Million-Dollar Challenge

OK, you’ve just netted $50 million in a lottery win. You decide to allocate $1 million to buying cars. What do you buy?

I “stole” this idea (well, the lottery scenario is my idea) from here, a Corvette Blogger post that is itself just “copying” the idea from Automobile Magazine. Since I have already committed my Ultimate Garage to the public record, this is not a difficult assignment for me. However, since many of those cars are not new with a known MSRP, I am going to have to estimate a price for most, if not all, of these cars. For one of the cars at the two-car “top” of my automotive pyramid, the price would sort of be up to me as it would probably be a build.


First, a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette convertible restomod.



This is a picture of a 1967 Corvette convertible restomod I took at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale in January, 2019. While I would probably have a different color interior (two-tone with red and the body color), the car as it existed was very close to my ideal restomod. Although one could build a restomod for less than the amount I will show, considering the cost of a donor car and the fact that this particular example hammered for $192,500 all in, I think $200,000 is realistic without going over the top. $800,000 left…

Next, from a picture of a DeTomaso Longchamp. This is the same photo that is part of the rotating set of pictures in the header of this blog.


See the source image


While I don’t like the standard wheels, those can be changed. I love everything else about the looks of this car.

On Classic Driver, three Longchamps are currently listed for sale, all in Europe. One is listed as P.O.R., meaning Price On Request. The other two have an average asking price of about $95,000. I don’t know how much it would cost to import this car. Supposedly, the duty is only 2.5% of the transaction value, but you also have to pay for shipping and probably pay someone to do the paperwork. Rounding up for unexpected events, let’s say it’s another $15,000 so the total cost is $110,000. $690,000 left…

Third, not counting the Ultimate Garage car I already own–my 2016 Corvette Z06, is this one, picture from Hemmings.


See the source image


This is a 1965 Buick Riviera GS. Yes, I love the ’63 and ’64, but since I have $1 million to spend I’m going for the top.

Speaking of Hemmings, only two ’65 Riviera GS models are available for sale there at present. The listing prices are $50,000 and $65,000. Assuming I’m going to buy a pristine or near-pristine example and have to pay for shipping, I’m going to say this car will cost me $75,000. $615,000 left…

OK, after these “must-have” cars the field is much more open. I could bring in an expensive “curveball” from outside of my Ultimate Garage, which almost certainly wouldn’t be exactly the same as it was when I revealed it in May-June of 2019. Or I could just stick to the list…


See the source image


From Parkers of the UK a picture of a Ferrari Portofino. I mean, c’mon, with a million dollars to spend you have to buy a Ferrari, right? The base price for one of these is $215,000, but would you buy one with no options if you didn’t have to? Arbitrarily choosing an additional 15% for options brings the price to just shy of $250,000. $365,000 left…

Going “off-script” but consistent with what I’ve written about many times:


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From Classic Cars a picture of a 1993 Cadillac Allante. Speaking of Classic Cars, nine 1993 Cadillac Allantes were listed for sale that were not auction cars. They ranged in price from $3,500 to $26,500 with an average of $14,000. Oh, I would buy a ’93 as it was the only year for the 295 HP Northstar V-8. I remember a 1990 model that hammered at the Mecum Denver auction in 2018 for $1,650 all in. Anyway, assuming $15,000 for the cost of this one I still have $350,000 left.

So far, what this exercise tells me is that if you don’t have to have a Duesenberg or a Koenigsegg, you can have a hell of a car collection for much less than a million dollars.

Another “cheap” Cadillac, this time sticking to the Ultimate Garage list.


See the source image


From Vintage Car Collector, a picture of a 1967 Cadillac Eldorado. Prices of these cars have risen somewhat since I put a value of $15,000 on this car last year. Buying a good one might cost me $20,000. $330,000 left…

Since I still have about a third of a million left I’m going to spend a big chunk of it. Originally I had a picture from the manufacturer’s website, but apparently that photo doesn’t display on mobile devices even though it displays on my desktop computer. Anyway, the Aston Martin Vanquish S coupe.


See the source image



All I can write is Wow! What I can also write is that I am now just about out of money as this car will cost about $300,000, leaving me with just $30,000. While I could buy another really nice car, I’ll stop here and keep the $30,000. So, in the order they were shown here, a list of the cars I would buy, at the moment, if I could spend a million dollars.


1967 Chevrolet Corvette restomod convertible  $200,000

DeTomaso Longchamp  $110,000

1965 Buick Riviera GS  $75,000

Ferrari Portofino $250,000

1993 Cadillac Allante $15,000

1967 Cadillac Eldorado $20,000

Aston Martin Vanquish S Coupe $300,000

Total Cost $970,000


If, somehow, I were actually in this position I would take a lot more time to decide than the amount of time it took me to write this post. Feel free to take as much time as you want, but if you want to dream about spending a million dollars on a car collection, we would like to read about it.





