So let’s say you’ve hit the MegaMillion lottery and just walked away with $20 million after taxes. Chances are good that the cash will need to last you the rest of your life, so living like a rock star won’t be a long term option. You’ve probably got family as well, so there will be mortgages to pay off, college tuition to fund and other expenses you didn’t see coming. Maybe you’re married, and your spouse had ideas about how to best spend and invest the cash. If you’re smart, you won’t blow more than 10% of your earnings on toys with wheels, wings or propellers.
Here’s the deal: you’ve got $2,000,000 to spend on up to 10 vehicles. What would you buy and why would you buy it? Would you shoot the wad on one or two vehicles, or would you fill the new-from-the-ground-up garage with all ten? If you go for a Bugatti Veyron, what would you drive in bad weather? What would you use for a grocery getter?
Anyway, here’s my list, which combines practicality and hoonability on two and four wheels:
By the time I check “yes” next to all the option boxes, an EarthRoamer XV-LT will set me back $280,000 or so. It’ll be my first purchase, because after hitting the lottery I’m going to want to lay low for a while. Where? I don’t know and it doesn’t matter: as long as it’s in North America, Central America or South America, and EarthRoamer XV-LT will get me there and allow me to live in relative comfort. This is important, since I’ll need to find a place to build a big ass garage with a mountain view.
Confederate P131 Hellcat Combat
I was never a fan of the whole custom chopper craze, as most limited production bikes were more art than function. Masochistic tendencies aside, you’re not going to ride something like that once the thrill of the new wears off, which is why I always panned bikes like this. Make no mistake: the Confederate Hellcat isn’t much better. It’s loud, it roasts your legs in stop and go traffic and it makes very few concessions to comfort or ridability. It’s in-your-face industrial design and thundering v-twin motor will scare small children and most definitely piss off your neighbors. I can think of very few gatherings where a Hellcat would be socially acceptable, which is part of the attraction. I can’t rationalize it, which is the precise reason I’d buy one.
Porsche 911 GT3
As a kid, I always wanted a Porsches 911. As an adult, I’ve driven enough of them to appreciate the handling, but I’ve never been willing to sacrifice enough to own one. Even the bullet-proof reliability and mechanical simplicity of the 911SC isn’t enough to sway me. I’d still worry what parts will cost when something finally does break. With money in the bank, the cost of parts and service would no longer be an issue. In for a penny, in for a pound, so make mine a 911 GT3 with the carbon ceramic brakes and the lithium ion battery. Since I’d end up in the mountains, the 911 GT3 would be a great canyon strafing and track day car.
Because I’ll need a grocery getter and a car to pick people up at the airport with, I’d opt for a BMW M5. It’s fast, it’s comfortable and it’s one of the best Q-Ships ever made; in other words, it doesn’t look fast. To the unaware, it’s just a plain BMW sedan. Hell, I’d even consider debadging it, just to make it 10% more stealthy.
Ford RS200 Evolution
I’ve had it bad for RS 200s ever since I saw one in action in Colorado. One of the last Group B rally cars, RS 200s were blindingly fast and notoriously ill-handling at the limit. With something like 450 horsepower in a 2,300 pound package, the RS 200 has been clocked at just over 3 seconds from zero to sixty. The downside? They were geared for quick acceleration and not top speed, so they’ll run out of steam at about 120 miles per hour. Still, for back-road hoonage, the RS200 has very few equals.
The original Ford GT40 was, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful automobile designs of all time. Built as a race car only, GT40s made no concessions to comfort and very few concessions to driver safety. An original GT40 would be a great addition to a car collection, but it wouldn’t see much use; instead, make mine the contemporary recreation issued by Ford in 2005. Yes, I know they have problems. Yes, I know there are no spare parts available for the suspension components. Yes, I know there are far better performance values to be had, but I simply don’t care. The Ford GT speaks to me in exactly the same way that the original GT40 did. You can’t explain lust; sometimes, you just have to go along with it.
1969 Ford Mach 1 Mustang
With the 428 CobraJet motor, of course, because in 1969 there was no replacement for displacement. Make it white with red striping and a black interior, please, with as few miles as possible. I’d want to verify that it was a numbers matching car and that any restoration work was done properly, since the car would actually represent an investment. Would I still drive it? Hell yes.
1969 Camaro RS/SS
Because I don’t want to be stereotyped as a “Ford guy”, I’d have to throw in at least one item with a bow tie on the grille. I’d go for a 396 equipped Camaro, with both the RS and SS packages, and a four speed manual transmission. Like the Mustang, this would be an investment that doubled as a driver in good weather.
TLC Icon FJ40
Living in the mountains, you can count on a fair amount of snow and the unpredictability of road maintenance; I’d want a vehicle that could get me into or out of town in any weather, and TLC’s Icon fits that description better than any other vehicle I can think of.
I’d probably be the most difficult customer that TLC ever dealt with, because I’d want to be involved in every step of the design and build. I’d want a removable hard top, so I’m sure that’d add to the price, and I’d probably opt for the gasoline powered 5.7 liter V8, just for cold weather reliability. Aside from that, make mine a “New School” version and just check every single option box.
KTM 990 SM-T
Years ago, bikes like Honda’s CB750 or Suzuki’s GS750 were considered “universal Japanese motorcycles”. Put soft bags and a windshield on them, and they were good enough for touring. Put on different shocks, change the fork springs, add slicks and they were good enough for amateur roadracing. Put a luggage rack on the back, and they’d carry enough groceries to get you through the week.
Bikes today have gotten far too specialized, even within their respective niches. I no longer need a bike that’s half a second faster around a racetrack than last year’s model, nor do I need one that would allow me to run 1,000 miles between fueling stops. I want a jack-of-all trades motorcycle, one I can use to ride canyon roads, highways and the occasional fire road with equal confidence. I’m not going to do 600 miles in a day, so long distance comfort isn’t a factor. I’ll take practicality over farkles, thank you very much.
For me, no bike currently in production (not even the hallowed BMW R1200 GS) does everything I’d want it to better than the KTM 990 SM-T. Make mine black, please.
So there you have it. The $756,500 left over would go directly into building a garage, no expenses spared. I’d make sure it has room for more than 10 cars and two bikes, because if my past history is any indicator of future trends, the collection wouldn’t stay at 10 vehicles for very long.