Daily Podcast: Future Ghosts
I'm sure many of you share "the one that got away" syndrome. You know: the car you should have bought for peanuts and stashed away. My two four-wheeled pangs are a neighbor's Dino and my old man's Mercedes Benz 300SEL 6.3. I know both of these cars were/are hideously expensive to maintain, and that time has this way of making cars you haven't driven in twenty years seem like great cars when, in fact, a Volkswagen GTI could run rings around them. Well not so fast Mr, Bond. I had the pleasure of driving a 6.3 in England before the country's anti-speeding jihad lead to the existence of more speeding cameras than ear, nose and throat specialists. It was just as fun steering that bad boy with my right foot. It was still a blast watching puff of blue smoke as the points cleared themselves at rock steady triple digit speeds. And it still smelled wonderful. As for the Dino, a properly restored (rebuilt?) model proves the old saw about having more fun driving a slow car fast than a fast car slow. It's wonderfully balanced and incredibly charismatic. If I looked around today for cars I would stash if I could stash cars, I'd go with my Boxster S (3.4-liter, 19's), the E55 Mercedes station wagon and, get this, a Corvette-engined Chevrolet SSR. Which you can still buy new.
Is Justin saying in the podcast that they don't produce new S2000s at the factory anymore? Because I've seen 07 models available, and the S2000 CR will be an 08. I wouldn't be surprised though if they're basically putting 07 and 08 badges on cars that were built a year ago and are still sitting around.
along with other future ghosts, one might consider a good low-mileage NSX; this is a true supercar which will not steadily remove money from your wallet, providing you don't mind the not-inexpensive rubber payments. The S2000 could be the bargain of the bunch and will still offer very raw performance 20 years hence. Hard to understand if others will make the grade, although the base '08 Corvette (no Z06 or ZR1 necessary) may look like the bargain of the century when the insurance companies finally get around to exhorbitant rates on cars with more than 400 hp. As relatively pedestrian as it may seem today, a new 335i could represent a high-water mark in high performance sedans...
My lottery list changes each week as I fail to win it and as the jackpot level changes. Something practical, something fast, something exotic, something luxurious, something quirky. Practical ? Audi RS4 Avant. Small car, big engine, 4 wheel drive. And its an estate so of course its practical ;-) Fast ? Probably ex-group B rally car - Lancia Delta S4, 205 T16 or Metro 6R4. Plus of course my own gravel track to give them a damn good thrashing every now and again. Top speed is only ~120 but it takes under 10 seconds to get there, on mud. Exotic - Lambo Miura. There is no more beautiful car, end of discussion. It has to be early 70s lime green with orangey-brown interior. Possibly an early un-winged Countach if no Miura in the correct colour is available. Or of course a Lancia Stratos, or maybe a... Luxurious - The fastest lorry in the world, a Bentley Turbo R from the late 80s. Or perhaps the 300SEL successor - the 450 SEL 6.9. Quirky - Renault 4. 2CV brought up to date for the 1960s. Sadly they rust but a more strictly functional car is hard to find. I'm kind of surprised the Coxster is on your list, it wouldn't even be on my top 100. Too many driven (badly) by hairdressers and estate agents. Luckily (or not) I'm 40 next year so I'm hoping to get one of my "keepers", a Lotus 7 or similar kit car to build.
For me, stash away a 2003 BMW M5 (E39). The last great BMW before the engineers and designers were replaced by a new generation that uses words like "organic" and "tasty" to justify their abominations.