Impress your date with these romantic rides on Valentines Day!
Ah, is that Love I sense in the air, or is it the heady aroma of high octane and freshly melted tyres?
If you’re serious about romance, understand this (and I know I’m talking to the 90% of my readers who are male) – screaming rpm are not a mating call, and burning rubber is not the automotive equivalent of extending one’s plumage in courtship.
In fact such antics can make you about as attractive to the fairer sex as Donald Trump in a yellow-stained dressing gown chaperoned by a shirtless Putin. And God Forbid, go for the misguided grope and you’ll hit the jackpot with a ‘go straight to jail’ card. You’re not the Prezzi. You’re also not Steve McQueen, Jason Statham or Ryan Gosling – though I don’t get that last one.
I do get Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum P.I. driving a targa-top Ferrari 308 GTS, in a sort of suppressed latent homo-erotic way that I wouldn’t care to admit. Oh, did I just write that out loud? Anyway the point is, not many guys can pull off a Ferrari as purposely and as potently, or indeed any a supercar.
Truth be told, take a modern exoticar out on the road to act as a lady-lure and you’ll be left gutted as instead of leggy lovelies, you’ll find yourself being pursued by spotty teenage boys wielding smartphone cameras and massive YouTube followings. Sure, you could become a short-lived internet sensation, but you’ll still end up a sad sod sharing a Valentine with your pet fish Bruno that evening whilst hunting for Basic Instinct on Netflix.
So there are no Ferraris, Lamborghinis, McLarens on my list. But in this round-up of my Dozen Rides to get loved up in (yeah, I was hoping for a clever bit of word play with Dozen Roses but couldn’t think of anything) – each car has an evocative, emotional and passionate pull that will set you up nicely in your attempt to impress the most discerning and picky types on the planet – the female of the species.
Disclaimer: I will not be held liable or responsible for any insults, innuendos or slurs you may receive implying any sort of deficiency in performance, capacity or most likely, and hurtfully, dimensions, appertaining to your tools, implied, indicated or stated by members of opposite sex, as a result of your choice of automobile based on my recommendations.
In other words, if you’re compensating, you’re on your own buddy. If you’re really anxious about it, get a Mini – the classic one, not the artificially engorged newer version.
Let’s work our way up to the Number 1 most romantic current car shall we?
12. Aston Martin DB11
Okay, having said all that stuff about supercars and the like, here’s something that pretty much is a supercar. However, the Aston Martin brand is inextricably linked to the world’s most famous all-action Playboy – 007, James Bond.
Every man wants to be him, and every woman wants to have him and make lots of little Jamie Bondies with him – or so it’s popularly perceived. Anyway Aston’s are still sexy and the all-new DB11 is an easy win for any man who passably manages to pull off a tuxedo.
Pick up a beauty in this and it’ll be ‘For England’ before you know it – that is if you manage to get anywhere without the Aston breaking down of course. Curse Q Department all you like, but you’ll have to your own licence to deal with a woman both shaken and stirred. And about to Uber it back home.
11. Porsche 911 Targa
Okay, you’ve got to be careful with this one. It’s almost too wannabe Monaco Race-winner, and rather too serious to let sexy slip. The Porsche is a performance pinnacle and a driver’s delight, the trouble is that you may get so carried away in enjoying the car, that you forget your date.
So whilst you’re slicing the apexes trying to carve off totally unprecious tenths from the time to the next traffic lights, your passenger’s not only unimpressed with your antics, but is starting to turn an astonishing shade of green, that’s is somehow able to glow through the plastered-on makeup, as the pogoing Porsche works its mischief.
Your Valentine throwing up by the side of the road will certainly a memorable date make, but not really for the right reasons.
Having said that, this is a Porsche, and more crucially it’s a Targa. And there’s something very enigmatic about it. It’s a 1980s throwback that can still pull as hard as it goes and telegraphs out the right ‘successful man on a mission’ bulletins that mate-seeking hormones somehow zero-in on.
10. Lexus LC500
Hey? What? A Japanese car? Seriously? And a Lexus at that? Surely the last time there was a truly sexy Japanese car was the Toyota 2000GT from the late 60s, and that too because it was a rip-off of a Jaguar E-Type and had been blessed with Sean Connery publicly dripping his man-scent all over it in You Only Live Twice?
Yes, yes, you’re not wrong. But just take a look at this new Lexi – due to hit our region this year. Look at that swooping bonnet, the gaping hungry and eager grille, those bulging flanks and its thrusting profile.
This is a sex machine. Moreso than the new Honda NSX I’ll wager, and as for the GT-R – you do realise that woman look upon you as an immature gamer boy for owning or even wanting one, right? Now straighten your damn baseball cap!
But the LC is different, it’s unknown, unhyped, unladened with a baggage of expectation from tedious petrolheads touting power-to-weight ratios. It’s sleek, sophisticated, somewhat mysterious and quietly potent.
