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Dear Santa: Yes, it's me again. As usual, I'm asking for 12 cars. I know that's a lot, but I was really, really good this year - not one speeding ticket! (Even the police were surprised.) I know most of them look pretty impractical, but the heart wants what it wants. Please do your best.

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1. Wiesmann GT MF4: It looks like an Austin Healey crossed with a classic Jaguar (both English), but it's actually made in Germany. The Wiesmann has all the right ingredients – front-mounted V-8 engine, rear-wheel-drive and double-wishbone independent suspension on all four wheels. And it's beautiful.

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2. Singer 911 Porsche: The air-cooled Porsche 911 is a classic, and a California company called Singer makes it even better. They take old 911s and turn them into mechanical masterpieces, with updated suspension, modern electrics and Cosworth-built engines. The body gets modified, but it's done so well that it looks like Porsche did it in the first place (or your elves, who are known for superb bodywork).


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3. Fiat 600: I have a soft spot for the 600, because it was the first car I ever owned (while I was a high school student in Europe). The 600 only had about 30 horsepower, but it gave me some of the best moments of my life. And it had a big sunroof. I'd love to have another one. See what you can do, Santa.

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4. Ariel Atom V-8: I admit that I have a weakness for crazy, minimalist cars, and they don't come much crazier or more minimalist than the Atom. You can get it with a four-cylinder, but why not go all the way, and get the V-8 version? (The motor is a jewel, built using the top ends of two Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle engines.)

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5. Citroen 2CV: This is one of the most gutless cars ever built, but also one of the coolest. Designed to carry French peasant farmers to market over roads destroyed by war, the 2CV is like a Gallic Model T, and I love it.

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6. Nissan DeltaWing: Santa, you know how much I love driving on racetracks, and the DeltaWing will make me king of the hill. It's fast, and it's incredibly unusual, with a narrow front track that makes it look like a tricycle. And it's the most fuel-efficient race car there is, thanks to its low aerodynamic drag.


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7. Radical SR: Yes, this is a ridiculous car. What can I say? The Radical is a track-day special, and it makes even the fastest street car feel like a Winnebago. The frame is a birdcage of welded tubing, and the body lifts off so you can work on the engine and suspension. The Radical is small, so it will fit in a corner of my garage.

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8. Porsche 356 Speedster: James Dean used to own one of these. So did Steve McQueen. Also known as The Bathtub, the Speedster is an all-time classic. It's not very fast, and the convertible top looks like an ugly little tent made from canvas and wire coat hangars, but who cares? Speed isn't everything, and you never put up the top anyway.


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9. Caterham CSR: Another crazy, minimalist car. Oh well, I've always wanted a Caterham and this is the greatest version of them all, with a stiffened chassis, inboard front suspension and a 260-horsepower, Cosworth-tuned Ford engine.

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10. Late-1950s VW Beetle: Santa, you know I’ve been a Beetle guy since way back when. I've owned several, but the oldest was a 1967. Now I’m ready for an older Beetle, with the elegant, glass-covered headlights that got phased out in the mid-1960s. I'd take a 1965, but a 1957 or ’58 model would be even better. And yes, I know that older Beetles have six-volt electrical systems, and that the lights are about as bright as flickering votive candles, but I don't plan to drive at night.

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11. Toyota Prius v: Since I've asked for 10 totally impractical cars already, the v will be my daily transportation. I’m a huge fan of the Prius series, and the v has extra room – it’s like a hybrid minivan. Plus it's smooth, quiet and super fuel-efficient.


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12. Rotax Max kart: It's not really a car, but the Max does have four wheels. I drove one of these at the racetrack, and it was like crack cocaine with a steering wheel. It's way faster than your average go-kart, but it's still a simple, inexpensive machine that makes racing affordable. As a bonus, it will probably fit in the back of the Prius v I asked you for.

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