Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Ultimate Top 10 Dream Garage

Earlier today, Jalopnik asked the question of all questions for "gearheads": if you could have a garage containing any five cars in the world, regardless of price and exclusivity, what would they be?  I struggled to narrow my list down to five, so why not expand to 10?  So that's what this is.  Here's my top 10.  Feel free to comment below or tweet your top 10 to me.

#10: Ford GT

Every American motor racing fan during the 1960s knew about the legendary Ford GT40 race car.  That car defeated the mighty Ferrari's at Le Mans, and established its place in racing history in the process.  In 2003, Ford decided to recreate the GT40 and produce it as a road car.  The result was this, the Ford GT.  Just over 4,000 GT's were produced.  The production car became the fastest such American car ever produced as a base model.  The GT's mid-engine V8 produces about 550 horsepower, reaches 212 miles per hour and looks incredible.  Several American classics have been recreated, such as the current Mustang, Camaro and Challenger, but none of them can match the overall brilliance of the Ford GT.  And to think that it's based on a car from almost half a century ago.

#9: 2013 SRT Viper

The Dodge Viper has been the American "dream car" since it debuted in 1992.  The Viper was designed to be simple, like the Shelby Cobra, yet its styling made it bolder and crazier than the cheaper Corvette.  In other words, the Viper is America's Lamborghini.  Dodge stopped building the SRT10 generation Viper, but the company announced the re-birth of the Viper under the SRT name.  The result is simply stunning.  It looks like no other American car ever has and it will probably perform like no other American car ever, yet it still contains a huge V10.  The venom is back and better than ever.  I always thought the late '90s-early '00s Viper GTS was the greatest Viper...until this one.  This is the best Viper ever, which means it's America's best dream car ever.
#8: Ferrari 458 Italia
When the Ferrari 360 was out, nobody thought Ferrari would be able to improve on it.  They did.  But once the F430 came out, nobody thought that could ever be improved upon.  You know what?  They did again.  Someday, they'll improve upon the 458, but until then, the ultimate 21st century sports car is the Ferrari 458.  It's the best looking and best sounding car in the world right now.  It still has the beautiful V8 behind the driver and all of the technology Ferrari could possibly come up with.  Of course, people who read Jalopnik regularly are constantly being reminded that these cars have had electrical problems causing fires in the past, but hopefully that's all it is: in the past.  The thing is, even if you owned one and were scared to ever drive it, at least you could pull a chair up in front of it and just stare it all day.

#7: McLaren F1
I never thought of the McLaren F1 as the prettiest car of all-time, but there's something admirable about it.  McLaren had been in professional racing for decades before Gordon Murray decided to put the McLaren badge on a road car.  It just so happened that his creation became the world's fastest production car in the early 1990s and held that title for over a decade.  Bugatti decided the Veyron strictly to break a top speed record, but McLaren simply achieved it without even intending to do it.  The F1 is also a legendary car.  There's something that can't be proven on a dyno or in a wind tunnel.  This car is one of the rare cars that is truly a legendary car.  No matter how many 1,000 horsepower cars are made now or in the future, the F1 will always be special.  You can't really have a fantasy dream car garage without one.
#6: Pagani Zonda Cinque
Pagani's story is very rare these days.  One man had a dream to build his own dream car, and he did it.  The Zonda was Horacio Pagani's first masterpiece of a car.  The Zonda Cinque was essentially the swan song for the car before the new Huayra was introduced.  The Zonda itself is very exclusive (and expensive), and the Cinque, with just 5 coupes and 5 convertibles produced, took that to another extreme.  The Zonda is a car that nobody can mistaken for anything less than a supercar.  It doesn't take a car enthusiast to recognize that it's a special car.  Sure, it's a quite a showoff, but supercars should look outrageous, right?  The Pagani Zonda is one of the all-time great dream cars, and since this is all about the top 10 dream cars, this car has to be included.
#5: Corvette C6 ZR1
Yes, I know, I have a very strong bias towards the Corvette.  I always have, and I probably always will.  This ZR1, though, is the real deal.  The supercharged 638 horsepower V8 was the most powerful 8-cylinder engine in the world at the time that this car came out in 2009.  Not only was this the best Corvette ever built, but some said it was one of the greatest sports cars ever built.  Even Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson, hater of almost all American cars, decided that this was the "Supercar of the Year" in 2009.  Oh, and the ZR1, being a Corvette, costs a third of its Ferrari and Lamborghini competition (even though price doesn't matter in this countdown...).  The ZR1 isn't just another American muscle car with a huge engine.  This car is the complete package. 
#4: Ferrari F60 Enzo

