Cars & Racing | 29 April 20165 Sports Cars You Must Drive Share article facebook twitter google pinterest Everybody has a dream car. The one car that, if they could have any wish, would be waiting for them in their garage every morning when they wake up. John Lamm has created a catalog of dream cars, in a way, in his book 365 Sports Cars You Must Drive. Within it’s pages you can find details of many of the most famous and coveted cars ever built, and even some that you didn’t know that you were dying to drive until now. Take a look at some of the international beauties waiting for you inside. 1957 Chevrolet Corvette American During one of the periods when it thought racing was a good idea, General Motors allowed Chevrolet to develop an all-out Corvette race car. Called the SS, it was created by famed Corvette engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov. GM Design was also quite involved, giving the SS a beautiful shape that was formed in magnesium, which helped the car tip the scales at just 1,850 pounds. GM raced the SS at Sebring in 1957 with an eye on bringing it to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The car proved very quick in the hands of Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss in testing. Raced by John Fitch and Piero Taruffi , the SS fell victim to a failed rear bushing early in the race, and soon the SS project fell victim to Detroit’s racing ban. 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB Italian Production of Ferrari’s famed 250 models ended in the fall of 1964, just as the company was unveiling their successor at the Paris auto show. The new car, the 275 (275cc per cylinder; 3.3 liters total), was displayed in GTB (gran turismo berlinetta) coupe and GTS (spyder) open roadster versions. However, instead of merely chopping off the car’s roof, the GTS gained its own unique Pininfarina-designed rear bodywork. Whether as berlinetta or spyder, the 275 GTB and 275 GTS are cherished as among the Italian design house’s finest works. Not only was the car new, but so was its V-12 engine. To enhance dynamic balance, the five-speed transmission was moved from just behind the engine into unity with the rear differential. To make the most of this enhanced balance, the 275 GTB and 275 GTS were the first Ferrari road cars to ride on fully independent suspension. 2005 Bugatti Veyron French Just as the original Bugattis were among the world’s most acclaimed automobiles, so too is the current Veyron 16.4. Now owned by Volkswagen, the firm is again located in Molsheim, France, though engineering takes place in VW’s home in Wolfsburg, Germany. Dramatically styled with high-speed aerodynamics in mind, the Veyron is powered by an 8.0-liter W-16 fitted with four turbochargers. The transmission is a seven-speed DSG, and the Veyron has all-wheel drive. The interior is as fitting to the Bugatti—rich materials, fine detailing—as the exterior. Most recently Bugatti has produced the $2,400,000 16.4 Super Sport. Horsepower has been taken to 1,200 and torque to 1,106 lb-ft. The tires force the Super Sport to be limited to 257 miles per hour, though the car reached 268 at VW’s German test track. 1992 Mazda RX-7 Japanese With a pair of sequentially operating turbochargers on its rotary engine, and with a smooth new design and a more compact chassis, the third-generation Mazda RX-7 transformed from sporty coupe to true sports car. In a way, Mazda reached back to the RX-7’s original version for inspiration and added elements of its Le Mans–winning sports prototype to produce a contemporary and truly worldclass sports car. With its little rotary engine turbocharged to spin out 255 horsepower, the third-generation RX-7 was as fast as the big V-8–powered Chevrolet Corvette—at least from a standing start and through a quarter-mile sprint. The new RX-7 was both smaller—an inch and a half shorter—and lighter—a significant 200 pounds lighter—than its predecessor and had a wider stance. It rode on racing-style double-wishbone suspension and Z-rated tires. Some called it a street-legal race car. 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Coupe German Ah, another dream car. After Mercedes-Benz reentered racing, one of its most important machines was the 300SLR. This open sports car was in many ways a two-seat version of the company’s famed W196 Grand Prix car with the unique desmodromic-valve straight eight opened to 3 liters. Sadly, a 300SLR was involved in the tragic 1955 Le Mans disaster and Mercedes pulled out of competition for decades. But the company had already begun development of a coupe version of the 300SLR for use on events like Mexico’s Carrera Panamericana road race. Only two were built before Le Mans, which ended their development. Legendary Mercedes race engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut used one of the coupes as a road car. What a drive that must have been. . . . Buy from an Online Retailer US: UK: Sports cars make up one of the most beloved automotive genres for car fans. From towering icons like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, and Corvette to everyman sportsters from Triumph, MG, Sunbeam, and Miata to oddballs like Crosley, Sabra, and DB, sports cars inspire passion and strong opinions as few other vehicles on the road could. This book, 365 Sports Cars You Must Drive, provides capsule overviews and fun facts about the greatest, oddest, most beautiful, and most ill-considered sports cars of all time. How many have you driven, dreamed about, or shuddered at the thought of? Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.