Top 10 Cars to Buy When You Win the Lottery

Forget what you know about cars: they aren’t built out of metal, plastic and rubber, but of money for the purpose of making  even more money or making dreams come true in some rare cases. I say this because most new models launched these days in the premium segment or higher basically cater to new money - the guy who sells cement and wants to show the neighbors he’s made it by going over the top with the brashest SUV.
And so a good way to look at the automotive industry from a different angle would be to focus on the the new money or the 'nouveau riche', those people that have acquired considerable wealth within their own generation and basically spend it like it will rot. By definition, people of lower economic rank buy luxury goods that were previously unobtainable.

At first i wanted to talk about rappers and basketball players, but then i realized the discussion would be limited to bigger wheels and spinners. In fact, there’s a far better category of nouveau riche, one that displays far greater economic freedom, since they didn’t actually earn the money: lottery winners. There’s bound to be a good thousand of them across the world every year, and they’re bound to need help buying new cars.

So autoevolution comes to the rescue with not only the names and description of the cars you need to buy, but also where you want to go with them. Obviously, these are more like guidelines than rules, since no two lottery pots are the same.

When you just won a cool couple of million, buying cars that cost pennies might seam strange, but there’s a time and a place for everything. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to stick it to the old, smelly, stuffy money in the best and most ostentatious way possible. Here goes:

10. If you want the world to know you’re a car lover, the best thing to buy is something people have never heard of before. To this end, we’d suggest something like the Spada Codratonca Monza. It’s Corvette-powered hypercar with no no windscreen, the purest of designs and some monumental performance figures.

The one-off Codatronca Monza has been commissioned by Aznom - who realized the interior design of the car. It’s powered by a 7.0-liter V8 engine with 710 hp and 950 Nm (701 lb-ft) of torque. Thanks to a low weight of just 1,180 kg (2,600 lb), the Spada prints to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3 seconds and reach a top speed of 335 km/h (208 mph).

Despite being a one-off, they can probably build it if you have the money. I placed such an exciting car last because it’s only useful if you want to flaunt it at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance or something along those lines. Other than that, it’s basically useless… but very pretty and it will make you friends.

9. If you’re going to build a ten-car garage, there is no way to get away from the fact that supercars and sportscars are impractical. If you have a gold watch and some Gucci sunglasses on, you can’t really be seen driving around in your housekeeper’s Honda Civic. To solve this, we suggest you buy two cars, one small and one big.

At number nine on our list of cars you must buy if you want to be respected, not just as a millionaire, but as a human being, sits the Golf R32. Yes, we know there’s an R20 that is faster and gets better milage, but you must have that V6 in your life.

Forget about horsepower figures and bright paintjobs. This is the sort of car you need when attending charity fundraisers or community events. When attending class reunions, also jump in the R32 to make sure people won’t ask to borrow money.

Also, in some countries lottery winners or their close kin are kidnapped by and held for ransom. To normal folks, the R32 looks like a regular old Golf, so you won’t be targeted. And if you are, the 250 or so horsepower of the 3.2-liter V6 makes for a decent getaway car.

If you can’t stand the idea of an older car like Golf R32, get a MINI Cooper S or Audi S3, and they might drive you just as anonymously. If you reeeely like charity events, get a Prius and stop reading this post.

8. OK, here’s the other practical vehicle you need to buy, and it’s a pretty obvious choice. Nothing gives you more respect and power than a big luxury SUV. For a millionaire, this isn’t really that expensive, so spec all the bells and whistles, because you’re going to be spending a lot of time in it. Oh, and the badge obviously counts!

The choice is not really that simple. If you live in Europe, we’d suggest the proper Range Rover with a big V8, in black with every camera, screen and speaker you can demand from your dealer. If you’re in America, get the Cadillac Escalade or a BMW X5.

If you live somewhere in East Asia, a German SUV like the Porsche Cayenne or the aforementioned BMW X5 is your best choice if you want the respect of people driving Honda and old Toyota.

7. Right! Now that i got the more practical choices out of the way, time to get creative and pick a good every day grand tourer. They are more expensive but aren’t that uncommon, so you’ll need an aftermarket kit. We’d suggest buying the FAB Design Mercedes SLS Gullstream - bold, white and with plenty of character, it will work wonders with a long-legged Russian model at your side when you hit the clubs at night.

Technically, it’s a front mid-mounted supercar, but trust us… it’s not a track attacker. Another choice for wafting about would be the Bentley Continental GT, which is sold with more chrome than an American trucker’s whole front end.

6. We’ve tried to get a bit of exclusivity and practicality to your car collection. Now it’s time for some passion. In sixth place in my opinion should be a car design icon. It’s something that you will want to stroke every day or look at early in the morning when you have a cup of coffee in one hand and the newspaper in the other.

One of my personal favorites is the Chevy Corvette C1 from say 1957. It’s flamboyant "dream car" design was the product of Harley Earl, who made GM’s cars cool. The first Corvettes were virtually handbuilt in Flint, Michigan in Chevrolet's Customer Delivery Center. The bodies were made of fiberglass, which makes them harder to recondition, but that shape is surely worth it.

