It could be you. Although the chances are, it won’t be. For as long as the National Lottery has been running, dreams of a jackpot win have sporadically hi-jacked my idle thoughts, leading me to the vitally important question – if my lucky dip did indeed get lucky, what would be in my five-car fantasy garage, and why?
The hardest aspect to compiling such a list is not a lack of candidates, but whittling it down to just five cars. The upside is that I can cast off the ‘sensible’ hat – the one that forces you to choose a car based on any number of unfortunate realities such as price, practicality, economy, and other similarly unpleasant considerations.
Here is my list, in no particular order:-
1. Audi UR Quattro 20 valve
Why? This choice has nothing to do with its re-emergence as an ’80s icon in ‘Ashes to Ashes’, but more to do with it being a genuine, bona-fide trailblazer. Try thinking of rallying in the ’80s without an image of an Audi-Sport liveried Group-B Quattro taking off over a crest at improbable speed, five-cylinder warbling away.
2. Porsche 993 Turbo
Continuing the Germanic theme, this one would make the top five based on looks alone. Being a 911, and last of the ‘proper’ air-cooled incarnation, it also has sufficient performance and dynamic credibility to make the cut. All the cues are there to distance it from the vanilla 911 – wide-arched backside, whale-tail spoiler and a force-fed flat-six engine. What’s different is that this one married the traditional Turbo ingredients to all-wheel drive, making the fearsome performance accessible, and it justifiably shook off the dubious ‘widow-maker’ tag of its two-wheel drive forebears. It also boasts a pair of turbos, endowing it with 408bhp and the ability to sprint to 60 in 4.1 seconds. You may not fall off your chair reading such figures today, as the horsepower race has moved the game on, but then consider this was 1994 and it can still hold its own today. Then take another look at it, has any other car ever looked quite this perfect? Sold.
3. Pagani Zonda R
There had to be something Italian in the garage, and it may as well be made by a man named Horacio and costing somewhere north of a million bucks. If you have to ask, you can’t afford it. You can’t even drive this one on the road, it’s aimed at privateer race teams as a track only weapon.
The spec speaks for itself; carbon-titanium monocoque, 6.0-litre AMG-sourced V12 with 750bhp, Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes and a dry weight of just 1,070 kilos giving a power-to-weight ratio of 701bhp per ton. This being a track toy, it’s probably going to demand that I own something appropriate to tow it there. Which leads me seamlessly on to my next choice.
4. Mercedes G55 AMG
Originally built for military applications, the ancient G-Wagen is brutally utilitarian in appearance and boasts the kind of squared-off edges you would expect to see if Blue Peter fashioned a car out a cornflake packet. The G55 is powered by a supercharged 5.5 litre with 493bhp, which is ridiculous for such an upright creation that enjoys the aerodynamic qualities of a garden shed. It’s also ridiculously expensive at £114k – arguably a Range Rover is the better car in every objective sense of the word. This is a fantasy list though, and it earns its place based on exclusivity, having a massive engine and endowing you with the appearance of being Russian Mafia. That’s enough for me, I’m easily pleased.
5. Jaguar Mk2 3.8
From Russian Mafia, to the quaint British charm of the 1960s bank robbing fraternity, my selection encompasses something for a cross-section of criminality. The Mk2 Jag was just as often the choice of Bankers and city types as it was getaway drivers in the 1960s. It earns its place due to being both jaw-slackeningly good looking and quintessentially British. It’s still respectably quick, 220bhp propelling it to 60 in 8.5 seconds, and everyday usable given the fact that any number of specialists can add modern fripperies like air con and ABS. I’m not a traditional beard-toting classic car buff, but thanks to a work experience stint at the age of 14 with a garage that restored Mk2s, I’ve always hankered after one. Then I saw the cult film ‘Withnail and I’ where Richard E Grant drove a ratty one-eyed example and catapulted it into the ranks of the uber-cool. I’ll have the 3.8 version with wire wheels, in British Racing Green please.