Will is becoming quite the PetrolBlog regular. First he introduced his delightful Peugeot 106 Rallye, then returned with a Real World Review of his Skoda Fabia vRS. Keen to complete a hattrick of entries before the end of the year, here he presents his very own Real World Dream Barn. He already owns one of the cars on the list, so it’s a case of one down, nine to go.
Over to you, Will…
Okay, so it’s taken me quite a while to put this together, largely because I am massively indecisive when it comes to cars. I love many different cars which is why I always struggle when it comes to choosing ones I want to buy. There are simply so many that I would love to own. The cars on this list reflect some very long term irrational wants and some carefully considered options that would ultimately be great cars to own. I’m pleased to say that many engine configurations feature in the list including 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 cylinder engines with a bit of forced induction and some great normally aspirated engines too. Some of the rivals to these cars may well be ‘better’ but I always like an underdog and I like rarity too, I hope the list reflects that. Enjoy.
From the moment I first clapped eyes on the Charade I wanted one. Clearly a product of the ’80s with its boxy styling it certainly can’t be described as a pretty car but with a bonkers 993cc 3-cylinder turbocharged engine pushing out some 100bhp in car weighing 818kg, it looks like enormous fun. I wish I had bought one a few years ago when they seemed to come up for sale regularly, now any that do come up seem to be in a very poor state. As it happens, I spotted one for the first time in years recently and the Charade is now very close to the top of the want list! Image © Daihatsu
Every dream garage has to have a track car and this would be mine. Whilst on a track day a couple of months ago I had the opportunity to drive a UK Spec DC2 Integra Type-R and it was an incredible machine. The howling VTEC engine coupled to a beautiful gearbox and very direct steering makes it an ideal track toy. Oh and the seats are fantastic! Image © Honda
Moving away from the Japanese cars there is a bit of a VAG theme to my Dream Barn. The MK1 Golf GTI is the original and for me, still the best hot hatch. The angular but pretty styling, the free revving engine and go kart handling make it one of my favourite cars of all time. When it comes to having a MK1 GTI in my garage there is a bit of caveat…I already own a MK1 Golf GTI, it has now been off the road for some six or seven years but this is the only MK1 Golf I want and one day it will be restored and put back into use (hopefully).
It’s got to be done hasn’t it? As a child the 911 was the sports car that I leaned towards and as I’ve grown older that fondness for the car has remained. Various different 911s are available within the Dream Barn budget but I’d opt for an air-cooled version in either 964 or 993 form, surely two of the prettiest 911 shapes.
Until a few months ago, these weren’t really on my radar but after a drive in one during the summer it very quickly made the list. Driving an Interceptor is more like captaining a yacht except there is a glorious V8 rumble coming from under the bonnet! The lazy V8 coupled with the hugely comfortable leather seats make this the perfect long distance cruiser (provided you can cope with its thirst)!
This was a very tough call to include in the list because I really do love the MK4 Golf R32 and have lusted after one from the first time I saw a picture back in about 2001/2002, but because of the sheer madness of it, the Beetle pips the Golf onto the list. Only 250 Beetle RSIs were produced with a 221 BHP VR6 engine, mated to a 6-speed gearbox and a 4-wheel drive system. The RSI also stands out visually with 18” OZ alloys, a fairly outrageous body kit, and Recaro seats clad in orange leather. The Beetle RSI is an example of what VW can do when they go a bit mad, I just wish they’d do it more often! Image © Volkswagen
This would be my Q Car! Only 71 were produced and with a very unassuming appearance, it would be safe to say that unless you are interested in cars you are unlikely to have heard of the Golf Limited. Produced in 1989 and based on the Golf Rallye and its Syncro 4-wheel drive system, the Golf Limited used a 5-door shell and they were all gunmetal grey. The engine was what really made this car special, VW supercharged the 16v engine from the GTI to create a unit delivering 207 BHP which propelled the car to 62mph in 7.2 seconds, still respectable by today’s standards. The Golf Limited remained the most powerful production Golf until the R32 arrived in 2003. Image © Wikipedia
My garage would have to have something from the Group B era and money no object it would be a 205 T16 or a Sport quattro, but as this is a Real World Dream Barn it’ll have to be the normal Audi Quattro. The quattro is a true rallying icon and in road going form still produced impressive figures of 197bhp in the early 10v models and 217bhp in the later 20v models, which meant it was no slouch. And to top it all off, it has a lovely off beat 5-cylinder sound track. Image © Audi
Around the same time that BMW was trotting out its legendary E30 M3, Mercedes were working with Cosworth to roll out their own fast four seater. The 190E Cosworth may not quite have reached the cult classic status of the E30 yet but that’s part of its appeal, it’s the underdog. With slightly more subtle styling than the M3, the 190 is a stealthy looking car. 0-60 arrives in under eight seconds, top speed is 140mph+ and this comes courtesy of 2.3 or 2.5-litre engine, a dog leg gearbox and a LSD. The retro interior only adds to the appeal of this ’80s super saloon. Image © Mercedes-Benz
In recent years I’ve come to appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship that goes into producing a Morgan and when I saw the 3-Wheeler it was love at first sight! That glorious looking V-twin engine sitting up front and flanked by those narrow wheels gives it a very distinct stance and the exhausts running along the body look and sound fantastic. I saw one in the flesh at the NEC this year and the finish of the car was outstanding, I’ll take mine in the new Gulf livery please! Image © Morgan Motor Co.
And there ends my Dream Barn! Some of those cars have always been on my ‘most wanted’ list but for others I’ve had to sit down and think hard about cars that I would really want to own. Some of the choices may be slightly predictable whilst others might just seem plain odd, but looking back at my list, if I ever had the opportunity to own examples of all of these I think I’d be pretty damn happy!