What's your top 5 car bucket list?
Here's the ones I could stretch to driving
When I was growing up the phrase “kicked the bucket” was used as a euphemism for having died. Not as poetic as, say, Dylan Thomas and “Do not go gentle into that good night”, but appropriate for semi-rural Australia.
Many years later I came across the related term “bucket list”, which are those things we’d like to do before we kick the old proverbial. It may include places to go, people to meet and foods to eat. For those with niche interests it may include oddities: such as a list of mountains to scale for mountain climbers or courses to play for golfers.
Me – and I suspect many DriveTribe readers – it’s a list of cars we’d like to drive.
Koenigsegg Agera RS - a Bucket List Apex (By Ben - Agera R, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=66494815)
The real versus unreal bucket list
There are cars in my bucket list that I’ll never drive because of rarity, location or whatever combination of factors. This means, unless Christian von Koenigsegg reads this article and has a brain snap, I'll never enjoy driving a Koenigsegg Agera R -- the pinnacle of my car bucket list. That being said, there are many fine autos on my bucket list that are possible for me to experience given either will, time, pleading with a local salesperson or financial consolidation.
So here’s a list of my top 5 bucket list cars. These are the cars I’ve a realistic chance of experiencing before I kick the bucket and, spoiler alert, they're all sports cars.
If you're going to choose a 911 it may as well be a GT3 RS (By Matti Blume - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=67213476)
Porsche 911... any 911
The Porsche 911 is THE iconic sports car.
I was in early primary school when I first saw one. At the time, and being blissfully ignorant of real cars over matchbox ones, I thought of it as a fancy VW Beetle. Oh, the sacrileges of youth. Today I would have sent my younger self to detention for such a statement.
When I got older I realised how special the 911 was. Later, when I was able to buy my first sports car it was a Porsche, although a Porsche 924 because that was all I could afford. I loved that car and enjoyed the fact the seats (plus some other parts) were identical to a 911. Pity the performance wasn't, but that's another story.
Is it power, dynamics, or control... or something else?
I know there are a number of 911 models and each has different driving characteristics. I know this means driving one model is not, necessarily, like driving another; but at this stage in life I’d like to drive one… any one. Even a 996.
Can this be done?
Well, it is possible to buy a 996. I note, with interest, that my local Porsche dealer has quite a few 911s on their lot. Perhaps a test drive is in order? Outright ownership of a good second hand one is within budget, although to buy the better cars I'd need to give up any thoughts of a comfortable retirement and resign myself to living my final years eating canned baked beans.
A must car on any decent bucket list.
Porsche 928 S4 - something to pine for (By Andrew Bone from Weymouth, England - Porsche 928S4 (1990), CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=63596643)
I loved this car from my last year in high school in 1979, throughout university and into my working years. I even visited John Newell Porsche in Sydney, when it existed, and got a 928 S4 sales brochure… I wish I still had that brochure. The brochure was beautiful, almost a mini-book, with wonderful photographs plus scintillating statistics.
One statistic I remember is the Porsche 928 S4 could accelerate and decelerate from 0-100km/h-0 in nine and somethingth seconds. Today, I can’t remember what that “somethingth” was – I think it was 0.6. But a 0-100-0 km/h in about 9.6 seconds was impressive back in the early 1990s.
Today, my 2010 E92 M3 can probably do the 0-100-0 km/h in under 8 seconds. That's my guess and please feel free to enlighten me if I'm wrong. The point is, today a number of modern cars that you can buy for ordinary money are faster, safer and, depending on trim, more comfortable than a Porsche 928 S4. Few of them, though, are styled with such elegance.
I would love to drive a Porsche 928 S4 and, if I ever sold my E92 M3, I might even buy one. Maybe… just maybe.
Ferrari 328 GTS - although I preferred the GTB with removable roof bit (By Alexandre Prévot from Nancy, France - Ferrari 328 GTS, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48903101)
Yes, I’m a sucker for the Ferrari 328 and I’ve always wanted to drive one. I’ve seen several “in the metal”, so to speak, and they are oddly smaller than one might imagine. As with most cars from the 1980s, their acceleration times plus top speed are now outdone by some hot hatches. 0-100km/h in about 6 seconds. Top speed of 267km/h.
But who cares about statistics? I love the Pinafrina styling; I love the slotted gear shifts; I love the illogical Italian cabin ergonomics. I want to drive one and thus it’s on my bucket list. I could have even bought one in 2010.
During the global financial crisis I recall several Australia-delivered 328s being on sale for around $80,000. I thought seriously about buying one, but didn’t. Which is a shame since good examples, particularly Australian delivered, are now going for $200K or more. I could've bought one and, even paying for the engine out service, made a profit today by selling it.
Figures. At any rate, this is my “one that got away” story.
1991 Honda NSX... correct colour... correct pop up headlights (By Charles01 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6692192)
I remember getting into an argument when the Honda NSX came out. The gist of which was would the Japanese overtake the Italians as the makers of elegant and fast sports cars? Back in the early 1990s it was a tough call, but with the later revitalisation of Ferrari, Lamborghini and (to a lesser extent in my view) Maserati; the Italians won. For those who were wondering... I was backing the traditional Italian fares eventually coming out on top.
But it didn't look like that would happen at the time. The NSX was a "handsome" car -- I'd struggle to call it beautiful -- but the reviews indicated it drove well, was reliable and relatively inexpensive to maintain. The exception being the body panels made of aluminium. You could even fit golf clubs in the back.
Now with prices around $100-$150,000 AUD; they are no more expensive that a BMW M2 Competition. But would one buy a Honda NSX over a BMW M2 Competition? Possibly. Although the M2 is faster with better dynamics and holds more luggage, the Honda NSX won't depreciate like an African swallow carrying a coconut.
Besides, who can argue against tuning by Senna?
Aston Martin DB9... before they made the grill hideous (By Alexandre Prévot from Nancy, France - Aston Martin DB9, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49391817)
Aston Martin DB9
I first saw an Aston Martin DB9 in 2004, when someone inadvertently backed into my driveway thinking it was a carpark. I was smittened by the car and rushed outside to speak with the driver. I offered my driveway as a permanent parking bay, since I lived close to the centre of town, but the man politely refused. He blushed and apologised before roaring off, leaving me with an after image on my retina of the beautiful British car.
I sometimes torment myself by looking up their prices and, as of today, there's a 2005 Aston Martin DB9 for sale for $70,000AUD. Bargain or what?
Well, it's the "or what" that worries me. I’ve been inoculated against British “engineering” by having owned a Triumph 2500TC and, given all the stories of woe I’ve heard from Aston Martin owner sites, it looks like British reliability didn't improved much into the early 2000s.
I know that some Aston Martin owners will blast me, but I would love to drive a DB9...
... just never, ever own one.
Subaru SVX... quirky, almost quick and didn't sell well. Ticks all the boxes (By Charles01 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15019378)
The 5 Honourable mentions of (possibly) affordable cars that didn’t make it
First generation Audi R8s; Mitsubishi 3000GT; Lotus Esprit (S4); 1990s BMW 850i; and Suburu SVX.
This list may be churlish, after all I’ve driven and even owned cars that may be on other people’s bucket lists, yet therein lies the intrigue. What is one person’s daily driver may be another’s bucket list car.
So, what’s your top 5 bucket list of cars? Feel free to comment below.