Lost in a Dream
We all do this. You're enjoying a nice lunch with your girl, hearing the latest about that one bitch at her office and that comment your mom made a couple of weeks ago that she's still stewing on. While she's gassing on and on, you throw in a some well-cued "uh-huhs" and "yeah, I knows," all the while thinking about your dream garage.
The dream garage. It's that place that when- not if-you have the money, you're gonna build and stuff with the finest rolling machinery your means can produce. So it was that I found myself with the wife one day at a sidewalk caf in Long Beach, watching a variety of Boxsters, Escalades and Benzes slide through shopping district traffic. As I got to thinking about my current dream garage (cars come and go), I realized you gotta set some boundaries or else the list can spiral out of control.
So I laid down a few rules for myself while the wife was telling me a fascinating story about one of her friends whom I've never met.
Rule 1: 10-car/$1 million maximum. Were I to someday amass the wealth of a Bill Gates (which could happen if I'd just apply myself) I still wouldn't get into the fleet business. A guy only has time for so many cars and I'm not addicted to the collecting. Collectors are usually such bores anyway, like those guys who buy loads of vinyl records and walk the ends of the Internet to find some rare Blue Note reissue in Tokyo, but never set a needle to the groove to play the damn things.
Rule 2: This being a Honda mag, three of your fleet must be Honda or Acura.
Rule 3: A maximum of three trucks/SUVs.
Rule 4: The car must be a production-based street machine. No Mugen LeMans cars.
My Garage: I'm a fan of sedans (and General Motors, apparently). I prefer sedan styling over coupes. I left the NSX and S2000 off my list, not because they don't deserve a stall in the dream garage. They just seem too obvious. Same with Ferrari, as much as I'd like to own one someday. Herewith are my 10 cars.
1: Integra Type R: A no-brainer. Perhaps Honda's most direct line between driver and asphalt in a production car ever. And that exhaust note...
2: Cadillac CTS-V: I can't put my finger on why I like this car, but I do. I learned to drive on a '77 Eldorado, so maybe it's a nostalgia trip. Sharp styling, Corvette power, leather, nav, etc.-the perfect "three hours to Vegas" car.
3: Acura MDX: As a former rap music executive who encouraged Rick Rubin to check out Run DMC at a Bronx dive one night, I'm also a fan of Cadillac's Escalade. Still, I've found that an MDX with the right pair of 20s allows the wife or me to roll in stealth. Off-road? Yeah, sometimes, like when they have to park it on the lawn at Hef's mansion.
4: 1967 Corvette Sting Ray ragtop: kills anything next to it, whether from Maranello or Munich. I'm not talking about power output. Just sheer class and purpose. The only car for a clear, sunny day of driving along the coastline or back into the canyons.
5: 1996 Chevy Impala Super Sport: another bruising sedan. The Vegas alternate car.
6: 1972 BMW 2002tii: screw the Mini, man. This is the car that every hipster wishes he/she could afford to maintain.
7: Chevy Silverado: every guy needs a truck. Hauls lumber and the bodies of sworn enemies with equal aplomb. No camper shell.
8: Porsche Carrera 4S: It's a shame that many Porsche owners also happen to be enormous douche bags. But what's not to love about this car? They just keep getting better. I don't need turbo. Just lemme hear that 3.6-liter flat-six sing and Lord don't let me lift off throttle when I'm deep in the corner. My father, who incidentally is not a douche bag, owned a 911SC when I was a kid. I cried when he sold that car.
9: Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34): This burly, stomping all-wheel beast is perfect for being so un-Japanese. Nissan gathered its finest engineers, packed them off to a remote R&D facility with generous amounts of speed, acid and Wild Turkey and asked them to "interpret" the musclecar. My theory anyway.
10: 1978 Honda Prelude: pristinely maintained or expertly restored. Simply the most O.G. of all the old Honda machines.