I was having a conversation with a buddy of mine this afternoon when we started to talk about race cars. Race cars as a general rule are purpose built machines that are built to maximize performance. Details are calculated to the tenth degree to ensure that every part works in conjunction with each other, with the final goal being that of, “The Win”. Though not intentional, race cars sometimes blur the line between technological marvels and beautifully sculpted machines. For this reason we began to think about what our top picks would be if it were left up to us to decide which car should take top honors. There are a host of amazing competition automobiles out there, but the 10 you see below would be my top picks.
I also know that I’ve left some stellar race cars off of this list. Due to this I would like to invite all those who view this to not only comment on your favorites, but let me know what you’d like to see added.
1. 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa
The Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa is considered to be one of the most iconic of all Ferrari racing cars. It was produced from 1957-1958 in which time only 22 were made. Purchasing one today would cost upwards of 5 million dollars.
2. 2003 Bentley Speed 8
Designed in 2001 by Peter Elleray, the Speed 8 was constructed specifically to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans and marked Bentley’s return to racing after 73 years. Although the Speed debuted in 2001 it did not win Le Mans until 2003.
3. 1968 Ford GT40 MK II
Another car designed to win at Le Mans, the Ford GT40 MK II raced in 1968 & 1969. It was also the only car in Le Mans history to win the race more than once.
4. 1997 Mercedes Benz CLK GTR
Built by Mercedes AMG, the CLK GTR was specifically designed for racing in the FIA GT Championship Series for 1997. To meet homologation rules Mercedes did in fact build a select amount of road going GTR’s that are true race cars for the street.
5. 2005 Aston Martin DBRS9
Built as a cheaper model to the DBR9, the DBRS9 was built to race specifically in the FIA GT Championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans.
6. 1966 Ferrari 330 P3
This is the car that brought fuel injection into Ferrari’s stable. It is also considered to be one of the most beautiful race cars ever created by any manufacturer.
7. 1965 Shelby Daytona Coupe
Loosely based on the Cobra Roadster, the Daytona Coupe was built just for auto racing. Only six coupes were ever made between 1964-1965. Soon after the completion of the Daytona’s, Carroll Shelby was reassigned to the Ford GT40 project.
8. 1971 Porsche 917
With a top speed of over 240 mph, the 917 gave Porsche its first overall win at the 1970 and 1971 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 917 also starred next to Steve McQueen in the 1971 movie Le Mans.
9. 1969 Dodge Daytona
Clocked at 205 mph in 1969, the Charger Daytona was considered a “zero lift” car. The 18 inch nose cone made 1,200 pounds of down force with the rear wing making 600. To this day its controversial styling still draws stares from onlookers.
10. 1954 Jaguar D-Type
Powered by a straight-6, the 1954 Jaguar D-Type was designed as a race car only. With its ground breaking monocoque chassis the D-type introduced aircraft-style engineering to competition car design.