Monday is here, so it’s time for chapter four of our weekly Automobile “Million Dollar Challenge,” wherein one of our staffers each week creates their personal list of dream cars. The rules are simple: What would you buy if you were today handed $1 million and commanded to spend it on nothing but filling your dream garage with automobiles? We’ll each select at least five of our lifelong dream cars, rather than copping out and blowing the entire imaginary wad on a single million-dollar car, because what fun would that be? This time around, Automobile associate editor Eleonor Segura fills up her dream garage:
The great thing about working at Automobile is the fact it allows us to get into cars that would otherwise be inaccessible—but even better than that is the opportunity to meet fascinating people, and to attend car shows and visit museums with some regularity. For me, it’s all been a great gateway to learning more about classic cars.
Although I drive a 2013 Volkswagen GTI and previously owned a cursed 2004 Acura RSX, I have no allegiance to any specific marque. The inspiration for my $1 million dream-car collection comes from the cars I’ve seen at museums, in films, at car shows, or as a kid when I would walk to school. And, of course, the cars I have driven in my work for Automobile.
1954 Kaiser Darrin Roadster, $50,000-$161,000
If I could dedicate my life to visiting car museums and attending car shows around the globe, I’d jump straight onto that ship. On a trip to Deer Park Winery and Auto Museum in Escondido, California, I discovered the 1954 Kaiser Darrin, and the nostalgia of a bygone era was an emotional experience that made this car an easy pick for my dream garage.
Joining forces with Detroit, Howard “Dutch” Darrin designed this two-door roadster to compete with European roadsters during the post-World War II period. Built by Kaiser Motors for the 1954 model year, six prototypes and 435 production models, six of which received a Cadillac Eldorado V-8, were made. The highlight of this fiberglass-bodied roadster is the sliding doors that move forward on tracks and into the front-fender wells. Also known as the Darrin, I could drive this roadster any day while listening to some Patsy Cline, Sam Cooke, and Johnny Cash.
1958 Facel Vega FVS Series 4 Sport Coupe, $87,000-$311,000
While digging through every corner of the web for my feature about Legendary Women of Hollywood and Their Extraordinary Cars, I learned that Debbie Reynolds drove a 1962 Facel Vega Facel II, and Ava Gardner drove a 1959 Facel Vega HK500. I instantly became a fan of the luxury cars designed by French engineer Jean Daninos, who also worked on the Ford Comète and Traction Avant. Among other clients of the French designer were racer Stirling Moss and actor Tony Curtis.
1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429, $128,000-$352,000
Late in 2018, I attended the Chevy Classic Club 39th Annual Car Show in Bakersfield, California, and I was ecstatic to see a woman clean the engine bay of her 1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351. When she offered to shut the hood of her own dream car so I could get a better picture, I knew she was extremely proud of her Mustang. Aside from the well-known Mustangs America has come to cherish, including “Eleanor,” I didn’t know much about the Boss until I saw this 351.
In my early 20s, my dad talked me out of borrowing money from the bank for a red 1965 Ford Mustang, which I took for a test drive—and I still regret taking his advice. If I could buy a Ford Mustang today, it would be the bad ass 1969 Boss 429 boasting the biggest factory hood scoop on a factory-produced Mustang. Known as one of the most expensive and rare muscle cars ever made, the Boss 429 has a V-8, four-speed manual transmission, and that fully functional hood scoop that would look oh-so-good in my dream garage.
1990 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo, $6,200-$60,300
The Nissan 300ZX is among the 1990s Japanese sports cars that my middle school imagination put me behind the wheel of when I caught a view of one flying down the street. I’d buy a Z-32 series Nissan 300ZX fitted with the twin-turbo V-6 producing 300 horsepower, and it’d have to be precisely a 1990 model from the first year of production.
The 300ZX is one of the cars that defined the 1990s, and its rear section is my favorite angle of the T-top coupe. Composed of multicolor indicator lights with gloss black trim and an inconspicuous spoiler, the rear of this sports car is its hallmark.
1994 Porsche 928 GTS, $41,000 – $126,000
I will keep this one short: Like a lot of kids after seeing the Porsche 928 featured in Risky Business (1983), I wanted one, and I do not care to even bother defending my choice among hardcore Porsche purists. Oh, and it would have to be the top-of-the-line GTS model in Grand Prix White with cashmere leather upholstery.
2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara, $38,645 (base price)
What little girl never dreamt of a Jeep Wrangler after seeing the pink Barbie Power Wheels version? It was the envy of the neighborhood, and any possible chance of riding in one would turn into a wrestling match on someone’s front lawn. Even the boys wanted to take one for a spin. The Jeep is an American staple that we here at Automobile have covered a trillion times over, including on an adventure to the Trona Pinnacles in a 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara. I’d buy the Sahara variant because it offers both luxury and off-road features.
2021 Porsche 911 Targa 4S, $136,550 (base price)
Drum roll, please. Ladies and gentlemen, my dream Porsche is the 911 Targa, and thanks to being a part of the Automobile crew, I have had the chance to drive a couple of examples of the car, including the new 2021 992-generation version. After I paid to fill my dream garage with all of the other above dream cars, I’d use every remaining dollar to configure a 2021 Porsche 911 Targa 4S to make it mine.