Antony Ingram’s Real World Dream Shed

The difficulty of coming up with a Real World Dream Shed isn’t choosing the right cars, as it is with the Dream Barn, but in narrowing down the near-endless list of vehicles available for the £30k total.

That might be just one tenth the budget allowed in the Barn, but my heart has always been with cheaper vehicles and my list of candidates exponentially larger.

It’s also been exceedingly difficult to avoid replicating the shed of the concept’s originator, Jonathan Kershaw. A few similarities were unavoidable, but it was all I could do not to just ask the good Major to press Ctrl+C, Ctrl+Z and stick my own name at the top.

As if all that wasn’t difficult enough, I somewhat hamstrung myself by posting a few Shed-worthy candidates in my Barn. The MX-5 is a case in point – and one I dropped off this list to avoid replication.

As ever, those that remain are subject to near constant shuffling in my affections, so consider this a list only relevant on the day it was written…

Alfa Romeo 156

Alfa Romeo 156

In GTA form the 156 appeared in my Barn, and it also appeared in JeckyThump’s Shed, but I simply couldn’t leave it out here. Low pricing ensures 156s will slowly be consigned to the scrapyards, and I must pick one to save before they become as rare as 33s, 75s and Alfasuds. Humble models must survive too, so my 156 would be a regular 1.8 Twin Spark in lowly Turismo spec, rather than a bells-and-whistles V6. Photo © Alfa Romeo.

Audi A2

Audi A2

Several PetrolBloggers have placed the A2 in their Dream Barn, but here it gets Shed status on price alone. It deserves its place here as one of few Audis I truly lust after; as a practical, efficient supermini; and with aluminium construction, a car that won’t rust no matter how shoddy my Shed becomes. Photo © Audi.

Citroën BX

Citroen BX

A spur of the moment choice. A Citroën will always be considered for any Barn or Shed, and my recent jaunt to the Classic Motor Show at the NEC cemented the BX’s spot. It has to be an early, pre-facelift car – a Gandini original – in modest trim, with the non-turbocharged diesel. It would go on forever, but always look like a car from the future. Photo © Wikipedia.

Daihatsu Midget

Daihatsu Midget

A truly silly choice, but one I stand by. I’ve wanted to own a Midget since driving one in Gran Turismo 2; its subsequent inclusion in newer games has convinced me. It’s a one-seat, retro-styled, kei-class pickup truck – what more reason do I need? Also, just think of the space such a vehicle would save in the shed. Photo © Woodstock Car Trading.

Honda C90

Honda C90

I’ll confirm again that I don’t actually have a motorcycle license, but I can’t think of a better way to spend a fraction of three grand than on the world’s most numerous and enduring vehicle. It is a vehicle at its most simple too, and therefore beautiful, from a certain perspective. And if all the fuel ran out, my last gallon would get me further on this than virtually anything else. Photo © MCN.

Jeep Cherokee

Jeep Cherokee

I’d say the Cherokee was here for its practicality but I won’t lie – the set-square styling appeals too. I’m no detractor of modern crossovers but sometimes you just want a big straight six, some proper ground clearance and a dash of red pinstriping, rather than soft-touch interior plastics and a homogenous moniker. Photo © Jeep.

Lexus LS400

1989 Lexus LS400

And sometimes what you want is a car to waft you from A to B with minimal effort. For my £3k slice, little will do better than an LS400, once described by Autocar as “a car that passengers could get into after starting the engine, and only be aware it was on when it started moving”. “Quiet” is a more succinct description; “smooth” would be another. I like quiet and smooth, so the Lexus earns its place. Photo © Lexus.

Mercedes-Benz 190

Mercedes-Benz 190E

I struggled with the Merc 190. I like the styling, I appreciate that it was a Mercedes made when Mercedes build quality stood for something, and even the fact that regular models are positively slow is appealing – it’s just a car you can get into and be sure it’ll work. But the presence of other worthy candidates here – the BX in particular – made me wonder whether the Mercedes offered anything different. But who am I kidding? It has a Mercedes badge on the nose. Photo © Mercedes-Benz.

Saab 96

Saab 96 V4

This spot was almost occupied by one of the 96’s contemporaries – the VW Beetle. It’s equally quirky, equally hardy and even easier to work on than the 96. But the 96 is a Saab, and has a column gearchange. And I need those sort of things in my life. Photo © Saab.

Toyota Celica ST162

Toyota Celica ST162

An unusual choice? Perhaps. Not many would think of this generation Celica, even if the word “Celica” was mentioned. Earlier models are more fashionable and later ones more numerous. But the ST162 screams ’80s’ to me with its slatted grille, pop-up headlights and simple cabin. And being a Toyota, I’d not have to worry about it going wrong. Photo © Toyota.

Fancy submitting your own Real World Dream Shed or Real World Dream Barn? Get in touch with PetrolBlog.

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Antony Ingram
Car geek | Writes for @motorauthority @GreenCarReports | Associate ed @carwowuk | MX-5 book out now! | Takes photos | Dispenses opinions

1 comment

  1. December 4, 2013

    Nice list. I’d have to swap the Cherokee for an early Discovery though.

    I’d love to submit a ‘shed’ myself, how do I do it? Thanks. 🙂


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