Hi, my name is Andrew and I have a problem, I am seemingly incapable of sticking to a list of 10 cars for my Real World Dream Shed for longer than a few minutes.
I threatened to compile my own Real World Dream Shed last year, preparing a list almost immediately. Then it changed. Then it changed again. Then I gave up and went to the shops. I then forgot about it for a few months.
Having taken the notebook out of the top drawer, I fiddled with the list again. Some cars went, other cars came in. But it was forever in a state of flux. This was much, much harder than I thought.
But, at this precise moment in time, this is the definitive list. Don’t blink, it’s almost certain to change again within the hour.
SAAB 900 Turbo
I have wanted a Saab 900 Turbo ever since I was told I could pretend to be a fighter pilot by driving one. Yes, I know, but I was young and stupid. One of these things has changed.
I love the fact it was a left-field choice when new. I also admire the idiosyncrasies associated with the Saab 900, such as the procedure involved with removing the ignition key, along with the fact it looks quite unlike anything else on the road.
Fiat Panda 4×4
I decided on the 4×4 as it can cope with anything I’d throw at it. For those two or three days a year when we get an inch of snow or a slightly deep puddle, the Panda would cope, no problem. Who needs a full blown off-roader or SUV?
Volvo 850 T5 R
This was the car that hooked me on the British Touring Car Championship. Yes, the Audi A4s were epic, but here was an estate car hurtling around the tracks of Britain.
I generally find estates more appealing than anything else, so to have a quick one makes perfect sense. You really don’t need that SUV. Sorry, you may have noticed a theme developing here.
I think the Porsche 944 is more aggressive and visually pleasing than the 924. This is the most ‘me’ focused of all my choices. I’ll be able to do the school run with it and I can always strap ‘Mrs Cracked Windscreen’ to the roof when we all go out.
I understand keeping one going at this price range will involve regular maintenance at home, so there’s another reason to like it.
Subaru Forester Turbo
If I have an 850 and a Panda 4×4 do I really need one of these? No, probably not, but that’s the joy of this list, it isn’t about need. The idea of encountering an M-badged BMW 320d (do stop that by the way) on a country road and knowing it will be unable to get past me is very appealing. Childish, perhaps, but highly appealing.
Aside from its love of a good drink, the Subaru Forester Turbo makes for a solid and oft-forgotten family wagon. The unenlightened are missing out on a cracking 4×4.
Jeep Cherokee 4.0
In an act of total hypocrisy, I now move on to select a full blown off-road vehicle. I just love the look of the Jeep Cherokee, especially the throw-a-massive-engine-in-it response to its size and aerodynamics.
Yes it’ll be crude and yes, the inside will be nasty. But, the Cherokee XJ has American charm by the supersize bucket-load. To think these were put up against Range Rovers is wonderful in its optimism.
Alfa Romeo GTV V6
I’ve always liked the shape of the Alfa Romeo GTV. I have never – and I appreciate this is sacrilegious – been impressed by the looks of the Alfasud. To me, it seems a little dumpy. Hey, before you march forward with burning torches and pitchforks, I’m not saying the Alfasud is a bad car.
But in the Alfa Romeo GTV, it would be a joy to drive with the windows down, just so I could listen to the engine note. I also imagine it would spent an awful lot of time in the garage, being repaired.
BMW E30 325 Touring
I wasn’t blown away by the E30 Touring when it was launched, but I think it has aged wonderfully. The shape is great, the family would fit and I’d imagine all the vital ‘stuff’ they seem to need would fit, too.
I’d also be happy behind the wheel. Compared to modern cars there’s a lot of glass and visibility in one of these – something designers possibly need to address in modern family cars?
Mercedes E280 Estate (W124)
My Dad owned a E300 4-Matic, which he liked so much he kept it for 20 years. He once declared it to be one of the best cars he ever owned. Again the question of why estates aren’t as popular as they once were comes to the fore. (Blame the crossovers – ed.)
With seven seats, it would be the ultimate practical wagon. Just don’t get me started on the nation’s obsession with the MPV…
Seat Leon Cupra (MK1)
Again, in staggering hypocrisy, I list the ‘dumpy’ Leon. However, to my eyes, this looks great wheres the Alfasud just doesn’t. When the Seat Leon Cupra was launched, it was ignored by many badge snobs, who chose instead to pay more for a Volkswagen Golf. Just why would you?
I’ll take the better-looking Leon in this instance, please.
So there it is – my current list. Be quick, it’s almost certain to change again in the next few minutes!
All images © manufacturers, except Porsche 944 © Veloce Publishing.