RE: Prior Convictions: Till death do us part

RE: Prior Convictions: Till death do us part

Friday 2nd February

Prior Convictions: Till death do us part

One life, one manufacturer, but all of their cars - what will it be?



Question: If you could only drive one brand's cars for the rest of your life, which brand would it be?

It's a fairly trivial 'desert island cars' kinda question, granted. But I don't necessarily think the answer is trivial, for reasons I'll come back to.

In the meantime, though, as I imagine it, you'd have access to any car from one car maker, from today's range or from any point in its history. And as time goes on, you can drive whatever new models it introduces. The model you wanted to drive would just be there whenever you wanted to drive somewhere, free, fuelled, and in perfect factory condition.

I'm thinking road cars, btw, not racing cars, although homologation specials would be OK.


And when I say 'brand', I mean individual brand, not group or any affiliates. So if you chose BMW, as well you might, you'd get M cars but not Minis or Alpinas. No modifications, re-imaginings and so on, either. It's stock, factory fresh cars, and that's it, for life.

So who's it to be?

I don't think the list of contenders would be a very lengthy one. Wonderful though the idea of driving some sports cars is, what about when you wanted to go to the tip? What happens if you get sciatica as a dotard? Bravo if you think you can drive only a Caterham between now and the day you croak, but I'm not taking the cat to the vet's in one.

A Porsche, though, I suspect one could quite easily manage. I suppose you'd have to really like 911s, but it's mostly all there in the historic or current range: supercars, sports cars, convertibles, family wagons, 4x4s.


Mercedes-Benz and, to a lesser extent, BMW, have it broader, more diverse. It wouldn't seem a particular hardship even if you could only select just one decade of their respective cars to drive.

Which leaves, in my mind, two others: Ford and Toyota. Toyota nails practicality and ruggedness, might seem a bit light on the supercar front but there was the GT One roadgoing Le Mans car, the 2000 GT is achingly lovely and it has had some belting small sports cars over time.

Ford has no fewer than two roadgoing Le Mans cars, another pastiche of one and all the ruggedness and practicality you could want, too. It has Mustangs, the impossibly good Racing Puma, and what I think is colloquially known as 'a shit ton' of wicked rally and touring car derived specials. It might not have ever made anything as plush as Mercedes, but you'd never be bored, which I suppose is part of the appeal.


I could um, and ah and ruminate about this - and occasionally on a road trip, with a mate alongside, I probably will - for years. Because while it seems like - is - a trivial question, I think the answer tells you quite a lot. What you're really deciding is not just what you'd like to drive, but who, in all history, has consistently made the most desirable cars in the world.

Today I'm erring towards Mercedes-Benz, with Toyota a close second. But tomorrow those could quite easily be reversed. And the day after it could quite easily be somebody else.

[Images: Karissa Hosek, Patrick Ernzen and Darin Schnabel for RM Auctions]

Author
Discussion

WTFWT

Original Poster:

713 posts

155 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
Lancia.

One of the few times Top Gear got it right.

cerb4.5lee

10,115 posts

112 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
I think it would be Ford for me, I love their back catalogue of XR/RS models, and I love Mustangs and I'd have fun in a Fiesta/Focus ST.

stuckmojo

1,921 posts

120 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
I was about to say Porsche but it has to be Mercedes. Not a sector in which they haven't delivered the best at least once through their journey

99dndd

961 posts

21 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
Audi could be a decent shout, with the R8 ticking the supercar box, the TT ticking the weekend car box and a lovely range of fast saloons and estates.

Fury1630

377 posts

159 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
WTFWT said:
Lancia.

One of the few times Top Gear got it right.
I think there was a built in assumption that you wanted to arrive smile

Ford for me. RS200 most of the time, Transit for everything else.
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pti

978 posts

76 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
Porsche, for me. All bases covered.

julian64

12,412 posts

186 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
TVR

Only because I can put up with driving an impractical car, getting wet, stranded at the side of the road. Its a bloody pain, but I'm trying to imagine a world where they were never created. How vanilla everything else seems in comparison.

In fact probably ten years of a TVR and then just give me a bicycle when they went out of production. It'd probably be worth it.

GiveItSomeWellie

2,612 posts

128 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
Jaguar

Turbobanana

1,043 posts

133 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
WTFWT said:
Lancia.

