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I've Saved Up To Buy An Exotic And It Needs To Be A V12! What Car Should I Buy?

Illustration for article titled Ive Saved Up To Buy An Exotic And It Needs To Be A V12! What Car Should I Buy?

Dave is a physician who has been working and saving for a very long time to finally fulfill his dream of owning a legit supercar. He isn’t too picky except for one key feature: it’s got to have a V12 engine. What car should he buy?


(Welcome back to What Car Should You Buy? Where we give real people real advice about buying cars. Do you want us to help you find a car? Submit your story on our form.)

Here is the scenario:

So it’s finally happened: after 14 years of busting ass through undergrad, medical school, residency, and 3 years as faculty, I’ve finally realized my dream of being a successful doctor, have finally paid off all my debt, and have taken a huge chunk off my dream house mortgage. So, with the support of my wonderful wife, it’s time for me to get my dream car.

As a kid, having come from a hard working but very poor immigrant family, I always thought that the prospect of owning a supercar was for the jet-setting silver spoon crowd. Now, having picked up every shift I could for the last 3 years, I’ve amassed a budget of $150,000 and secured a chunk of the monthly budget to prove my younger self wrong.

So, I want to get myself something that I won’t necessarily daily but will certainly not be sitting in my garage. As such, I’m realistically thinking this will at most take me to 1 of my 5 weekly shifts at the local hospital. That’s a 50 mile round trip, so with some extra miles for random adventures I’m thinking this car will weather about 100 miles per week on clean and clear Texas farm highways.

Going off the advice of my 8 year old self, I know this thing will need to have 12 cylinders and I would prefer it to have 3 pedals, though the latter is not necessary. A little sense of danger from old-school RWD would also be preferable. Beyond that, I can appreciate any supercar out there, so I find myself like a very indecisive kid in a candy store.


Quick Facts:

Budget: $150,000

Daily Driver: No, but it will get used regularly

Average Miles Per-Week: About 50

Wants: V12, Something that gets noticed, manual transmission a plus

Doesn’t want: Something with fewer than 12 cylinders

Expert #1: Tom McParland - Grab The Bull By The Horns

Illustration for article titled Ive Saved Up To Buy An Exotic And It Needs To Be A V12! What Car Should I Buy?

Dave, these are the supercar stories we love hearing about. Not rich kids who buy Ferraris like they are fashion items, but real car people who dreamed about owning an exotic car ever since they were a kid, made a plan, saved the money and now you can make it happen.

There are a few high-end cars with V12 motors under the hood that would be very appropriate for a classy physician like yourself. But you aren’t looking for classy, you want something loud and over the top. A vehicle that no one would mistake for anything other than a supercar. You need a Lamborghini Murcielago.


Now I’ll be honest—I’m not really a Lambo guy. If push came to shove I’d probably choose a Ferrari instead, but I can respect the Lamborghini ethos of being a bit more boisterous than its rival. The main reason you want a Murcielago is that it is available in two of your key requirements: V12, and a manual transmission. In fact, it is the last 12-cylinder Lamborghini to be available with a gated shifter.

There are quite a few people in the know, that seem to think that the Murcielago is undervalued and that it will soon become the next collectible Lamborghini. This means that you can pick up one of these wild bulls for about $150,000 if you can do without the third pedal. Go for the stick shift and you will have to pay a bit more like this lovely roadster in probably the most boring color ever for a Lamborghini.


Expert #2: Michael Ballaban – Get Yourself A REAL LAMBORGHINI

Illustration for article titled Ive Saved Up To Buy An Exotic And It Needs To Be A V12! What Car Should I Buy?

No offense to my boy Tom up here, but if you get a Murcielago, you’re going to look a bit funny. Sure, you’ll have a great time, but you’ll either look like the sort of person who buys a “used Lamborghini, because you want to try to impress other people, but for not a lot of money,” or the sort of person who thinks 2003 never died. The Murcielago will be a great buy, but in 30 or 40 years, my friend.