Following production of the F40 and F50, Ferrari decided that they wanted another shot at a Formula One-style supercar for the road. The result was this: the F60, or as Ferrari nicknamed it, the "Enzo." They decided to name it after Enzo Ferrari, who as you might have guessed, founded the company in the mid-1940s. Enzo passed away following the release of the F40, and he'd be proud of the car that honors his name. I'd say it's the best car of the 21st century so far. Although there have been cars built since that have beaten its statistical performance, the Enzo isn't just another performance car. This is an icon. It set the bar when it came out. It became the new supercar benchmark. Even today, ten years after it debuted, there are still few cars that can match its performance or looks. It's also appreciated to nearly three times its original price in ten years.
#3: Lamborghini Miura
Lamborghini has built five main V12 supercars in their history: the Miura, the Countach, the Diablo, the Murcielago and the newest one, the Aventador.  Each one has seemed to be improvement on its predecessor.  Or have they?  Because I'm not sure any of them are more desirable than the original: the Miura.  Most car nuts would agree that the Miura was the first supercar.  It set the standard for supercars for the next half century.  When this car came out in the late 1960s, it was revolutionary in style and performance.  But that's what Lamborghini does: they built cars that nobody else would even think of building.  They aren't practical or easy to drive, but they're special in every way.  There are sports cars being built today that can't match the Miura's performance stats, not to mention matching its looks.
#2: Ferrari F40
It's really hard to figure out why the F40 is often regarded as the greatest supercar of all-time.  Surely there are faster cars, like the Enzo, and even prettier cars, like the 458, than this one.  None of that seems to matter, though.  This car seems to have a certain mystique that no other car possesses.  Perhaps that's because this was the last car Enzo Ferrari himself lived to see roll off the production line.  Whatever the reason, however, the F40 will always be a legendary supercar.  Any time you see one, there will always be a "wow" factor, because when you see the F40, you know that you're looking at something incredible.  If Ferrari is the world's most iconic sports car maker of all-time and the F40 is the greatest Ferrari, doesn't that make the F40 the greatest car ever built?
#1: 1960 Corvette
Strangely, though, there is one car that I'd take over the F40.  It isn't a supercar in the regard that the others are, because the Corvette didn't become a high-performance car until the second generation 'Vette debuted in 1963.  It doesn't matter, though.  I think the 1960 Corvette is the best looking car of all-time.  Yes, of all-time.  I think it looks better than the Jaguar E-types, Ferrari 250s and Ford GT40s.  The 'Vette had a perfect balance of sportiness and elegance.  It was always the "misfit" of American sports cars because it wasn't built just for straight line racing, as were most muscle cars.  The 1960 model year was the best of them all, because the 1958 and some 1959 cars had a stupid looking chrome stripe in the rear and the 1961 and 1962 cars altered the look from the front and rear.  There is no car that I'd rather walk into my garage and be able to look at than the 1960 Corvette.
So that's my Top 10.  If you agree, disagree or think I've completely lost my mind, let me know in the comments below or on Twitter/Facebook.
Honorable mentions: Porsche Carrera GT, Lamborghini Aventador, Saleen S7, Lamborghini Countach, Ferrari 365 Daytona


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