32
    7. VW Corrado VR6, red, black leather, 100% stock and mint only
    8. Alfa Montreal
    9. Subaru SVX – it’s odd, it’s cheap, it’s got a flat 6!
    10. VW Passat Variant W8

    Now let’s see, what did I come up with? A bunch of cars that probably breaks down every other crank of the starter… In fact, the Peugeot is likely to be the most reliable due to its age 🙂

    Yes, I would love to own this fleet. That being said; I could do without any of them and have a 959 instead, thank you very much indeed. Guess I am more of the ‘normal’ supercar (classic one at that) kind of guy after all..

    • August 5, 2011

      An excellent list, sir! Good to seem the W8 estate on your list as I’m watching a couple of those on eBay at the moment! Was also going to say that the Corrado matches the one I owned, but I didn’t have leather. Fantastic car though and I still miss it.

      Seeing the RCZ in there is a surprise, but a pleasant one. Not sure it’s done enough to warrant inclusion in mine (yet), but as it matures, it might just sneak in.

      All the best.

      • August 5, 2011

        I could live without the leather, but the 100% stock and mint are hard requirements

        Regarding the RCZ; I haven’t even driven one. That might put me off, but there are 9 other cars on that dream list, plus my actual 968 and Clubman make up for that. I just love the looks of the RCZ, and I’m more positive than you that it’s a future classic.

        And, well, having grown up in the back of 405s, 306s, 406s, 407s.. I have a small weak spot for the first good looking Pug in years… 🙂

        • August 5, 2011

          Don’t talk to me about stock and mint Corrados. I have major regrets over selling mine. 🙁

          I tend to agree with you that the RCZ is a future classic, just not prepared to commit just yet! 😉

      • October 10, 2011

        Had to update this: in the meantime, I have driven the RCZ. I have to admit, that didn’t put me off at all. Only thing remaining that is still putting me off, is the price tag. The car I drove must have been about 42k euros, and wasn’t even the 200 THP version.

        It was -of course- my dad’s initiative to have a go in an RCZ, his impression was: “It’s nice to see what they can make from essentially the same partsbin as my car” (308 SW 175 THP). Couldn’t resist to say at the Peugeot Experience center: too bad this car actually has less power than the one we temporarily leave behind… 😉

        • October 10, 2011

          Another car for the list when the depreciation monster has taken its biggest bite then?!

  13. September 7, 2011

    I can’t help but wonder how my list would look today. Surely some overlap, but some will have to make room for new ideas. Most notably, a Fiat Dino 2400 Coupe. Some days ago, I did not know about the very existence of this car. And now, I want one. Which is odd, cause I’m not an Italian car guy. Nor an American car, but, more surprises will follow!

    In no particular order, this time:

    – 1976 Fiat Dino 2400 Coupe
    – 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback
    – 2011 Heynsdyk:
    – 199x Donkervoort S8
    – 1974 Ferrari Dino 308 GT4
    – 196x Porsche 912, slate grey, fuchs wheels, lowered

    and the ones lifted over from last list:

    – 199x Porsche 911 (993)
    – 199x Audi+Porsche RS2
    – 199x Volkswagen Corrado VR6

    I hate to see the W8 go, but I wouldn’t have much purpose for two fast German 90s estates, I think. So I ‘kept’ the best.

    Ha, whats happening to me? Two Italian cars, two Dutch and an American? Please forgive me for not having any Brits on the list. Reason is that the select few that I do dream of (series 1.5 Jaguar E-type coupe, most notably) won’t fit the budget.

    • September 8, 2011

      I think that’s the thing with a Real World Dream Barn. It’s hard to stick to ten, so the list invariably changes. Still, with a barn, there’s plenty of room! 😉

      The W8’s disappearance wouldn’t have anything to do with the cost of front discs and pads, would it?!

      • October 10, 2011

        I did miss this reply, silly me. I can’t deny that the W8 is rather insane in maintenance. It still tickles my fancy, but there are so many more cars that seem less outrageous to maintain. Or even more expensive, but more easy to swallow (let’s be honest, it’s easier to see a 2k bill on a Ferrari than on a vee-dub).

