Previously owned: Ford Cortina, Vauxhall Cavalier SRi 1.8l and 2.0l, Vauxhall Astra GTE, Metro GTi, more Ford Escorts, Sierras, Fiestas and Mondeos than I can list, Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworth 4x4, Ford Escort Cosworth, Ford Racing Puma, Jaguar XJ8, numerous Jaguar X-Types, VW Golf GTI Mk5, Honda Accord, Seat Leon FR x2 , Ford Ranger, Mazda B2500.
Bikes including SS50, CB125T, XL100, XL250, CD200, CM200, CG125, CBX250, CB400, RG500, GPz500, GPz550 x 2 , CBX550, GSX750, CBX750, VFR750 x5, VFR800, VFR800 VTEC, ZZR100, CB1100R
Currently owned: Toyota Hilux, Fiesta ST, VFR800, Fireblade
On the shortlist: Ford Mustang, Honda CRX, Ducati 999, Golf Mk7 R, Jaguar XJR
I had the pleasure of working at Jaguar from 1983 to 2002 and when I did my first £100K garage (70s-2000s) I let this colour my choices heavily. As I've already got those four tucked in the garage, this collection is a bit more diverse.
Ford F150 Lightning
Why I chose it: "If you are going to have an American car, then it really has to be either a muscle car or a pick-up. Also as none of them really go round corners properly (and are too big for British B roads) then it had best make a great noise and go fast in a straight line. The F150 is the quintessential American vehicle being the best seller since 1993 (or so) and currently selling around 900,000 a year! This one fits the bill nicely and at a sensible price; nice condition. 380 ponies, V8 and not much weight on the rear axle - lovely jubbly!"
Rest of Europe: MV Augusta F4
Why I chose it: "One of my rules for car and bike ownership is "nothing French and nothing Italian" - lovely as they might be they are just not as well made and reliable as vehicles from other countries. All my experience of friend's ownership and data I have seen whilst working in the car industry has confirmed that the stereotype is basically true ( I realise I will likely get a load of abuse from French and Italian vehicle lovers at this stage - each to their own I say). So given I had to get something not German I was left with a problem - Seat and Skoda are German really. Saab - nothing there for me. Volvo - an 850T5 as a left field choice. Anyway, I decided to settle with a piece of art. My preference would have been a Ducati 916 but there are none in the classifieds at the moment, so this MV will make a lovely ornament in my living room. It doesn't need to be reliable because I'm only going to look at it!"
Why I chose it: "My cousin had one of these as a track-day car and I was lucky enough to have a couple of goes in it. Fabulous handling and a really practical track-day car; not too hard on tyres and brakes due to its weight and quick enough to match most things despite the modest power. Prefer the N/A to the turbo for the more direct response for and the on the limit handling. I like the inverse snobbery of the Vauxhall badge rather than having an Elise."
Japan: Honda S2000
Why I chose it: "I came within a few minutes of buying one of these when they were first launched in 1999. The engine was such a gem (and still is) and the only thing that stopped me was I got promoted and given a company car. I love this engine and the rest of the car is OK as well. This one is a lovely late model version with the "sorted" handling and with the optional hard top. Perfect as the antithesis of the F150; a high revving sports car for nice summer evenings with the roof down."
Why I chose it: "I've got the 'hot rod' pick-up for when I want to burn rubber in a straight line, the track-day car, the piece of art for the living room and the sports car for sunny days. Now I want a nice "daily driver" to cover ~25,000 miles for work and getting to kart tracks on the weekends. I've got a soft spot for Audi interiors and also the Audi 5-cylinder engine. The handling of the RS3 may be a little inert but it's a lovely place to travel in, blisteringly fast, great all-weather traction and a good balance of size. Big enough for practicality and small enough to be nimble on B-roads. This one is a good colour, with good spec, properly maintained and plenty of warranty left for peace of mind."