Car Lust $100 000 Fantasy Garage Challenge Chris Hafner — Volkswagen Quantum syncro

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$100,000 Fantasy Garage Chris Hafner

When the Dog’s Owner proposed the Fantasy Garage challenge, I was intrigued. Who among us has not dreamed which cars we’d if only we had the funds available? challenge is a license to mentally our old and new favorites, weigh pros and and show our tastes and brand through the creation of a carefully collection.

The genius in this is the $100K value limit. that, we wouldn’t have to keep us tied to reality. all, why add a Mazda to your when you could add a Maybach? Why add a CRX you could add an FXX? But the $100K combined with the requirement to one brand new car, is almost A cool hundred grand like a lot of money, but it doesn’t go as far as one imagine. I could easily a scenario in which two very but still fairly ordinary consume the whole budget, so this into a true garage requires some

I chose to put my own spin on this by laying out a series of tasks I want the cars in my garage to and then picking the cars I would best fill roles. This required a lot of as I shifted resources from one to the next, and leaves me without of my all-time favorites (omitting the 928. E28 BMW M5. and GMC Typhoon was pretty Overall, though, I’m pleased with the results.

in some cases I’m off to listings on Craigslist and eBay a chance that those will be dead fairly My apologies for that, but I’ll try to some of the pertinent details in the so that the story doesn’t too much.

Commuter Car—1988 Colt Vista ($1,995 )

considered: Chevy Volt, Leaf, Volkswagen Quantum Saab 9000 Turbo, CRX, Volkswagen GTI (any


At first I was fixated on a Chevy Volt or Nissan into this slot, to use an electric motor for my slow, commute rather than my 2002 Audi S6. It offends my gas budget and my sense of mechanical to spend more than an per day sitting in my slow stop-and-go with a four-cam, 32-valve V-8 pointlessly a few feet ahead of me. In scenario, an electric car seems a better fit. However, I to stick with a traditional car for a few reasons:

Both the Volt and the take up an outsize portion of my limit compared to the utility bring. I can’t justify such a big percentage of my budget on that I’d be buying just because they fewer moving parts.

The and Leaf have the potential to in terms of running costs, but contest doesn’t reward low costs.

I’m also not satisfied with either Volt doesn’t have a and the Leaf doesn’t have an gas generator

Ultimately I decided on an old the Dodge Colt Vista. and the I think about this the more ideal it is for the commuting The Colt Vista is cheap to cheap to operate, thrifty on has three-row seating, and as an Ur-Mazda 5 mini-minivan can carry a ton of cargo its seats folded down. also available with drive, and it’s not special or enough to spend much worrying about damage or

I’ve been a fan of this motorized Swiss Army for a long time, and $1,995 a very nice-looking example. And I haven’t budgeted for this, at point I could even a turbo Mitsubishi engine in and my humble commuter into a screamer.

The Workhorse—2002 Audi S6 Avant )

Also considered: Cadillac Wagon, Dodge Magnum

The role of the Workhorse, as I’ve it, is to perform all everyday transportation outside of the drudgery of sitting in gridlock. That could hauling kids to birthday serving as a stylish and comfortable tourer on road trips, me around in rain and snow, up bulky Craigslist purchases, and a big smile on my face when the evaporates and I can put the hammer down. people designate minivans or SUVs as their daily but as you can see from my list, I prefer V-8

That choice goes the Fantasy Garage and into as I’ve been daily-driving my real-life 2002 S6 Avant for the 15 months and have been it. It’s smooth, luxurious, comfortable, attractive, utilitarian, trail in deep powder, and its 340 horsepower with a nasty and a boot to the chest. It’s a car, unless you consider its for premium fuel and the maintenance neither of which factor the Fantasy Garage rules.

into the Challenge, I was going to the Cadillac CTS-V Wagon as I think it’s the ultimate expression of everything that I about the S6 Avant, combined absolutely gorgeous Cadillac and American small-block V-8 chutzpah . though, the Cadillac’s nearly MSRP killed its inclusion on my as I couldn’t justify dedicating two-thirds of my budget when my Audi provides 90% of the goodness for a of the price.

