Our Two Cents: Dream Vehicles That Don’t Exist

Chevrolet

For this installment of Our Two Cents, we asked the team here at Hagerty Media about their dream vehicle. But we aren’t talking about a vehicle they can buy, rather we asked about one that doesn’t exist on the market.

Many of us wanted a new vehicle with features of older ones, but that wasn’t all we came up with. I bet you’ve never considered some of these ideas until now, so let’s get right to it!

A Throwback Truck?

1996 Chevrolet Silverado truck C/K GMT400 front
Chevrolet

“Brand new, full-size pickups that just do pickup things well, no excessive luxury items, that costs under $25,000. I appreciate the old days where the trusty pickup was a means to do work, and not a luxury vehicle. In reality, I think what I am asking is for GM to just bring the GMT400 back.” – Greg Ingold

A Legit Fast Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ?

2022 Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86
Cameron Neveu

“A BRZ/FRS with reliable 300hp. I don’t have a ton of time in these cars, but the small amount I do I really liked the feel and experience, I just wanted a little more under my right foot. Sure, I should just buy a C5 Corvette but it would be cool to not have to shop a 25-year-old chassis when a new platform is so close to what I want.” – Kyle Smith

The Best of Japan, Inc?

“I want a new, AWD Honda wagon with clean, timeless styling and a 300-hp inline-six mated to a 6-speed manual. Then add a Mazda-gorgeous instrument panel, and an efficiently packaged cargo hold that will swallow my bike.” – Joe DeMatio

All Or Nothing?

“A front-engine, rear-drive, stick shift convertible that has a V-12, Italian styling, and a sophisticated European interior, but the reliability and running costs of a ’99 Camry. It’s trackable but not uncomfortable around town. It’s inexpensive enough that normal people can afford one and stays that way. No flipping. Only genuinely cool people buy it.” – Andrew Newton

“When I grow up, I want to live in Andrew’s dreams. They seem like such a cool place.” – Kyle Smith

“Now I want a beige Ferrari 812 with a slush fund, ensuring I have a comprehensive ownership experience that mirrors the reliability of a Camry.” – Sajeev Mehta

The Ultimate In Auto Transport?

Elysian Aircraft electric EV airplane
Elysian Aircraft

“I want a C-130 cargo plane with electric props that can haul my favorite cars wherever in the world I wish to drive them, but won’t give me the equivalent CO2 footprint of France.” – Aaron Robinson

The Most Practical Off-Roader?

Brandan Gillogly

“Oh man! Tons of great ideas here! Big fan of Joe’s wagon idea. Can’t decide if I want to say something that would actually be possible to create/build or just go full-on dreamland mode. How about both?

Dreamland: full-size 4×4 camper van that seats/sleeps six with plenty of cargo room for skis and bikes. It will handle/perform like the best off-roaders on earth, and on dirt it handles/performs like the best hypercars do when they are on the road. Is that too much to ask for?

More realistically: I would love a full-size SUV with minivan sliding doors. Give me plenty of ground clearance, decent 4×4 performance, excessive towing capabilities, and the greatest doors ever conceived in the history of the automobile, all in one package! Oh, and add a hybrid drivetrain of some sort for amazing MPGs and fuel-source flexibility!” – Ben Woodworth

A Gran Touring Minivan?

Ford SHO Star Minivan concept
1995 Ford SHO-Star concept minivan with Taurus SHO powertrain.Ford

“It’s hard to argue that the most sensible vehicle available isn’t a minivan, because it is. New ones handle adequately and some have decent horsepower—Honda Odysseys have 280—but my issue remains that no manufacturer has ever built a genuinely performance-oriented, fun-to-drive minivan. I’m not talking a sliding-door Hellcat here, and of course, it would be a niche version of whatever minivan it was based on.

But give me seven seats, a taut, lowered suspension; maybe 325 horsepower with a snorty exhaust, a pair of Recaros up front, Brembos at all four wheels, reasonably wide, sticky tires on good-looking wheels, plus an all-wheel-drive option and a Class 3 towing package, which can handle a reasonable number of towable toys. Suddenly you’ve got a bunch of potential customers who have never seriously considered a minivan before»like me.” – Steven Cole Smith

Chop ‘Em Down?

2023 Yukon Denali front three quarter
GM

“Mine is simple, yet complex: I want trucks/SUVs to sit as high as modern CUVs, and CUVs/cars to sit as high as cars from 20 years ago. Then we can have less frontal area, better visibility, and smaller wheels with taller sidewalls. What I wouldn’t do for vehicles with smoother rides and better outside views!” – Sajeev Mehta

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Comments

    I echo Sajeev’s desire for smaller wheels and larger sidewalls. I used to buy a lot of used 16″ LT tires for my fleet of 80s and 90s pickup trucks. But when is the last time a new pickup truck came with a 16″ tire? And the rough roads with war-zone like potholes in the inner city really eat up those short sidewall tires on my wife’s CUV.

