Last week I asked you to pick four cars for a $500,000 collection. Your many and diverse answers can be seen below this blog.
This week I’ll tell you what my three-car collection would be, and why.
I’m not setting a price boundary for myself, as market value has nothing to do with why I chose these three.
As I reflect back on all the cars I’ve owned (and the 10 I still have), the cars that mean the most to me are the ones that have spoken in the clearest voices. At the same time, they are cars I have put thousands of miles on.
If I had to have just three cars out of the dozens I have owned, they would be a Land Rover D90 turbodiesel, a Lotus Elise and an Alfa Romeo Duetto.
The Duetto is the least extreme of these cars. Our Alfa Giulia Spider Veloce is similar in many ways, but when the 1600 Veloce engine hits 4,500 rpm it explodes in a frenzy of delightful noises. The Duetto is more calm.
But aside from those rare moments of driving in anger, the Duetto is in every way a better car for touring. It has a great heater and a spacious cockpit. It also has looks that get better every year. I peg its value at $50k–$75k.
Our D90 was a family favorite. It offered a raw, unfiltered off-road experience. With the center differential locked and the ARB front locker, you could basically go straight up a hill in compound low.
It was noisy and rough riding, but we didn’t care. Our Disco II (with manual center-diff lock linkage installed) is far more comfortable, but far less engaging. The D90 is rough, and hence a $30k rig.
The Elise stands alone among all sports cars. It is light, nimble, fast and reliable. I find it comfortable, although others don’t. I’ve put 10,000 miles on ours. The A/C is workable, the top seal well enough, and it has room for a couple of soft-sided bags in the trunk. The Toyota engine is a plus.
In a certain sense, the Elise is like a civilized, modern-era Giulia Spider Veloce. Market is $40k–$50k and rising for this one with 21,000 miles.
All three vehicles have a distinct personality, they are good at what they were born to do, and are visually intriguing. Never once when you are behind the wheel do you forget you are motoring in a purpose-built machine.
What do you think of my choices?
Next week, I’ll talk about the cars that didn’t make the cut — the ones I was excited to buy but not excited enough to keep.