Adam Baker’s Real World Dream Barn

Adam Baker’s Real World Dream Barn

Adam Baker is an Aston Villa fan, so you’d think that compiling a list of cars for his Real World Dream Barn would be a welcome distraction for him. After two or three months of deliberation he’s finally closed the barn doors and settled on his final ten. 

There’s no hiding Adam’s love of Vauxhall here, but he still manages to include something from Ford. It’s a definite performance-led selection with a delightful curveball from Italy thrown in for good measure.

This is my first time I’ve written something for PetrolBlog, or anywhere for that matter, so a short bit about me first. I’m Adam and from Devon. I currently drive an Astra VXR Nürburgring edition – number 362 of 835 and I love it!  I’m only a youngster at 23, but have been brought up with hot hatches and performance cars, which is definitely reflected in my choices.

I’ve been pondering my Dream Barn for ages and had some very tough choices to make. These are my final ten.

Vauxhall Astra 888 Coupé 

Real World Dream Barn Vauxhall Astra 888 Coupé

First in my Dream Barn is a car that few people even know existed. Only 100 were ever made with only 60 still remaining on the road. These are therefore extremely rare cars.

I owned number 51 for the best part of 18 months and it used it as my daily driver. It is one of the best handling cars I’ve driven. Extremely precise and great fun on the twisty country roads down here.

I sold my 888 in October last year and bought the VXR. But however much I love the VXR, there was something special about the 888. I would have another one in a heartbeat. Image © Vauxhall.

Vauxhall VXR220

Real World Dream Barn: Vauxhall VXR 220

Another Vauxhall for my second choice.

Gavin also chose a VX220 in his Dream Barn – a Lightning Yellow version. I was also going to choose a Lightning Yellow, but then I remembered that Vauxhall made this.

This was the first Vauxhall to wear the VXR badge and only 65 were ever made. With a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine producing 216bhp in a car weighing 930kg, it’s certainly a very capable motor and a little piece of history. Fully deserving its place in my Dream Barn! Image © Vauxhall.

Ford Escort RS Cosworth

Real World Dream Barn: Ford Escort RS Cosworth

A change from Vauxhalls for my third choice. An Escort RS Cosworth with the whale-tail spoiler, menacing front bumper and splitter – it looks just how a hot hatch should look.

There’s a couple of Escort Cosworths around me so I often see them on the local roads. And when I do, they always put a smile on my face as they go flying past. Always recognisable from whatever angle you look at them.

If you want to take the power further than the standard 225bhp, there are examples known to have been tuned to well over 1,000bhp. A little excessive, but still a feat worthy of a little mention. Image © Ford.

Porsche Cayman S

Real World Dream Barn: Porsche Cayman S

I wanted to include a Cayman R in my Dream Barn, but to get within the budget it would have to be a Cayman S, not that I’m complaining!

Back in November, courtesy of Michelin Tyres and PetrolBlog, I was lucky enough to go up to the Porsche Experience Centre at Silverstone. On the day, driving the new Boxster S, Cayman R, 911 and a Panamera, it was the Cayman that came out on top for me! The handling is pure perfection. The 50/50 weight distribution is brilliant. You can throw it into any corner and it will just keep going in a pretty much straight line.

Even without it being the R version, the Cayman S is still very welcome into my Dream Barn, especially with some welcome luxury features in the cabin. Image © Porsche.

Porsche Cayenne Turbo S

Real World Dream Barn: Porsche Cayenne Turbo S

The choice of 4x4s is never ending – there are so many different models and choices out there. I knew I wanted one in barn, but found it very difficult to choose the right one.

After lots of thought, I decided upon the Cayenne. I have a thing for Porsches and the Cayenne is also a good off road car. With a nice 4.8-litre twin-turbo petrol engine in the front, it is also great on the road. Image © Porsche.

Fiat Barchetta 16v

Real World Dream Barn: Fiat Barchetta

Something completely different. I hardly ever see any of these around on the road, but when I do I always have to take a few looks at it.

I first saw a Barchetta when playing Gran Turismo 2 on the PlayStation and was instantly smitten. There are some great styling touches like the pop out door handles. The only downside being it only came in left hand drive, but it would still be welcome in my Barn.