No, what you really need is a Lamborghini that has already spent the time maturing into a 30- or 40- year old Lamborghini, acquiring a fine patina of grace and class and awesomeness and the sort of style that makes other people look and think, “oh, I bet an interesting person drives that car.”


What you need is a Lamborghini Jamara.

Before Lamborghini made mid-engined V12 monsters suitable as an accoutrement for certain types of illicit drugs, it made front-engined V12 grand touring cars suitable for other types of illicit drugs. Snuff, mostly, I imagine.


And a Jarama ticks all of your boxes. It’s got a V12. It’s got a manual transmission. It’s gorgeous. It’s stylish. It is very much on-trend nowadays. It’s even classy. It’s comfortable for 50-mile round trips.

It’s a Lamborghini. Get a Jarama. You can pick them up for anywhere from just under $100,000 to about $200,000, with options in between.


Expert #3: Jason Torchinsky – Be Open-Minded About What A ‘Supercar’ Is

Illustration for article titled Ive Saved Up To Buy An Exotic And It Needs To Be A V12! What Car Should I Buy?

You’ve worked hard and you have some very specific ideas about what you want in a car. The fixation on V12 is almost fetishistic, and I love that. I’m going to make sure you get those dozen pumping pistons you crave, and I’m going to be sure they’re not going to be wrapped in yet another Italian wedge of insecure wealth-shouting. That’s why you need this gorgeous 1948 Lincoln Continental V12 convertible. It’s actually a Zephyr, not a Continental, I’m told, but you get the idea.

This massive yellow chariot of American-demigods is going to get you far more—and far more positive—attention than any Lambo or Ferrari V12 you may find. Tooling around town at 35 MPH in a Lambo is all about trying to get people’s attention to see how loaded you are. Tool around town in this vivid yellow Lincoln and people will give you attention, happily, willingly, and they’ll get back more joy in their lives from seeing this car pass.


This car isn’t arrogant—it’s majestic.

Also, you want “a little sense of danger from old-school RWD?” Brother, you’ve got plenty of that here. Also, a fantastic green leather interior, open-air motoring, a post-war Lincoln-Zephyr V12 (the postwar ones are much more reliable and solve the cooling issues of earlier ones), minimalistic push-button door handles, all for the price of a Camry: $26,950.


Save $125,000 and get yourself a V12 that’s like driving God’s dad’s boss’ own yellow mechanical cloud-sled.

Also, it has searchlights. Good luck finding a Jag or a Ferrari with searchlights.


Expert #4: Kristen Lee - I Was Shamed For My First Choice

Illustration for article titled Ive Saved Up To Buy An Exotic And It Needs To Be A V12! What Car Should I Buy?

At first, I was going to say a Ferrari Testarossa. I love the looks of the thing, its flat-12 engine and the fact that it was perfectly priced for what you were looking for. BUT NO. Ballaban told me that car was “too obvious” and to “reach for the V12 stars.” So here’s my new suggestion: a Vector M12.

Yeah, you could easily get a Lamborghini Diablo. Or, you could get a Lamborghini Diablo V12 dressed up in this weird-ass thing that will have anyone and everyone confused when they lay eyes on it. And they built very, very few of them. Less than 20. Because we’re going for effect and mystery and uniqueness here.


You’d think something so special and quirky would cost a million bucks, right? Wrong! They’ve been priced between $139,900 and $170,000 in the past. The hardest thing about this transaction is probably finding an M12 in the first place. Happy hunting!

Are you happy now, Ballaban? Are you happy?

Expert #5: Patrick George - Buy A Ferrari Testarossa

Illustration for article titled Ive Saved Up To Buy An Exotic And It Needs To Be A V12! What Car Should I Buy?

Fuck it, buy a Testarossa. There’s only like three truly good Ferraris. This is one of them. Here’s one in Cocaine White for $149,900. Buy this car immediately. Go with God.

Tom is a contributing writer for Jalopnik and runs He saves people money and takes the hassle out of buying or leasing a car. (

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Aston Martin V12 vantage with a 6 speed manual.