Sam Philip 27 November 2013

Dinosaur vs car: which is better value?

How does Misty the £400,000 diplodocus stack up against a Porsche Cayman and McLaren P1?

Dinosaur vs car

A diplodocus skeleton has just sold at auction for £400,000. The 17-metre monster – nicknamed Misty and one of just six complete specimens in the world – was bought by an undisclosed institution at an auction in West Sussex.

Four hundred grand sounds like quite a lot of money for a bunch of old bones to us. Then again, some dinosaur enthusiasts might think £715,000 quite a lot of money for a bunch of new Porsche.

Which got Top Gear thinking, in our inimitably predictable way: is a massive dinosaur better value than a car? This is a tricky question, because cars and dinosaurs are quite different. For a start, it's very difficult to find tyres for a diplodocus.

Clearly some maths must be applied, as you can see above. And the maths is this: cost per metre. Yeah, like ribbon. Or timber.

See, Misty measures 17 metres from head to very long tail, meaning she’s worth £23,569 per metre. Which is rather more than expensive than most ribbons. And most timber.

But what about cars? As our highly scientific statistical analysis demonstrates, Misty is considerably more expensive per metre than a Porsche Cayman, but rather cheaper than an Aston Vanquish. And, we suspect, rather slower.

But she represents fine value beside the McLaren P1, and a veritable bargain against the History Supreme, the most expensive superyacht on the planet. At £2.6bn and measuring a pitiful 30 metres in length, the posh boat is more than 2,000 times more expensive per metre than a dinosaur. But doesn't sink when you put it in water.

So, in conclusion. Big dinosaur: better value than Vanquish, worse value than Cayman. More practical buying advice from your Top Gear consumer team.

Now share it...

What do you think?

This service is provided by Disqus and is subject to their privacy policy and terms of use. Please read Top Gear's code of conduct (link below) before posting.