Forgotten Cars that Deserve Love from the Community
Not all great, cool, or interesting cars will be forever remembered
Cool cars are usually the halo of our little community. They’re the soul; pride; joy; treasure trove of every car lover’s little world. Without them, cars would just be identical boxes on wheels that have absolutely no defining features whatsoever. However, there seems to be many examples in history of brilliant cars - good enough to match those that we all love and treasure from that era - that were completely forgotten by the media and the general public alike. So it’s time to right some wrongs - in the form of a DriveTribe article. Saying that makes it sound reallt insignificant but... you never know.
1993 Venturi 400 GT
The 1990s was a very interesting time in humanity’s - the Stock Market was going haywire, dial-up internet had just been created, the very first smartphone was released to the public, and every fast car company in the world (and a few new boys) were at eachother’s throats - looking to react the highest top speed in their new supercar. The 90s was also awash with rich entrepreneurs trying to make a dent in the performance world, which resulted in many bizarre and quite interesting supercars being created that nobody really remembers - if they knew of them in the first place. This Venturi 400 GT is not only a classic case in point, but is also probably my favourite of the 90s bunch. Venturi is a French car company, founded in 1984 by two engineers by the names of Claude Poiraud and Gérard Godfroy, that is actually still alive today - although they mainly focus on building what looks like an electric car styled like a 19th Century cart, and seem to be relatively unsuccessful in doing so. The 400 GT is not an electric car, as you might be able to tell from the picture of an engine included above. It was in fact powered by a 3.0L twin-turbo V6, which produced about 410 horsepower and 530Nm of torque.
Such power could propel the GT to 60 in a claimed 4.5 seconds (although some sources say that the time could be less than that) and on to a top speed of around 180mph. Such speed was nothing new to the performance world at the time, but it wasn’t exactly sluggish either. This car was also quite advanced for it’s time, being the first car in the world to feature carbon ceramic brakes as standard - which pretty much every single supercar manufacture today then proceeded to copy. Only 15 of these cars were ever made, excluding the 73 of which were converted for racing use in Venturi’s one-make racing league for this very car. These cars have a rather large price bracket, as some have sold for as little (or rather, as less a price) as £115,000, and some have sold for as much as £200,000. So they’re not cheap, not by any standards - but that’s the thing with very rare, very exclusive, very obscure cars - the people who care about them REALLY care about them, and will pay a lot of money to get them. Which is fine by me, because it means that those cars are kept alive and well for other people to admire, which is what this stuff is really all about.
2013 Alfa Romeo Disco Volante
This is probably the most well-known car on this list, simply because there’s a Top Gear review of it (which I will eventually work out how to link... somewhere), but I thought I’d include it simply because I have‘t really seen anyone talk about it... ever. This is an Alfa Romeo Disco Volante, which was named after one of their old racecars from the 50s. And what you need to know is that it is simply one of the prettiest cars ever made - in my opinion, of course. It started life as an Alfa Romeo 8C - a hard, fast, Italian rocketship of a sports car that is also simply one of the prettiest cars ever made, in my opinion. Then, the car was completely rebooked, reupholstered, and softened up a bit by an old-school coachbuilder in Melan called Touring. Touring are very important historically to the car world - they‘re most remembered for their on cars such as the Aston Martin DB5/DB6, the Jensen Interceptor, and the very first Lamborghini - the 350GT. They mainly designed and helped build sports cars for Alfa Romeo in the 1950s, and were actually involved with the designing process of the original Alfa 8C and Disco Volante. So these guys have a lot of experience - and you can tell they put all of that into the modern Disco Volante. I’ve never seen a car quite like it before - the shape is simply something nobody has attempted before, and you could stare at all the little details in the styling for hours.
Of course, there are certain things that Touring didn’t or couldn’t do to the 8C they started with - for example, they didn’t change anything relating to the Maserati V8 under the bonnet. It’s still 4.7L, it still produces 444 horsepower and 470Nm of torque, and it still sounds exquisite when you put your foot down. It also sprints to 60 in the same 4.2 seconds as the 8C, and has the exact same top speed of 190mph. However, when you drive the two of them, you’ll quickly find that the two of them are nothing alike. The 8C is stiff, and hard, and designed to attack a winding mountain road. To put it simply, it’s a sports car. The Disco Volante is unbelievably different - it’s soft, and comfortable, and a very nice place to be. It soaks up miles, and let you savour the twists and turns in a proper mountain pass. It’s apparently almost impossible to tell that the two cars are at all related, let alone share the majority of their components. Only 15 Disco Volantes, eight being hardtops and seven being spyders, were ever brought to life, so they are of extremely limited edition, but I did discover a while ago that there was actually one for sale online. It was set up as Price On Request, but I did some very crude maths (I can’t tell you what... because I don’t remember) and worked out that the car was probably worth around £3 million. So there you go - one very rare, very pretty, very expensive Alfa. What more could a petrolhead want from this world?
