If you are a person of a certain age and into collecting rare cars, there’s no doubt, you admire that mint condition 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT 2+2 Fastback your neighbor down the street is always showing off. If you cannot walk into a Ford showroom and buy this model today, be aware that quite a few were produced, so it is not that difficult to find one on Autotrader or other online sources dedicated to used car sales. What about cars that did not have big production runs? What about those that rolled off the line in numbers that barely crossed into double digits? Here are some cars most of us can only dream of parading in front of friends.
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Collecting Rare Cars? Here Are 8 Hard-to-Find Vintage Cars
The 1938 Phantom Corsair
Think that vehicles from the 1930s are really clunky looking and unwieldy? Then you have not seen the 1938 Phantom Corsair, which is not surprising, as only one was ever produced. Looking incredibly sleek, this jet black automobile looks like something straight out of a comic book or maybe a Tim Burton movie. One can easily imagine some masked superhero prowling the nighttime streets of New York or Chicago in the Corsair and using it to nail gangsters or undercover axis agents. This model even featured electronically operated doors, which likely would have put it out of the price range of most anyone but a reclusive multimillionaire operating as a superhero on the side.
The 1954 Oldsmobile F-88
Simultaneously finding just the right design and the elements that will appeal to the public can be a tricky prospect for car manufacturers. The public rarely hears about the models that did not get off the drawing board or were canceled before mass production. In the early 1950s, General Motors was experimenting with new approaches, and the two-passenger F-88 sports car was certainly a change from their vehicles’ general look and feel. It was also decked out with a 250 hp V-8 rocket engine! Part of a Motorama Dream Car line, the F-88 was never green-lit for mass production. In fact, only two were manufactured, and just a single one still survives. In 2007, it was offered to those into collecting rare cars at the Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction and fetched an incredible $3.24 million dollars.
The 1995 McLaren F1 LM
If your taste in automobiles runs toward more contemporary models and you love to travel fast, the sleek and formidable-looking McLaren F1 LM is for you—but that is if you have incredibly deep pockets and can find one for sale. It was designed for track racing and based on the McLaren F1 GTR, but it lacked that car’s driver comforts and added utility as a vehicle that could be legally operated on regular roads. Never moved beyond the prototype stage, only five F1 LMs were built in 1995, and the car is now something of a holy grail among those into collecting rare cars.
The Volkswagen Passat W8 Wagon (with manual transmission)
Confused by how cars work or why someone would want one that could run hundreds of miles an hour? Well, there are rare “normal” cars out there as well, such as this eight-cylinder, manual transmission wagon. Unlike any of the vehicles above, you can certainly imagine this one parked between a Mazda and a Subaru at your local shopping mall or fast-food restaurant. However, do not expect an everyday cost as only about 100 of these were ever produced.
1921 Helica de Leyat
Called “the plane without wings” when it first came out, the 1921 Helica de Leyat was made in France. It was designed by French automobile manufacturer Marcel Leyat, hence the name. At the time of its release, the 1921 Helica de Leyat was the talk of the town because of its unique look and originality.
The Helica de Leyat, instead of a normal engine, is powered by a huge propeller like that of an aircraft. The properller can be found at the top end of the car. Marcel Leyat kept working on the model for a few more years since its release in 1921, but even so, only 30 of these cars were ever released because of its extraordinary appearance and unusually high speed. Most, if not all, of the 1921 Helica de Leyats ever made are now part of collections.
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