Things To Do Before You Die>> Drive Your Dream Car

There probably isn't anything more subjective that a "dream car." We each have our own favorites, cars we lust over for a number of reasons be it their unattainability, rarity, legendary status or anything else that makes us fall in love with a specific ride. It's for this reason that I really don't like it when people ask me to choose my favorite three cars or what cars I would have in my dream garage, as for me personally, the answer would be almost impossible to give. Variety is the key when appreciating cars, they may be lumps of metal that get you from point A to point B but to enthusiasts they assume very specific characters as they manage to tantalize the senses in very different ways. I think Jay Leno has got the right idea when it comes to this, or at least I share the same appreciation for the variety of engineering that has created some of the most noteworthy vehicles throughout history. His collection is made up of an ever-growing diverse mix of cars and to me that makes it far more appealing than somebody who just collects the most valuable exotics or classics out there.  

There is no right or wrong dream car, from surgically precise German supercars…

…and big overpowered coupes, sedans and convertibles; each have something special to offer.

Of course when thinking of dream cars the unobtainable limited edition super-exotic always comes to mind. But getting behind the wheel of something like the Reveonton above can be either a once in a lifetime experience or something that will just never happen.

Supercars from our childhood often remain dreams throughout our lives and for me personally the Ferrari F40 is one of those cars. If I were forced to choose one Ferrari I would go for the F40 time and time again. Its rawness and looks alone do it for me and I think that even if close to 25 years old now, it will be a blast to drive. I hope I will get the chance to find out in the future. However I should consider myself lucky as in the ten years I've been in this line of work I've had the chance to sample a big variety of cars, all very much classifiable as dream rides…

…starting with the icons. The AE86 is the perfect example of how dream cars need not necessarily be inaccessible. I think you can't consider yourself an enthusiast or lover of all things JDM if you have never sampled a hachiroku. For me this happened when I borrowed the above Techno Pro Spirits tuned 200 HP Levin from Miguel at Newera Imports. Spending a few days with this car was an eye opener, proving just how capable a light and well set up car can be. 

It might sound stupid, but to this day I still get excited the night before I pick up a test car. Any kind of car. It's like waking up on Christmas day as a kid, heading downstairs to open your presents except you have a car to play around with and shoot for a week or so. To me that is a dream in itself, sampling the variety of vehicles that exits out there and like the AE86, getting behind the wheel of the NSX-R, was a dream come true. Everything about Honda's greatest road car was spot on, and it lived up to every single one of my expectations. It's cars like this that become benchmarks upon which you judge everything else you drive from then on…

…very much like the Nismo Z-tune also was. That afternoon playing on the Ashinoko Skyline touge with number 001, Nismo's personal car, was one of the most satisfying drives I've ever had. Throwing the impressively grippy limited edition BNR34 around corners and tapping into its infinite reserves of power and torque was nothing short of driving bliss.

A dream come true? For sure!

 More run of the mill cars very much fit the bill too obviously…

…as well as the classics. These take on a completely new and different category I think. You don't dream of driving vintage cars like this to be overwhelmed by their performance, as most of the time it can be almost disappointing compared to what we are used to today.

But the sense of occasion, the rarity, the smell, the sound all contribute to create an unforgettable experience.

Sometimes you can also be left unexpectedly impressed like I was when I drove this TA Auto tuned S30 240ZG around Sodegaura Forest Raceway, blown away by the power and response of the engine and the progressive nature of the handling.

For many people exclusivity is important, even at the affordable end of the spectrum and cars like the ASL Garaiya…

…or Vemac RD180 combine this rarity with in a fun and enjoyable driving experience. 

Driving a dream car on a particular stretch of road or track often intensifies the experience and obviously the satisfaction, much like last year where I got to drive an R35 GT-R…

…leisurely, around Bathurst.

Or a few months earlier throwing a SpecV through the challenging corners…

…of Sendai Hi-Land.

And yes once again an R35 GT-R, this time using it for a short road trip between LA and Las Vegas…

…experiencing its exotic supercar-slaying capabilities on roads I had only seen in movies before then!

But no matter how many dream cars you get to drive…

…sample to the limit…

…and many times well over it, you just want to get back into the driver's seat and repeat the experience all over again.

As cars continue to develop and get better there's a non-stop flow of high-performance rides out there to sample.

They get faster, better looking…

…and lure you in with their impressive specs and inviting interiors.

There are others that will forever be a dream, those unobtainable creations that never materialized past concept form. Cars that were so close but just didn't make it. The Mugen NSX-RR is one of the best examples, a car that would make anyone with a remote ounce of passion go weak at the knees.

But it was just not meant to be.