    Amen to that. My last vehicle had 245/65r17 wheels/tires. I traded it for a newer model of the same vehicle, now on 18″ rims, mounting 245/60r18s. Nothing else changed in the suspension setups between the intervening 3 years, the platform had no changes. Now, the handling is more precise on corners with the shorter sidewall, but the ride is insufferably worse. Since the bolt pattern remained 5×120 I am actively hunting for a set of the rims from the older model so I can go back to the old tires. If it had smaller brakes I would find an aftermarket 16″ rim, but there would not be sufficient clearance.

    I just spent over $1400 for new tires on my 2015 GMC 2500, all because they are 18 inch 70 series! Go back to the 16 inch tires my 1984 2500 GMC had that was rated to haul the same amount of my 2015! By the way, the spare is a 17 inch, so I cannot even swap out one of my older tires that are in reasonably good shape to replace my 10 year old spare,having to buy a fifth tire because of that!

    Purple, brown or pink diesel convertible AWD mini van station wagons with truck beds made from 100% recycled materials but it can’t be plasticky and it needs to be lighter than a Lotus Elise but in needs to be built like a bank vaults brick outhouse, 100% US made, priced under $7995 have 600hp but also get 70mpg, it needs to be ultra basic, but still offer 60 way air conditioned seats with shiatzu massaging functions, it needs to last 700,000 miles come with a lifetime warranty and be fully repairable at home.

    I forgot to add it needs to handle like an LMP car but ride like a Town Car and a Citroen DS had a baby…..

    Gang, GM has just stepped up to the plate and hit, in my opinion, a home run with the 2nd generation TRAX RS model. It’s a nicely loaded and sized SUV with19 inch wheels under $25K that almost suits Andrew’s Dreams. It’s sporty looking, versatile, fun to drive. Now if only GM would put a pickup on that platform we’d have the dream.

    Between economics, design and regulation many wishes will never come true.

    Why do so many vehicles have large tires and wheels. Well the tall sides are required to meet side crash standards. Smaller wheels would look even more odd.

    Why is Toyota not offering more power. MGP and emission. And added costs that would sell few more cars then the too few they sell now.

    Trucks are a fickled market. They truck of the past was the second car and work vehicle. Today it has become the family ride in these days of small FWD cars many hate.
    They will remain so till people stop buying them. We may being a change as the cost is past so many buyers budgets since inflation has taken hold of everything.

    Lets face it many dreams are just that dreams. They are not things that you could pull off and really do for a number of reasons. Also the Economic aspect kills many a dream.

    I am siting on my present truck a mid size v6 crew that does all I need. Yes I wish it had HUD and a sun roof but I have no payment. I drive it little today as I work on line now since Covid. Got to love Teams.
    Also the price to buy what I have today would be around $65,000.

    I took just part of the money I would have spent and bought a C5 convertible in like new condition. It may be 23 years old but it will drive circles around many newer cars and it does not sound like a fart can 4 cylinder. It was some of the best money spent per HP. Based on prices I am seeing them go at this year I could easily sell for a small profit already. It is nice being past the curve.

    Wow that is what my wife wants. C5 convertible. She is hesitant because we have a dinky garage and … it is hard for her to part with the $$, even though we have it. LOL Now me I want a Fiero GT with either a 3800 SC or a small block V8 low mileage, upgraded brakes and wheels/tires. excellent interior and taillight lens and side windows. Lots of mods. LOL

    I have never heard that taller wheels are better for side impact. Hitting a wheel is not going to absorb much energy. Do taller tires help prevent side-impact rollover? Perhaps you’re gaining an inch or so more leverage?! I would be interested in your source on this.

    I think the point is that the sides of the vehicle are high to protect passengers (From oncoming trains? Geez.) and that small wheels would look sillier than these vehicles do already.

    My 2005 Yukon Denali looks almost Mini Cooperesque compared to the latest model. The giant size does not yield extra cargo space.

    Yup, if they do the throwback truck that Greg Ingold proposes, I’m gettin’ in line for a desert tan or minty green one!

    See….you guys are adding two tone paint etc., and the pic shows a cab with the pseudo back seat, all that stuff means $$. Is it lame to wish for the “fleet” work truck with no options (maybe AC), roll up windows, manual door locks, basic radio, manual trans? Reliable, simple, good for 300k if maintained? For about 20-22k? Yeah I’m dreaming. But I still say they’d sell a ton.

