The Best Santa-Compliant Classics
Ho and Ho and another Ho for good luck. Yes, it’s that time of year when the big guy with a penchant for bulky red knitwear and a refreshing resistance to Gillette’s Best a Man Can Get advertising, cuffs his allegedly merry band of helpers into life, saddles up a gaggle of immortal reindeer and creeps, at night, into childrens bedrooms.
Yes, it’s Christmas. Santa is, quite shortly, on his sleigh. But does he have to be? On his sleigh, that is. Wouldn’t, I hear you wonder, another form of transport be more suitable than a drafty old sleigh hauled by weary old reindeer?
Wonder no more. Here’s our list of alternative Santa transport. More suitable. Better.
1. DeLorean DMC-12
For a man who has to deliver presents to every child in the world in 12 hours, surely a time travellling set of wheels is an attractive proposition?
Yes, by every other logical metric the DeLorean is entirely unsuited to sleigh duties. There’s no space for actual presents, for one thing. It’s probably slower than the sleigh for another. There are more moving parts than a reindeer, moving parts that were joined together by Lotus engineers. So it’s not strictly reliable.
Then there’s that magic 88 mph time travelling barometer. The DeLorean’s speedo reads to 85. It probably can do 88 but (a) how will Santa know and (b) how much of the DeLorean will be left after it does?
But there is no doubt that if he does manage to get into the DeLorean and then chart a route through 88 mph, Santa will arrive in style, his brushed stainless steel paintwork suitably glittering on Chrimble morn.
2. Talbot Rancho
If delivering large quantities of presents anywhere and quickly is your game then the Talbot Rancho is the perfect answer to one of those objectives. But Santa should not be put off by the Rancho’s lack of go-anywhere-ness or get up and go.
The Rancho, unlike most classic cars, has a lorra lorra parcel room. Both inside its van-based dimensions and on top in its Trekking-Across-The-Sahara style roof rack. Plus there are fog lights and lamping lights to stand in for Rudolph’s famous nose and show Santa the way.
The Rancho is also subtle. It wasn’t when it was new but it certainly is now. Amidst all the boxy SUVs this original SUV surely blends in, enabling Santa to complete his deliveries largely incognito. Except for the mahoosive red coat and beard of course.
3. Morgan Plus Four CX-T
A Morgan is surely perfect for Santa, a man clearly familiar with the maintenance regime and performance characteristics demanded by transport made from trees.
Morgan has also conveniently launched the tongue-twisting Plus Four CX-T, a sort of jacked up, off road Morgan that took the word ‘adventure’ and made a car out of it.
And what is delivering millions of presents literally everywhere very quickly if not an adventure? Particularly when it involves a big man in a comedy suit.
The CX-T has the added advantage of more storage space than the standard Morgan. By more, of course, I mean ‘some,’ owing to the standard car not actually having any. Although to create luggage space Santa would have to ditch the various spare fuel cans, boxes, spades and sand ramps that help make the CX-T ‘adventurous’ (and £170,000).
4. Pontiac El Camino
Its side profile from boot to cab is, you have to admit, sleigh like. It seats two up front, a la a sleigh. There’s a lot of power up there too, just like Rudolph and his buddies. Then, of course there’s the canvernous load area, one that we suspect - whisper it - has probably held a few dead Rudolphs in its day. But is equally good at carting presents around.
The senseless slaughter of deer aside, the El Camino clearly makes a lot of sense as a Santa sleigh. Admittedly its single figure fuel consumption is less Santa friendly in the modern 150p/litre era, but Santa’s a man of purpose and speed, surely unbothered by such trifling matters.
5. Range Rover
Scrap all of the above. Here it is, the ultimate Santa Express. It goes anywhere. It can contain anything (almost). It has the sort of power that even Rudolph and his chums would admire. And it's very, very comfy. Santa can easily hitch a wagon train of sleighs to the Rangey and hit the world in one trip.
From the wheel of his Range Rover Santa will experience what plutocrats and captains of industry have always known: the Range Rover is the answer to pretty much any motoring question you care to ask. Add to that list delivering Christmas presents worldwide.
Sure, there are a few issues with the Range Rover, irrespective of whether you choose an early or a late one. In 40 odd years of continuous production, whoever has owned the firm has never quite perfected the art of building it consistently. Or making it reliable. So it may be worth Santa investing in two. Or three. And a mechanic. Or two. Etc.
There it is, our list of fine alternative Santa sleighs. However you choose to spend Christmas this year, at Great Driving Days we wish you a very good one.
Graham Eason, Great Driving Days, 01527 893733