David Tillyer picked up the award for PetrolBlog’s Real World Dream Barn of 2012, so it’s only right that we give him the opportunity to showcase his ‘nearly cars’. Those that remained on the substitutes bench – once destined for great things but now lost in the shadows forever. That said, it’s quite a juicy list…
Last year I put together my ideal list of ten cars for under £30k each. Somehow the readers of PetrolBlog voted my Dream Barn as the best of 2012, quite an accolade given the competition. Like everyone who has undertaken this task, I didn’t find it easy. You can’t have everything and some-things get left out.
Recently whilst enjoying a cup of tea and several BlogNobs I revisited my barn and I felt I could have done better. Several hours (and cups of tea) later I had put together a list of cars that didn’t even make my shortlist but should have.
So here it is, My Real World Dream Barn: the B Side:
Lancia Delta Integrale Evo
When you think of an Italian car you tend to picture a svelte body and gorgeous lines. The Delta hasn’t got either of those if you ask a non-car person. Ask one of us and it is one of the best uses of a ruler and one of the best looking things to come out of the ’80s. The Lancia brand was largely to blame for my love of Italian cars. We had several when I was very young and the small of glue and Alcantara stuck with me. Photo © Newspress.
Ford Escort Cosworth
Some of you may consider the Escort ‘Cossie’ to be a bit of a chav-mobile but to a pre-pubescent version of myself it was very cool indeed. The spoiler wasn’t silly and it’s rally-bred pedigree was enough to make it god-like in my eyes. Now that I’m grown up and apparently a degree more sensible, I shouldn’t like the Escort Cosworth but that simply isn’t the case. It will always be a cool car. Photo © Ford.
Renault Clio Williams
Now I very nearly added a Pug 205 GTi to this list but I have put this together based on what I wanted when I was young. The 205 only became one of my favourites when I passed my test. Prior to that I wanted a hot hatch in Monaco Blue with gold alloys and a girl called Nicole in the passenger seat. Photo © Newspress.
Aston Martin DB7 Vantage
My last Real World Dream Barn included several Lotuses but there was anther brand that dominated my childhood. Aston Martin. I loved James Bond and therefore I wanted to wear an Omega and drive an Aston. At the time the DB7 was a real beauty and that has hardly changed with time. The Vantage version added some much needed aggression. The limited run GT would be my choice but you don’t see them for under £30k so it’s out. Photo © Newspress.
Mercedes W126 S-Class
This might seem a bit of an odd inclusion but I honestly believe this car is cool. I can just imagine getting into one and driving down a dusty track pretending to be a Middle-Eastern bad-guy from a ’90s movie. This version if the S-Class has the most style and character and because of that I really want one. I may even buy one in the real world one day. Photo © Mercedes-Benz.
The Quattro needs little introduction. It has featured in several Dream Barns and gave birth to 4wd rally cars. It is in my barn for the same reason the Delta and Escort are. Photo © Audi.
Mazda RX-7 FD (Series 3)
The desire for a series 3 RX-7 or FD to the wankel geeks is rooted in my early teens. At the time my mother was dating a true car nut and was already cool to me as he drove a VW Scirocco daily and had a Fiat 130 coupe for the weekends. He also worked as a car designer for a little known company called Lotus. All pretty cool for a 13 year petrolhead but in 1997 he popped over to Japan and came back with a dark green Mazda RX-7. I’d never seen one before. It had some nice after market wheels and an HKS exhaust that Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson could fit his fist into.
Compared to most cars on the road it seemed like a real supercar. The power delivery seemed immense and the sound was superb. At the time I was attending a boarding school and every Saturday lunchtime the mums and dads would come to pick their kids up in Mercs, Jags and BMWs. Not my Mum. She would rock up in the RX blip the throttle and all the kids would come running. In hindsight it was hilarious but at the time I felt like the coolest kid in school. Photo © Mazda.
The NSX is another hero car for me but not just because the chaps at Honda managed to develop something that could rival a Ferrari yet be more usable in every way. I love it because of the way it looks, because it was honed by the late Ayrton Senna and mostly because despite its ability it felt like a supercar for the people. Photo © Honda.
Nissan R32 Skyline GTR
Now raise your hand if you had Gran Turismo when it was first launched back in May 1998?
Well if you did then I’m sure the R32 Skyline GTR must also be dear to your hearts. It seemed like a God amongst mortals in that game. Fast forward to now and the R32 is still a competent car and probably the prettiest of all the contemporary Skylines. It also has some of the coolest rear lights seen on any car. Photo © Nissan.
Clearly inspired by the RX-7, when my mother came to buy a new car just before my 17th birthday she chose a Mazda. It was an MX-6 and it was rare and rather odd. It shared its platform with the Ford Probe but had a slightly better version of the 24v V6. In the UK it had 160bhp and in Japan it around 200. It was as long as a Volvo 960 estate but only had two doors and was front wheel drive. Overall it was rather an odd vehicle but actually rather good.
I liked it so much that I bought not one, but three. None of them are on the road anymore and for that I apologise to MX-6 owners everywhere. The reason that I’d have one in my barn is because of unfinished business. My last one (the one in the above photo) lasted only five hours after I bought it. The previous owner had fitted an incorrect cam and on the way home it went pop. It bent 18 of the 24 valves, snapped a piston and blew a hole in the block. I didn’t even get home. I tried to get it back on the road but I didn’t have the money and Jap-Spec MX-6 engines are hard to come by. I’d use my Dream Barn funds to put together the perfect MX-6 and complete that chapter of my life. Photo © Mazda.
Follow David on twitter @DAVETILLYER.