    Generally manufacturers want to make more loaded trucks alongside fleet trucks because that extra $$ atop a basic truck means way more profit for them. It’s been that way for decades, probably even back when Rangers/Silverados were decked out F-100s/C-10s.

    Plenty of room on this boat for all of us, that’s all I am saying.

    TWO TONE again, please!! Remember when you could put tan with burgundy, silver with teal, black with red, blue with white – and interiors that contrasted?! Yes!! Our 56 Olds was Ivory/Salmon, with a beige interior, and I had a 1981 Monte Carlo that was frost green over grey/green with t-tops, console, high-back buckets and factory alloys, but NO MORE options. I know it is tough for factories to retool and customization takes time and money, but normally the buyer speaks with money… just like builders not building ranchers anymore, cause the money is in height… boomers have all the cash though… okay, off my soapbox, bring back the TWO TONE!

    An American made 6 cyl rear wheel drive sports car with manual, tight handling, no frills, and under 4000 lbs. And it actually has to look like a sports car, not a CUV

    You are looking for a Cadillac CT4-V. 472 hp twin turbo, manual or auto. 4 door sedan. $60 something. Or if you want slightly used a 2016 to 2019 ATSV sedan or coupe, manual or auto. those should now be in $30s.
    Too bad GM never real advertised them.
    I had a 2016 manual coupe and sold it to a friend and now have a 2016 auto sedan. (Did not like the coupe doors)

    Saturn Sky Redline or a Pontiac GXP Solstice. Bring them back somehow. GM or somebody. Please

    There was a time when Chrysler made an AWD minivan. They were very nice vehicles and went through snow great. If you want a handling machine, the old short wheel base NS versions with FWD handled really well. At one time they were making Euro versions that had big sway bars and stiffer springs. I remember driving a diesel stick shift and it was very fun. The one I drove was RHD.

    “A BRZ/FRS with reliable 300hp.”
    Add hybrid electric/regen power to the front wheels (KEEP the stick shift), add a narrow, taller winter wheel/tire combo with diy lift kit to make it a better all-season winter driver. Bolt-in easy remove safety cage to meet track safety requirements, only color is base-white BUT with the included ANY COLOR wrap: sell huge amounts; Mazda copies, updates their Miata. Win Win Win.

    “A front-engine, rear-drive, stick shift convertible that has a V-12, Italian styling, and a sophisticated European interior, but the reliability and running costs of a ’99 Camry.”

    Start with a pickup chassis and whatever drivetrains (rear-wheel, 4×4, hybrid, electric, etc) drop modernized 1965 Lincoln Continental convertible/coupe/sedan bodies on it with two rows of 3 across seating. Keep making it longer until it passes all the crash tests.

    Just stick with the Camry for the weekday commute and have your weekend fun car separately. By the way, 97-2001 Camry I-4 2.2L, handle well with V-6 front springs and previous generation station wagon rear springs, and add KYB shocks.

    Did noone but me ever drive a Ford Flex? Cavernous interior, seats six with a rear console, AWD, Eco-boost V-6 with 355 hp. Big enough to haul bikes, lumber, dogs and it looked cool.

    I remember when the designer of the Ford Flex, Peter Horbury, commented that his mom said the Flex reminded her of a hearse.

    Lovin’ I heard the Flex was created after the designer saw a 1950’s Electrolux Vacuum… know if there is any truth to that? Always liked the look of the Flex. And I own an Electrolux… :p

    Vans are quickly disappearing from automobile manufacturer offerings (thank God) and being replaced by SUVs.

    The electric C130 is going to need a quantum leap in battery technology. Jet fuel is 50 times more energy dense by weight than the best batteries. Even considering that electric motors are maybe twice as efficient in converting that energy into horsepower, that’s a huge deficit to make up. The electricity to charge it doesn’t come from rainbows and fairy dust either.

    The electric C130 could work. Instead of mid-air refueling to a Strato-tanker, the Strato-tanker would extend an extension cable and do a mid-air recharging.

    This was a fun one. Being that I am in my late 40s some of these really hit home. The Pick up truck one did for sure because that is exactly what I am looking for today. A decent 4×4 with cloth seats, V8, good looks and other than AC and cruise not much more. Seems too much to ask. Your modern truck has to be as well appointed as a Bentley. Also the BRZ/86…..totally agree. Dammit just turbo charge the little thing from factory and away you go! Why won’t they do that???? 86 Speed Edition. Great article

    You can still get a “stripper” version of a pick up. You just have to actually order it special and wait 6 months.
    I ordered my 2023 GMC with 5.3 V8, towing package and really nothing else. It was still $60 something CDN
    In 2011 I ordered the same truck 6.2 litre with towing, dual zone heater Michelin tires instead of Firestone. I paid $35 CDN for that one. I actually still like that one better. (It is rusting though)

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