9. Ford Mustang
And we go from subtle and smart to over-sexed and over-here! Yeehaa, we have ourselves a powerful pony car. The Mustang, the horse, the stallion… draw your own connotations. I know women will.
Yes it slightly breaks the rules and it is a little obvious and dare I say ‘vulgar’, but it’s also a car that is saturated deep in pop-culture mythology. Pick any American movie at random and inevitably the chief stud of a hero most likely drives a Stang in it.
It’s a universally recognised brand, so it’s immediately linked with excitement, adventure and more than a hint of bad-boy danger. It simply oozes charisma, and you can’t help but look cool behind the wheel of one. And that helps – especially if you need all the help you can get.
8. Chevrolet Corvette
Okay, we’re sticking with the Yanks for our next one up. And if a little red Corvette was good enough for Prince, a man who could impregnate every woman in a concert arena to satisfaction, by simply glaring at them, then it’s good enough for you mate.
And there’s more, Astronauts and Pilots drive Vettes. Now that’s The Right Stuff right there. Like the Mustang, this Chevy has an undeniable heritage and legacy that’s seeped into popular culture.
That seeping is very important, because you could get all anoraky and argue about the Mini or the Land Rover being the most significant cars in automotive history. But that’ll just get you on your way back to the cloakroom, to pick up your anorak and head home. Alone.
Again like the Porsche, the Vette I s a serious bit of kit, and you could get too drawn into the tactile delight of peddling it about. But don’t, just let the car’s striking looks, good vibrations and superstar theatrics do the courting for you.
She’ll know you’ve got style and charisma with this one, and that you can get down to business when you have to. Besides, who the heck doesn’t love a Corvette?!
7. Volkswagen Beetle
That’s a girl’s car isn’t it?! Hey, I maintain that the latest version of the Beetle, with its reprofiled, less upturned half eggshell silhouette, in the right colour, and with last-gen GTI underpinnings, is a pretty manly motor – especially if you get a load of Tanner Foust’s rally version in action.
But even being perceived as a ‘girl’s car’ is not really a bad thing is it? Being in touch with your feminine side can be seen an appealing attribute in a man these days, and let’s face it, even if it doesn’t work out at the end of the evening, she’ll still want you as a ‘friend’.
Yeah, okay, that’s not a desirable end-game scenario I know, but I was throwing you a lifeline here – work with me now!
The point is that the Beetle is an extremely likeable car, and whilst car guys may not think so, there’s an air of unpretentiousness, humility and fun about it that translates well in putting the driver in a good light. After all, those are positive personality traits.
And besides, the Beetle is the original Love Bug. You can’t argue with that!
6. Fiat 500
Similarly to the Volkswagen, the tiny Fiat harks back to a lovable ancestor, and whilst that connection may be lost to the uninitiated, the modern day iteration of the 500 (and I mean the little one, not the quick-let’s-cash-in-on-the-500-name family-sized versions – although the 500X is rather cool)…
What was I saying? Oh yes, the Fiat 500 itself remains irresistibly adorable and cuddly. You just want to pick it up and hug it. And frankly, women love it. You can pep up your own interest in the car by going for the racy Abarth editions, but the regular flavour will do just as well.
Driving the Fiat 500 about is the automotive equivalent of borrowing someone’s cute toddler on a long-haul flight, in order to chat up the airhostesses as they coo all over the little one (yes someone did make use of one of our sprogs in said manner one time in the past).
5. Jaguar F-Type
Yeah the Brits are gonna score well on this list, with three in the top five, and that’s got nothing to do with the fact that I’m British. And I make that purely as a statement of alternative facts!
But c’mon, since we’re not talking classics – maybe I’ll do those next year – and hence can’t have the phallic Jaguar E-Type (I was once disallowed by a publisher from using that word in relation to the E-Type, which I thought was absolutely absurd, so I’ll say it again – phallic, phallic, phallic! Okay I think I’ve got it out of my system now).
I digressed again didn’t I? As I was saying, the modern incarnation of the debonair and dashing lady-charming cad of a car, is of course the Jaguar F-Type. I mean just look at it. And just listen to it if you get a chance. Go on, I’ll give you a moment.
Sigh. Okay. That’s quite enough of that my dear chap, now off to the cold showers with you and when you return, check out my number 4!
4. Maserati GranTurismo
This will probably be the last year for the super-sexy Italian stallion. From racing car to grand touring cruiser it has a large repertoire and a sex appeal as wide as its kiss-me-quick grille. I urge you, make the most of this car whilst it’s still in production. There won’t be many more cars as subversively seductive and overtly potent as this in future.
And a genuine survey a few years back actually proved that these maverick Maseratis have the sexiest exhaust note of all, sparking an actual biological response in woman. Apparently they lose all control of their senses and fling themselves at you, somehow instantly shedding their clothes and inhibitions between the standing and the flinging. Okay, maybe that last sentence was a somewhat vivid exaggeration.