This $11,300 value seems a little bit too for me, but I’ll embrace it for the purposes of the At least I hope it’s since I paid significantly than this for the car just a more than a year

Wife’s Car—2013 Fiat 500 )

Also considered: 2003 Accord, Jeep Cherokee, 240DL

My wife displays so interest in cars that the of candidates for this role is short, and the list above every car that my wife has regularly and/or complimented Last year my wife that she thought the new Fiat 500 was she thought it would be fun to drive, and she briefly daydreamed about one, which is enough to the Fiat a slam-dunk choice in category. Plus, as my daughter bigger and bigger, her car seat smaller and smaller, making the 500 an increasingly realistic possibility.

the requirement for a new car in this challenge, be inclined to stick with our Honda Accord. which is roughly $6,400 in Good (a generous appraisal given the it has taken as a family car over the It’s still big, fast, practical, reliable, and a bit around the edges cosmetically, makes it a perfect fit here. my wife likes it, and it would up nearly $10K for the rest of the

Daughter’s Car—1986 Audi GT ($2,200 )

Also considered: 240DL, Volvo 850 Wagon, Car with security guards

my wife, my daughter loves and she has particularly fallen in love my 1986 Audi Coupe GT. she has named Elizabeth. She is lobbying for my Coupe to become her car when she 16, which gives me a great to hold on to it for the next eight

I love my Coupe, as it’s completely and surprisingly reliable, reasonably good mileage, is quick, handles really and is an absolute sweetheart to drive. It was a rock-solid daily driver and for me for a couple of years before I the S6 Avant.

It would fill a role for my daughter, as it’s quick without being and fairly simple to maintain. It also slot into of these other roles in this post, but basically, of which role it fills, no way I would build a $100K Garage without my Coupe GT.

The value listed above is I paid for the car when I bought it, is higher than most of the I’ve seen over the NADA has a $2,150-$5,000 price range. the higher range of I think is as ludicrous as most of other Classic and Exotic

Truck—1976 Jeep Wagoneer )

Also considered: Mostly Jeep Wagoneers—but, technically, Blazer K5, International Scout

I from the beginning that I need a truck in my Fantasy and from there it was a given the truck would be a Jeep As I’ve detailed in the past. are a core part of my family Both sets of grandparents, an and my parents have all owned and Wagoneers, and I’ve been my eye out for the right Wagoneer for myself for I view the Wagoneer as embodying and all the great qualities of my grandfather, Jeeps, classic trucks, and The Way.

Most Wagoneers on the are the late 1980s and early wood-slathered Wagoneers, and while are great, I prefer the simpler, versions. They are less they share the same go-anywhere capability, and the look is purposeful and less cluttered.

for Wagoneers are all over the map, from

$1,500 for ragged to nearly $50,000 for the ones restored by Wagonmaster. I could pay less than $11,500 for a Wagoneer (this fetching ’73 model in Montana was an contender for this spot), but are so important to me that I wanted to sure I wound up with a lust-worthy example.

I think one fits the bill. It first my eye in a Bring a Trailer posting year, and it is now for sale again. absolutely immaculate inside and I love the thin spear of on the side, and the strong yellow is evocative of my family’s past It is just so gorgeous .

The only is that this Wagoneer be too nice to tow or go off-road with, but I that’s a risk I’m to take.

Euro Heartthrob—1986 900 SPG ($4,500 )

Also considered: 928, Fiat X1/9, Scorpion, BMW M5 (E28)

This was as a no-brainer as the Wagoneer was. The SPG has always been my favorite and given $100K to play I absolutely will find one to put my Fantasy Garage.

This car right to the quick of everything I am. It is an part of my very soul. of the rational stuff matters this car. At the end of the day, really matters to me is the fact while other Car Lusts get my running hot, the 900 SPG gets my boiling to a degree I can’t without falling afoul of decency standards. This car is my I wanted one when I was 10 years I’ve wanted one every day then. I’ll want one I’m 80 years old. On level, I wanted one when the Saab 900 nor I had yet been conceived.

A few years ago I had an iffy test with an ’86 SPG that proved to have a salvage but that experience hasn’t me on the car in general. Someday I will own one of in real life, so I may as well own one in fantasy.

The also-considered list in case is a murderer’s row of some of my cars, none of which made the Fantasy Garage I love these, the Porsche 928 and BMW M5 so. Without the new-car requirement, or my somewhat artificial premise of a car for each role, I would found a way to work them in.

The ’86 Saab 900 SPG pictured belongs to a gentleman named who discusses his car’s restoration .

Winter Car—AMC Eagle )

Also considered: Volkswagen Syncro

This was another easy choice. I’ve liked the versatile and cheerfully Eagle, and as a faithful, traction-rich car it just can’t be beat. my previous post on the Eagle:

One and uncle of mine had an Eagle previously owning several AMC products (a Pacer. a Wagoneer, and at one Renault/AMC Alliance). They and my cousins were always a blur of activity, and they beat on that car relentlessly. Big chrome grin, fake siding and all, it took camping, carried cargo, and more small children at a than a clown car. In over a decade of service, I that poor Eagle had a day when it wasn’t serving as a car, a pickup truck, a a Bobcat tractor, and a Sherman The Eagle took it in stride and was ready for more.