        But main reason: with the original list, I’d have a semi-fast understated German estate, and a real-fast understated German estate with Porsche roots. No wonder which I’d pic 😉

  14. September 22, 2011
    David Milloy

    Hmmmmm, I’ll raid your barn for the Integrale, SZ and Scirocco (I’m assuming it’s a Storm). The rest, which I’ll spend my own cash on, are:

    1. Renault 11 Turbo. An 11T was my first ever sporty car and I probably owe my life to it. Had it been a less faithful and forgiving animal then there’s little doubt that my youthful cack-handedness at the wheel would probably have seen it, and me, wrapped round a telephone pole. It was also bloomin’ good fun to drive and had a lot more go than you’d expect from a family hatch with 105bhp. The example in my barn will be a fully restored phase 1 example in the same smoky grey colour as my first one was.

    2. BMW Z1. Apart from the M1, this is the only BMW that I really like. The Z1 was quirky and fun in a way that most German cars – for all their good qualities – aren’t. Of course, there is a rumour that BMW didn’t design the Z1. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but many of the features of the Z1 are typical of the company alleged to have designed it for BMW. I’ll take a red one, thanks.

    3. DeLorean DMC12. One reason: those doors. ‘Nuff said. I’ll have a manual version with a turbocharged version of the Renault V6.

    4. Matra Murena 4S. Since this is a fantasy, I’ll assume that I can persuade Monsieur C. to sell me the car. The 4S prototype is the car that the Murena should have become. OK, this one has to make do with the prep. 142 ‘S’ spec. engine rather than Matra’s heavily reworked version of the 2.2 Simca unit that was never homologated for road use, but I’m prepared to live with that.

    5. Audi UR Quattro. It’s that whole Gene Hunt thing rather than the rallying heritage – the Integrale has got that well covered. A 20V model in red will do nicely.

    6. MVS Venturi 260/Venturi Atlantique. Mid-engined, rare, and gorgeous. The best one I can find for £30K will grace my barn, as long as it’s blue.

    7. The final spot comes down to a showdown between a Lotus Esprit Sport 300, and Elan (M100) S2, a Renault Clio 255 and a Renault 5 Turbo 2. The Esprit falls first; it’s just too small inside to comfortably accommodate someone of my height. The Clio is next to go: great car but
    the Turbo 2 has just a bit more character. In the end, the Elan wins the final place in my barn – I’ve got to have a Lotus, and the DeLorean doesn’t count as one. So, I’ll have the lowest mileage Elan S2 I can find, ideally in Norfolk Mustard with a Nardi steering wheel. I’ll have the driver’s seat lowered, fit AP front calipers and discs, SPC’s roll hoops, fairings and rear deck, Nitron dampers with Eibach springs and uprate the engine to a smidgeon over 200bhp – after fitting a new head gasket as a precaution. That lot will still come in at under £20K in today’s market – excellent value for anyone’s money.

    There are so many worthy cars that I’ve had to leave out – Racing Puma, Capri Brooklands, TVR Tamora etc. – that I’ll buy another barn for my wife’s dream collection. There is, of course, a cunning plan in the form of my sole condition for this largesse: I get to choose the cars for her…………………………………..

    • September 23, 2011

      A nice eclectic mix there, Duncan. A chap I know has a Z1 and I must agree, it is a thing of beauty. So very ’80s, so very different and so very cool. Would like.

      As for the 11 Turbo – the ‘shed’ on Car & Classic is still for sale you know. It could be on the road in time for spring 2012…

      Enjoyed your deliberations for spot number seven. I think this sums up the problem that most petrolheads have – deciding on a final ten. The beauty of a Real World Dream Barn is that following a lottery win there’s inevitable going to be a lot of spare cash, so it would be easy to add an impulse buy every week. How lovely would that be?

      • September 23, 2011
        David Milloy

        Given the number of cars I lust after, it might take a Euromillions win in my case.

        Meantime, I’ve just spotted a major omission on my my barn list: there’s no Montecarlo Spider. Maybe my barn goes to eleven, though……………….

        • September 23, 2011

          I have a serious suggestion here. Why don’t all the petrolheads get together, buy a large island somewhere, purchase as many cars and barns as possible and then live happily ever after. We make our own rules and create our own roads.

