All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth, as the old seasonal song goes. Luckily, I’ve still just about got most of my teeth. I would, though, quite like a couple of changes to happen in the automotive world, plus a couple of additions to my garage...
So on the basis that I’ve been reasonably good this year and that Father Christmas is legally obliged to bring me at least a few of these items, let's see what pairs I would put on my Christmas list.
I really would like a BMW 316. The first E21 version please, Santa. It brings back happy memories of flogging them. It's very undervalued, I think – not glam but very significant, lightweight and fun. The smallest engine is fine. Thinking small, an Autobianchi Primula would be superb. Preferably the first hatchback. It's cute as a button and a rarity in the UK; I’ve definitely got space for one.
They are not exactly cars, but they are arguably more fun, but even if you are too scared/sensible to ride one, they are fabulous to look at. That’s why I would plump for an Ariel Leader, which, oddly, didn’t look like a motorbike at all, with lots of art deco panelling that made it look like the future. Which it wasn’t. It would look great in my kitchen, though. Then, for a bit of fun, a Honda Monkey Bike. Pocket sized, it could easily fit in my stocking, Santa.
Two tax changes
A 25-year-old car is a classic and clearly being well looked after, so I’d make that a zero road tax zone. It would benefit the parts and servicing industry in the country and encourage drivers to keep older cars running and on the road. Let's be honest about how much you pay the government in tax every time you fill up. Print that on the front of the pump. That will make motorists either drive more economically, switch to batteries or start an insurrection.
A pillar drill. I’ve got an old Black & Decker set-up that lets you bolt a normal drill in the right angle position. It’s not great. I need a proper one to do 90-degree holes in things. I’d love a four-post car lift, except that I don’t have the roof clearance in my garage without pushing my Mini through my office floor. So that will have to be an outdoor set-up.
Two motorsport proposals
Proper mud in rallycross, please. It seems to be conducted on circuits these days – very boring. Proper 1970s mud. Then can it be shown on Saturday around tea time? Thanks. And cars versus bikes – can we settle the 'which is better?' argument once and for all by having some sort of insane race series? I think maybe halfway through the motorcyclists swap their bike for a car and vice versa. Oh, and throw in some rallycross mud.
Your two requests from Santa
So any suggestions of your own? You never know, I might be able to persuade Autocar to arrange for your dream presents to turn up at your gaff before Boxing Day is out (no promises, though).
Have a jolly good one – ho, ho, ho and all that…