Name a car you want to drive but never own

Colin
By Colin Wood
Oct 10, 2021 | Ferrari, Porsche

Photograph Courtesy Ferrari

Most of us dream of getting to drive legendary cars like the Ferrari F40 and the Porsche 930 Turbo, but would owning and maintaining these cars be just as rewarding?

Perhaps, like puppies or kittens, some cars are better enjoyed knowing you can give them back to their owners at the end of the day.

What are some cars you want to drive someday, but never want to own and be responsible for?

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stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
10/5/21 4:08 p.m.

An F40 is an icon and would be fun to try, a Duesenberg would be another one.  I can think of all kinds of expensive exotics I would like to drive but wouldn't want the expense and maintenance.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
10/5/21 4:11 p.m.

Impreza STi.  Between the engine bottom-end issues, the parts weirdnesses, and the ability to rust audibly, I wouldn't buy one unless it was silly cheap.

 

The driving experience is great, though.  Especially with a GT35R and a front mount intercooler...

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/5/21 4:12 p.m.

Any Jeep

Any hellcat powered thing

Anything Italian

Post E36 BMWs

Anything French

Nissan Murano Crosscabriolet

ddavidv
ddavidv UltimaDork
10/5/21 4:14 p.m.

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/5/21 4:22 p.m.

Stock engined 3rd gen rx7.

Opti
Opti Dork
10/5/21 4:27 p.m.

If I had the money for an F40 or the like I wouldnt mind paying maintenance. I would be okay with the cost of running for something so special. The ones I have a problem with are the less special, crazy maintenance cars.

Most AMG Mercs and M cars come to mind. 

My exception would be the F355. I have a special affinity to that car, and I know the maintenance and repairs are horrid. Outside of the sound its not that special anymore.

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/5/21 4:32 p.m.

Most supercars, one reason I want to do the thing in LasVegas where you rent then for a few laps

dannyp84
dannyp84 Reader
10/5/21 4:41 p.m.

Alfa Romeo Montréal

VW Phaeton or the v10 tdi Touareg

Ferrari Daytona

Citroen SM

The 3 rotor Mazda Cosmo in stock form (only reason I wouldn't own it is I imagine parts availability to be nil)

just about any car from Group C racing history ..

Junghole
Junghole SuperDork
10/5/21 4:43 p.m.

Anything with an Animal as the hood emblem

eastpark
eastpark HalfDork
10/5/21 4:47 p.m.

McLaren F1

Opti
Opti Dork
10/5/21 5:15 p.m.

In reply to Antihero (Forum Supporter) :

I did it a few years ago in a superlegerra, 911 turbo, and scuderia. I fully expected it to be more of a parade lap, but my instructor pretty much only knew the words faster, and more. We got a little too close to a 458 for my comfort. It was very much worth it.

Ranger50
Ranger50 MegaDork
10/5/21 5:19 p.m.

Koeningsegg.

drock25too
drock25too Reader
10/5/21 6:02 p.m.

In reply to captdownshift (Forum Supporter) :

That's an interesting concept.  Hellcat powered VW Thing.    Yes I know that is not what You meant. But can you imagine?Just thinking about it seems like a suicide mission.  

 

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/5/21 6:04 p.m.

Citroën 2CV

 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/5/21 6:17 p.m.

Model T Ford.
 

They are mechanically interesting, and I think that every Real Car Guy should know how to drive one in case of some sort of really odd, low speed emergency. 

 

I had actually made arrangements for a driving lesson with a local guy who has five of them,  but he is old and it was very early in the pandemic and his wife freaked out and put the squash on it. Hopefully we can reschedule at some point. 

 

MrFancypants
MrFancypants Reader
10/5/21 6:30 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

Impreza STi.  Between the engine bottom-end issues, the parts weirdnesses, and the ability to rust audibly, I wouldn't buy one unless it was silly cheap.

 

The driving experience is great, though.  Especially with a GT35R and a front mount intercooler...

I had an STI for a few years that I got out of before it gave me any problems. It really was something else to drive. The thing I never understood was at the time is that all the magazines complained about how the STI had an understeer problem... which was just flat out wrong, or it was wrong if you were driving it right. If you're trying to be gentle with the throttle coming out of turns it will understeer, but if you undo all that you've learned about proper performance driving and just shove your throttle foot through the firewall the car rotates very, very nicely as the front wheels pull the car in the direction you want to go. It feels like cheating.

The car I'd love to spend some time in but not own is a healthy FD RX-7 with the original sequential twin turbo setup.

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/5/21 7:46 p.m.
Opti said:

In reply to Antihero (Forum Supporter) :

I did it a few years ago in a superlegerra, 911 turbo, and scuderia. I fully expected it to be more of a parade lap, but my instructor pretty much only knew the words faster, and more. We got a little too close to a 458 for my comfort. It was very much worth it.

