In The Key 2019, American Sandra Button, chairman of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, English collector Nick Mason, the well-known drummer of Pink Floyd, renowned Japanese designer Shiro Nakamura, and Adolfo Orsi, heir of the family that took Maserati to the Formula 1 World title, all revealed what cars they would love to have in their dream garage. Each garage could contain 10 cars, making a total of 40. The thing that emerged most clearly was that dream cars tend to be Italian. In fact, 17 of the 40 were Italian cars, with Ferraris, from the 250 Testa Rossa Pontoon Fender to the GTO, proving the most popular. But the line-up also featured the Maserati Birdcage and A6G Pininfarina, the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, and the Lancia Stratos, to name just several others. There were also seven British cars, including the McLaren F1 GTR, the Jaguar XKSS, and romantic pre-war models from Rolls Royce and Bentley, for example. Bugatti was most prominent French brand, while the American cars were split between mighty pre-war models and racers like the Cobra and Ford GT40, which certainly have something English about them. The selection included just four German cars, all superlative. They included the Le Mans-winning Porsche 935 and the magnificent Mercedes 300SLR.
As part of that extensive 2019 feature, the same question was put to around 20 other leading figures in the car collecting world. Looking at all the results, it is fascinating to note that alongside giants like the Mercedes 300SL and the Miura, which came out top overall, there were also numerous strange and unusual vehicles, such as hot rods and microcars like the Spiaggina and the Messerschmitt. So, what does all this tell us? Simply that there can be no fixed parameters when it comes to collecting. The important thing is what makes you happy.