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Loving this technicolour shed by Karen Storr, entirely covered in cuddly toys (spotted in an's degree show round-up) - I bet that involved a few trawls round the charity shops!
It's the first Australian Real World Dream Barn to appear on PetrolBlog and it comes courtesy of Ben Kraal.
PetrolBlog tests the new Peugeot 508 GT HDi 200 and discovers that, alongside the brilliant RCZ, Peugeot may have just rediscovered its mojo.
Aside from issues stemming from the necessary discernment, the number of candidates is potentially huge, and can even outnumber those for the Dream Barn.
As it was my idea, I feel almost honour bound, and indeed honoured, to present the contents of the first – and hopefully not only –  PetrolBlog Real World Dream Shed.
The Panda made it into my Dream Barn and so, with many now slipping below the ?3k mark, it is a prime candidate for the dream shed.
In justifying my inclusion of the Ur-quattro in my Dream Barn, I touched on how urbane and sophisticated Audi was in the 80s, and I reckon such urbane sophistication reached its zenith in the A2.
This Audi A2 is a bit pricey, but claims fsh & the mileage is on the right side of biblical. No, not the current model, rather the first generation Twingo; the tres chic brilliant little 1990s Le Quement monobox of which we were deprived on this side of La Manche.
Sold now, this beautiful Porsche 924 was available for ?2995 and was the car that made me think about getting around to composing a Shed in the first place.
I had to put a Triumph in here somewhere and, like the X-19, the TR7 is another car I’ve spent many a decade with a thing for.
Many years ago, I used to work as a land surveyor, a job which entailed working all over the country and, to carry us the 50-60,000 miles we drove a year, we had Peugeot 309 diesels as company cars. I remember reading the Alfa Romeo 156 group road test in CAR magazine in the mid-90s and, even now, I am still struck by the way I thought that the contemporary Audi A4 and BMW 3-series seemed instantly passe. This Vel Satis is as posh as they come, though not much margin for error at this price leaving just enough over for some fuses?
So there we have it – a mixture of childhood fancies, 1990s sensibilities, and something more modern that may actually work more of the time.
It's another Real World Dream Barn, with Craig choosing a different approach when selecting his cars. I wonder if it would necessarily matter if some selections were duplicated (great minds and all that…).
It may be that the Vel Satis is ageing well because it was almost wilfully different in its day, rather like the TR7 was.
What a fab shed, particularly smitten with the thought of a 190e in that middle east beige with matching MB tex seats. To add to my general sense of chaos when trying to find what I need to do some gardening, the shed also looks less than lovely. So when I saw that Amanda from the Ana Mum Diary and Tiger Sheds are asking bloggers to style their own secret shed, I didn’t need much encouragement. It’s probably no surprise that my dream secret shed would be just for me and my gardening.
This Multi-Store model from Tiger Sheds would be a great option: plenty of room for potting-up and seed sowing, a separate area to organise all my tools and equipment, and lots of scope to personalise the outside to suit our garden style. I’d have a wooden potting station where I could sow seeds and pot up plants with everything to-hand.
I’d also have a power supply in there so I could install a heated growing bench for my seedlings, this would really extend the growing season for so many plants.