Another choice would be the old Mini or the Citroen DS if you live in Europe. Both of these are recognized as design icons and will not brake the piggy-bank, so you’ll have money left over for the new supercars you like. If you’re more into classic cars, the Jaguar E-Type, Ferrari Daytona or Lancia Stratos will be a constant reminder that you’ve made it, that you can have what you couldn’t before.

5. There is nothing better new money likes to do during the day than drive around, annoying all the other motorists that have to work for a living. It’s a natural evolutionary step you too will have to step in order to ensure your brain comprehends your superiority to regular folk. The best place to drive around aimlessly is where the rich congregate. This can either be a major boulevard in your city, or a place like Monaco or Saint Tropez.

Yes folks, I’m suggesting you buy a really cool convertible. You can have any expensive one you like really. There’s the Ferrari California, which is a bit fun to drive, but it doesn’t have the exclusive look. But I’ll tell you a little secret: an AWD model is what you really want, as it will keep going when a little summer drizzle is added to the mix.

. Have you ever heard of the expression “it’s lonely at the top”? Well it probably is (I wouldn’t know), so to make sure you have plenty of friends, you’ve got to make sure you’re where the party is at!

You don’t want to be seen in a stretched out Cadillac limo like they use in Vegas - people will think that you’ve rented it and all the pretty ladies will laugh at your fake tan and whitened teeth. But if you have something like this limited series Rolls Royce Phantom EWB (extended wheel base) at your disposal, they will even laugh at your bad jokes because you have class…and wheel centers that don’t spin so you can ‘read’ them even while the car is moving.

This one was used as an exhibition car at the Geneva Motor Show and there are only five others like it. It’s actually available to buy at the time of writing, and it can be yours for the cool sum of €650,000. Can’t afford it? Not my problem - get into illegal activities with your lottery money until you can!

Forget about the Bentley continental GTC and go straight to the Audi R8 V10 Spyder. Though you want hold on to your convertible money until next year, when the mid-engined Audi will reportedly get S tronic double-clutch gearbox.

. Running low on money? Building the ultimate car garage shouldn’t be cheap, and not all fun should be had one a fresh piece of asphalt. With the tenth likely to be the last pure generation of Mitusubishi Evo, we can’t really built an ultimate 10 car garage without including the ‘X’.

So, even though it’s really high on the list, there’s a good chance you’ll hate it. It’s very complicated, very Japanese, has more changeable settings than the old BMW M5 and is about as pleasant to look at as a mother in law (if you’re not a fan that is).

But it will do well over 100 miles per hour… sideways and should be a lot of fun. What, did it just sound like I was suggesting doing something dangerous in it? Yes, I did - slap a roll cage in one of these FQ-400s and you’re good to go. IT the best thing to take rallying besides a dedicated Dakar Toareg. Everything about this car is there to give you grip in less than ideal conditions. Just don’t try to push it to the limit, because you can handle that, and your wife will find a new man if you’ve lost a leg in a racing accident.

. We’ve stuck with the Japanese theme for the second to last car of the list and there is no better four-wheeled creation made in the land of the rising sun than the Nissan GT-R. It costs a ridiculously low amount of money for what it does.

If you’re not in the mood to get frisky and get personal with the apex at your local junction, you’ll love it.

The 2012 model promises to be on a completely different level. It’s got a staggering 550 horsepower, 70 more than when when it was introduced back in 2008. Honestly, you might as well call it a million horsepower, because this car does the standard sprint faster than just about any other car out there. Launch control engaged, left foot on brake, build up the revs and that Lamborghini owner will be humiliated by now. IF that’s not happening, you might need another million horsepower from the aftermarket industry… it’s doable, I’m not kidding!

Also, the 2012 model features insane attention to detail, as the suspension has been set up to compensate for the driver not being in the middle, and the engine’s map has been fine-tuned to create a bit more torque wherever possible.

The only bad thing I can say is that the Japanese are like the oriental Germans, so the best thing you’ll say about it to your friends is that is “very nice”, which is where the soulful, wonderful, brilliant and soul stirring car at the top spot comes in. Yes, it’s Italian!

. Have you noticed that we have suggested very few cars that actually go like they are on fire? There’s a very good reason for that. Think about it: you’ve just won a large sum of money and you are about to become the proud owner of 10 cars, a bigger house and a better wife (upgraded or swopped for a newer model), so your ego is bloated to the max, but you don’t have the driving skill to back it up.

So if you buy the latest supercar that tops out at over 200 miles per hour, you are going to die in an accident. As a result, your money will be split between you wife and Carlos Armando, your gardener with a ripped body.

But, no man with a free soul should live his life without passion and beauty, so you still MUST have the car of your dreams. Now it might just sound like we went for the simplest choice here, but there is no ignoring the Ferrari 458 Italia, even if it is ‘just’ a Ferrari, not a Bugatti, Pagani or Koenigsegg.

The 458 Italia is better not only than all other Ferraris on the track, including its predecessor the 430 which has 80 less horsepower, but it also offers all the on-track feel you’ll ever want. Buying one and driving it hard will not only get you the respect of autoevolution, but also of the numerous other automotive publications that all agree it’s the best driver’s car right now.

Just make sure to spend plenty of time creating your unique version of the car, because you’re bound to come across another on trackdays!
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
Mihnea Radu profile photo

Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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