SentiMETAL enthusiast Kyle Smith recently won a competition on our Facebook page by listing the most applauded five-car fantasy garage. Have a look at what makes Kyle's choices so great, in his own words...
"I cannot recall the exact age that my passion for cars and mechanics started, but suffice to say that as soon as I was old enough I was helping my dad working on cars and motorbikes at home and learning all about how engines, gearboxes and other mechanical pieces of engineering functioned," recalls Kyle.
"I have always respected and admired various car brands over time for their contributions to the motoring world but, being a history lover, I was drawn to Mercedes-Benz as my brand of choice; being the inventor of both the automobile and the motorbike (fact).
"Having started driving in a 1987 Toyota Corolla 1.6 GLS, the same one I used to work on with my dad as a child, I bought my first Mercedes at the tender age of 24 and I’ve never looked back.
Currently I'm the proud owner of my third Mercedes-Benz, a C204 C350 coupé, which was a car of my dreams for many years; but that doesn’t mean my petrolhead doesn’t yearn for more. The below 5 cars are just a handful of vehicles I’ve aspired to own, or at least drive."
1934 Mercedes-Benz Type 500k/540k Special Roadster (W29)
"The Mercedes-Benz Type 540k Special roadster has to be one of the most beautiful and elegant creations of the 20th century. The W29 series of Mercedes-Benz vehicles were launched in 1934 in various body types, including sedan, convertible and touring car options. The models initially featured a 5.0-Litre V8 with a kompressor (supercharger), however the capacity was later increased to 5.4 litres hence the name 540k.
These cars to me epitomised what the Mercedes-Benz brand stood for by offering nothing but the best in performance, luxury and technology. With its beautiful swooping lines and chrome elements on almost every panel of the car, the Type 540k Special Roadster is the best looking of the model range and undoubtedly one of the best looking roadsters of all time.
There is also something so special about seeing the chrome exhaust outlets bulging out of the side of the engine cover hinting subtly to the beast that lurks beneath. The huge traditional Mercedes-Benz radiator grill flanked by massive wheel arches gives the car an unmistakably menacing look from the front. Only a handful of these cars are still in existence today and I would absolutely love to own one."
1936 Bugatti Atlantic Type 57SC Coupé
"The Bugatti Atlantic Type 57 SC coupé was designed by Jean Bugatti, the son of the founder of Bugatti, Ettore Bugatti, as a tribute to his father after his passing. Often considered to be both the first super car, and the most expensive car in the world, only 3 of these cars are in existence today.
The Atlantic has a stunning aerodynamic shape which was quite unique for its time in 1936, but perhaps one of its most notorious and famous design elements were its riveted spines that adorned both front wheel arches as well as running the length of the car down the centre. This spine created the need to split both the front and rear windows and gives the car a look reminiscent of the aviation era of the period. Add a supercharged straight-8 into the equation and its easy to see why this car features in my top 5 list of fantasy cars."
1960 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
"What would any fantasy garage be without a big-winged Cadillac? The Cadillac Eldorado series of cars spanned many decades and was a symbol of wealth for many Americans. US car designers were heavily inspired by the jet age through the 1950s and 1960s with cars getting ever increasingly over-the-top fins at the rear, and tail lights or exhaust outlets designed to look like the after-burners of a jet engine.
The Eldorado epitomises the big American luxury car with a huge V8 engine and a 4-speed automatic gearbox. This oversized behemoth is just over-the-top ridiculous but yet so loveable for its 2.5 ton solidity, and its throaty V8 burble. I can easily picture myself cruising top down with a Tom Jones song blaring from the ‘stereo’."
1935 Duesenberg SJ LaGrande Dual Cowl Phaeton
"When it comes to rare and now defunct classics from yore, Duesenberg stands out as one of the marques that, if around today, would rank next to the likes of Rolls Royce, Maybach and Bentley for their amazing presence, attention to detail and sheer opulence.
"The SJ La Grande Dual Cowl Phaeton reminds me of the types of cars the Mafia would drive, or bootleggers when trying to get away from the police after a delivery of moonshine. Insane amounts of power for the day, being powered by supercharged straight-8 engines capable of 239kW, and an origami-like folding roof, gave this car a devilish and ominous presence as it inevitably roared with a crescendo into town. It reminds me of the type of car Cruella de Vil would drive, or any villain for that matter and for that reason it would most definitely make an appearance in my fantasy garage."
Porsche 911 930 3.3 Turbo
"Being born in the 80s and growing up in the 90s, the Porsche 911 featured quite prominently in my childhood. Not only was this car seen in quite a few films & TV shows, but it was also understandably the subject for many toy makers of the day.
I remember having one such toy, a glossy black 911 electric car, the kinds that had a wire behind them and a small controller that made it go backwards or forwards, left or right. Perhaps this was the reason I instantly fell in love with the 930 911 with its chunky rear end, massive duck tail wing and frog like nose.
To me the 930 epitomises the classic 911 design and given the choice I’d likely still take one of these over a modern day 911. For my fantasy garage I’d of course have it in glossy black too, however I’d invest in an advanced driving course before I took it out for a spin, given its renowned chaotic-like driving characteristics which understandably earned it the nickname ‘The Widowmaker’."
How do you like Kyle's fantasy garage? Feel free to share your own below.