11 classics to drive before you die

1w ago

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I've been very lucky in the last couple of years to be able to tick off a number of cars from my bucket list. I've driven a '50s Corvette, Ferrari Dino, GT40 and even D.K's Nissan 350Z from Tokyo Drift. Eclectic, I know, but they were all on my list of cars I wanted to drive before I get a visit from the Grim Reaper.

I basically want to drive everything, but I've whittled down my personal top 11 that I want to get behind the wheel of. These aren't necessarily my 11 favourite cars, but they are the ones I'm most intrigued by.

11) Lamborghini Diablo

In the years my car addiction was developing, the Diablo was my pin up. Where beauty and style were grabbing the attention of the masses, the utter aggression that spoke to my youthful angst meant that the Diablo was the object of my affection. It is probably an absolute dog to drive, but I want to play with that dog.

10) AC Cobra

Apart from looking the absolute business, especially with side-pipes for good measure, the AC Cobra has been on my bucket list for years. I'd hear stories from my dad about how it was the reason that the 70mph limit was introduced to the UK, then hear that it had a bloody 7-litre engine in it! The myth has built up so much that it can't possibly live up to my expectations… but what if it does?

9) TVR Griffith

To the naked eye, the Griffith might be a little underwhelming. It could pass as an MX-5 rival… wrong. Underneath that bonnet is an engine that can bring people back from the dead. Don't believe me? Just have a quick watch of one of my favourite vids:

8) Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R Nismo 400R

There has to be a Skyline on my list and even though the R34 is a thing of dreams, the R33 was the one that stole my heart as a youngster and it retains it to this day. If I'm going to drive one, it may as well be the unicorn Nismo 400R… because yellow.

7) Renault Clio V6

Those of you that have read a lot of my articles in the past will know that I love a bit o' French. The Clio V6 remain on the top of my 'coolest cars of all time' list. Why? IT HAS A 3-LITRE V6 IN IT FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST.

6) Triumph TR6

A heavy influence from my dad here. At the age of 26, my dad saved up enough money to buy a TR6. God I wish I was born 30 years earlier. Stories of 4th gear wheel-spin and 100% legal runs on South Wales roads means that this is a must drive before I die. Fast forward 30 years and I've saved up enough to get a Fiat Panda 100HP. Can't wait to tell my children, little 'Nismo King' and 'Lift-off-oversteer King' all about that…

5) Plymouth Sport Fury

Image credit - RM Sotheby's

Another bit of dad influence here. I've always wanted to get behind the wheel of a proper '60s/'70s American cruiser. This is another car my dad had the pleasure of cruising about Rhode Island in when he was a mere 21 years old. Thinking back to my 21st year of life I was cruising around North Wales in a Citroën ZX 1.9 TD… Who's the real winner?

4) Mercedes 300SL Gullwing

This one doesn't take much explaining. I just think it is one of the most beautiful cars ever made. I particularly love the fact you have to effectively snap the steering wheel off to get in.

3) BMW M1

It isn't the fastest, it isn't the prettiest (not bad though), but the BMW M1 just grabbed my attention from a very young age. One of the first model cars I was given for Christmas, I just fell in love with it. I think the footage of the procars might be a heavy influence too…

2) Porsche 911

I've still not yet managed to get behind the wheel of a 911. Something that every motoring journalist must do apparently, but I've not had the opportunity. I had an invite to drive a 1973 911 Carrera 2.7 RS and Clio V6 earlier this year and as I was giddy with excitement at 5am, the snow started to fall and the whole day was cancelled. I might have shed a little tear.

If I was to choose a particular model, I'd say the 993 or the 964, specifically the one Mr Walter Röhrl is being a lad in above.

1) Ferrari F50

Image credit RM Sotheby's

The number one on my bucket list is the iconic Ferrari F50. I can still remember as if it was yesterday walking down Puerto Banus high-street, where the rich would flaunt their money on yachts and bling. The best part of that street was that cars would creep along through the crowds. I'd force my parents to stay just a little longer in case something I hadn't seen came along. And then, out of nowhere, two Ferrari F50s came down the street one after another, blipping their throttles like a JDM car meet in Tescos and I was completely sold. If I haven't driven an F50 before I die, it wasn't fully fulfilled.

I'll just leave this here:

DriveTribe office choices

Jack Richardson - Ferrari 250 GT California

"Definitely in part due Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but mostly because as far as looks and sound, it might be the most perfect car ever made."

Rob Burnett - Jaguar E-Type

"When I was a kid, I sometimes used to build Airfix-style model cars (I was already a pretty cool cat, even then).

One of the first I built was the beautiful Jaguar E-Type. It took me bloody ages, but it was such a pretty car. Ever since then I have wanted to own a real one. That prospect looks increasingly unlikely, but I like to think I will one day get to drive one at least."

Michael Haffenden - Ford Escort Mk2

"Perhaps an unusual one to pick, but at least I could die in the comforting knowledge that I've gone more sideways than any human ever before - unless they've driven an Escort MK2 of course..."

Tim Rodie - Porsche 959

"Probably a Porsche 959. It’s just so ridiculous looking. I always loved it as a kid. Even before I got properly into cars I realised ‘that funny looking car’ was probably capable of making my stomach flip harder than that time I got caught creeping downstairs to avail myself of an Aero bar many, many hours after my bedtime."

These choices are completely subjective and I'm guessing, quite unique. I want to know what cars you have on your 'must drive before you die' list and why. Let me know in the comments!

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Comments (72)
  • What about the Jag E-TYPE? It's the most beautiful car in the world.

    2 days ago
  • 1 Ferrari F40

    2 Porsche 964 turbo

    3 Lamborghini Miura

    4 Shelby Cobra 427

    5 Jaguar XK120

    6 Aston Martin DB4

    7 First Nissan GTR

    8 Lancia Delta Integrale Evo2

    9 68 Holden Monaro GTS

    10 Chevy Chevelle 454ss

    11 DeTomaso Pantera

    7 days ago
    1 Bump

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