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What dream car would you actually pay for?

Everyone has an idea of their dream car... but what dream car would you actually buy? I was asked this recently, my answer will surprise you!
Recently my older son asked me why we didn’t own a car.

I replied that because we lived in central London we didn’t need one.

There are at least 9 different bus routes that go past the bus stops located within 400 metres of our front door.

There are 4 separate tube lines accessible from stations within a 10 minute walk from our house.

There is even a ferry pier on the Thames roughly half an hour away, a great way to get home on a summer evening when I’m not in a hurry.

London ferry
Image credit: alboober
For those odd occasions when we do need a car there is a pay-by-the-hour car club car located about a kilometre away in one direction, and for those occasional weekends away there is also a car rental firm about the same distance away in the other direction.

Both options beat the hell out of the £3,000+ per year the AA estimates it costs the average car owner just for the privilege of owning a vehicle. Fuel, parking, and running costs are on top of that amount!

A road congested with traffic does not lead to happiness

Next I pointed out that the traffic is just plain nasty where we live, and if we had a car we’d feel compelled to use it. That would see vast chunks of our weekends vanish while stuck in traffic watching pedestrians out for a leisurely stroll beat us from one set of traffic lights to the next.

Definitely not my idea of fun!

Physical stores are so 1990s

Lastly I observed that since just about everything I typically buy is available on Amazon, or from the friendly neighbourhood Ocado grocery delivery man, that it takes an unusual purchase to actually require us to visit a physical store to purchase something we would then struggle to carry home.

He was either convinced by my arguments, or (more likely) he got sick of listening to me talk and drifted off in search of something more fun to do.

Why are Audi's seemingly always driven by dickheads?

The next morning I was walking my son to school when we were nearly run over by some dickhead driving a shiny black Audi at great speed down the rat run that can be our street. My son’s reaction was “wow, that car is amazing!”, mine was to demonstrate my mastery universal sign language while volubly questioning the parentage and intelligence of the driver.

That night (in an underhanded yet predictable attempt to postpone his bed time) my son asked what my dream car would be. He had been going on about the Audi from that morning, the Ferrari that sometimes parks on our street on the weekends, and the McLaren we had recently seen parked outside a new apartment complex in Kensington.

What is your perfect dream car?

The blogosphere is full of articles about what kind of car people who have achieved FIRE drive... apparently copying their choice of vehicle may magically result in copying their financial success.

Unfortunately the majority of those choices are much closer to the practical/sensible/boring end of the spectrum, so fell well short of meeting the "dream car" criteria.

I thought about the question for a little while.

Not too old...

I’d always liked the 1960s era MGB Roadsters and the original "Italian Job" style Mini Cooper S (actually the model in the remake are very fun to drive too).

MGB RoadsterMini Cooper S
Image credit: Georg SanderImage credit: Signag
Too old he said.

Not too expensive...

I quite fancied the current generation Jaguar XJ type, the Jeep Wrangler, and the horribly impractical yet oh so fun looking Koenigsegg One.

Jaguar XJJeep WranglerKoenigsegg One
Image credit: Jaguar MENAImage credit: DVS1mnImage credit: Michelin Live UK
He was mildly impressed with the Jag, and slightly more so with Koenigsegg, but when he challenged me on whether I would actually ever buy one I was forced to admit that I would not.

"So what dream car would you actually pay money for?" He demanded in exasperation. "Why can't you be like the other fathers, and go for something normal like a BMW Z4 or a Mercedes AMG?"

There is a reason this site is called Cantankerous.Life!

Just right!

I thought about this some more, then grinned.

I would buy a 1974 model Volkswagon Kombi van...
... extended with a Doubleback...
... fitted with all the cool bits from a Tesla model S, like the battery packs, dual motor, all wheel drive, autopilot, and so on...
... rendered civilised with great insulation, sound proofing, heating/air-conditioning...
... and given a grown up version of the “Pimp my ride” treatment to install a great little kitchen, super comfortable seats and bed, clever tardis-like storage and electrics, and generally make it fun to travel/camp in.

VW CamperDoubleback moduleTesla Model S
Image credit: Bernard SpraggImage credit: DoublebackImage credit: Mariordo59

So what?

The end result? A fun weekender that can go drive itself from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 2.5 seconds while I’m in back making myself a toastie and writing blog posts!

The moral of this story is that you don't need to settle for the least offensive choice from a menu of bad options. Strive for what you want, don't accept anything less, and don't let the naysayers and Jones' dictate your decisions.

My son laughed, conceded that it was indeed a cool dream vehicle, though one he wouldn’t be seen dead in at school drop off time. He wryly observed that I’d likely be riding the big red bus for quite some time to come.

He is probably right.


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