We all dream about winning a fortune one day, but just what should a freshly minted millionaire purchase first when it comes to cars?
Firstly there must be a top-drawer supercar, because nothing suggests an excess of cash more than an undriveable exotic. Then you need a classic, as well as a little bit of sense: an everyday car that will comfort and cosset while still making you feel good. The fourth vehicle has to be a mega-luxury machine for when you need to be seen. And finally you need a totally stripped-down flyweight wonder.
These five beauties come to a grand total of £920,000.
Pagani Zonda C12 S
Yes, the Bugatti Veyron in Super Sport form is the fastest car in the world and yes it is a fantastic piece of engineering. But a supercar needs to do more than carry a clutch of world records. It needs to seduce, it needs to mystify and it needs to inspire schoolchildren into changing their future goals in order to get near one. The Veyron is neither pretty nor outlandish and so fails in this respect.
For true supercar madness you need to go to Italy. Ferrari are getting too sensible these days, witness the four-seat and four-wheel drive FF. Lamborghini have only just shaken off the madness of old, but with Audi pulling the strings it's not quite crazy enough. What you need to get is a Pagani.
The last iteration of the Zonda has only recently finished its very small scale production, and the new Huayra might be a stretch too far with a price tag of £1,000,000. Instead you can pick up a nice C12 S or even an F version for around £400,000, complete with its mad but aerodynamically correct carbon-fibre exterior, exquisite hand-made cabin and the most magnificent V12 engine put together by the wizards at Mercedes AMG. It may not be the fastest but it is a sensual overload from start to finish. Once sampled, nothing else will do.
This is possibly the most tricky category to choose as you have a virtually infinite back-catalogue from which to select, although your mates might not be so impressed if you roll up in a Benz Patent Motorwagen from 1885. Once again, avoiding the obvious is the way to show some thought has gone into it: Jaguar's E Type is arguably the most beautiful car ever made and an early Mini is a fantastic twist on the idea of what makes a classic – brilliant engineering superbly executed. Which is why a Citroen DS should be your number one choice.
When the DS appeared in 1955, people had no idea what to make of it. It pushed the envelope of car development so far forward it might as well have been beamed down from another planet. The DS was the first car to have disc brakes, a plastic roof, self-levelling and adjustable suspension, power brakes, power steering and a semi-automatic transmission. It was written about by philosophers, hung in art galleries and even succesfully rallied. None of this would matter if it wasn't also a sensationally graceful design, clearly inspired by the space race and perfectly of its age whilst also throughly timeless. Put one of these in your garage and you earn the respect of anyone who cares to look.
Reality will bite at some point, perhaps when you need to buy your next lottery ticket, and rather than spend 10 minutes extracting your Pagani Zonda from the garage you want to just jump into something with wheels and get where you are going. The solution is simple: buy a Range Rover.
It might not sound like an inspirational choice, but the Range Rover's kudos, space, luxury and unimpeachable presence will be there for you come rain or shine. As if to prove the point, the Range Rover is the most popular car bought by new lottery winners. They can't all be wrong.
Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead
The obvious choice is the right one in this department. Nothing conveys luxury like a Rolls Royce, although a Phantom saloon isn't quite the way to go. Instead you need to plump for the more rakish Drophead Coupe. Aside from having one of the grandest names in motoring, the Drophead is an altogether more relaxed interpretation of the brand.
It's designed to be driven by its owner rather than play chauffeur, so the driving experience is a true pleasure; if you don't feel like a lord from behind the wheel then you need to see a doctor. With the roof rolled back, the exquisite oak rear deck evoking the best yachts in the world and the brushed aluminium glinting in the sunlight, the world is truly a wonderful place.
Ariel Atom V8 500
Aside from the nuclear powerstation that is the Veyron, true mind-blowing performance comes when you strip back to the bare essentials and this is something that small British firms excel at. Lotus has its 2-Eleven, and Caterham have a number of cars that will redefine your grasp of physics, but the true gold medal winner is the Ariel Atom V8.
Previous versions of the Atom were already insanely fast, but the V8 goes beyond: with 500bhp in a car that weighs just 550kg, the result is time-shifting acceleration and the unquestionable kudos of being the quickest car on the road.