Top Ten Cars for Dad's Dream Garage

by By William Sprecher, Contributing Editor
Imagine for a second that you’re excessively wealthy. It’s nice, isn’t it? Money opens a lot of doors – especially those leading to car dealership showrooms. Father’s Day is coming up, and the car market is your oyster. Still, there are decisions to be made. You could get Dad a Bugatti Veyron and call it a day, but where’s the fun in that? Be creative, go for a car that turns his daily driver on its head. 
 
We’ve put together a list of a few good replacements for his current ride. So forget about college loans and second mortgages and dream a little, because Dad usually deserves a lot more than what we give him. But don’t dream too long – Father’s day is just around the corner.

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

Dad loves American cars and lives for the sound of a small block V-8. After all, it was the soundtrack of his youth. Unfortunately, his Tahoe doesn’t quite live up to its brand heritage. Sure, it’s powerful, but let’s hand him the keys to Chevy’s most expensive, most powerful brawler, the Corvette ZR1. It takes the V-8 he loves so much and slaps a supercharger on it. Nothing would make him want to get out of bed more than a simple, unabashedly American 6.2-liter monster that will tear the side mirrors off cars costing twice as much. Let’s face it, who doesn’t love the smell of 638 horses in the morning? 

Nissan GT-R

He loved his old Datsun 240Z, and while Dad’s Nissan Rogue made sense when you were younger, you’ve flown the nest now. Maybe it’s just us, but four doors seems like two too many. Sure, at $84,060 the GT-R is four times more expensive than his current car, but if you’re having a hard time justifying the switch, just remember – the GT-R has all-wheel drive, so not only is it a hoot in the corners, it’s practical too. 

Audi R8 Spyder

Dad loves to stay ahead of the curve. His iPad and iPhone attest to that, but his Audi TT? It’s a good car, but somehow it doesn’t quite cut the mustard when put up against the best of what Audi has to offer. At around $160,000, the Audi R8 Spyder is a good deal more expensive than his TT Roadster, and for good reason; its massive V-10 and four-second 0-60 mph sprint could make Hugh Hefner blush.

Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

The Ford F-150 is the best-selling truck in America, thanks to its versatility and ability to haul thousands of pounds of cargo, so chances are your dad owns one. But all trucks come with a bed and four wheels. How many trucks could run the Baja 1000 straight out of the box? The Raptor has over one foot of suspension travel in the rear, and 35-inch-tall, 97 lb wheels at each corner, meaning it can take on all rocks, sand pits and dust that you care to throw at it. And at only $38,000, this dream truck isn’t far from reality.

Tesla Roadster

The Toyota Prius has complemented Dad’s devotion to the environment and fuel savings for some time now. However, the $101,500 Tesla Roadster would give him something to really be smug about. It’s greener than the Prius and a whole lot more fun. The Tesla uses absolutely no gasoline, unlike that gasoline/electric Prius, and can run up to 245 miles per charge from the electricity in your wall. Did we mention it’s seriously quick too? The base model reaches 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds.

Lexus LFA

A Lexus with a carbon fiber dashboard, V-10 engine and a price tag close to $400,000 makes about as much sense as, well, spending close to half a million dollars on a Lexus. With 552 horsepower and an F1 soundtrack, an LCD screen where the gauges should be and body panels that could have been cut by a knife, this car bears no resemblance to your dad’s beige RX 350 -- and that's a good thing.

Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera

Dad has been planning his campout in front of the Chrysler dealership since learning that the Fiat 500 was coming our way. But why wait when he could move to bigger and better things just as easily and without the wait. The Gallardo Superleggera fits the bill nicely with a bigger look, bigger sound and bigger price. It also has a more powerful engine than the standard Gallardo, with 561 horsepower from the massive V-10, and an Alcantara-swathed interior. 

Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Your dad is a real hands-on kind of guy. He loves the DIY stuff, from building sheds to changing his car’s oil. The same goes for his driving style. He’ll trade nothing for an emotionally engaging drive, but a Mazda Miata? Sure it’s fantastic on the track and equally engaging on the road, but nothing says, “Happy Father’s Day” quite like 620 horsepower and 3.6-liters of turbocharged flat-six. Put your thumb over a couple of digits and the 911 GT2 RS's $240,000 price tag seem marginally reasonable.

Ferrari 458 Italia

He loves to dance, wear gold bracelets and parade around in silk shirts with his chest hair exposed. It’s almost as embarrassing for you to be seen with your dad as it is for him to be seen in his 1991 Alfa Romeo 164. We suggest the 560 horsepower, V-8 Ferrari 458 Italia. The exterior was developed with speed in mind as massive amounts of downforce are created at speeds in excess of 120 mph, while parts of the body actively move to create less drag -- unlike your dad’s personal shag carpet.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG “Gullwing”

Your dad has a Mercedes. Your dad’s dad had one, and even his dad before him! Talk about history! For 2011, Mercedes-Benz is celebrating 125 years of automotive awesomeness with their 300SL reincarnation, the SLS AMG. If 6.2-liters, eight cylinders and 571 horsepower aren’t convincing enough, check out the wings! The original 300SL goes for about a million bucks, making the new $183,000 SLS AMG a real bargain. 

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