Matt Greenop on motoring

Matt Greenop is editor of Driven magazine

Matt Greenop: Lost dream machines

The turbocharged Ferrari California T would rank as a dream car for some. Photo  / Supplied
The turbocharged Ferrari California T would rank as a dream car for some. Photo / Supplied

Necessity - it should be defined as the killer of automotive dreams.

This week the MTA fired out a list of the top 10 cars in New Zealand in terms of sales, compared with a very different set for the worldwide leaders.

They're all great machines but I couldn't help thinking what the owners of these cars really wanted in their garages.

There probably aren't too many car fans out there who grew up with a poster of a Yaris on their bedroom wall thinking: "One day, I'll own that."

No disrespect for the Yaris, but there has to be a point when the mindset changed, and the Porsche or Lambo or maybe even the Charger R/T (6-pack, of course) gave way to the utilitarian machinery that dominates our roads.

Sensible automotive decisions are a sign of growing up, and it's absolute fact that some of us never do. I've made some terrible decisions on cars in terms of things like fuel economy, ability to attract police, load-carrying ability - but I don't regret any of them.

Not too much, anyway.

Save the planet, save on fuel, save grief from the better half for buying an incredibly expensive sports car - these are all very valid reasons to buy something that mightn't tick the fantasy boxes, but will be more fun. The satisfaction of washing a car that you truly love is tangible. Washing a car that you bought because the kids are too young to be trusted anywhere near something more exciting isn't that fulfilling.

"It's not surprising our buyer preferences vary so much from major worldwide trends," said MTA spokesman Ian Stronach. "Cars tend to be more of a focus in the lives and lifestyles of New Zealanders than in other parts of the world, where they are sometimes regarded solely as an urban transportation solution."

It is fair to mention the machine that topped both lists seems to be almost mandatory to own at least once - a Toyota Corolla.

Go to or comment below and tell us which car you first lusted over, what you've got now and what your 'no limits' dream machine would be now you've grown up - it'll be interesting to compare results.

- NZ Herald

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