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10 thoughts on “Million-Dollar Challenge

  1. Given the scenario of a million bucks to blow on vehicles, I’d probably put about $80K on a Tesla Model X, another 10K retrofitting my usual garages for quick charging units. My second vehicle would be a Cirrus SR22T coming in at $730K. OK, so the latter isn’t an automobile, but it does have three wheels and two wings. I’d save the rest of the money for expenses on the Cirrus (of which there will be plenty.) >grin<


  2. As I will shortly be starting my 64th trip around the sun, if I were to net 50 million in lottery winnings I doubt I would stop at 1 million in auto/motorcycle purchases, due to having no debt and a comfortable portfolio. I would however spend a large sum for a building or two, to stash what would be an epic collection.

    In no particular order, and without researching prices (it’s Sunday and I’m lazy at the moment)

    1967 Baldwin Motion 427 Camaro
    1967 Camaro Z-28
    1966 Dodge Hemi Coronet
    1967 Ford 7 Liter Galaxie
    1964 R-2 Avanti
    1964 R-2 Lark
    1967 Cougar GT-E 427
    1970 Plymouth Superbird 440-6
    1957 Chrysler 300 C
    1957 Dodge Coronet D-501
    1962 Pontiac Catalina Super Duty 421
    1969 AMC S/C Rambler

    Last pick for the moment would be a 1987 Dodge Omni GLHS because I gotta have something to pick up the groceries with. 🙂

    Thats the starter list. I could pick out about 12 more but i don’t want to fill up the whole page.


    1. Many thanks, DDM, and early Happy Birthday.

      I doubt you’re anywhere near a million dollars in cars. Like you, my wonderful wife and I are debt-free and not poor. As I get older I will probably become a little looser with the purse strings.


  3. Mine are as follows. First, finish my project 1948 F-1 Ford truck project. The spreadsheet at the present time has $64,348.57 parts and labor listed which includes the $45,116.12 already spent. Round this up to $100.000.00 for the bodywork and paint. Next, build the 29 Ford Roadster project which would be probably another $90.000 to do it right. Next build Beverly a 1965 Mustang convertible using a Dynacorn new body so figure $125,000.00. there with the drive train and chassis and interior. Lastly build the Bonneville land speed street roadster race car so there goes at least $250,000. Which puts me at $565,000. We’d keep the 2017 Dodge Journey which is paid for. I might have to help my son-in-law with his Solstice LS3 conversion so figure at least another $35,000. That would leave me with $400K for some unforeseen dream car plus expenses to take the LSR street roadster to Bonneville. You and your lovely wife could tag along with us to Wendover, UT for Speedweek on my dime.


      1. Yes, they did. In fact several of the big stream liner crews did some work at the hangers at the long closed airfield.The whole Western United States is “littered” with paved “airfields” where World War II air crews trained before going overseas to lay havoc to the Axis powers. Recently a new bridge over the Tucson Pantano Wash was dedicated to two B-24 air crews that died in a mid-air collision near what is now the intersection of Tanque Verde Rd. and Tanque Verde Loop Rd. just two miles from my current house. They were on training missions out of the now Davis-Monthan AFB. Many of the city airports in Arizona, namely Douglas, Yuma, Mesa, etc. were former military training bases. The City of Mesa Cemetery is the final resting place of at least six British pilots who died in accidents while training at Mesa’s Falcon Field. It pays to understand history and its details.


  4. A couple of note for my list…
    I’m generally ok with driver-quality+ cars… so not in need of major stuff, but not pristine examples.
    I have a lot of convertibles listed, which is not necessarily a requirement. In fact, living in southern Ontario I’d probably not have as many drop tops. But, for pricing I consulted Hemmings, listed by price high to low, and took what I considered reasonable examples from near the top. Mostly I didn’t want to undervalue.
    I have some wiggle room in terms of trim level or model. That’s the realist in me knowing that I want to replace my grandfather’s 67 LTD 4dr hardtop but that they are very difficult to find.

    1967 Ford LTD/XL/500 $30000 $970000
    1964 Buick Electra/Wildcat conv $30000 $940000
    1966 Chevrolet Corvair Corsa conv $30000 $910000
    1990 Ford Mustang 5.0 LX conv (7up) $30000 $880000
    1999 Dodge Dakota R/T ext cab $25000 $855000
    1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 $120000 $735000
    1987 Buick Grand National/TType $40000 $695000
    1973 GMC 1500 $40000 $655000
    1962 Oldsmobile Starfire convertible $35000 $620000
    1965 Buick Riviera GS $45000 $575000
    1967 Pontiac Grand Prix convertible $50000 $525000
    1968 Dodge Dart GTS conv $50000 $475000
    1959 Chrysler 300E conv $140000 $335000
    1968 Chrysler 300 conv $25000 $310000
1969 AMC Hurst SC/Rambler $50000 $260000
    1958 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz conv $200000 $60000
    2014 Cadillac CTS-V wagon $45000 $15000

    I know, a lot of similar cars, but I know I’d likely drive them all with regularity. The Cadillac wagon and Dakota would likely be the regular/winter drivers. The Mustang 5.0, Grand National and GMC probably get the bulk of the weekday driving April-October. The rest would get car show/cruise night rotation.

    Looks like I will need that 16 car garage…


    1. Many, many thanks for taking the time to compile and price your list. Looks like we have one car in common, the ’65 Riviera GS, although I priced mine at $75,000 knowing a few pristine examples have sold at auction for $100,000+.


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