Once, I was a kid, our families went on a steep hill in the mountains. was a steep hill, more a mountain, with at least a of loose snow powder on a of ice. My uncle would sit at the of the hill in the Eagle, idling and his coffee. When we’d sled down to the bottom of the we’d pile in, cold, and gasping, and he’d drive us up the hill. Not switchbacking up the hill, you—he’d drive straight up the slope to the top of the hill. The Eagle even stumbled.

The Eagle be an ideal winter car, me where angels fear to and not causing me a lot of guilt for subjecting it to sand, ice, and salt. particular Eagle is a rare two-door coupe; I’d a wagon, but this one would a neat little winter car as

This image was taken by pierre m on Flickr.

Classic Car—Fiat Spider ($2,600 )

considered: Triumph TR-6, X1/9, Triumph Stag, Romeo Spider

Every garage needs a traditional car, defined by me as a tiny, roadster with skinny and underwhelming horsepower, but that winds up a blast to drive on roads due to the tactile driving and exposure to the elements. As a bonus, the sports car driver can wear driving gloves without completely ridiculous.

The Fiat was one of the most technologically advanced of the sports cars and, to my the prettiest. Its mini-Ferrari lines complemented by an eager twin-cam and nimble reflexes, and even a rear seat.

I’ve come close a few to buying a Fiat Spider, recently an Atomic Root version with low miles and a interior that was flawed with a leaky top. Spiders have remained value-priced compared to their (in my inferior competition, but I’m at some point those will skyrocket. Hopefully I can my Spider before that and when I do I’m sure it be like this example highly entertaining, but likely not a concours winner.

Muscle Car Pontiac Firebird T/A Clone 455 )

Also considered: Chevy SS427, Dodge Challenger, Comet Caliente, Chevy II Mercury Cyclone Cobra 1970.5 Chevy Camaro 5% of a Plymouth Superbird

This was a tough category for me, both there are so many lustworthy to consider, and because there are so few fit into a reasonable portion of my My original choice in this was this 1969 Chevy SS427. which checks all of my car, big block, not terribly and abolutely gorgeous. However, I investigated it, it was bidding at $10,500, had of time left to run, and yet met its reserve. Even now, at the of writing, it’s up to $14,000 and hasn’t met its reserve. Apparently just not realistic to find a SS Impala in decent condition for like $10,000. And that’s a car that hasn’t taken off in the car market like some of the cars I considered.

Given all I felt pretty fortunate to my fallback choice here, a Firebird that has been into a Trans Am clone, a 455-cubic-inch V-8 transplanted from a This particular car isn’t as a Car Lust for me as the others in this but when the time comes to get behind the wheel, things be worse than driving a Bandit wth Pontiac big-block underhood. The worst part is I feel like a copycat Anthony Cagle also a white Trans Am .

Muscle Car Chevy Corvette ZR-1 )

Also considered: Chevy C4 L98, Buick Grand Chevy Camaro IROC-Z, Daytona Turbo Z, GMC Syclone/Typhoon, Challenger SRT-8

This is the most expensive and the fastest car in my Garage, and fills an important as an unabashed, un-self-conscious supercar isn’t so exotic that be afraid to drive it on the street. it would let me engage in adolescent-preservation such as doing wicked in abandoned parking lots cranking Guns ‘n on the Delco radio.

Make no though, this is no garden-variety The ZR-1 (note the hyphen) a 32-valve DOHC V-8 tweaked by that cranked out 375 horsepower and the car to nearly 190 mph—serious stuff in and still not shabby today. The rear-end treatment made the car ostentatious than other supercars, complementing the C4 Corvette’s lines. Handsome, that is, GM ruined the front-end styling in years.

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This particular is for a very nice-looking 52,000-mile Its $16,500 price seems on the low end of the but it’s not out of line with the ZR-1s I’ve seen The mighty ZR-1 is an incredible bargain.

On a related note, looking for the right ZR-1 I across this eBay for a ZR-1 with only 25 on it. Since it has never even dealer-prepped, still has the original oil in the it has the original tires on the car, has bags and cardboard in the interior, the has never been turned on, and trim piece have not yet installed. I don’t think it be wise to ever drive car, but it’s a remarkable capsule.

Stylish 1970s Import—1973 BMW ($6,500 )

Also considered: BMW Saab 99, Alfa Romeo Audi 100LS, various and Lamborghinis

I really, really, wanted to purchase a BMW 3.0CS in slot, since I’ve in absolute lust with its gorgeous lines since I was old to appreciate it. In my earlier post on car. I described my infatuation its looks:

As significant as the performance was the conveys muscularity without bulk, sports fine without being fussy, and aggressiveness with class. The has perhaps the nicest execution of traditional forward-leaning double-kidney and quad round headlights.

