We all do it. "Gear heads", "Petrol heads", "Petrosexuals", whatever your term for car lovers and enthusiasts is, we can all rattle off our top 5 favorite cars at any given moment. This is in response to a friend's post (GPIVOVAROV) "I Keep an Updated List of my Top 5 Cars" and as he pointed out, this list can change fairly often. My top 5 may not be the most agreeable, anyone who has talked to be about cars can attest to the fact that despite being an automobile enthusiast, I despise most cars and revel only a few. Cars, or autos, as machines, are almost all magnificent. As a mechanical engineering major in my third year of school (though I have no intention of going into the automotive industry) I love complex interactions between moving parts in almost any application, but for a car to lovable it has to have purpose, aesthetics, reliability and above all, character. My top 5 may not be filled with supercars or cars that look like sex on wheels, but they do make me smile. (I'm horrible at arguing but please disagree as much as you wish)
1. Lancia Delta Evo 2 (1993)
Yes, it's a Lancia, but one of the few remarkable ones. Anyone with even the slightest interest in rallying is familiar with the HF Integrale that won the World Rally Championship an astonishing 6 times and made famous by Martini Racing. The HF Integrale Evo II is the second to last version they made and in my eyes, the best road going version produced.
2. BMW M1 (no... not the 1M)
The BMW M1 was something that I wish BMW would revisit. A supercar. Love them or hate them, there's no denying that the WWI aircraft company knows how to make a car that's incredible to drive. The M1 was the first supercar you could drive every day, and unless anyone has taken their MP4-12c grocery shopping, may very well be considered the last.
3. The McLaren MP4/12
Not to be confused with the aforementioned MP4-12c, I realize a Formula 1 car is an unconventional choice in a list such as this. Ferrari may be the "best" team in Formula 1, but McLaren will always be my favorite (I wish they would get some decent drivers though). The engineers at McLaren are always pushing the boundaries of the regulations and in 1997 developed the infamous 4-pedal MP4/12.
4. Saab 99
Yes. I love Saab. Mock if you will, but function over form gets no better than this. If you ask anyone who loves Saab which is their favorite, the answer is going to be the 99. Anyone who watches Top Gear will remember James and Jeremy saying goodbye to the little Swedish hatch, but not all of them will miss the quirky, safety-obsessed company that always had to make the perfect daily driver. (My first car accident was in a Saab 900 at the age of one when my mother rolled it 3 times. We were both obviously unscathed. I also bought a 9-5 as my first car when I was 15 and plan on driving it well into my late 20s)
5. Lamborghini Countach
My apologies to anyone who has actually read this and was hoping for me to finally choose a modern car, but #5 goes to the most beautifully vulgar machine ever conceived. Lamborghini's are made to be driven hard, and driven fast, but more importantly to be ogled by bug-eyed bystanders, and no Lambo is as striking as the Countach.
*I may follow up with #6-10 tonight or tomorrow.