That's great to hear, I should go and do that soon

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
10/5/21 8:12 p.m.

In reply to MrFancypants :

AWD, especially computer controlled AWD, does take a certain getting used to.  One of the fastest stock STI drivers I've known let HAL do all the work he wanted to do instead of locking him out.

I was on the RX-7 Mailing List when the FDs were new cars, and people were tinkering with the ins and outs of the twin turbo system, getting a proper boost curve (10-8-10?) and figuring out what restrictions did what as far as the switchover point was concerned, so as to eliminate boost spikes when modifying them.  Weird system, and I think I might understand the basics (it prespools the secondary turbo before gating it in to the intake, i think?) but it seems to be a lost art nowadays.

Nowadays... there are single EFR turbos that provide the same responsiveness at low RPM but pull like a freight train at any engine speed, making huge amounts of power for something with that kind of low end (400whp+)  They're getting to be really popular in the FD community as an alternative to the sequentials, which have probably been all converted to parallel turbos at this point.

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
10/5/21 8:12 p.m.

Ford GT40, the original.

Vintage Ferrari. I'd love to own one but they all share parts so you're paying trust-fund prices even if you have the bridesmaid model.

preach (fs)
preach (fs) Dork
10/5/21 8:30 p.m.

959 or a Singer.

Honestly an R8 (V10 manual) and a Cayman GT4. I cannot see me getting either, but if I do my wife want the 987.1S. So I kinda have the go ahead...

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/5/21 8:38 p.m.

M3. 

MrFancypants
MrFancypants Reader
10/5/21 10:24 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

With the sequential turbos on the RX-7 it isn't so much that I want to avoid any of the traditional issues with a big single turbo that may no longer be all that much of a problem as technology has advanced... it's more that I just want the original experience as Mazda engineered it.

I'm sure there are now setups that are much better at what it was that Mazda set out to do, I'd just like to see what the original wacky setup drove like.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
10/5/21 10:53 p.m.

A big Dakar truck down a wide open sand wash.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/5/21 11:06 p.m.
MrFancypants said:

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

With the sequential turbos on the RX-7 it isn't so much that I want to avoid any of the traditional issues with a big single turbo that may no longer be all that much of a problem as technology has advanced... it's more that I just want the original experience as Mazda engineered it.

I'm sure there are now setups that are much better at what it was that Mazda set out to do, I'd just like to see what the original wacky setup drove like.

I own one, it doesn't drive all that wacky, really.  When in good working order the way it's supposed to be (which mine is) it's really smooth.  Drove mine to dinner tonight, it likes the slightly cooler temperatures we're having right now. :)

I lust after an F355.

 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
10/6/21 12:40 a.m.

Stanley Steamer. 

 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/6/21 3:12 a.m.

ddavidv
ddavidv UltimaDork
10/6/21 6:03 a.m.

I actually DID own one.  In hindsight, I'd rather have just driven one. Owning this entry-level exotic cured me of wanting to own any more exotic or really oddball cars. Not a bad car, but ownership is not to be taken lightly or without deep pockets.

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/6/21 6:55 a.m.

Porsche Taycan.  

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
10/6/21 12:10 p.m.
codrus (Forum Supporter) said:
MrFancypants said:

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

With the sequential turbos on the RX-7 it isn't so much that I want to avoid any of the traditional issues with a big single turbo that may no longer be all that much of a problem as technology has advanced... it's more that I just want the original experience as Mazda engineered it.

I'm sure there are now setups that are much better at what it was that Mazda set out to do, I'd just like to see what the original wacky setup drove like.

I own one, it doesn't drive all that wacky, really.  When in good working order the way it's supposed to be (which mine is) it's really smooth.  Drove mine to dinner tonight, it likes the slightly cooler temperatures we're having right now. :)

I lust after an F355.

 

Yah, it was an outgrowth of the Cosmo luxury car engine, which was twin turbo with a slightly smaller primary turbo to lug around a big car.  Wacky would have been unacceptable.

Sonolin
Sonolin New Reader
10/6/21 12:22 p.m.

K-car

Jay_W
Jay_W SuperDork
10/6/21 1:02 p.m.

Tesla model s

JAdams
JAdams New Reader
10/6/21 1:07 p.m.

I might be the odd one out here but almost all of the "cool" cars fall into this category for me. I'll never turn down driving a cool car but most of them I wouldn't want to own for some reason or another. ie exotic=expensive, rare classic=parts availability/price, fd rotary=rotary (need I say more?), etc

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/6/21 1:11 p.m.

Any of the vintage Bentleys like the Speed 6 fall into that category for me.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
10/6/21 1:15 p.m.