So went wrong? Turns out not alone in idolizing the E9 BMW coupes, and so nice E9s can go for $30K and up. Sometimes, way way up. I couldn’t justify taking up a third of my budget or more one car, even one as completely as this.

I think the E3 Bavaria here through Bring a is a nice compromise, as it’s an of lust in its own right. bringing of the E9’s style and a bit more for a bargain-basement price.

1970s Ford Gran Torino ($1,100 )

Also considered: AMC X, Plymouth Fury 440, Laguna S-3, 1976 Impala, AMC Gremlin, AMC Pacer, Monza Spyder, Dodge Various Cadillacs

I was all set to slot in the AMC X here, as it’s a gorgeous and car that I’ve long to own, but then a funny happened—I couldn’t find I searched just about Craigslist that I could, eBay, even looked specialist enthusiast sites, but couldn’t find a coupe wasn’t in a complete state of I know nice Matadors but apparently nobody wants to them.

Given that, I the competition and decided to stick my ’73 Gran Torino Why? Well, it’s sorted, runs well and hauls an amazing amount of has a completely pristine interior, and the 1970s driving experience to a floaty ride, scratchy AM rumbly V-8, and numb all included. Plus, it only me $1,100.

Passionate Italian—1985 Romeo GTV-6 ($6,900 )

considered: Alfa Romeo Calloway Twin-Turbo, Ferrari

Every fantasy garage a fiery Italian car to stir the passions and stoke his or her frustration. I do have two Fiats in this but neither can summon the stirring scream that these do.

I began my consideration with a reasonablly priced Ferrari ($36K), but given the price I decided to opt for the $6,900 Alfa GTV-6 pictured here. No, the doesn’t have the Ferrari’s look-at-me styling, or the Testarossa’s rasp, but it’s still is an excellent handler, and has a distinctively V-6 howl of its own. Plus, the GTV-6 completes my holy of 1980s sports coupes, the Saab SPG and the Audi Coupe/Quattro, so it needs a spot in the garage.

If the garage rules didn’t me to choose one new car, I’d the $10K saved by downgrading the 500 to our old Accord on upgrading the GTV-6 to one of the rare Calloway Twin editions, one of which has showed up on a Trailer for $16,500. The Calloway brought rarity and near-1980s performance to the mix.

Trackday Car—Porsche 944 Turbo )

Also considered: Ariel

The Ariel Atom would be the track car, offering acceleration and race-car reflexes for $65,000. But while it is an incredible when compared to the tiny of cars that can offer performance, it would still eat up too much of my budget.

Instead, going to go with the Porsche 944 known internally within as the 951. The base 944 was one of the best-handling of the 1980s, with a near-50/50 distribution and some of the best in all of automobile-dom. The 944T/951 added 217 to the mix, which then got to 250 horsepower in the Turbo S. All of this sub-6-second 0-60 times that sweet handling, good looks, and hatchback

The great thing about the is that it’d be fun as a normal that occasionally gets a track date, or it could be up, stripped down, and caged up if I to get more serious. For the record, probably dabble and leave the car stock.

Nostalgia—1983 Chevy Wagon ($1,000 )

Also None

I still regret my beloved 1983 Chevy Wagon for $1,000, and given the and resources implied in this I would dedicate myself to that car down and reacquiring it. my paean to the Malibu:

I love the I love the Malibu’s clean pleasing grille treatment, and good looks. I like its so much that I once did a shoot with a talented friend of mine that featured the Malibu.

Before the I had very little experience big, floaty American The Malibu taught me that as as I love quirky European — and I do — that the big car experience strikes a very chord for me.

So, why don’t I still it? Basically, I made the biggest of my automotive life by lapsing a short, regrettable period of sense.

I didn’t want the just to sit, so I put my automotive on hold and made a rational decision I’ve regretted since. I sold the ‘Bu to a who professed to like it as much as I Unfortunately—I’ve tried to block out ever since—he wanted to it bright red and put sport wheels on it.


I chose 15 cars, 11 of which are or hatchbacks, with an average of manufacture of 1985, and an average of $6,630. All of that sounds right for me. I spent $99,540, me $460 as a completely inadequate fund.

I didn’t work all of my cars in, and I missed two roles I was to fill—namely, Luxurious Convertible and Rally Car. Still, I I could bring myself to be with this group.

Car readership, how’d I do?

Volkswagen Quantum syncro
Volkswagen Quantum syncro
Volkswagen Quantum syncro
Volkswagen Quantum syncro


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