$100,000 Fantasy Garage Challenge: Readers' Responses
Our readers seem to have had at least as much fun with the Fantasy Garage Challenge as we did.
First, my currently, and for the last 11 years owned, Red 1992 VW GTI 16v - It's near Mint. $6,000 would be a quick sell, so I will go with $6,425, as priced by NADA clean pricing index. After I finish the final details, it will be worth over $9,000 (here is an example of one that was for sale in that range). It is a sweet GTI 16v. Love the sounds and the round headlights. The BBS wheels that came stock on these are pretty, but bend if you look at them wrong. So it has period-specific TSW Stealths now. I added KW coilovers and Neuspeed sway bars front and rear. It handles like it is on rails, but the KW's are far from harsh creating a very communicative but civilized ride. I love the simple manual sunroof (miss the days of not having power "everything" in VW's), grippy but perfectly comfy stock Recaro seats, Momo steering wheel, shirt shift kit, rare Zender rear wing, and looking at the Matchbox VW GTI's in the center console I put in there from my child hood. I modified it very tastefully and taken care of it meticulously. Just needs a headliner repair and some minor body work to be near mint.
1988 Chevrolet Sprint Turbo - 2 Years ago I Sold my well loved Turbo Hellion to start my ADU/Granny build... but I will miss it. =$2,500. ...
1992 VW Vanagon Syncro with TDI conversion, completely restored. Figure the insane price of $49,500. I think these vehicles are grossly over valued, but they are a Swiss Army Knife. With the TDI it would likely move along reasonably, and blow less head gaskets. ... I want one to take road trips to my family's rentals in Loreto, Baja Mexico. On my own dollar, I would buy a Toyota Motorhome because of how much more reliable they would be/as well as more affordable by leaps and bounds... but on the challenge's dime... I will take the VW Block!
1974 VW Thing - $5,000. I've always wanted one, had a '75 Beetle Convertible at one time and THIS is what I REALLY wanted. At 5k it will be far from perfect, but serviceable, receiving attention to perfect it over time. Much like the VW Convertible I sold over 7 years ago, I needed to still give it love after several hundred dollars of repairs.
1995 VW Corrado - VW's Flag Ship. Last of the breed. One of the most under appreciated cars of all time. One of the best handling cars of all time. A shape people either love or hate. Some think it looks like a bloated CRX, others think a pit bull ready to pounce. Some no more than a more expensive Scirocco. I like that they are lesser known. Canadian Air Bag Model in reasonably low mileage shape - $10,000. This is the last VW I ever really wanted (that was released in the USA, anyway, because I would otherwise say a Lupo Diesel that get's well over 80 MPG ...instead of the the next car below).
New Car? This will be the everyday (or in my case, since I drive like 2 days a month, monthly) driver. Nothing is really desirable to me aside from the Fiat Abarth Scorpion. Those are pretty hot in red and black. $26,550 with almost every option conceivable, aside from a sticky leather interior. ... (If I could use my wheelin' and dealin' skills, that Abarth would be mine for less than $25k, but I will follow the Rules. Jeesh!)
$99,975 Well Spent....
Our other reader responses came via the comments, so instead of quoting them in full I'll summarize and link to the original. Bill Thompson, the first to take up the challenge, came up with a very Car Lust list: a 1980 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 1956 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer hardtop, 1965 Mercury Monterey Breezeway sedan, 1977 Aston Martin Lagonda Series 2, and a 2013 Nissan Versa to comply with the "one new car" requirement. "Which brings the total to $99,989. Modifications: two packs of Little Trees for $11, for a total of a nice, round $100,000."
Reader Al S. went for quantity with thirteen vehicles, eleven of which were big ol' American cars with big ol' American V-8s: 1978 Dodge Magnum, 1980 Dodge St Regis Police Interceptor, 1990 Jeep Grand Wagoneer, 1966 Imperial Crown Coupe, 1971 Imperial 2 door, 1975 Imperial Lebaron 2-door hardtop, 1997 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 with 8 Liter V10 and the club cab, 2005 Mercury Grand Marquis LSE, 1974 Cadillac Fleetwood Tailisman, 1978 Lincoln Continental Mark V Diamond Jubilee Edition, 1976 Oldsmobile 98, 1971 Dodge Charger, and a 2013 Jeep Patriot Sport 4x4. Of the V-8 powered rides on the list, four of them have a 440, and there's also a 455, 460, and 500, and that V-10 to add to the big block frenzy. In related business news, oil company stocks rose 4.7% in the first hour after Al posted his comment.
MrFixit1599 went to the opposite extreme: an optioned-up Camaro convertible for the missus, and a Raptor crew cab for himself, two vehicles, $98,930. Should have no trouble fitting it all in the driveway.
Tex came up with an eclectic selection: 2007 Subaru Outback (LL Bean edition), 2007 Ford Mustang GT Convertible, 2002 Ford F-150 4D King Ranch 4x4 (how could someone named "Tex" not have a pickup truck?), 2003 Mercury Marauder ("Big, comfy, fast, menacing, beautiful...quite possibly the world’s finest grocery getter"), 2013 Ford Focus ST, a 1965 Chevrolet Impala 2dr hardtop for Sunday ice cream runs, and a 1988 Honda CRX HF as his "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome end-of-times fuel miser."
Eric chose a 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SEL Hybrid for his wife's daily driver, a 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Hatchback for his own daily driver, a 2009 Ford Flex AWD for people-hauling, a 1988 Jeep Wagoneer for camping, and finished his list off with the ultimate track toy, a Caterham Super Seven.
And there was the one who got really outside the box. Proscriptus stocked his/her garage with a "Brass-era runabout, preferably 1908-'09 Hupmobile," a "Brighton-eligible" 1904 light car (for $60k), a Miata, and a used Mazda 5. Technically speaking, you didn't follow the rules there because there's no new ride in the mix, but we'll let that slide. I mean, c'mon--a Hupmobile!! Is that cool or what?
Finally, reader John Boyle commented, quite understandably, "If I get to keep the cars I now have, I'd be happy just with that." John is the owner of an R1 Avanti, a Stutz Bearcat replica, and a 1977 Jeep CJ-5 Levi's Edition Renegade--while the rest of us are merely talking about fantasy garages, he already has one!
While our article series is (probably) over, there's still time to play along. If you have a fantasy garage lineup you'd like to share, leave a comment below.
--Cookie the Dog's Owner