Next up is the otter., a man who needs no introduction and has now calmed down alot over that ‘Brexit Business’.
This is a really tricky one. Ask me again in a week and my top five might have changed. But for now, here we go.
Land Rover Defender Heritage:
Yes, I’m kicking off with my own car. Technically terrible in almost every single way and yet absolutely dripping with CLASS, from the Marina column stalks and Montego window switches to the approximate build quality and constant spectre of malfunction. I love mine, although if money’s no object in this fantasy league I might keep the stock looks but bin the Transit engine and replace it with a Rover V8.
The whitest elephant on the savannah of CLASS and endearing for that alone, never mind that it has an appealingly stately appearance, runs on Dr Moulton’s splendid interconnected suspension, and would earn you 50 spotter’s points every time you opened the garage. Red interior and automatic transmission, please. Although I’d be tempted to tear out that tight-chested six and replace it with a Rover V8.
Jaguar XJ12 (XJ81)
I want some Jaguar V12 smoothness in my fantasy garage and, while it’s tempting to go path-of-least-resistance with a Series 3-shape XJ, there’s something perversely appealing this XJ40 spin-off. It grew out of an engineering cock-up, it had a tortured genesis and it was unloved compared to its predecessor. Pretty much full-house on the CLASS background checklist. Also, with minimal chrome, quad lamps and cross spoke alloys, it looks terrific. And if the V12 went pop I could always replace it with a Rover V8. What? SHUT UP JIM RANDLE, I KNOW YOU’RE LYING.
Austin Montego 2.0i:
Torquey engine, delightful chassis, a sweetly shifting five speed gearbox. Plus, it’s symbolic of that fascinating era in the history of The Firm between 1970s malaise and Honda-bought slickness when defeat was seized from victory’s jaws by shonky quality and styling that made The Axe’s glasses steam up. I’m not even fussed about getting it in MG spec. A nice VDP would do fine. I could imagine using it quite a lot. Plus, I’ve already met Sam Skelton so I’ve saved some time there. Just one thing, I think I’d have to fit it with a Rover V… KIDDING.
Range Rover Classic (Restomod):
Since money is no object in fantasy land, bear with me on this one. A classic Raj Rover, mid-‘80s spec Vogue, totally standard from the outside, but completely re-built in the manner of those lovely Singer Porsches with desirable modern features and build quality as tight as the approximately-sized Solihull panels will allow. Roll-resisting air suspension from a modern Range Rover, an eight-speed ZF autobox, icy air-con, everything that will make it an up-to-date, everyday car with the looks of a stone cold classic. Oh, and a 5-litre AJ133 V8 under the bonnet. Unless there’s another, more appropriate V8 engine anyone can suggest?
A great mix. More in the coming days to follow..