I must also concede that the Maserati is very likely to break down before the end of a date and at the very least throw up an alarming warning light or two along the way. Plus the ergonomics will confound you and the switch-gear will infuriate you.
Additionally, the MC Stradale version comes with a full race harness for both front seats instead of regular three-point seatbelts which means that you’ll have to help physically restrain your passenger if she’s never encountered such bondage straps before. Oh actually, don’t worry, I just remembered, they don’t do those anymore in the latest versions. Hmm… hang on, no Maserati, bring back the harness – the possibilities are endless!
3. Morgan Plus 4
Finally we move into my top 3 most romantic cars for Valentines Day, and taking third place on the podium is perhaps something of a surprise. But this modern car in the same classic suit it’s been wearing since 1950, is a very classy contender in this line-up.
And yes believe me, it is brand new, with a drivetrain you can thrash and a warranty that you WILL use and abuse (it’s British after all)! Yet it boasts an olde-worlde personality that will charm the pants off the Queen. Oops, sorry, yeah, not the image any of us really wanted in our heads. I do heartily apologise. Let’s try that again. It’ll charm the pants off Hayley Atwell.
Face it, despite this entire line-up of modern cars, you’ll be way out ahead in gaining the affections of a discerning damsel with a classic car, straight out of the box. But since this listing precludes oldies, this Morgan is the next best thing.
It’s a talking point, it immediately endows you with an infinitely more interesting personality than you frankly deserve (yes I know you, you’re reading this after all), it shouts ‘manly-man’ with devil-may-care disdain for convention, it makes the whole occasion of picking up and dropping off (or not should you get lucky) something truly special, and its fiddly idiosyncrasies will translate to fascinating foibles that even a non-car person will find intriguing (‘why are there no wind-up windows again?’). And it probably won’t break down like a real classic would either. Probably.
2. Rolls-Royce Dawn/Wraith
Yes I know, it’s the equivalent of waving a 24ct gold-plated willy in your date’s face, but at the same time, if your chosen target for amorous affections is of the particularly high-maintenance variety (you know, at least 50 pairs of Jimmy Choos in the shoe cupboard types) then you can’t possibly miss with the ultimate in automotive decadence and hedonism.
The Dawn says ‘I’m absolutely filthy levels of indescribably well-off but I still want to be seen with you, hence I’m putting the roof down’ – oh flattery, how sly you are, and what fool you make of us all.
But the biggest win with this most super-sublime of sensationally-sublime automobiles, is its gracious, enchanting and intoxicating feel-good effervescence. As you waft along – for that is what you do in a Royce my friend – you are automatically on cloud 9. You are the most important and special person in the world when you’re aboard the HMS Magnificent Dawn. And whoever puts you in this exalted state of mind, will obviously be your hero. Result!
As for the Wraith, I’ve included what is (hush, whisper this as Rolls don’t like it said) the coupe version of the Dawn. And I’ve done that because as yet, to my knowledge, they haven’t figured out how to put the exquisite starlight roof display into the Dawn’s folding top. This spectacular roof app allows you to cuddle up and stare up at the stars even if it’s foggy enough outside to bring the ghouls out of their graves (well it is a Wraith, geddit?). This feature is possibly the single most romantic option ever to grace a motorcar.
1. Fiat 124 Spider
Okay you’re going to hate me for this one, because a bit like coitus interruptus, it probably brings a somewhat unsatisfying end to proceedings herewith because of one simple fact – you can’t get this car in the Middle East. At least not yet.
Hey but c’mon guys – ever heard of the grey market? Okay that won’t help you today – but then I’ve given you eleven other options – and perhaps it’ll give you something to prep for for next year. Who knows it might even be on sale here by then.
But Omigod – just imagine picking up your date in this beguiling beast. If you don’t immediately get visions of cruising the coasts of southern Europe, glorious sun and sea, air through the hair, beaming belle by your side, and from somewhere cupid’s opera serenading you both on this delightful, wonderful drive on the road to love, Fiat will give you your money back. Yeah, it’s in the small print somewhere. Trust me, or take it to The People’s Court, whatever.
It’s beautiful, it’s evocative, it’s so very Italian (despite its Japanese DNA) and it’s so overtly libidinous – like a trembling troubadour about to rip into his own chest and wrench out his heart to place at the feet of his beloved (who admittedly is rather shocked, appalled and disgusted by all of this, but hey-ho).
The Fiat 124 Spider is every bizarrely compelling, romantic, long-winded, introspective, European art house movie, you ever failed to fully follow the subtitles of; the Fiat 124 Spider is the car that drives you on a rampant escape from mundanity with your date’s hand firmly clasped between yours and your knob, gear knob of course; the Fiat 124 Spider is passion personified in a petrolhead’s sweet dreamscape, that will lure the bait hook, line and sinker!
The rest is up to you – good luck!
Personally (as always) this would be my choice – yes I know, I’ve broken the ‘no classics’ rule!
Now tell me YOUR choice for Valentine’s Day Rides in the comments below!