Friday Fun: Forbidden Fruit edition
It’s been a while since we’ve done a Friday Fun. Let’s make it a good one, shall we?
Ah, the forbidden fruit. It lingers and teases the mind of every car enthusiast who knows well enough that not all of the best cars in the world make it to their own homeland. But that’s not the case for us ‘Mericans alone; many people drool over vehicles that weren’t, and never will be, sold in their country. Whether you’re into off-road trucks, Autobahn slayers, lightweight Japanese runabouts, or anything else your worldy mind can wrap itself around, there’s a seemingly infinite list of cars that everyone wishes they had access to and yet, don’t.
So let’s throw that away and pretend there’s no anti-import laws. No automakers keeping “the good stuff” to their home country. No nonsense of cars you can’t buy if you have the money. Your house has a three-car garage, your bank account has a cool $150k to spend on three vehicles to fill those voids in your life, your choice of vehicles is only limited to what your imagination is capable of. So have at it; let’s see what forbidden fruit everyone is salivating over.
Be it on Forza Motorsport/Horizon, watching another country’s Top Gear, or even perusing a car forum, everyone has come across a vehicle they find sincerely appealing and would buy in a heartbeat, but can’t do so due to whatever it is preventing that car from being available in their home nation. I know damn well that’s the case for me; there’s a long list of cars that if on sale in ‘Merica, my WRX would be kicked to the curb immediately.
For simplicity’s sake I’m going to stick with new models on sale today for my own choices. Feel free to go older for your own. Obviously I’d have a Defender, 22B, M5 Touring, HiLux, R32/R33/R34, TVR, S660, (catches breath), RS200, Unimog, Juke R, and so on and so on and so on, but prices in the used market vary wildly so I’ll stick to what can be bought off the dealer’s lot.
One-hundred-and-fifty-thousand-dollars is a lot of coin. What would I fill my theoretical three-car garage with if I had $150k kicking around and access to any vehicle of my liking that’s on sale today? Funny you should ask…
1 – Holden Ute SSV Redline
6-speed stick, dual exhaust, usable bed, oh, and a big honkin’ V8? I’d daily a Ute in a heartbeat. The LS3 is endlessly tune-able, the chassis ready for the modding, the interior comfortable enough to drive daily or cross-country. Many may question the existence of such a weird mish-mash of genres, but I adore it. We should have gotten the Ute in the US as the G8 ST or as an El Camino re-boot, but that’s a moot point. And it’s too bad. The Ute is a great do-it-all tool for those who need to carry something of weight or size that they don’t want in the cabin but still want performance credentials backing their choice of transportation. Anyways, I’d happily plunk down $60k AUD (or $45k USD) on an SSV Ute. Burnouts and powerslides forever.
2 – Audi RS3 Sportback
With hatchback space and RS performance, Audi’s RS3 would be a fantastic daily driver and bad-weather attack weapon. Few cars out there can claim the AWD, fear-no-forecast mix of sportiness, usability, and comfort that can this five-door. I’d happily put one in my garage and even throw winter tires and steelies on it come the cold season. And then I’d send it to APR and make it into a monster. £60,000? $50,000? You’ll find me attacking Lime Rock’s winter autocross and blasting past pickups and SUVs in the snow, all winter long. And then throwing all my gear in the back and driving to work in complete comfort. Man, I want one of these.
3 – Lotus Elise
One of the ultimate examples of lightweight British sports cars (on sale today, at least), the tiny Lotus would be a great weekend toy that’s not just great at hitting the back roads but also at autocross and track days alike. Walk out to the Elise on a comfortable spring/fall morning, pull the roof off, hit the open road and don’t look back. I love Lotus as a brand and want them to succeed, and can think of few better cars to really “experience driving” than an Elise. Gimme.
3-for-1 bonus: Audi RS6
Or I’d just say screw it and use all the money on an RS6 Performance and have change left over for track time and tires.
This took way more thought than it should have. Making choices like these was actually pretty tough, a testament to how much the cars of the foreign markets are desirable. We’ll have to play this one again soon as I’ll inevitably have different answers, likely 4x4s since this time was strictly street cars. And how about you? What forbidden fruit are you lusting after? Let’s hear your picks in the comments.