In most cases, the highest-priced classic cars represent the best the automotive industry has to offer. Take the iconic Ferrari 250 GTO, for example. This car costs tens of millions of dollars today, but many gearheads would argue it’s worth every penny since it’s a gorgeous, incredibly rare, and powerful Ferrari that dominated the racing scene in the ’60s.
However, not all expensive classic cars are as good as the Ferrari 250 GTO. In fact, some are so terrible that they leave us wondering why gearheads are willing to pay a fortune for them. This list explores ten expensive classic cars gearheads should stay away from.
10 Jaguar E-Type Series 3 V12
The E-Type needs no introduction, as it’s one of the most iconic British cars of all time. When Jaguar unveiled the E-Type in the early ’60s, every gearhead’s jaw dropped to the floor – it had a gorgeous design that earned it a spot on every ‘beautiful cars’ list.
The first two E-Type Series were fantastic sports cars. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the Series 3, which launched in 1971. Although the Series 3 had a V12 instead of the V6 in the other models, it didn’t feel as sporty or fun to drive as the previous Series. The V12-powered E-Type also had more reliability issues than its V6-powered predecessors.
9 Vector M12
The M12 almost had it all. It had a gorgeous wedge-shaped design and was based on the Lamborghini Diablo – it even used the Diablo’s powerful 5.7-liter V12, giving it great performance.
Unfortunately, there were a few issues with the M12. Unlike the Diablo it was based on, the M12’s engine was mounted centrally in front of its gearbox, causing problems. The only reason why some collectors are willing to pay $300,000 for the M12 is that it’s incredibly rare, with only 17 units ever made.
8 Toyota 2000GT
The ’60s gave us some of the most iconic sports car designs ever, including the Jaguar E-Type, Ferrari 250 GTO, and Corvette Stingray. Not wanting to be left behind, Toyota went to work and developed an absolute beauty in 1967 – the 2000GT.
The 2000GT was considered Japan’s first supercar, largely thanks to its gorgeous design. Unfortunately, it didn’t have the power to match. With a 2.3-liter inline-six developing an embarrassing 138 hp, the 2000GT needed around 10 seconds to accelerate to 60 mph, which is unacceptable for a ‘supercar.’ Despite its mediocre engine, the 2000GT still costs seven figures today.
7 Lamborghini Countach
In the early ’70s, Lamborghini introduced arguably its most influential model of all time – the Countach. The first thing people noticed about the Countach was its futuristic wedge-shaped design, which had been penned by the legendary Marcello Gandini. The Countach’s design was so good that it inspired most of Lamborghini’s designs since.
The Countach didn’t just look good, it had the power to destroy most of the top sports cars of the ’70s. The only reason why the Countach is on our list is that it had a tiny cockpit that was uncomfortable for taller folks. It was also challenging to keep under control at speed.
6 RUF CTR ‘Yellowbird’
Not many gearheads have heard of RUF, but back in the ’80s, the company built a special car that earned it a permanent spot in the automotive history books. Dubbed the CTR or Yellowbird, this car shocked everyone when it clocked 213 mph to break the production car speed record.
Looking at the CTR, you can’t ignore its resemblance to the 930-body Porsche 911 of the day. Well, that’s because it was based on the first turbocharged Porsche 911. While the base car helped the CTR to achieve its crazy performance stats, it was also the root cause of its issues. Just like the 911, the Yellowbird suffered from massive turbo lag that would cause accidents.
5 Ferrari F355
The F355 is a rear-mid-engined sports car that Ferrari built in the ’90s to show that it was still the company to beat when it came to building world-beating supercars. The F355 was a heavily-revised 348 that looked a lot better and had several performance upgrades to make it a lot of fun to drive.
Powering the F355 was a 3.5-liter V8 blurting out 375 hp, giving it a 0-60 mph of 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 183 mph. This was paired with a paddle-operated F1-style transmission system, a first for production cars. The only reason why this car is on our list today is that it’s one of the most unreliable Ferraris ever.
4 1991 Dodge Viper RT/10
In the early ’90s, Dodge was obsessed with making a world-class sports car that could compete with the best European sports cars and win. So, after several years of development, Dodge launched the Viper in 1991.
The Viper was instantly popular – it had an eye-catching design and lots of power coming from its massive 8.0-liter V10. However, despite all that power, the Viper lacked modern driving aids like traction control and stability control, making it extremely dangerous to drive.
3 Lamborghini Jalpa
Most gearheads have never heard of the Jalpa, even though it was produced at the same time as the more famous Countach. Lamborghini introduced the Jalpa in 1981 as its entry-level model for gearheads who couldn’t afford the Countach. Unfortunately, it ended up becoming a huge flop, as Lamborghini only managed to sell 410 examples.
The Jalpa failed because of two things – its design wasn’t even close to being as good as the Countach, and it didn’t have much power either.
2 Pagani Zonda
In 1992, Horacio Pagani established Pagani with one goal – to build supercars that could rival anything from Ferrari and Lamborghini. Less than a decade later, Pagani’s dream was realized when the Zonda debuted in 1999.
The Zonda caused a wave of excitement across the auto industry, largely thanks to its unique design and lots of power coming from its Mercedes-Benz 7.3-liter V12. Unfortunately, the Zonda’s handling was not good enough to control its power. In fact, Formula One Champion Lewis Hamilton once said that the Zonda is his worst-handling car.
1 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale
Lancia rarely gets mentioned today, but back in the ’70s, it was one of the top European manufacturers. Lancia was particularly successful in the rallying world, with one of its best rally cars being the Stratos HF Stradale.
The Stratos was an instant hit, thanks to its beautiful wedge-shaped design and the fact that it was powered by a Ferrari-built engine. But, while the Stratos was amazing to drive in rallying situations, it was not great on the road. The Stratos was also uncomfortable as it had an unnatural driving position due to offset pedals.
Pagani and Bugatti are some of the most exclusive brands in the world. And these 15 cars are the best of the best.
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