V8 Alley: My Dream Garage
Not to appear as a monolithic, one topic kind of guy, I take pleasure in the occasional what would I stock my garage with type fantasizing. Being of typical post Cro-Magnon stock, my eyes are capable of darting back and forth if I were standing in the presence of Jessica Alba and a 1969 Mach One Ford Mustang, with the 429CI engine and working shaker hood. Truth be told, 9 out of 10 times I would take the Mustang home. Below I have compiled a collection of my top five V8 picks. You will not find a Ferrari, Aston Martin or Lamborghini, call this the tangible list. These are based wholly on my preference and not in any particular order, because, like a women with 25 shades of red nail polish, it could take me an hour figuring out which one I would drive Friday. Enjoy!
When it comes to muscle cars, I like the bragging rights, but not from the same animal the other 100 bubbas arrived in. To me the Buick was and is super special. The 1970 Buick GSX and Skylark models were gentlemen's rides, Chevelle’s and Malibu’s belong to Joe’s and teenagers. These Buicks were the 928’s of there day, all the power you could want under the hood, with all the luxury in the cabin. GSX's had bucket seats, center console shifter and hood mounted tach. Under the hood of this bad boy is a 455 CI “understated” 360 hp with an unmatched 510 ft. pounds torque. Off the showroom floors these cars could hit the strip, tripping the lights at around 13 seconds and 104 mph, all while lugging 3,800 pounds of girth. Thats one bad Buick.
The 928 for me represents one of my most consistently loved cars ever since first developing my fetish. Being a very young boy when movies like Risky Business and Weird Science came out, not only did the raunchy comedy imprint my mind, but the shapes and sounds of this car were laser set. A true Stuttgart luxury missile, the 1992-95 model years were equipped with a front engine, mounted far back, producing 345 hp. 369 lbs torque, pushed through a 5 speed manual. This German luxo barge tipped the scales at 3,600 lbs, but was capable of consistent sprints to 60 in 5.3 seconds.
The 928 was never meant to dethrone the 911, instead it was period correct representative of Gran Touring machinery. The 928 was actually ahead of its time when it came to stability controls and extensive use of aluminum. In 1995, for $83,000, it was quite something to attain. If I ever make it, this is one used beauty that must occupy my garage.
The 2000 Cobra R, only 300 in existence, race ready from the factory. As a matter of fact you couldn’t purchase one of these bad boys unless you had an SCCA license. Ford wanted to make sure that its Super Mustang made it in the hands of capable track runners and not hyperbaric chamber hording collectors. These horses were designed to run and run hard indeed.
Fitted with an engine that later gave way to development of the Ford GT, the one introduced during Super Bowl XXXVIII, you know which one, Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl. Anyway, it was a 5.4 liter 32 valve beast, making 385 hp and 385 lbs. torque. This car was fitted with a custom Bassani off road pipe, hardly muffled by three Borla mufflers. Putting down that power came via a T-56 six speed tranny, giving this pony 4.8 second blasts to 60 mph. Certainly Corvette owners never saw this Mustang coming, by the time they did, it was courtesy of dual side pipe exhausts. Something else that has yet to be produced again in modern Mustangs, a 1.01 G skid pad (anybody seen my fillings).
What this $55,000 race car didn’t come with is a radio, air conditioning, rear seats and most of the sound deadening material, Baritone anyone? This machine is raw, evoking visceral emotional response; just listen to this animal making laps on the video provided. One day, oh yes, one day, some dot.com race geek is going to collapse over a mocha caramel macchiato, and I am going to be there at the auction of his car.
The E39 Bodied BMW M5 is probably a farce to many, but to me, it is kinetic energy. Having been the owner of two E39 bodied bimmers, be it never the M5, there is something so special, tossable, practical, lovable, trustworthy and family friendly, I couldn’t heap enough praise upon this automobile. I incriminate myself by stating this, but it is only for demonstration purposes; having driven a jaunt from Tombstone Arizona, back up to Casa Grande, I had my in laws in tow, mother in law sound asleep while I cruised for a few minute at 125 mph. Slowing down to anything under 80 mph in this vehicle felt pedestrian.
When you see what the stunt driver does with this car while being pelted with rain, you could only say “I see.”
So what’s she got?
How about a 5.0 liter (technically 4.9) 32 Valve V8 cranking out 400 bhp and 369 lbs. torque via 11 to 1 compression. This is matted to a 6 speed Tremec, just over 4,000 lbs curb weight, 0 – 60 in 4.8 seconds, plus a quarter mile haul of 13.3 ticks at 108 mph. Did I mention you could do that in the comfort of 5 adults? Again, for back seat giggles, watch the film and bask in what is possible when Germans get there hands on V8 power.
The answer to why this one made my short list, just watch the video, either you get it or you don’t. Who doesn’t love 500 hp 516 lbs. torque, 3 separate locking differentials and 3+ tons of heft? Not even a Humvie wants to get side swiped by one of these brutes.
This Teutonic Uberwagon could pull a Tiger tank out of the muck, need I say more?