Fantasy Classic Car Buying

We’ve all shared this experience.  Thumbing through the classifieds of our favorite classic car magazines, we continuously find ourselves wiping  drool from the laminated pages of the magazine as we can’t help ourselves but become as excited as a dog with a bowl full of red meat by the cars we are seeing.  Lotus Elan here, Porsche 911 RSR there, a pristine Shelby Cobra 427 sitting smack-dab in the middle.  You might as well have picked up a Playboy.

But there’s a problem.  While there are those lucky ones, many of us simply don’t have the money to pour out tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of pounds (or dollars) into buying one of these cars.  Let alone the cost of just running one.

This happened to me just the other day.  I was browsing through the classifieds of the March 2013 edition of Classic & Sports Car Magazine with the same ooh’s and aah’s one would normally hear from a spectator at a street football event in France.  It was not long after, however, that I came to the sad realisation that the odds of me ever actually owning one of these cars were thinner than a supermodel’s shins.

However, while watching the TopGear episode in which James May finally realises his dream of driving the brilliant Triumph TR6, Richard Hammond gave me a great idea.  The idea was of a new game that could (somewhat) cure the oppressive depression one gets when they realise they can’t own the awe-inspiring cars found in the classified ads.  I call it Fantasy Classic Car Buying, and here’s how it goes.

The materials needed are a pen, a piece of paper, classified ads, and a classic car encyclopedia.  Using the classifieds as your source for the cars of choice, you must set a budget for yourself and choose which cars you would want the most for whatever amount your budget is set at.

After choosing the cars, write them all on a sheet of paper and whip out the car encyclopedia.  It’s time to do some research.  The next bit is a little like what your teachers told you to do on tests back at school.  Using the car encyclopedia as the way to learn about all there is to know about each of the cars, use the process of elimination and (painfully) cross off the names of the cars that didn’t quite make the cut.

Eventually, if you’re not so sentimental that you’re incapable of being able to pick and choose (like I am), you should end up with two cars and then, ultimately, the car you would choose that is within your budget.  Winner, winner chicken dinner.

Not only is this a great way for a petrolhead to pass time, it’s also proper fun, especially if you play with a mate or two.  And who knows, later on down the road you may find yourself able to spend, say, £15,000 on a classic car of your choice, and that 1972 MGB that you thought was the best car on your list might just be available.

For me, a 1986 Mercedes Benz 280 SL was the favourite car on my list of classics that included a Porsche 928 GT, Jaguar XJ-S, and a ‘72 Alfa Romeo Spider 1750, just to name a few.  But if it was your list, what cars would you choose, and what would be the classic that’s your ticket to the fantasy owner’s club?

Read the forum post at PistonHeads and participate in the conversation.

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