Just had one of those long drives with a car-loving mate when the conversation turned to a ‘fantasy garage’. Or ’desert island cars’, if you prefer.  

The question, this time: if you had to drive cars made by only one manufacturer for the rest of time, which company would it be?

The rules: you’d have access to any single car maker’s whole back catalogue, any time you wanted. Fuelled, working, free. Opening your garage door would be like stepping into a particular brand’s museum. You’ve got the life you have now, but pick the car you want to drive that day, and off you go.

And the badge on the nose is what matters, not the parent company. You can’t select ‘Volkswagen’ because it gets you a Volkswagen Golf and a Lamborghini Miura and a Porsche 917. Selecting VW would just get you the Golf.

But BMW would get you M cars and Mercedes would get you AMGs. Bentley would get you pre-war special-bodied variants. Anyway, that slightly convoluted explanation would make the shortlist a fairly short one, for me. I mean, all credit to you if you simply couldn’t go the rest of your life without spending quality time with an Ariel Nomad, but the cat would resent me if I tried to take him to the vet in one.

So it would have to be a car manufacturer that has made sensible cars you could spend sensible time in, and stupid, selfish cars for stupid, selfish times. And ideally some racing cars, too.

Loads of car makers fit the bill. Over the past century, most have made something useful and something spectacular.

Which makers do I have under consideration? Porsche, for one. The sensible Macan, the brilliant 909 Bergspyder hillclimb special, any of myriad great 911s, trips to the theatre in a 928, scaring yourself stupid on the way to work in a GT1.

Or perhaps BMW, because an M1 would scratch most supercar itches and there are dozens of M cars that would make every day a joy.

Or Mercedes-Benz, because the choice of popping to the Co-op in an Uhlenhaut 300 SLR or a 190E 2.3 16 or an SSK sounds like precisely my kind of dilemma. My shortlist would wrap up with Ford and Toyota, partly because I’m quite into 4x4s and trucks these days, perhaps more than supercars, and both do a decent line in them, partly because the 2000GT or the GT40 are achingly lovely, and partly because their respective back catalogues of interesting cars is so broad that you could never, ever, be bored with it. Which, ultimately, is the point, really.