One of the few times Top Gear got it right.
Good choice, but it's all back catalogue - there won't be a lot of future material, will there?

AppleJuice

1,504 posts

17 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
Rover (P5/P6 and 1998 75/2001 75 Tourer/2005 V8)
• Refined
• High quality
• Comfortable + waftiness in spades
• RWD (75: V8 only)
• Available with V8 propulsion and an automatic gearbox
• Can carry stuff to the tip if needed and tow 1500 kg+ (Tourer)
• Classical styling inside and out

Edited by AppleJuice on Friday 2nd February 16:47

Harry_mac

33 posts

31 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
Has to be Alfa romeo:

8c
Guilia QV
4c
any number of the back catalogue.

Second would be Porsche:
997 GT3 RS 4.0
Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo


Shiv_P

1,299 posts

37 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
Porsche/Audi

irocfan

16,915 posts

122 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
I'd be looking between:

Ford
Mercedes
General Motors (if not allowed Chevy)

jtopps

152 posts

86 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
I'd make a case for Nissan personally. Huge amount of variety going on there. in roughly chronological order you've got:

60's and 70's: Lovely Hakosuka GT-R, 240Z, Datsun Roadster and original Silvia.

80's: All manner of great boxy JDM saloon cars such as Cedrics, Gloria's Laurels with varying degrees of RB engine coolness, Also Nissan D21 pickups and patrols etc. 89 was also the introduction of the R32 GTR and Z32 and I own a Z32 which I love. If it can be race cars as well as road cars then you also have the beginning of the nuts turbo le-mans cars such as the ones from "that video" where Blundell rips his radio receiver out after being asked to slow down, the Tomica R30 Skyline and mad bewinged S12 Silvia.

90's: A continuation of before, 4x4's Pickups, Skylines, Z cars, Pulsar GTiR, Silvias the le mans cars and the R390 le man car and road car. The Millen IMSA 300ZX and the various Japanese Super GT skylines from the R32 to the R34. Also interesting little oddities such as the March Superturbo, S-Cargo, Pao and Figaro. Or even a Nissan Rasheen (google it).

00's: Unfortunately here's where it starts to wane a bit, Colin McRae's involvement in the Dakar, the R35 GTR, 350Z (mainly god at turning petrol into noise) 370Z etc. Oh and the Juke-R and Micra 160SR I suppose which was a fun little thing.

10's: Here's where it really falls a bit flat, will we get a new GTR or Z? Crossovers are dull and they don't really build any interesting 4x4's anymore. I'm sure there's a few Japan specific quirky things but not anything to get super excited about. There's also the Leaf which I'll get roasted for saying but is actually a decent electric car. Hopefully things will pick up soon, who knows.

I don't expect future models to be great with this choice but I'm sure they will provide perfectly adequate daily transport and if ever a new GTR comes out I'm sure it will blow the doors off everything at launch like the R35 is. I'd use the new cars as a daily transport means though whilst enjoying the vast breadth and quirkiness of their back catalogue. Gratuitious photo of my Z32 to try and support my clearly biased argument. wink



Edited by jtopps on Friday 2nd February 12:53


Edited by jtopps on Friday 2nd February 12:56

Esceptico

1,435 posts

41 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
Mercedes? Ford?

The article says that any car from past or present would be ready for you to drive, fuelled etc

And no-one has said Ferrari? 250 SWB, 360CS, Daytona

There is even the FF for family duties (if someone else is filling the tank and taking the depreciation!)

eein

296 posts

197 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
If you really try to cover all the possible uses you quickly end up gravitating towards the large manufacturers, as the article does.

I'd suggest adding a limitation of 3 historical cars (ie no longer current range), 1 current and 1 future based on your prediciton of a future vehicle they will likely make. This opens up a lot more smaller brands, and forces thought on how you'd cover all the bases. You could consier it one per decade of your driving life.

Having said all that I'm not sure what I'd pick.... I've made it harder... need more time to think.... doh !

Wammer

230 posts

120 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
jtopps said:
I'd make a case for Nissan personally. Huge amount of variety going on there. in roughly chronological order you've got:

60's and 70's: Lovely Hakosuka GT-R, 240Z, Datsun Roadster and original Silvia.

