If you had a million dollars, what car would you buy?
Notable Canadians talk dream rides if they won the lottery, and some choices are surprisingly modest
More than $50 million is up for grabs in Ontario lottieries this weekend, so we here at Wheels thought it would be fun to ask some people what kind of car they would buy if they had that money. Wheels’ Bill Taylor finds out.
“If I had a million dollars,” the Barenaked Ladies famously sang, “I’d buy you a K-Car, a nice, Reliant automobile.”
Two decades later, $1,000,000 doesn’t go as far as it used to and it’s regarded as a pretty average jackpot. But it would still buy enough Chrysler K-Cars to give you a unique collection (because no one else would want it).
Some GTA notables shared their thoughts on what they’d buy if they won the lottery. No one actually plumped for a K-Car, but some of the choices are surprisingly modest:
-Soccer star Logan Emory fell in love with the Mercedes G-Wagon in his hometown of Boise, Idaho.
“So that’s what I’d buy,” says Emory, who is a defender for Toronto FC. “I know it’s just a small SUV, but it’s got a mix of luxury car in there, too. I guess I’d have plenty of cash left over but I’m not a big sports car kind of guy. I don’t like cars with two doors and I just don’t see the need to have one that goes 200 miles an hour.”
Back in Boise, he owns a Ford Ranger pickup, “that I’ve had for awhile. It’s from the early 2000s; nothing special but it gets me from point A to point B.”
And what kind of car gets him from point A to point B in Toronto? Emory chuckles: “A streetcar. It’s usually the quickest way.”
-David Bednar, on a hands-free phone in his 1988 Chevy S-10 Blazer, takes the “money is no object” idea literally.
“You can’t just limit me to one car,” insists Bednar, general manager of the CNE. “If you did, it would be the most expensive Porsche I could find.
“But I’d want every car I drove in high school — I already have my mother’s ’62 Buick LeSabre — plus every American car manufactured in the year I was born, 1952. It’s only about six manufacturers. I’m not being extravagant!”
Bednar’s high school cars include a ’61 VW and a ’60 Cadillac Calais, “the cheap end of the range that my dad had.”
Apart from the Blazer, he drives a 2004 BMW 3-Series wagon. Then there’s a “basket-case” 1952 Chevy Suburban and his beloved ’52 Chevy truck. Bednar’s dying wish, he says, will be “to be put in a body bag in the cab and submerged in a lake. But I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
-Award-winning actor and broadcaster Jeff Douglas would buy a racer — a two-wheeled racer with an electronic shifter, and pedals. Douglas, co-host of CBC Radio’s is fondly remembered as Joe, the proudly ranting Canuck in Molson’s “I Am Canadian” ad.
An ardent weekend bicycle racer, the first of his lottery winnings would go on “a Cervelo R5CA, an amazingly beautiful ride. Not a lot of them around.”
Which is surprising — they cost almost $10,000 just for the super-light carbon-fibre frame.
“After that, a Lightweight — that’s the company name — wheels setup would be $3,500,” Douglas says. “And Shimano Dura-Ace electronic shifters, about $4,000. For $20,000, I’d be all set.”
He’d still need a car. He drives a 2011 Subaru Forester “with a manual shift; that was the big thing. I’d probably stay with Subaru and buy a Crosstrek and maybe, just maybe, an Impreza hatchback.
“I might not even drive that; just park it in the driveway to impress my nephew!”
-If jazz singer Pat Murray had a winning ticket to ride, she’d look for an aqua 1956 Mercedes 220S Cabriolet. She has a photograph.
“Yeah, that’s what it is, a . . . what you said!” says Murray, before her regular Monday night gig at Remarks Bar and Grill in East York. “I just knew it was a Mercedes and a convertible and from the ’50s. I’ve always loved the look and that colour is very specific to the period — cars, kitchen tables, linoleum . . . you never see it anymore.”
Murray, whose latest CD is appropriately titled , drives a 2010 Toyota Yaris, “blue-grey, not aqua.”
-In one way, best-selling author and former Star columnist Linwood Barclay won a lottery. Warner Brothers is turning his latest thriller, , into a Hollywood movie.
His aspirations are unassuming, though they strike him as rather immodest: “I’d get a nicer Porsche than the one I drive now. Doesn’t that sound awful? A Porsche…”
Barclay’s current Porker is a pretty nice base-model 2010 Cayman. Next time, he figures he’ll go with an upmarket variant with an “S” in its name. “That would keep me happy. Lamborghinis and Ferraris do nothing for me.”
-Celebrity chef Jamie Kennedy — with an Order of Canada for “his promotion of Canadian cuisine and the use of organic, sustainable and locally sourced foods” — drives a “big bad-boy” 1993 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup. It’s good for all the time he spends on farms.
Kennedy’s dream would be “to put research-and-development money into a bio-diesel cargo van and do the test-driving.”
Until that became a reality, driving a Toyota Prius, “would make you feel a little less guilty.”