1993 Lister Storm
The Lister Storm is yet another obscure supercar from the 90s, much like the Venturi from earlier. This is very different to the Venturi, however, as it was actually brought to life by a small but relatively long-lived British engineering firm in England. Founded in 1954, Lister Cars specialised for many years in building racing cars, mostly in cahoots with other manufacturers - like Bristol and Jaguar. They've done rear-engined cars, single-seaters, and even worked with Formula 2 engines for their racers. For this car, the Storm, they wanted to once again mount an assault on the racetracks, this time aiming for the prestigious Le Mans event - specifically the GT1 class. There, they would race against machines such as the McLaren F1 GTR, Ferrari F40 LM, and the original Porsche 911 GT2. The one car they brought along, despite having a good lineup of three drivers, didn't do well - it was disqualified after only 40 laps due to severe gearbox failure. However, all was not lost for the Storm, as it was later modified for racing in other motorsports, which lead it to victory in the FIA GT Championship of 2000. There was even an out-of-this-world Le Mans prototype made, but it ended up being just that - a prototype. Today, Lister is mostly known for their highly modified versions of the Jaguar F-Type and F-Pace, both of which seem to prominently feature the number 666, so do with that information as you will.
The Lister Storm story actually starts, of all places, with the Jaguar XJS, in 1986. An engineer at the company decided to modify around 90 XJSs, and managed to push the top speed to over 200mph. And... it worked! Lister made a good profit on those Jags. Upon seeing the success that this brought about, Lister decided to make their own V12 sports car. They may have gone a little overboard when designing it, as they decided to fit the biggest V12 put in a moving vehicle since the fighter planes of World War 2 - a 7.0L engine, also found in the Jaguar Jaguar XJR-9 Group C racecar. The powerplant under the bonnet produces 546 horsepower, and 790Nm of torque. That massive power, when some throttle was applied, would launch the Storm from 0-60 (slightly) faster than a Ferrari F40 - 4.1 seconds. The car also boasted an impressive top speed of 208mph - which is also faster than a Ferrari F40. Despite how mind-blowingly quick this car was, it was still classed as a grand tourer; for some reason, it has four seats! That fact alone makes it one of the fastest four-seaters ever made - up there with the Continental GT and the DB11 AMR. Because the car was sold for an original asking price of £220,000, only four Lister Storms (storms? stormses?) were ever made. It's believe that only three survived - don't ask me what happened to the fourth one; it's a mystery. You can come up with dumb theories in the comments section if you want. But that's besides the point - the Lister Storm... what is it? Is it a GT car? Is it a racecar? Is it a sports car? I think personally it's a bit of all of them - unable to be classed as just one, but just about manageable to be classed as all three.
1993 Mosler Intruder
This is quite simply the only image of the Mosler Intruder on the Internet (that I could find). All the others were of the later Mosler Raptor.
If any of you have played Forza Horizon 4 for more than about ten minutes, you will be familiar with the Mosler MT900S. It's an American supercar powered by a small variety of Chevy LS V8s. Most people who play this game assume that Mosler only make/made the MT900 throughout their lifetime. However, because I have nothing else to do, I did a little bit of research into the matter, and here we are today. For those who haven't played the game, Mosler Automotive is a Florida-based supercar, founded in 1985 by a man called Warren Mosler. It was originally titled Consulier Industries, and they brought what would be the base for this car into the world - the Consulier GTP. It was powered by a 2.2L Chrysler four-cylinder, producing 190 horsepower. The weight was kept at an absolute minimum, however, which resulted with the car weighing in at just under 1000kg - which is very light for what it is. The Intruder, however, was where it was cranked up to eleven, because Consulier's new spin-off title, Mosler, decided that the best thing for the car was to cram in a huge engine and take it racing. Which, as it turned out, was a prime example of an idea that was too brilliant. Take the 24 hours of Nelson Ledges race for example. The Intruder raced there for two consecutive years, and it ran away with it both times. After it's second year, the authorities at the track came forward, claiming that there were rules stating once a car had won twice, it could not be used again.
