If you had to choose...
Toy Cars Often Represent Real Car Choices
by Doug Breithaupt

Close your eyes and pretend you just won the lottery, OK, at least the office football pool. Suddenly you have the most dangerous possession of them all, liquid cash. You decide to go car shopping. The twelve choices represented below are your automotive options. Are you 'old school' or 'modern chic'? Do you go classic or high tech. I'll share my choices if you send me yours. Let's see where we end up behind the wheel.

Of course, half the fun is finding toy cars to represent the classic and modern choices. I've picked cars from six different countries representing the original (or close to original) and most recent model or body style for selected manufacturers. This also provides a look at how retro styling has influenced current models. I even matched colors to make the choice visually balanced. Send me your response: doug@breithaupts.com.

Honda S800M, Tomica #23
Honda's baby roadster of the 1960's was the S800M. What it lacked in speed it made up in open-top style, economy and value. The Honda S2000 is a modern tribute to that same idea. It's faster and a bit more expensive.

I would have to go with the S2000. I'm not sure I would feel safe in something as small as the S800M and it is very basic motoring. The S2000 is a world-class roadster.

Honda S2000, AUTOArt

Ford Mustang Cvt., Johnny Lightning #653
Ford's Mustang re-defined the automotive world and gave us the 'Pony Car'. The convertible is now an icon of open-top motoring. The current Mustang Convertible is a tribute to the original as well, It offers much the same aura as the first Mustang.

My choice here would be the original 1964 1/2 Mustang. It's not my favorite Mustang model but I prefer it to the new edge styling.

Ford Mustang Convertible, Matchbox

Mini Cooper, Siku #1031
The Mini was a revolutionary small-car package in 1959 and went on to great sales success. The new Mini Cooper by BMW will clearly see sales success of it's own. The retro styling is some of the best done to date.

The new Mini Cooper would be my pick. It offers style rarely seen in today's new cars, especially for small cars. BMW quality would also be a big advantage over the original Mini's usual British gremlins.

Mini Cooper, Maisto

1960 Porsche 356B, Welly #2060
Porsche's 356B Cabriolet has style to spare and was an instant classic. The recent 996 Cabriolet continues the simplicity of line and beauty of a clean, original design.

This would be a tough choice. The new Porsche is more user friendly but the older model is a beautiful ride. By the smallest margin, I would choose the new Porsche because it does everything well and could even make up for my driver short-comings. The older model was less forgiving.

Porsche 996 Cabriolet, AUTOart

Renault 5, Matchbox #21
Renault produced a modern economy car for the 1970's in the '5'. It had it's faults but it also offered value and amazing economy with French flair. The current Twingo does much the same with seating for four and 50 MPG, while still carrying that 'je ne sais quoi' that only the French can offer.

The Renault 5 is hardly a collector car and rust has sent many back to nature. I like the quirky look of the Twingo and would have to once again go with the modern car.

Renault Twingo, Majorette #206

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, Hot Wheels
The Ferrari 356 GTB/4 Daytona was a true supercar and a styling tour de force by Pininfarina. The 456M Daytona is a better all-round car with hints of the original in styling and with a front-engine V12, RWD configuration.. Curiously, the prices of either today are not far apart.

We would all love to have this choice and it is certainly a win-win situation. I can not resist the lines of the original Daytona and would take the old over the new in this case.

Ferrari 456M Daytona, Hot Wheels

You may be surprised that I would select four new cars out of the six choices. Considering that my daily driver is 15 years old, I'm a bit surprised too. I'm curious to see your choices and hear why. Either way, owning any six of these cars would be guaranteed to cover all the essential automotive bases.