Now That’s What I Call a Real World Dream Barn

It won’t have escaped your notice that Now That’s What I Call Music is currently celebrating its 30th birthday. The series of various artists compilations is 30 years old and there’s a special 30 years edition to celebrate the ‘best’ music ever to appear on a Now! disc/casette/download <delete as applicable>.

Some of us are old enough to remember the days when the Now! compilations had a pig on the front cover, complete with headphones and a promise that the casette (as it was in my case) contained the most chart hoggin’ music. As I remember, they were double-disc compilations and all the good stuff was put on side one of each disc, leaving the quality to tail off towards the end.

But enough reminiscing about old music – it’s time to celebrate the best of the Real World Dream Barn. A look back at the 29 barns received to date, with a rundown of the most popular choices. In a future blog, we’ll reveal the top manufacturers, but in the meantime, stick on some Queen, Phil Collins, Lionel Richie or Musical Youth and celebrate Now That’s What I Call a Real World Dream Barn.

5th= Mercedes-Benz SL (selected 4 times)

Real World Dream Barn: Mercedes-Benz SL

It would appear that PetrolBloggers love a little glamour and sophistication, with the Mercedes-Benz SL selected in no fewer than four Real World Dream Barns.

The selections spanned the various generations of the beautiful SL, although Simon Hingston’s selection of the R107 is arguably the most PetrolBloggy of them all.

5th= Caterham (4)

Real World Dream Barn: Caterham 7

From elegant and sophisticated wind-in-the-hair motoring, to something a little more frantic. The track-day and B-road warrior has been selected in as many barns as the SL, but the rationale behind its presence is a little different.

5th= Audi Quattro (4)

Audi Quattro

It’s hardly surprising to see the Audi Quattro making the top ten (or top nine in this case – there were too many cars sharing tenth spot!). For many people it’s the most iconic rally car of all time, for others it’s “that red car driven by Gene Hunt”.

Either way, the Quattro is still the daddy.

5th= Audi A2 (4)

Real World Dream Barn: Audi A2

Here’s a turn up for the books, the brilliant Audi A2 has been selected in as many barns as its great uncle Quattro.

But then it was a decade ahead of its time and, for some people, it was the last appealing Audi.

5th= Jensen Interceptor (4)

Real World Dream Barn: Jensen Interceptor

It would appear that the Jensen Interceptor is the choice of classic car motoring for PetrolBlog readers. And who can argue with that?

Besides, it’s easy to pick it when you’re not the one footing the fuel bill.

3rd= Mini (5)

Real World Dream Barn: Mini

Not a single mention for the new MINI, but five people selected the original, classic Mini. But it’s not just the Cooper S that captures your imagination, Lem Bingley selected the Mini pick-up. Love it.

3rd= Mazda MX-5 (5)

Real World Dream Barn: Mazda MX-5

There was never any doubt that the MX-5 would feature in a few barns, the biggest surprise is actually that it didn’t grab the top spot.

All generations of the MX-5 were mentioned. Look out for this number increasing with the arrival of new Real World Dream Barns in the future.

1st= Porsche 911 (5)

Real World Dream Barn: Porsche 911

Like the MX-5, the 911’s presence in the top ten is hardly surprising. It falls neatly within the £30k budget and there’s the sense that, if bought wisely, a 911 will present a terrific blend of weekend fun and everyday usability.

1st= Original Range Rover (5)

Real World Dream Barn: Range Rover

But sharing the top spot with the Porsche 911 is the original Range Rover. Readers of PetrolBlog, we salute you. What a fine choice.

Shunning the lure of the newer incarnations, it’s the original posh off-roader that gets you hot under the collar. Preferably in super-cool 3-door spec.

And that’s that – the Real World Dream Barn story so far. Across 29 barns, a total of 288 different cars have been selected.

Stay tuned for the rundown of the top ten manufacturers. There are one or two surprises on the list…

And if you’d like to select your own Real World Dream Barn, all you need is a budget of £30k per car and a barn big enough to store them in. Then send your selections to PetrolBlog. Easy.

Picture credits: © Mercedes-Benz, Caterham, Audi, Newspress, Mazda, Porsche and Land Rover.

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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. May 30, 2013
    Rachel Watson

    I chose two appearing on the list – MX5 and Mini.

    There are a couple I wish I’d included now though – Mercedes SL and Jensen Interceptor.

    I’ve also owned an Audi A2 – such a clever little car. We briefly had a Caterham too, although I didn’t drive it much as the seat was bolted to the floor meaning that as a shorter person I had to have a sofa cushion behind me to wedge me in. Not very dignified.

    • May 30, 2013
      Gavin Big-Surname

      Ha! But no-one could see your cushion from the outside.

      Besides, if it was a Union Flag cushion. that’s cool, right?

      • May 31, 2013
        Rachel Watson

        Oh, you could see it from the outside, it wasn’t a cushion that you might put on the sofa, it was an actual piece of the sofa! The car was originally built for the Caterham race series (although it never got raced) and for someone much taller than me.

        I didn’t look cool.

        • May 31, 2013
          Gavin Big-Surname

          A piece of the sofa? That’s VERY PetrolBloggy…

  2. May 30, 2013

    Good to see the 911 end up so high in the list. Wise people must’ve submitted their Real World Dream Barns, without a doubt.

    • May 31, 2013
      Antony Ingram

      Good to see the MX-5 there too. Still debating getting another of those…

      • June 3, 2013
        Rachel Watson

        *small cough*

        I’m selling a very presentable early MK1…


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