It’s time for my annual review of desireable cars in the form of my Automotive Bucket List. What’s in? What’s out? And how likely is it that any of them will end up in my garage?
My 2012 Automotive Bucket List looked like this:
- Subaru Brumby
- Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon
- Saab 9-3 Viggen
- Mid-80’s Porsche 911
- Porsche Boxster S
- Dodge Challenger
- Saab Sonett III
- Alfa Romeo 105 Series GTV
- Mercedes 500 SL
- RenaultSport Megane
- Jaguar XKR
Obviously, that list is prone to change. Some cars stay on your automotive radar, some cars don’t. Some cars end up in your garage and can be crossed of the list as one desire satisfied (the Brumby, for example).
The following are erased from the list for the 2013 iteration:
- Subaru Brumby – For obvious reasons; I’m currently scratching that itch.
- Saab 9-3 Viggen – As much as I loved it, I’m unlikely to buy one again.
- Mid 80’s Porsche 911 – It’d be nice. Very Nice. But I think the Boxster S is a more likely acquisition.
- Dodge Challenger – for practical reasons. They’re just too damn expensive here.
- Jaguar XKR – Still interesting, but not compelling at this point. Maybe another time.
What replaces these? I’m glad you asked 🙂
Let’s start the 2013 Automotive Bucket List with the new additions. Five are gone, but only two are added in their place.
Jaguar XJ6 with a V8 implant
I know. I should be ashamed for debasing such a storied marque, or something like that. But I’ve wanted one of these since I was in my 20s and even after 20+ years of commonsense being drilled into me, I still want an XJ6 with a Michigan twist.
They’re not overly common, but they’re around. Most have had a Chevy V8 installed where the 4.2 Jaguar engine used to be. The V8s are more reliable and depending what you’re after, they have better aural and performance characteristics, too. I’ve never owned a V8 and something like this would satisfy both my power and beauty needs.
Of course, the downside is that you’ve got to do a fair bit of investigative work to make sure the transplant has been done properly. All part of the deal with this sort of thing.
The Jag shown here is a Series II XJ6 with a 350 Chevy V8 and Turbo 400 trans. It’s selling for $6500 in South Australia.
Alfa Romeo 33 S 16V Permanent 4
I’ve had two Alfa 33s over the years, with mixed results. The first one was an absolute gem and I’d buy that car back in a heartbeat. The second one I felt compelled to buy because I’d travelled a long way to view it and didn’t want to leave empty-handed. I was a little uneasy about the way it steered but went ahead with the purchase anyway. I should have stayed away.
That hasn’t put me off my love for the model, however. The 16V Boxer engine is so incredibly sweet. It has a wonderful note and great performance for such a small unit. These cars are genuine little pocket rockets bursting with character.
The Permanent 4 is a rare bird in Australia. There were only about 20 or so of them brought into the country. It’s a 4WD version of the car I’ve had twice before. It’s a little slower than the FWD version, but the grip is said to be astounding (and you can work on engine performance, right?). It’s also got an exclusive Recaro interior and exclusive wheels that I quite like.
I’ve had to resort to an Alfa press photo for this one as there aren’t any for sale here in Australia right now. They do come up from time to time, though, and I’ll be watching.
My price expectation is around $5K and if one becomes available, I’d be a likely customer.
Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon
This entry has been made all the more interesting because I have a friend here in Tasmania who may put his 9-5 Aero wagon on the market in the coming months. It’s a low mileage example from 2005, in black, and some of you might have seen it in a film I made oh-so-long ago. The car received a Maptun Stage III tune well before I knew who Maptun really were.
We need a wagon or hatch for at least one of our vehicles because of Mrs Swade’s painting business. We have to be able to fit framed paintings into the rear of the car. As my cars are usually smaller than our main family car, Mrs Swade gets the bigger vehicle. Right now, that’s our 9000 but every year a new problem pops up and makes it more and more of an uneconomic proposition.
Of course, all this is contingent on Mrs Swade being interested in a 9-5 Aero Wagon, and of course I’ll make my own enquiries about parts availability (last reports from my mechanic weren’t stellar, to be honest).
Porsche Boxster S
I watched one of Clarkson’s drives in a Boxster and took great offence to his contention that buying one was more-or-less conceding that your life hadn’t quite turned out the way you’d hoped. I would absolutely love a Boxster (the S version, please) and for me, it’s very much an aspirational vehicle that’s going to take some sacrifice to acquire.