The styling of these cars is gorgeous. I probably wouldn’t drive it for the fear of getting it dirty, so would instead just spend my evenings admiring her curves and finer details. It’s not like there’s ever anything decent on television. Image © Fiat.

Bentley Continental GT

Real World Dream Barn: Bentley Continental GT

I knew that I wanted to try and find a relatively new piece of luxury for my Dream Barn and this comes in the shape of a Bentley!

It was very surprising what you could actually buy within budget and I saw some great cars available to me. But for me, the Bentley came up trumps.

Honestly, who wouldn’t want a Bentley? - this is PetrolBlog, you might be surprised! – ed. Image © Bentley.

Noble M12 GTO-3R

Real World Dream Barn: Noble M12 GTO 3R

Another rare sight – I think I have only ever seen two on the road and another two at various car shows across the country.

The couple I have seen up close at shows have always taken my fancy. They sit extremely low to the floor and have a stripped-out cabin. Although more set up for track use, from all the reviews it is pretty clear they can also be used comfortably on the road.

Track use is something I’d love to do and this would suit me perfectly. Image © Wikipedia.

Renaultsport Clio v6

Real World Dream Barn: Three Renaultsport Clio V6s on track

I found it incredibly tough choosing between the Clio Williams and the Renaultsport V6.

In the end I gave the nod to the bonkers 3-litre Clio V6. With the engine in the back driving the rear wheels, stripped out interior and air vents on the side, these cars are just me.

Each time I come to searching for new cars I’ve spent time looking at these. But to-date I’ve never quite found the right one to buy. I’m sure one will come along soon though. Image © Renault.

Vauxhall VXR8

Real World Dream Barn: Vauxhall VXR8

My barn has to finish with another Vauxhall.

This was a tough choice for me. I had three cars that I wanted to fill this space but didn’t want to get rid of any of the other choices. In the end, the VXR8 took the spot ahead of an Insignia VXR and a brand new Astra GTC VXR.

The VXR8 is a car that I love. A nice big 6.2-litre engine, rear-wheel drive and a beautiful exhaust note. The styling is aggressive, especially when finished off in white.

Probably the car that would get used the most in my Dream Barn. Image © Vauxhall.

Follow Adam on twitter @_munch – as an Aston Villa fan he needs some cheering up right now. 

More Real World Dream Barns to come, but get in touch if you’d like your selection featured on PetrolBlog.


Written by Gavin Braithwaite-Smith

The chief waffler and person responsible for getting PetrolBlog off the ground in February 2010. Has a deep fascination of cars from the '80s and '90s, especially if they originate from France. Also likes tea and Hobnobs.

4 Comments

  1. Antony Ingram (@antonyingram)

    Brilliant list. I’ll be honest, I’m not a Vauxhall fan at all, but the Astra 888 has always appealed. I’m a sucker for anything BTCC-related – the old Vectra Supertouring has always interested me too, even though it was just a V6 with some fancy stickers.

    And the Clio V6 is an excellent choice. Narrowly missed being on my own list.

  2. Matt

    Am with Anthony, not a Vauxhall fan, but you have definitely extracted the best of their recent work! Damn those Cleo V6s look good!

    The M12 is a definite want for me, however I bet the total spend in year 1 isn’t within the budget. Also a big want, the Barchetta, what a lovely car, and meant to drive like an RWD too. I really liked the special edition Hammond ruined on a TG challenge.

    I am not sure that I would have one, but the Cayenne possibly the most remakable car I’ve drive, for what it can do for its size. I knew they were quick, but what I did find quite remarkable, Evo Magazine have a fast lap chart at the back of the magazine, I notice last year that the fastest estate was the RS6 (think it was the six) a few places above that was the fastest 4×4!

    1. Adam Baker (@_munch)

      I definitely understand people not liking Vauxhalls… I’ve had many problems with different ones over the years and certainly seem to have that reputation.

      Agreed, the M12 costs would be pretty high, but it would be worth it! I love the Barchetta. They are set up perfectly for driving, and gorgeous to look at!

      The Cayenne is a very surprising car. Brilliant on the open road which is proven in nearly every review. But most surprising is its capabilities off road. The one I have tested off road, I was staggered by what it could do. Holding itself with no brakes applied by the driver on a 1:1 hill, then pulling away smoothly. A perfect combination for me.

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