El Niño has been strong this year, so here in Southern Ontario we got to drive our sports cars until just after New Year’s Day. But the winter has come and they have been put away. That leaves several months of waiting. What to do?

Like all people who live through winter, we dream of summer. We dream of the mods we want to do to our cars, we dream of cars we want to buy, and we dream of the cars we will never own.

I end up dreaming about vintage cars, especially the race or rare high performance versions. For me they are the perfect distraction. There are so many of them that I know hardly anything about. It’s all new to me, so wrapped up in history, so interesting.

In no time I’m hunting down everything I can about the F40. Every video, all the forums. I’m dreaming about that fleeting moment when “I almost bought one” for the totally reasonable sum of $600,000. I’m thinking about how this car is the Ferrari I pine for, when I’m not also pining for the 250, the GTO, or the Dino.



This leads me to the Lancia Stratos. I don’t even follow rally cars and I now need this car. So alien looking. So much winning. Such an original, purposeful and raw thing. It is the geek choice for sure.



Of course, I now know about the Lancia 037, so that might be my geek choice. Look it up if you don’t know anything about it. I have yet to see one in the flesh, but there is always YouTube. Is there anything like it available now?

Out of the blue I find a link to the Alpine A110. First off it’s a French car and secondly I have never wanted a 130-ish horsepower so much in my life. We never got them here, but I have seen this car in Cannes and it did not let me down.



Who doesn’t love a Jaguar, especially the lightweight specials? While we are at it, let’s just go for the Low Drag coupe. Now I find myself in the rabbit hole of the British cottage industry that caters to keeping these cars running. I could commission one of these without losing my head, yes?



When I’m stuck, there is always the Lola T70. This is my happy place. I want the spyder, not the coupe everyone else lusts after. It won less, but I’m a sucker for those open top racers. AC/DC singer Brian Johnson races one. I know because I have seen his race videos. These of course lead me to other Can Am cars like the McLaren M20 and the surprises like the Canadian Chinook. Damn, I want that one too. Modern hyper cars have nothing on the madness of the V8 missiles.



The list is as bizarre as it is endless, the Bill Mitchell Cheetah would be exciting wouldn’t it? They are making new ones again. I rarely drive my sports cars. Of course it would bake me alive, plus how would I sell it?

Turns out, I hardly know anything about 930 slant-nosed Porches, but the Internet does. At the very least, a small portion of it does and they think they are cool again. My cousin had one in the Eighties, and I remember the smell of the engine. Yes, that should happen. Perhaps a BMW 2002 makes more sense? While we are making sense, let’s consider a Land Rover Defender. Then again, this really isn’t about making sense is it?



The truth is vintage cars, for me, are a lot like watching a show about some guy trekking across the frozen wilderness alone. I want to know about his gear, how he will survive the elements, what he will eat etc. I comb the Internet, looking stuff up, fact checking, delving deep not the topic.

While I watch, I hear myself saying “Man, I would love to do that”, “I could totally do that”, “I should do that”. Except we all know that’s a load of crap, I’m never going to do it. Why? Because you are either a wilderness adventurer or you are not.

I’m not a vintage car guy, but I do like to dream. What are you dreaming about this winter?



Images courtesy the respective manufacturers, Goodwood, and Autoevolution.

Published on Jan 20, 2016