          I’m in…

  15. October 10, 2011

    PetrolBlog goes Petrol-Island? I understand that you Brits are fond of island, but they do have some drawbacks, you know. Like fellow petrolheads not yet living on Petrol Island (can you believe that?) having to spend crazy money to get there by boat a via a train-tunnel. Impractical stuff.

    Let’s just buy Greece. Ah, wait… nevermind.

    Nevertheless, I’m in!

  16. November 28, 2011
    A lesson in how not to buy a car « #Project924

    […] I had added the Porsche 924S to my “Cars to Buy” list. Many of us have car lists, some are potential cars we want to own, others are fantasy lists, preparedness for that lottery win. If you’re new to this form of listing, take a look at PetrolBlog’s Real World Dream Barn. […]

  17. November 29, 2011
    Martin Plewes (@m_plewes)

    Ok here goes my list;

    1951 Series 1 Land Rover – prefer the lights to the early models.
    1970 Range Rover – needs to be painted Lincoln green or masai red.
    Land Rover 110 td5 – with a long list of modifications, need something for long trips away.
    Talbot lotus Sunbeam – a proper hot hatch should be rwd.
    Caterham 7 Superlight R300 – for fun at the weekends.
    TVR T350C – One of the very few good things to come out of blackpool.
    Triumph Dolomite Sprint – Used to love the professionals.
    MK1 Mini Cooper S 1071 in almond green, the ultimate mini.
    Jaguar XJR X300 one of the last before they went to V8.
    Leyland 270 – a tractor might be a strange choice, but what i learnt to drive in.

    Not deliberate, but all British as it turns out.

    • November 29, 2011

      Ooh, nice list and some excellent justifications too!

      I think I’m right in saying that’s the first tractor to appear on anyone’s list. Although we have had a lorry!

    • December 1, 2011

      I have just completed my list, we have 3 the same (XJR, Early Range Rover, Lotus Sunbeam), Also had a mini, Land Rover and Dolly Sprint in my first draft, before i had to trim down to 10!
      Good choices!

      • December 1, 2011

        Cheers for your list, Alan. Will get it uploaded to the blog shortly…

  18. January 6, 2012

    Whether barn or hall or garage, my list of driver cars in order how they appeared:

    Porsche 911 R 1967
    Alpine A 110 S
    Renault 5 Turbo I
    Lotus Excel SE
    Citroen AX sport
    Lotus Esprit sport 300
    Lotus 340R
    Caterham R 400 Superlight

    and a Land Rover Defender outside to tow them, just in case.

    • January 6, 2012

      Nice list! A definite Anglo-French line-up with a hint of German!

      Nice to see the AX in another list too! 😉

  19. March 25, 2012

    I agree w/ half the list….Delta Integrale, 968, RS2 Avant, Alfa SZ, Defender.

    Since I’m stateside, though and if we exclude the import option, in no particular order….

    swap the SZ for a 164S Quadrifoglio
    swap RS2 for urS6 Avant
    keep the Defender 90 w/ a manual
    may swap 968 for late 70’s, early 80’s 911 Targa or S/C
    Acura NSX
    1st gen BMW M5
    early-mid 80’s Celica Supra
    BMW 635CSi
    Subaru SVX w/ manual trans swap 🙂
    Audi S8

    • March 25, 2012

      I’m liking your list!

      Interesting you mention the urS6 Avant. Do you have direct experience of the car? I sold mine last year. Fabulous car.

      Completely agree re the M5, S8 and 164 too.

      As for the NSX. Sublime. Probably the only supercar I’d genuinely want to own.

      • March 26, 2012

        Thanks!!!! I’m a big fan of getting the most car for the least amount of money possibly, while still getting a great car for the money.

        No on the urS6 Avant…although the C5 S6 Avants are becoming a solid bargain as well. I do have a C4 A6 Avant, though which I love. Bought it w/ 300k already on the odometer 🙂

        • March 26, 2012

          300k? That’s barely run-in if it’s been properly maintained. 😉

          • March 26, 2012

            Indeed…and this one was. Put some $$ into over the years, but still a solid, fun to drive quattro!! 🙂


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