Occasionally there arises some sort of discussion during tea-break at work that makes you ponder something in greater depth than the usual throw-away comments and piss-taking. Nothing too deep and meaningful (we're blokes after all) but enough to get the grey matter ticking over.
In this case the question was simply what five cars would you choose to be in your dream lottery-win garage? It's a predictable question mulled over by blokes everywhere, but rather than just plumping for a fleet of Ferraris we figured even though it was a fantasy it would be more interesting to inject some level of realism. After all, no Ferrari is going to be much use if you want to carry a new fridge home from Currys, nor would you be silly enough to leave one parked on the street for fear of it getting keyed.
Everyone has their preferences, but my analytical approach wanted to ensure I had all likely eventualities covered.
First there needs to be a car that can be used on a daily basis - something practical, small enough to park easily in narrow city streets, unassuming enough to avoid unwanted attention, but still having the ability to put a smile on your face. To fulfil these requirements I'd choose a VW Polo GTi.
Second choice would need to be a van. We all have need of a van occasionally, so while I was ordering the Polo GTi I'd also be asking about VW's Transporter Sportline.
Next on the list would have to be something for track days and early Sunday morning blasts, and that would be a toss-up between a Caterham R500 Superlight and an Ariel Atom.
This leaves two spaces in the fantasy garage. Many people would pick some sort of exotic supercar, but as I'm not most people I'd rather have some sort of executive express - the kind of car you can drive 200-300 miles in quiet luxury and get out the other end feeling fresh as a daisy. A BMW 650i coupe will do nicely for that job I think.
Filling the last slot is tricky. There's a part of me that loves the idea of something outrageous like a Lamborghini Aventador, but frankly what's the point then there's nowhere to make full use of its capabilities unless you happen to live near the Nurburgring. The thought also occurs that a decent off-roader might be fun, but after much consideration I decided I'd rather have a classic car. Top choice would be some classic American muscle car like a 70's Dodge Challenger - otherwise I'd also be tempted by an old Escort RS2000. Either way, something old-school with carburettors, crap brakes, and the sort of handling that promises the need for a change of underwear when (or if) you get home.
So that's it - my fantasy five-car lottery-win garage. Oddly enough, it would probably remain a fantasy even if I did win the lottery because I honestly don't think I'd be able to bring myself to spend that sort of money on toys even if I could afford it.
The other week I saw a McLaren P1 on the road and my main thought was along the lines of "How many starving people in the world could that have fed?".
Big vulgar displays of riches leave me feeling cold and angry. Not from jealousy, but frustration at the level of selfishness they suggest. I certainly don't aspire to mansions and assorted frippery made of platinum and diamonds.
All things considered, my real lottery win garage would more likely contain a Ford Fiesta ST and a Ducati Diavel.
And as this is a pretty poor basis for a blog post I think I'll leave it there for now.