I can see why the original 2.5 litre Boxster might have attracted some negativity. It’s a Porsche, after all, and a Porsche has to have certain things in certain quantities. Porsche’s front-engined efforts of the 70’s and 80’s – admirable as they are – were shunned by many because they didn’t have those classic Porsche elements in the way the market demanded them. The 2.5 Boxster has handling like a go-kart, but is considered under-powered, which is why it’s now comparatively under-priced.
The Boxster S is a slightly different kettle of fish. With a 3.2 litre engine sitting amidships, the ‘S’ has the grunt to take best advantage of the car’s exceptional chassis.
The styling is contentious, of course, and the interior isn’t quite as good as I’d like it to be, but I’d take it before the quality of the build and most importantly, the quality of the drive.
This is high up on the list. Boxster S’s start in the low-mid 20’s here in Australia but I’d probably look for a more desirable configuration at jut under $30,000 (which is more than I’ve ever spent on a car in my life). The one pictured above is currently for sale for $29,500.
Saab Sonett III
Aside from the 9-5 Aero Wagon, there’s not really any modern Saabs that interest me too much in terms of ownership. The 9-3 SS and SC are wonderful cars, but not compelling at this stage of my life. My main interest is now in the type of Saabs that drew me to the brand in the first place: Saabs that are different to anything else. The Sonett certainly qualifies.
There is absolutely no rush on getting one of these. It’s going to be a logistically complex situation anyway from an import point of view, nevermind the fact that we’d need more garage space.
But a Sonett III remains on the list regardless. I actually regard it as one of Saab’s finest and most interesting bits of work. If you’ve never driven one, then I implore you to find one and beg the owner to go for a drive. You’ll be amazed at how comfortable and easy it is to drive and the fact that it looks so cool is just a bonus.
The car pictured has been written about before (can’t remember where) but it’s talked of as being a body-kit prototype for a new generation of Sonett that never got made, back in the 1970’s. It’s for sale on Saabnet at the moment for $15,000. I don’t want it, but it’s definitely interesting.
Alfa Romeo 105 Series GTV
This one’s slipping down the list, but it’s still there. Why is it slipping? Well, some cars you can justify having for weekend driving. Some are daily drivers. A 105-series Alfa wouldn’t be a priority for either, for me. It’s a car I’d really need some garage space for.
My preference, like everyone else’s, would be for a 1750 with the ‘batwing’ seats. They’re not always easy to find, but I’m not in a hurry.
The car you see here is a 1971 model 1750 and it’s currently selling for $13,000. It looks to be in wonderful condition, but it’s gone 42 years without me owning it. I’m sure it can go a few more.
The big SL will quite possibly be a car I own one day, but it isn’t likely to be here in Australia. These cars still sell for consistent mid-$20K-and-up here in Australia (unless you want a cheaper grey market import) and that’s more money than I’d want to spend on this particular model car.
BUT…… it’d be the perfect chariot to carry Mrs Swade and I around North America one day. The good part about that is you can get them for around one third of the price you’ll pay here. The difference is amazing. I don’t know why they hold their value so much better here – maybe it’s just that there are a lot more of them in US.
This one’s on the list for as long as a US driving trip is still on our travel list, which it is right now.
The car you see above is and Aussie delivered example with 200,000kms on the clock and it’s for sale here at the moment for $25,000.
Most of the cars on this list would be weekenders. The Porsche Boxster S and the RS Megane would be the exceptions, however. These are cars that are more modern and made to be driven every day – which is exactly what I’d want to do with them. These are cars that you wouldn’t want to shuffle back to second preference or treat with kid gloves. It’s made to be driven and young enough to be driven regularly.
The car above is a 2012 RenaultSport Megane 265 Trophy and is basically brand new with only delivery mileage. Hence, it stays on the list for a considerable period of time until it comes down to a price I can afford rather than the $50K it’s selling for right now.
That’s it for another year of automotive indulgence. I’m sure my 2014 version of this list will change again.
How am I doing? And what have you added or taken away from your automotive bucket list in the last 12 months?
Comments are open. And be nice about the Jag, OK? We all have our faults 🙂