They made that up. The Intruder was so fast and so good around the racetrack that the officials banned it from ever racing again. This isn't made up or inferred, by the way, this is a genuine story. A modified intruder was also banned from Car and Driver magazine's 'One Lap of America' after winning three times. This thing was a track racing weapon in it's time. So, what was the secret to it's success? Well, that massive engine I mentioned earlier happened to be GM's small-block called the LT1. This engine was also used in Corvettes and Camaros at the time, and in the Intruder it was pushing 300 horsepower. That modified car from earlier managed to bump that up to 450 horses. That new power would be more than enough to push some serious 0-60 times and top speed figures, and I would love to tell you what they are, but that's where I hit a problem. You see, due to some XYZ reason, only one Mosler Intruder was actually sold to a private buyer - possibly making it one of, if not the rarest car in the world right now. Which means that pretty much nobody has had the chance to test drive or review it, and if they have, it's not on the internet as far as I can see. So, this is where we finish - a dead end, and a hyper rare car that was so good it was banned from racing. It's a very interesting story, and I may or may not devote a whole article to it later on down the line. (Vote with the poll on that one)
2004 Bristol Fighter
I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that I've finally moved away from obscure 90s supercars... and onto obscure 2000s supercars. And luckily, this one comes from one of the most unusual (and one of my favourite) car companies of the lot - Bristol. Their cars are, in my humble opinion, the modern interpretation of the sleek, stylish, and very cool British sports cars of the 60s. Which is exactly what the ‘04 Fighter is. Bristol Cars originally developed from the Bristol Aeroplane Company that built fighter planes during both world wars. Sir George Stanley White, the managing director of Bristol Cars, was very clever with the way he ran the plane company - preparing the company, while the war was still raging, for the day that their planes and aircraft engines were no longer needed - which worked. Bristol managed to survive the onslaught of airplane companies going bust in the 1950s, and instead moved to making race and family cars. They’ve had their ups and downs, good cars and bad cars, but they’ve managed to survive all this time. Right up until 2020, when their luck (and money) finally ran out, and they went under. Because 2020. And that’s very sad, because it means that in the foreseeable future, we will no longer be able to look on in awe at cars like this, with such a long and bizzare history behind them. But there is no time to mourn, because I need to finish this article and we need to take a look at this unusual and unusually rare British sports car.
The Bristol Fighter is quite an impressive spectacle, not only to look at but to experience in general. I will admit I’ve always had a soft spot for the British sports car styling, but this one... it just takes the cake. It‘s a fantastic looking thing. Equally, if not more impressive is the mechanical bits underneath; the Bristol Fighter actually shares most of it’s bits with another sports car. I don’t know if anyone here will have heard of it - it’s called the Dodge Viper. Haha, you see, I was trying to trick you into thinking it was another rare sports car and... this joke works better when said out loud. I know that now. The Fighter actually shares engines with the Gen 3 Viper - the engine in question being an 8.3L V10 producing 525 horsepower, and about 712Nm of torque. That’s a lot of oomph, especially for something designed in a shed in England. Thanks to the Fighter’s super-sleek design, it could reach 60 in about 4 seconds, and achieve speeds of up to 210mph. And that was the slowest form of the V10 Bristol. An S version was made, which bumped that power up to 620 horsepower; there was even a T version planned, which was claiming figures of 1,012 horsepower, and a theoretical top speed of 270mph. All that going through the rear wheel wouldn’ve been a handful, to say the least. But, the T version was never made, so that remains a relic of failed engineering and strong optimism. In fact, the standard Fighter was barely made itself - it’s not known exactly how many were produced, but it is known that the number is somewhere in between 9 and 14. Do I want one? Yes. Will I ever own one? Probably not. Do I care? No. Not at all.
Dacia Sandero Stepway
Good news! It’s a Dacia Sandero. It’s an off-roading Dacia Sandero. What more can I say? It’s brilliant! It’s better than the new Defender, I’d say.
And there we are. Some awesome cars that the motoring world seems to have left out of the great books of motoring history. I very much doubt this article is going to actually do anything, because... I’m a thirteen year old on a social media website. I can’ suddently make these cars instantly world famous But it was fun to write, right up until I finished the Bristol paragraphs and couldn’t think of anything else. But hey, it’s not all bad... we got a Dacia Sandero out of it.