There would have to be some fragrant flowers right next to the door, to give you a hit of scent every time you went in and out. And last but not least, no dream shed of mine is complete without a lovely seat outside from which to enjoy the garden with a glass of wine.
My secret shed is a real self-indulgence and as such it’s a stark contrast to our home, where every room has to multi-task to suit the whole family. Catherine Hughes is a home & garden blogger sharing ideas, inspiration & tips for making the most of busy family life, indoors and out. I drink a lot of tea, ride a lot of buses, go in a lot of charity shops, draw, sew and knit (and attempt to crochet), take a lot of photos, spend a lot of time sleeping, read a lot of history books and follow Jesus Christ. His Real World Dream Shed idea is actually rather good, to the point where I could see it creating a whole new feature of its own.
Those possessed of a sharp eye and a sharper memory may recall that, while cogitating in my barn, I posited the notion of another challenge – a PetrolBlog Real World Dream Shed, an imaginary vehicle storage facility in which the ten selections wouldn’t be restricted to ?30k apiece, but to ?30k in total. Conventional dream choices obviously cost too much – I’m sure I’m not the only one who would shudder to think of the condition of, and the work (and cost!) involved in, a ?3k Citroen DS, for example – and there is a lot of mundane, if worthy, metal out there for this money, as is the potential to pick a serious duffer.
Think about it: do you find yourself perusing the AutoTrader website, setting an imaginary price limit (say, ?2k) to see what interesting automotive detritus is out there? As mentioned in my Barn, I’ve always had a thing for the Panda, and I maintain that the 2nd generation Panda is the nearest thing we have to a contemporary Citroen 2CV, Renault 4 or BMC Mini in terms of practicality and classlessness. To me, its unique styling makes it look ‘clever’ – if that makes any sense – and, with lightweight aluminium construction, its intelligence would appear to be more than skin deep.
I love the looks and proportions – aerodynamically advanced, and without an ounce of fat on it; I find the meeting of the c-pillar and rear deck particularly pleasing for some reason.
Rather like the Lancia Montecarlo I put in my Dream Barn, its looks are exotic and yet utterly 70s. Though nearly 40 years old, I reckon its looks still stand up today, as not only were they exotic and even futuristic, but have you noticed how creases – the kind to which Guigiaro famously feigned surprise and horror declaring “Oh no, they’ve done it on this side as well” – are very much en vogue these days?
I don’t want pity – in fact, the XUD was the best diesel engine around in its day and, despite their modest propulsion, these diesel 309s were a really good crack to drive. How could they compare with an apparently dynamically competitive car which looked like the 156 – fluid yet taut, and with all its little stylistic touches such as the grille that forced the number plate off-centre and the hidden rear door-handles? As with the Dream Barn, and possibly even more so, the contents of the Shed are subject to change; indeed, as if to illustrate how tricky choosing a Shed is, I’ve already suggested the Mazda MX5, Mercedes Benz W123 and Peugeot 205 as alternatives as I’ve gone along. It was quite a bit to stomach originally but now it’s actually rather good to look at. Mind you, avoiding duplication may make it easier to narrow the Shed down to just 10 selections.
In much the same way, the Jaguar XJ-S and the mark 1 Ford Focus have aged rather well too imho. This means that any informed or discerning choice costing ?3k apiece requires some serious thought.
Small, light, simple and a good crack to drive, the 2nd generation Panda is everything I approve of in a car, and I really want one. Possessed of ‘rational chic’ and an eco-sensibility, the A2 is exactly what you would imagine a forward-thinking small car to be. Just look at it – with a smiley face and a ‘Fisher-Price’ interior, it’s such a happy and non-aggressive car; you just want to have a go in it. It looks solid without looking stolid, and is perhaps best appreciated in basic, unadorned, pre-facelift spec.


That you can have fairly well looked after 70-80k mile Porsche – a Porsche – for under ?3k is astonishing.
I had the pleasure of driving an early 80s one many moons ago and I’d say that it is the Ferrari in miniature it was purported to be at the time. I may be in the minority in thinking that the TR7 is a thoroughly stylish piece of kit, and I’m going to stick my neck out even more and declare that I prefer the fixed-head coupe to the convertible.
Their handling was brilliant, as was the ride, and I don’t understand why car manufacturers today can’t come up with the kind of ride and handling balance that Peugeot did 20-odd years ago. The passage of time would suggest that Alfa could build them properly too, and a couple of friends who’ve owned 156s rated them, so that’ll do for me. Unfortunately, C6s haven’t depreciated sufficiently whereas the values of decent CXs are heading north, and I don’t know if I’d ever have enough brave pills to take on an XM, even though I’d have plenty of change from ?3k, just in case. As mentioned above, I had some cars over and I’ve since thought of one or two others as well. It was the small car of future at the turn of the 21st century – perhaps it still is – and I reckon it shows up the A1 for the contrived, banal, badge-engineered mobility device it is.
It’s so utterly French – rational, but with a fun twist and, based on the first-generation Clio, I trust it rides like a French car should too, more suited to the Peripherique than the Nurburgring. The W201 190e hasn’t dated and in fact makes its successor, the W202 C-class, look rather baggy. Not only that, but the 924 also seems an entirely appropriate sports car for these austere times.
I recall it had a ‘fizz’ about it and, recalcitrant gearchange aside, it was a fantastic little thing to drive.
While I suppose any decent 309 would suffice 20 years on, the GTi was always aspired to, especially given reports of its exemplary handling. Three grand should get you a corker, with change over as well (just in case, you understand). The Renault Vel Satis may not an obvious choice – it wasn’t to me, at first – and it’s not my usual kind of car, yet I’m glad it exists and I’m always pleased to see one. Suitably over-engineered, a well cared-for example could well last forever which in itself constitutes a sustainable automobility, of which I most defintely approve. Yes, the 205 is a more iconic and stylish car, and they also warrant a second look in the classifieds, but I’ve long thought that the 309 is a criminally underrated car – cooking models may have looked a tad dowdy, but some of us knew better. I like the oddball styling, especially the front – this may sound odd but, just like the Audi A2 looks ‘clever’, to me the Vel Satis looks ‘comfy’. Well, it’s discreet, stylish, relatively economical and although it’s a Porsche – an obviously aspirational brand – by its very nature, the 924 also suggests you’ve thought outside the Porsche box. It may not be a driver’s car, but nor are the roads around Rochdale really conducive to such sentiments either, plagued as they are by speedhumps and potholes which the Vel Satis would no doubt despatch with aplomb. Rare, distinctive and, by all accounts, tres confortable, the Vel Satis has also depreciated sufficiently to fit into the Shed.



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  • 20.04.2014, admin

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