In reply to JAdams :

I think I'm right there with you on this. Seeing the many buyers' guides we make for both publications, ownership for a lot of "cool" cars can go from fun to very expensive pretty quickly–even if you buy a well-sorted example.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
10/6/21 1:45 p.m.

Lotus Elise. Rather not own a car where any dings on the front end could total it.

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/6/21 7:26 p.m.

This

 

 

 

300zxfreak
300zxfreak Reader
10/6/21 8:22 p.m.

If you look closely at my icon, there's the F430 I got to drive, now bring on the F40 please.

MrFancypants
MrFancypants Reader
10/7/21 12:26 p.m.
codrus (Forum Supporter) said:
MrFancypants said:

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

With the sequential turbos on the RX-7 it isn't so much that I want to avoid any of the traditional issues with a big single turbo that may no longer be all that much of a problem as technology has advanced... it's more that I just want the original experience as Mazda engineered it.

I'm sure there are now setups that are much better at what it was that Mazda set out to do, I'd just like to see what the original wacky setup drove like.

I own one, it doesn't drive all that wacky, really.  When in good working order the way it's supposed to be (which mine is) it's really smooth.  Drove mine to dinner tonight, it likes the slightly cooler temperatures we're having right now. :)

I lust after an F355.

 

Oh sorry, I don't mean to say that there's anything "wacky" about how it drives.  More that the system of solenoids and vacuum circuits that makes the engine work is pretty bonkers.  I have no doubt that it's a very nice car to drive, only that I'd like to experience the character of it in as close to stock condition as possible.

The reason I wouldn't want to own one is that I'm fairly certain that the car would defeat me the first time it made me troubleshoot a vacuum leak.  I've enjoyed my rotary engines though, and I'm sad that Mazda didn't sell a lower trim level FD with an updated 6-port 13B from the FC.

NOT A TA
NOT A TA UltraDork
10/7/21 1:21 p.m.

McLaren F1

rodknock
rodknock Reader
10/7/21 2:30 p.m.

Jaguar XJ220

Bugatti EB110

FD RX-7 with original sequential turbo setup

Nissan 300ZX TT

Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4

Cream puff MK4 Supra

Toyman01 + Sized and
Toyman01 + Sized and GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/7/21 5:10 p.m.

All of them. 

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/7/21 5:50 p.m.
MrFancypants said:

The reason I wouldn't want to own one is that I'm fairly certain that the car would defeat me the first time it made me troubleshoot a vacuum leak.  I've enjoyed my rotary engines though, and I'm sad that Mazda didn't sell a lower trim level FD with an updated 6-port 13B from the FC.

The vacuum stuff isn't really all that hard.  It's well documented and the parts are still available (albeit moderately expensive when you starting paying $15 each for 30 or so pre-formed OEM vaccum lines).  It's just time consuming and labor intensive (or more expensive if you pay someone else to do it).

I think a lot of the evil reputation came from when it was new and techs didn't know that this was an issue and thus didn't know how to troubleshoot a car that wasn't accelerating properly.  It was made worse by people turning up the boost and blowing the lines off.

 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
10/7/21 7:21 p.m.

In reply to MrFancypants :

I brought up the idea that Mazda might have done well to make a low spec FD with a naturally aspirated engine, to bring production numbers up, instead of losing money making a small handful of very expensive cars.

I got the Internet forum equivalent of weird looks.  I guess people would rather have rare expensive cars with cheap shoddy interiors and paint than something that the manufacturer could produce in enough quantity to both turn a profit AND make a decent product.  (You know how contemporary MX-6s/Probes had plastic that failed almost audibly?  That's an FD interior too, except you paid a lot more for the privilege)

Mazda later came out with the RX-8, which is kiiiind of like a more modern FD chassis-wise.

 

Of note is that as the FC and FD got more bloated and expensive, Mazda came out with a little car called the MX-5, that drove remarkably like a '79 RX-7.  It was just a little bit more popular of a car smiley

einy (Forum Supporter)
einy (Forum Supporter) Dork
10/7/21 7:25 p.m.

A modern Caddy V-series.  Interested to let one rip, but not enough to cough up the asking price for one.

Tk8398
Tk8398 HalfDork
10/11/21 4:44 a.m.
dannyp84 said:

Citroen SM

I drove a somewhat broken one around a gravel lot for a bit years ago, they are cool cars but having to work on one sounds unpleasant. I could have had the car plus an extra engine for $6500, probably good I didn't though.

Juwan J
Juwan J GRM+ Memberand New Reader
10/12/21 9:15 a.m.

Mercedes C63 AMG W204. Absolutely love the interior, exterior, and engine sound, but the running costs would be astronomical. 

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