Seven Days of Dream Garages: Day One by Jason Siu
Forget the 12 days of Christmas. This is the seven days of dream garages.
Trading partridges in pear trees for horsepower in sexy sheetmetal, starting today each AutoGuide editor will reveal their list of the 10 cars we’ll be asking Santa for this year, giving a little insight into our automotive preferences.
Now 10 may seem like a lot to have in a dream garage, but narrowing down the list is harder than you think. When you’re dreaming, you want to dream big – but when it comes down to it, you start to think hard about which cars you realistically want to have.
So to kick things off, my list starts off with a Japan-spec Honda Integra Type-R. I can already hear what you’re thinking, “Wait, what? A dream car list and one of them is a Honda?”
Well, you know the saying: You never forget your first love.
Powered by a high-revving 1.8-liter B-series engine, the Type-R is one of the most balanced, best-handling front-wheel drive cars ever made. Its rarity in America has turned it into a collectible, and finding a mint condition one in today’s market is nearly impossible.
In fact, finding a low mileage Type-R will cost you nearly what the vehicle’s MSRP was when it first came out – if not more. So why not the Acura model? Well, I’ve always had a soft spot for the design on the Japan-only front end on the Integra, it’s simply a design that can hold its own even with today’s modern cars.
For years, automotive enthusiasts in America lusted after the idea of owning a Nissan Skyline GT-R. The R34 is arguably one of the greatest sports cars to ever come out of Japan, but it wasn’t until the R35 GT-R came out that Americans finally benefited from the presence of “Godzilla”, the nickname given to the GT-R model.
When the production of the R34 Skyline GT-R ended, the Japanese automaker decided to separate the GT-R moniker from the Skyline name and gave the world the first global GT-R model. Having been improved yearly since its release, the GT-R is one of the best sports cars on the market for around $100,000.
Aston Martin’s latest and greatest not only returns the Vanquish name to its lineup, but lives up to its billing. Powered by a 6.0-liter V12 engine, the Vanquish has an impressive 565 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque while inheriting some carbon fiber goodies from the British automaker’s One-77 exotic.
The new flagship from Aston Martin is the perfect car to take out on the weekdays, combining luxury and performance with an exhaust note that is simply unmistakable once it’s on the open road.
Known for building some of the world’s finest luxury sports cars, there are plenty of Porsche models to choose from if you’re outfitting a dream garage. My choice is the Carrera GT, a model that was produced in 2004-2007 in limited quantities.
A total of 1,270 Carrera GTs were produced, with less than half making it to America. Lurking in the rear is a 5.7-liter V10 with 612 hp, but it’s the carbon fiber monocoque and subframe along with its race-inspired suspension that makes the Carrera GT a true vehicle to desire.
Far from being a driver’s car, the Rolls-Royce Ghost is the pinnacle of sedans that doesn’t compromise performance for luxury. It may be heavy at close to 6,500 pounds, but the Ghost is hardly a slouch with its 6.6-liter V12 engine with 563 hp and 575 lb-ft of torque. My ultimate dream garage doesn’t have much room for sedans, but if there was ever a need to comfortably seat four, the Ghost would be it.
A timeless classic from Ferrari lands in fifth place on my list, a GT car produced by the Italian automaker from 1962 to 1964. To this day, the Ferrari 250 GTO is well respected among car collectors worldwide and is one of the most sought after vehicles in history. Recently, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO made for none other than Sir Stirling Moss sold for an astonishing $35 million, and I’m sure it’s worth every penny.
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series recently made an appearance at the 2012 LA Auto Show and it was arguably one of the best looking cars on the show floor. The styling that AMG has designed for its Black Series models is peerless, though it’s more subdued on the SLS AMG than say the SL 65 Black Series.
Regardless, the 6.3-liter V8 under the hood now pumps out 622 hp and 468 lb-ft of torque, but it’s the aerodynamic improvements and lightened load that make this a true track car for the road. The generous use of carbon fiber frees up an additional 150 lbs compared to the standard SLS AMG model, but it’s the aggressive good looks that would look right at home in my dream garage.
Every dream garage needs a proper convertible. The Audi R8 GT Spyder fits the billing as a perfect daily driver despite its exotic influence. The German automaker has done a fantastic job making its R8 model a comfortable vehicle on the road while still offering 560 hp from its 5.2-liter V10 engine. Its gorgeous style truly makes it unique in a sea of Italian exotics, while the subtle carbon fiber accents keep it from being over the top.
Ah, the Lexus LFA, a super car full of controversy. Is it worth its price tag?
Having had the fortunate opportunity to get behind the wheel of one at California Speedway with driver Scott Pruett in the passenger seat instructing me, there’s no doubt in my mind that the LFA would have a spot in my dream garage. The 4.8-liter V10 engine in the Nurburgring Edition LFA has been pushed to 562 hp, but it’s the amazing handling characteristics while maintaining an impressively smooth ride that makes the LFA such a work of art. Even at speeds excess of 140 mph, the LFA retains a luxurious ride that makes you forget just how fast you’re going.
Topping my list of vehicles in my dream garage is none other than the Koenigsegg Agera R. The super car hardly needs an introduction holding an assortment of production car records thanks to its twin-turbocharged, 5.0-liter V8 powerplant. The engine is rated at 960 hp on regular pump gas, but can hit 1,140 hp on E85. It boasts a 2.6 pounds per horsepower weight-to-power ratio and can hit 60 mph in a mere 2.9 seconds.
The Swedish automaker also claims that the Agera R can hit a top speed of 273 mph, though I get the idea that there’s plenty more to enjoy about the Agera R than just merely top speed and acceleration.
Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at AutoGuide.com saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.
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