18 Jul 2014

My Classic Car Dream Garage

Like any other car enthusiast I often think about what I'd buy if cash wasn't a problem.  New cars are attractive but classics come with a pedigree and the sepia tinted patina of time that new cars just can't match.  Besides, classics are often cheaper.

This is my classic car dream garage.  The entirely arbitrary overall budget is £100,000 and no car should be built after 1985.

Mini Cooper

A classic 60s Mini Cooper would be right at the top of my list.  External door hinges, 998cc A-Series engine, weight under 700kg, brilliantly direct steering and as much handling prowess as the best supercars.

The 3rd car I owned was a 1980s Mini Cooper.  I'd love another but it'd need to be one of the originals.  This 1969 MkII would be ideal and at £16k isn't overpriced, although red would be my favoured colour in deference to Paddy Hopkirk's Monte Carlo rally win.

Porsche 911 Carrera RS

I've always loved 911s, old or new.  If I were to own one I wouldn't want to pay an absolute fortune for a restored 60s version even if, aesthetically, they are my favourites.  911 Rennsport recreate 70s Carrera RS 911s and the one in the photo, a 1973 Carrera RS 2.7, would be ideal. It's based on a 1982  Carrera SC and costs £32k.

Mercedes 190E 2.3-16

The 190E is one of the last of the bombproof Mercs. Built in an era when the engineers rather than accountants were in charge in Stuttgart.  My dad had a 190 with the 2.0 carburettor engine and then a 190E with the 2.0 injection. I'd go for the Cosworth engined 2.3-16, not because Ayrton Senna made his name in one in 1984 but because I saw one in the Mercedes showroom when dad bought his 190 - and was blown away by it.  190E 2.3-16s are pretty rare now but they aren't too expensive.  If you can find one it should cost less than £10k.

Volkswagen Golf GTi Mk1

Who doesn't love a Mk1 Golf GTi?  The first hot hatch, the lightness, the agility, the inside wheel lifting fun.  Prices vary according to condition but this original, unrestored but in perfect condition 1983 GTi looks good for £12k.

Range Rover Classic

My final car is the practical choice.  The Range Rover Classic was the first posh roader. Even today the original Range Rover looks fantastic and the three door is arguably the most pure.  The 3.5 litre V8 isn't exactly powerful in today's terms but it makes a decent noise.  Seeing as I've got £30k of my £100k budget left I'd blow the lot on this fully restored 1971 model. Perfect.

By Matt Hubbard