2015 Mercedes S Class Coupe

If you ask a hundred people about which car they would buy if they were fortunate enough to have a win on the lottery, the chances are a hundred different replies will then be your reward. This is perfectly understandable, of course, because we are all individuals and we all have our own opinions on what makes the perfect vehicle.

There are plenty of people who will choose a brand new, fresh from the showroom SUV. Tough, robust and dripping with attitude, this choice is perfect for those men and women who want to be seen. Many of these cars represent the pinnacle of car fashion these days, so you can understand why this will prove to be a common pick.

It goes without saying, however, that many others will look for inspiration from the past. Sleek, sexy sports cars from yesteryear will always hold a certain kudos among both aficionados and people with only a passing interest in motors. You can be sure that, once they've received their winnings, many will head straight to the showroom.

One of the reasons for choosing a sports car from the past is the association with a certain type of glamor. After all, it's easy to take a Jaguar E-Type for a spin along a deserted mountain road and imagine you are Steve McQueen or Paul Newman and that you're on your way to visit Audrey Hepburn at her south of France hotel.

We all love to be fast, but we all need to be safe, too

This brings up an interesting question, however, about our attitude to motoring and our relationship with cars. If you have to choose between speed and safety, do you know for sure which option you will take? Sports cars of the past – and the present, too – have plenty of speed but they aren't always as safe as we would like them.

Perhaps this is why many drivers choose something a little more dependable. We all hope that we will never feel the need to contact a motoring lawyer in order to make a road injury claim, of course, but if we continue to drive cars that aren't as safe as others it could happen more often than we would like. That is simply a fact of life.