The thing with cars is that all of them have a predetermined production run. Whether a limited one that only runs in the low hundreds, or something that’s mass produced, all cars cease production at one time or another.
This gives rise to some classic cars that makes you wish they’d make again, just so you’d have a crack at owning one this time around. Go through the following list with us as we take a spirited drive through memory lane.
- BMW M1. Before the German carmaker concentrated on roadsters and making sporty versions of its sedans and coupes, it made the M1. Produced between 1978 and 1981 at a limited production run of just 456 units, it remains one of the most sought-after BMWs to date. Representing the only mid-engine car BMW ever made, it defined an entire era for the German carmaker.
- Aston Martin V8 Vantage. A car that’s good enough for James Bond is good enough for me. Regarded as the first British supercar, the V8 Vantage was able to reach a top speed of 170 mph. Utilizing advanced engine technology for its time, it was able to accelerate from a dead stop to 60 mph in just 5.3 seconds. A respectable time even today and a whole tenth of a second quicker than a Ferrari Daytona, a barometer of performance for the era.
- Lamborghini Countach. Ask any grade-schooler to draw a sports car and 9 times out of 10, they’ll come up with something that looks like a Countach. This Italian classic revolutionized car design and pioneered the squat, wedge shape that became the template for countless sports cars than came after. Based on an F1 car, this classic has a mid-engine design, with a bigger and wider rear wheel for more grip and better handling. A monstrous V-12 gave it a distinctive sound as it whipped it upwards of 150 mph.
- Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing. Many sports cars give you the illusion that they’re about to take off and fly. This is achieved by a pointy nose and swooping lines that suggest motion even if the car is parked. But never has been the image of flight more pronounced – and executed with as much elegance – as with the Mercedes Gullwing. Aptly named due to its doors that open upwards and thus resemble a bird’s wings, this classic boasts technology that’s way ahead of its time. The engine is fuel-injected. This feature is significant considering the Gullwing was released during the heyday of carburetors. It also has a tubular frame which made the iconic door design possible. But what made this Mercedes stand out is its timeless looks. It’s more than half a century old, but it never looks dated even today.
- Lancia Stratos. A rally legend, this car struck the balance between power and handling. In rallying, the way a car puts down power is just as important as the amount of power it is able to generate. Handling and traction holds greater significance in the sport as some courses are done over mountain roads and a mistake could send car and driver over a cliff. At a time before electronics aids, the Stratos attained classic status through balance and grace, not brute force. The fact that it looks great never hurt, though.
- Ferrari Enzo. The premier Italian carmaker is content with assigning numbers to its more common models. The more important ones are honored by christening them with actual names. What significance then would naming a model after the company’s founder hold? The Enzo is essentially a street-legal F1 racer. It has a 600 hp V12 engine capable of propelling it to a top speed of 220 mph. Its exotic look is largely due to the aerodynamic shape necessary to keep it stable at such high speeds. It has holes, wings, and cutouts at every conceivable angle, all in an attempt to rein in the tremendous power and keep the car controllable at speed.
- MacLaren F1. Many regard this modern classic from the late 90s as the best purely driver-oriented car of all time. Its designers placed great emphasis on driving experience as evidenced by the seating layout of the car. All other cars on this list are either left-hand-drive or right-hand-drive, with the front passenger sting right beside the driver. The MacLaren F1’s driver seat is located in the center, with two passenger seats straddling it. This layout gives the best road visibility with an unobstructed panoramic view and no blind spots. With a selling price that’s close to a million dollars, it’s not surprising that no detail was overlooked. To give one an idea on the attention to detail that’s been given this car, the engine compartment is covered in gold foil to shield the interior from the tremendous heat generated by the 618 hp 6.1 liter engine.
It’s nice to dream isn’t it? Savor the moment because with classic cars, that’s all you could do, really. Even rich Middle-Eastern sheiks don’t have enough money to buy some cars on this list. And it has something to do with basic economics. Great cars are rare to begin with. Like in the case of the MacLaren F1, only 106 cars were ever made. This rarity and the popularity that it managed to retain up until now pegs some units being resold for more than double the initial purchase price. That is if their owners are willing to part with their pride and joy.