At the end of the day there is no better way to spend a few hours out for a drive in your own car. It might not be the best, fastest, most highly tuned or latest car out there but it's yours, it's there to satisfy your need to drive, something it does every time without fail. We all have our never-ending list of dream cars we would like to experience, it comes with being an enthusiast, but I think we should put those dreams aside at times and enjoy what we have, because it's the driving part that really fuels our passion.

Things to do before you die

-Dino Dalle Carbonare



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I would just like to say that this is one of the best articles that I have read here about true automotive passion. Yes there are the spots on certain cars and certain shops, but this was something that I believe anyone that reads any automotive blog can relate to perfectly. "To each their own," kept coming into my head and it really is true, from the exotic of Mclaren and Bugatti, to Honda Civic's and Nissan Z's. Thank you for showing what everyone can do.


1 Word, 1 Letter, 1 Number- Mclaren F1- with cherries on top? Mclaren F1 GTR- absolute automotive brilliance. You can Bugatii Veryon, or CCX me to death- but they will NEVER EVER hold Dream Car status quite like the Mclaren F1 ever will.......


like you said "variety is the key when appreciating cars", i live in ca dealershp area and work at a dealership too, so i'm exposed to most of the manufacturers cars in your blog on a everyday basis.. i love cars and have driven most of the so-called Super Cars, but show me a mint VW Golf MK1 GTi and you've got my attention. - it would be interesting to discuss driving your dream car and owning your dream car. - love that Mugen NSX with a passion. - thanks.


what about the Zonda?!?!?!


Hats off to you, Dino. This is the single greatest example of automotive love i've seen on the internet. And aptly put to boot.


Thank you for writing this article. Made my day.


Great post, and one of the better reads at Speedhunters. Sadly, getting to drive your dreamcar is harder depending on where you live, like Sweden. Sure if you live in the correct spot, it gives you a better chance. I'm glad to have driven and currently owning one of my dreamcars, the Evo 6. I own a JDM 6 GSR, which I in the end paid to much for, and have had some bad luck with (with the exterior... have sadly been people who thought it was fun to kick in lights, key it etc). But the first drive home from the Importer, a "small" drive of 1200km non-stop, was magical. It has served me well since 2008 and been my daily drive when I worked as a consultant, trough blizzards of snow, chilling -30 celsius. Sun or snow, it has just been a joy.

Sadly it now longer gets the use it should get since I now live 15 minutes by foot to work. I am looking into that R34 GTR, that monster of a machine, to be my new ride, for those days I only want to be on the road by myself, experiencing the roads around the northen parts of Sweden. The Evo was and still is a great car, but now when I drive I want it to feel a bit special, just for myself.

I consider it a success if you get a chanse to just own one of your dreamcars, but part of dreamcars is the dream, and as long as you keep it alive, there is always a chance you can get to sample some of the cars on your "to do before you die"-list, even if you live in a wasteland surrounded by Volvo's and Saab's.


This is pure enthusiasm in word form, really enjoyed reading this article Dino!


Great write up, definite must before you die! Earlier this year I had the chance to drive an acquaintance's Ferrari 360 Spider, a car I drooled over in magazines for hours in freshman history class. I was afraid it wouldn't live up to expectations, but didn't disappoint: snick of the gated shifter, weight of steering and the howl of 3rd gear WOT...Still puts a big dumb smile on my face.


Carrera GT is my dream car! :)


Im slightly jelous...


I'm so glad you included the AE86 and Bathurst in this "Things to do before you die" - it's my favourite car and my favourite place to drive. Very nice.


Dino, your photos are simply amazing and this article just topped off everything. I simply envy you as a fellow photographer and as a person for being able to get up and close with all these amazing cars. While some of us dream day in and out of driving these machines of god, it's rather delicious eye candy to view them through your lens. Keep up the great work man.


My top 5:

5.Lamborghini Diablo SV

4.Shelby GT500 Fastback

3.Carrera GT

2.Ferrari F50

1. Honda NSX (I wanna own this one)


Thank you Dino. This article shows what it's all about, passion, feelings.

I have a 20 Jear old Mercedes Benzs 190, no performance at all, but i looove that old lady, the paint still sparkles, it'S tidy and clean, which i make shure about 2 times a week. And my daily.

It's all about passion, i don't need a porsch, or a maserati, i love my old bucket, and my dream is once owning a nissan skyline r32 or r34, or an FD. So all reachable.

Thank you DIno, it's not about what others think of that car, as long as it makes you smile even in the shittiest day, when you on the drivers seat nothing else matters ( lol think something like that was said in a F&F movie ).

