1. home
  2. news
  3. What I’d Buy with $1 Million, Chapter 7: A Split-Window Sting Ray, a Great Getaway Vehicle

What I’d Buy with $1 Million, Chapter 7: A Split-Window Sting Ray, a Great Getaway Vehicle

My list of all-time dream cars is l-o-n-g. Buddy, can you spare an extra million?

Ed TahaneyWriter, PhotographerManufacturerPhotographer

Welcome to the latest installment and chapter seven of Automobile's "Million Dollar Challenge," wherein each member of our staff curates their dream-car collection. The basic rules: Someone hands you $1 million to spend, with a catch—you blow it on nothing but filling your dream garage with cars you've always wanted. We won't blow the entire imaginary bundle on one or two ultra-pricy choices, because what fun would that be? This week, it's Automobile online editor Ed Tahaney's turn to fill his dream garage:

You know, an imaginary $1 million doesn't seem to go very far for a garage filled with the cars I've always wanted to own. Still it's a super start to acquire a small fleet of dream machines. I'd really love to own a late 1950s BMW 507 or late 1960s Toyota 2000GT, but you can't buy either for a million bucks, so I had to cut them from my list. I also cut the following dream cars because I ran out of budget really fast:

  • 1960 Plymouth Fury
  • 1968 Triumph TR6
  • 1969 Chevrolet Corvette convertible
  • 1969 Pontiac Firebird convertible
  • 1969 Datsun Roadster
  • 1972 Datsun 240Z
  • 1972 De Tomaso Pantera
  • 1974 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia convertible
  • 2006 Audi R8
  • 2021 Zero Labs Electric Bronco

Of course, I would put big fat white wall tires on the Ghia, Datsun Roadster, and TR6 to class them up. My neighbors and friends have owned a number of these beautiful dream cars, including the Firebird which really caught my attention. Sadly, I need another million to complete my monster dream garage, so here's what I'd buy instead.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe, $135,000-$150,000

The eighth-generation Chevrolet C8 Corvette is a tempting ride, but to stand apart from the pack, I'd drop a stack of cash on a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe. Chevy built only 21,313 coupes and convertibles for that year, and while I love Corvette convertibles, the 1963 Sting Ray was the only year that featured the famous rear split-window. This example packs a 327-cubic inch V-8 mated to a four-speed manual transmission. I would prefer one painted in Sebring Silver, but I'll take one in any color if the price is right.

1969 Alfa Romeo Spider, $50,000-$75,000

My wife has threatened to divorce me if I ever buy an Alfa Romeo, but since I have a million bucks to burn, I think she'd enjoy driving this little Duetto, too. A well-preserved mid-1960s Spider 1600 would be fine, but I have my sights on a more powerful 1750 Spider Veloce with a 1,779-cc inline-four that's matched to a five-speed manual transmission. If I can find a mint example (preferably in red) and I have enough cash leftover, I might buy an extra round-tail Spider as a parts donor to tinker with.

2001 BMW Z8 Roadster, $150,000-$200,000

Since I don't have the budget for a classic BMW 507, I would opt for a two-seater that was at least inspired by it: the BMW Z8 Roadster. BMW built the Z8 from 2000-03, and I just love the look of this convertible. It shares a lot of parts with my old Z3 Roadster, but instead of packing a puny powertrain, the Z8 has a 4.9-liter V-8 that's good for 394 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. I would prefer one with a six-speed manual transmission, of course, and seek out a mint example in Titanium Silver with a Sport Red leather interior. Naturally, the top would stay down permanently, and I would use its matching metal hardtop as a coffee table in my dream garage.

2019 McLaren 720S Spider, $315,000-$325,000

Hot tubs are great for an end of the day soak, but for the rest of the day you can find me in a carbon-fiber cocoon called the McLaren 720S Spider. I'll be listening to the mid-mounted 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V-8 engine roar with its 710 hp and 568 lb-ft of torque at my disposal. Here's the best part: With the top down, I can scoot up to 202 mph, or 212 mph with the top up, if I need to flee in a hurry. In order to keep costs "down," my only options will be the Aztec Gold paint, 10-spoke lightweight stealth wheels, carbon-fiber pack, a Black and Scoria Gray interior, Carbon Black leather steering wheel, and a Bowers & Wilkins 12-speaker audio system for my Beastie Boys collection—starting with License to Ill to break it all in.

2021 EarthCruiser V-8 EXP, $370,000

When the shit really hits the fan (if it hasn't already), I'll make my getaway in a blacked out EarthCruiser expedition truck to search the planet for signs of life, grub, and gas. This 4x4 is perfect for the end of days, and it is built to go anywhere. Heck, it even fits inside a shipping container if I need to travel the high seas.

Of course, the hardest part will be choosing which dream car I would tow, and which ones I would have to leave behind in my dream garage. Maybe I'd just sell them all for whatever cash I could get, and squeeze a couple of Kawasaki dirt bikes inside my EarthCruiser for recon.