FIVE CARS TO DRIVE WHILE YOU STILL HAVE A PULSE

July 1, 2019

 With baby boomers more aware of their own mortality these days, “bucket lists” of things to do
before one’s demise have become increasingly popular. Our friends at Hagerty® have listed their
top five cars that need to be driven before kicking the bucket, taking the big dirt nap, biting the dust
or, well, you get the idea:

 

1. 1967 Corvette L88: The L88 was the Corvette that ordinary civilians weren’t supposed to be
able to buy. Rather, it was built to be taken racing by “privateers” (GM was still observing a ban
on manufacturer supported racing). Although a regular production option, the L88 was expensive
and came with almost no creature comforts. The horsepower was deliberately underrated on the
option sheet to come in below the regular 427-cubic-inch 435-hp engine to further discourage
Average Joe buyers. In reality, the L88 could make over 500 hp on racing fuel. Acceleration was
shattering. It’s the ultimate classic Corvette Sting Ray.

 

2. 1967 Shelby Cobra 427: Carroll Shelby found that there was almost no spindly little British
sports car that couldn’t be improved with the insertion of an American V-8. Under Shelby’s
direction, the Sunbeam Alpine became the Sunbeam Tiger, and the AC Ace became the vaunted
Shelby Cobra. The baddest version of the Cobra sported a 427-cubic-inch engine that was
similar to the one developed for NASCAR. Cobras are hot, noisy and cramped, but they’re really
the greatest expression of the muscle car ethos—cram the largest possible engine into the
smallest package.

 

3. 1992-98 McLaren F1: The F1 was everything a supercar should be but so seldom is. Many
modern supercars are as much a fashion accessory as a car. Nobody ever bought an F1 as a
bauble. Because of the car’s somewhat minimalist nature, and the fact that it was offered only
with a conventional three-pedal manual transmission, posers didn’t apply. It’s a reasonable
certainty that Kanye West doesn’t own an F1. With three seats and a center driving position,
plus reams of Formula One technology and incredible performance (0-60 in 3.2 seconds, ¼ mile
in 11.6 and a top speed of 241 mph), the F1 is the one supercar that should be on any
automotive bucket list.

 

4. 1976 Porsche 930: Of all the cars on this list, the earliest version of the Porsche 911 Turbo
Carrera (otherwise known as the 930) is probably the one most capable of preventing the
fulfillment of one’s automotive bucket list. Early 930s were somewhat diabolical cars with tires
that were a bit too small and a turbocharger that lit up suddenly and with a vengeance. The
turbo’s abrupt nature could make for scary driving at inopportune times (like the apex of a
corner). But it’s the car’s ability to bite back that can make it so much fun and a genuine
accomplishment to master.

 

5. 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Hemi Superbird: The Superbird appeals to anyone with a “stick
it to the man” sensibility. It’s whole reason for being was to introduce the streamlined nose cone
and giant wing into Chrysler’s NASCAR efforts back when NASCAR still had homologation
requirements for race cars. Although available with Mopar’s excellent 440-cubic-inch V-8, it’s the
426 Hemi that belongs on anyone’s automotive bucket list. Between the view over the long hood
and nose cone and the view out the back with the five-story-tall wing, the Superbird driving
experience is like nothing else.

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