So long One


Ahh has to be F40 and the 240z/510 with wantanabe's




My dream is the Lancer Evo VI...




probably my top 3 favorite article here at SH

well done... really, this article hits all the right places in all of our automotive passion


the best article ever on this site to date. extremely well written, this article really captures the passion of cars. it makes me think about every car i've ever dreamed of owning as a young child, especially the s15 silvia. words cannot describe the brilliance of this article.


Dream car of legendary status: NSX

Dream car of accessible status: Impreza 2.5RS GC8

Dream car of rarity and vintage status: Hakosuka

Dream car of speed status: Mclaren F1

Dream car of unobtainable status: R35 GT-R Spec-V(No Spec-V's in the US)

I'm getting the GC8 in a couple of months. My first step to achieving this dream.


-Eunos Cosmo JC

-Viper GTS

-first gen NSX

-71 Charger

-FD RX-7


That last paragraph sums it up nicely... well put...


Dino, that was the best article I've read from you yet!! Superb!!


I would be satisfied with an EVO


picture #19 desktop please. Love the roller coaster in the background!


I think there are 2 kinds of dream cars. Ones you wish to own and ones you make your own. I fall in the latter category. My 71 240z may not be the prettiest, fastest or smoothest running car...yet, but everyday i make her a little better and that much closer to the car of my dreams. Its that desire to make that perfect dream car that embodies our car tuning culture.


By far the best in the"Things to do before you die" series. You've basically named over 3 of the cars I really want to drive before I die...F40,AE86, GTR, NSXR...

Keep up the great work!


I'll see your drive and up you with own - used s2000's are very affordable and top down offer you something no other car in this list really does the ultimate HD view


I agree, driving it is nice, but you should not own your dream car. I have made the 'mistake' to purchase my dream car two years ago and ever since i have reached a "yeah great and now what" phase. Some things just should remain a dream.


the gembella mirage GT in bright orange.....! but for an everyday car it would have to be a R34 GTR V-Spec Nur II or the Hakosuka like the fatlace one!


This month's theme is pretty awesome.


Thank-you Dino.

Very well written.

This post recalls all my memories about cars.


i'd love to drive your car dino!

but not in any particular order:

sl 63 amg black

lotus elan 2013

spec -v gtr


honda hsv 10


This is one, if not, the best post I have ever read on SpeedHunters. One can really see that you poured passion into those words, and realize that you know what you're talking about.

I always enjoy reading your posts and leaving comments on them, but this is one is truly special and deserves attention. Greetings from a car fanatic from Chile!

This is one, if not, the best post I have ever read on SpeedHunters. One can really see that you poured passion into those words, and realize that you know what you're talking about.

I always enjoy reading your posts and leaving comments on them, but this is one is truly special and deserves attention. Greetings from a car fanatic from Chile!

By the way, who can lend me a McLaren F1? I need to make those "Need For Speed" dreams come true!


well said Dino. to simply satiate that passion for driving is what all that matters.


This is one, if not, the best post I have ever read on SpeedHunters. One can really see that you poured passion into those words, and realize that you know what you're talking about.

I always enjoy reading your posts and leaving comments on them, but this is one is truly special and deserves attention. Greetings from a car fanatic from Chile!

By the way, who can lend me a McLaren F1? I need to make those "Need For Speed" dreams come true!


Dino, I have been a big fan of your work since I 1st got on a while back.

But simply put this is your best work to date. Great post, write up, and pics !! Enjoy life my friend...


Z-Tune...dream for life...


THis is imposible... I could never make the choice for one dream car.....


Ah, crap. Those posts up there got messed up.


I am a regular on this website, reading almost every article there is on this website. Having said that, I think that this is one of the best articles I have ever read, thank you for a pleasurable read. I hope you get to experience the Ferrari F40 soon as I hope I get to experience my dream cars too.



Things to do before you die: Own a classic.


Just moved to Japan...bought one of my dream cars today, a r32 gtr :)


Just moved to Japan...bought one of my dream cars today, a r32 gtr :)


My dream car is Lancia Delta HF Integrale (rock)


Just moved to Japan...bought one of my dream cars today, a r32 gtr :)


Just moved to Japan...bought one of my dream cars today, a r32 gtr :)


Just moved to Japan...bought one of my dream cars today, a r32 gtr :)


Spot on, Mitchell.

Excellent post... definitely one of the best


o dino uve got nothin to complain man! livin in jap n own a jealous indeed!!!


Dream cars, I can own, NSX, Supra, Turbo Lexus SC(Soarer), GTO/Monaro, Corvette, Porsche 911

Dream cars if I hit the lotto, Lamborghini Gallardo, Ferrari 360 CS, Aston Martin DBS, Mclaren SLR


Absolutely astonishing, very inspirational and well put together. Stay gold and keep up the good work.


The month of May is drawing to a close, and that means that our "Things to Do Before You Die"