80's: All manner of great boxy JDM saloon cars such as Cedrics, Gloria's Laurels with varying degrees of RB engine coolness, Also Nissan D21 pickups and patrols etc. 89 was also the introduction of the R32 GTR and Z32 and I own a Z32 which I love. If it can be race cars as well as road cars then you also have the beginning of the nuts turbo le-mans cars such as the ones from "that video" where Blundell rips his radio receiver out after being asked to slow down, the Tomica R30 Skyline and mad bewinged S12 Silvia.

90's: A continuation of before, 4x4's Pickups, Skylines, Z cars, Pulsar GTiR, Silvias the le mans cars and the R390 le man car and road car. The Millen IMSA 300ZX and the various Japanese Super GT skylines from the R32 to the R34. Also interesting little oddities such as the March Superturbo, S-Cargo, Pao and Figaro. Or even a Nissan Rasheen (google it).

00's: Unfortunately here's where it starts to wane a bit, Colin McRae's involvement in the Dakar, the R35 GTR, 350Z (mainly god at turning petrol into noise) 370Z etc. Oh and the Juke-R and Micra 160SR I suppose which was a fun little thing.

10's: Here's where it really falls a bit flat, will we get a new GTR or Z? Crossovers are dull and they don't really build any interesting 4x4's anymore. I'm sure there's a few Japan specific quirky things but not anything to get super excited about. There's also the Leaf which I'll get roasted for saying but is actually a decent electric car. Hopefully things will pick up soon, who knows.

I don't expect future models to be great with this choice but I'm sure they will provide perfectly adequate daily transport and if ever a new GTR comes out I'm sure it will blow the doors off everything at launch like the R35 is. I'd use the new cars as a daily transport means though whilst enjoying the vast breadth and quirkiness of their back catalogue. Gratuitious photo of my Z32 to try and support my clearly biased argument. wink



Edited by jtopps on Friday 2nd February 12:53


Edited by jtopps on Friday 2nd February 12:56
I completely agree, Nissan have covered every size and type of vehicle from small engine city cars to V8 Monster trucks.

havoc

23,842 posts

167 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
Hmmm - not original but a nice idea to resurrect.

- Porsche are maybe a little TOO obvious, but with that back-catalogue they've got to be the default to vary from...too many hits to mention

- Merc don't quite do it for me - too few hits, too many auto-boxes. Would probably give you the most varied choice though...S65 to SLS to SLK55 (with a C63 507-wagon for the labradors and a Hammer for old times' sake)...

- ...which leaves BMW as "the other German brand" - M1 / E30M3 / Z8 / E61 M5 for family duties would be a nice mix! Might even trump Porsche.


Outside of Germany:-
- Toyota is an interesting idea, but I'd actually propose Lexus as better - 2000GT aside, what Toyota can compete with the LF-A and IS-F? And is there a better 'family car' than the LS?

- Lotus is an increasingly appealing idea - Lotus Carlton for family duties, Esprit to live out your Bond fantasies, Exige V6 for track and of course original Elan for...well, whenever you wanted, really.

- which leaves me pondering Honda - they've still not recovered their purple-patch from the 1990s, but that would still give you a Legend for the boring stuff, a DC2 Integra and a Mk2 CRX for back-roads and track, an S2000 for sunny days and the obligatory NSX for road-trips. And maybe an S800 squirreled away in a corner of the garage, as partial compensation for not having an Elan... Nah - better than the other Japanese competition (just), but still outgunned...


scratchchin

So - BMW, Lotus or Porsche?!?


Edit: I'm ignoring 'off-road' cars altogether, but that's just personal bias.

Edited by havoc on Friday 2nd February 13:35

bluesierra

29 posts

28 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
Ford is a good shout. You might never feel cossetted inside, but the range of Mustangs, GT40, GT (2005 and 2017), RS200, Focus RSs and the like would keep you amused.
And Nissan is a bit leftfield but makes perfect sense.

For me it's tough to see much beyond Audi. You have the older bangers, RS2, B7 RS4, R8; A2 for the city runabout, and RS6 when you need to go to the skip...

Dr Interceptor

4,847 posts

128 months

Friday 2nd February
quotequote all
McLaren....

570GT to pootle around in on the mundane stuff, then a choice of the 675LT, 720S, F1 and P1 as the weekend toys.

I'm they'll produce some nice stuff going forward too.