Another Real World Dream Barn, this time courtesy of automotive blogger, David Tillyer. In common with other Dream Barn entries, David claimed it was harder to select his final ten than he originally thought. His patience was rewarded with a fantastic selection though.
Last week someone asked me what my favourite movie was. I couldn’t answer them because truthfully I do not know which one of the many great films I’ve seen over the years has entertained me the most. The same thing could be said about my favourite car. That is why this post hopefully will suit me well. If I had a lottery win, I’d happily forgo the big house and fancy holidays for a secluded barn somewhere in the Norfolk countryside to house my eclectic taste in cars.
So limiting myself to just £30,000 per car has been an enjoyable challenge. It’s easy to say what you’d like should money be no object but this limit forces you to be creative and forces you to delve deeper into your love (read: obsession for me) for cars. Some of the cars in this list push the budget to its limits, others cost less than a DFS sofa.
Lotus Elise (S1 Sport 135 preferred)
The little Lotus has always been a thing of desire for me. I live just ten miles from the factory in which they are built. In the mid ’90s my mother worked for the historic car company and in 1996, aged 12, I was lucky enough to attend the UK launch of their latest creation at Hethel. I’d recently stopped racing karts and the Elise seemed perfect in its back-to-basics execution. I promised myself I would have one when I ‘grew-up’. Sadly that day has yet to come, on the plus side I may have aged but at least I haven’t grown-up. The Sport 135 (not pictured) to me seems to be the perfect Series 1 Elise. Not overpowered and highly strung but subtly improved over the launch model. Image © David Tillyer
Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I
Now I know this budget means that the better examples of this car are not available but it is such a stunning vehicle that a slightly tatty one would be fine for me. I was lucky enough to get a chauffeured lap around the Goodwood circuit this year in a Cloud I drophead and it was such a relaxing car to be in. As an added bonus, when the other half asks what car we should take to dinner, I can reply with ‘lets take the Rolls’. Doesn’t that sound good? Image © Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
1970 Dodge Challenger R/T (in white)
Starting quite young, like most petrolheads I developed a love for car chases. It was The Blues Brothers that started it all but the film that left the biggest impact on me was Vanishing Point. The star was the white 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T and the entire film revolves around the chase that ensues after the driver is caught speeding whilst trying get across America in a ludicrously short amount of time. I have to have some American muscle in my dream barn and this is by far my favourite. Image © Bull-Doser
Mercedes W124 500E
I love a good Q-Car. Something that car-people recognise as being very quick but normal-folk don’t notice it. The 500E is a masterclass in this art. Subtly flared and spoilered but at a quick glance still looks like a mini-cab. The large V8 and the specialist production by Porsche further add to the desirability. The fact that they are left-hand drive only does not put me off. Image © Daimler AG
MK1 Fiat Punto GT
My first car was an original Punto. So was my second car. I was lucky enough at 18 to drive two examples of the 1.4 turbocharged hatch and I loved them. Again very subtle on the outside but the way it delivered its 130bhp was almost comical. It doesn’t handle as well as other hatches from the era but I have always wanted one and for that reason it has to go into my dream barn. Image © David Tillyer
Toyota Landcruiser FJ70 SWB Pick-Up
In 2009 I lived in Australia for a short while. During my travels I drove a couple of FJ70s and I enjoyed their basic go-anywhere design and build. One day whilst wandering through Airlie Beach I clapped eyes on a short wheelbase FJ70 pick-up that had been lifted and fitted with big off-road tyres. It just looked so cool and mean and I was smitten. My Dream Barn has to have a 4×4 and this is the one I’d have over all of them. Image © David Tillyer
Fiat Dino and Dino Spider
I have a bit of a thing for Fiats. I have done since we had a Fiat 130 Coupé. I love both the Dino Coupé and the Spider version equally. I’d have the Spider for summer cruising and the coupé just for the way it looks. The iconic name and Ferrari-based engine further add to their appeal. Finding good ones is getting hard but then again this is a ‘dream’ garage. Image © Wikipedia
You can blame my Dad for this one. Aston Martin and Jaguar may have had the ’60s sports car market to themselves but in the late ’50s another British car-maker was producing some stunning cars. Unfortunately Alvis stopped making cars in 1963 long before I was born but my father was Alvis mad and has always had around five or six Alvis models in his real barn at any one time. The TD was always my favourite. The best examples are the drop-tops which are starting to command good money but some can still be bought for ‘Dream Barn’ money. Image © ChiemseeMan
Lotus Esprit Sport 300
Perhaps my favourite car in the barn. It’s another Norfolk-made plastic car but it is the best one by far. When I was ten, most kids had either the Ferrari F40 or Lamborghini Countach on their wall. Not me, I had a Mustard Yellow Lotus Esprit Sport 300 taking pride of place. The car was based around the successful X180 racer that Lotus had been using in the American GT series. Only a handful were produced and they were put together by a select team at the Lotus factory. Even today it is considered by most to be both the fastest and the best handling Esprit made. This for me was the original dream car. Luckily you can sometimes see them pop up for a few pennies under £30k. Image © Lotus Cars
Yes another Lotus badged car has made it onto my list. The Carlton is not like normal lightweight sportscars that we are used to Lotus making. Instead it’s humble beginnings are more Luton than Lotus. The Vauxhall Carlton was a fairly boring rep-mobile until GM decided to give it to Lotus who they owned at the time. Lotus massaged the engine and beefed up the bodywork to give the car quite a presence. The work done under the bonnet gave the Carlton enough power to achieve more than 170mph. At the time people were outraged and called for it to be banned. Fortunately it wasn’t and a legend was born. Image © Vauxhall
There are only two more Real World Dream Barns to appear on PetrolBlog in 2012 before the poll to find the best one. More on this soon. But if you’d like to submit your own Dream Barn for 2013, get in touch.