In a slightly drawn-out countdown to my birthday, I shall now list down cars, in groups of 21, that I consider my favorites. In no particular order:
Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake
There are faster wagons and better wagons, but none of them is a Jaaaaaag. It’s why this car is right up there with one of my preferences. Beautiful, yet simple, the only reason why I’d prefer the blue over a muted colour is because it pops like no other wagon.
Nissan GT-R (R35)
The R35 floored me during the first World’s Greatest Drag Race, and since then I closely followed the GT-R as it came of age. While I think the 2017 car looks better, the 2011 car was the first to make its mark on me. It’s faster than a rocket, corners like it’s being chased by a legitimate race car, and doesn’t give two shits about who it’s up against. Beast.
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X FQ-440
Yes, I’m a Lancer EVO fanboy. But that’s because I gravitated to the EVO first back in my childhood, when I got a Tomica model of the Evo IV. The Evo X, however, is almost everything I want, and that particular model takes it to the next level. The base EVO is the car I most want to own.
Porsche 911 Singer-Williams DLS
A consistent preference of mine is the most powerful, top-of-the-line version of the car. And that Singer, co-created with Williams F1, is arguably the best of its kind yet. Look at it. Man I wish I can afford that thin
Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport
After seeing its world-record run, the Bugatti’s spot in my heart is secured. I was already mighty-impressed with it in games, but the car is even more of a revelation in real life, according to accounts. Ultra-fast, super luxurious, and its entire story is some Skunk Works shit. Even today, I am still impressed.
Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
Before the Dodge Challenger Hellcat came along this was the only muscle car that impressed me. I didn’t like the Camaro, and the Challenger has yet to achieve its final form back when the GT500 was king. And it was the king. Before it killed people, that is. The Ford Shelby GT500 is the Mad King of cars.
Aston Martin DBS V12
First: Quantum of Solace was a brilliant film. Second: the Aston Martin DBS is absolutely sexy. Then they both happened at the same time. Easy to see why it makes my list.
Mazda RX-7 (FD)
While a late love, the FD RX-7 intrigued me greatly, and was the car I often chose in arcade cabinets here in Manila (but not my “main” pick; that’s the NSX). And then I saw Mr. Regular review it. That pretty much sealed the deal for me.
Ford Fiesta ST
While I said that the EVO X is the car I most want to own, I wouldn’t knock the Fiesta ST, one of the biggest automotive revelations of the decade, out of the bed. It helps that the ST is pretty much Oppo’s official subcompact, and because I have pledged my allegiance to this site, it is only proper that I aspire to own this somebay, or modify a base Fiesta to get to this point.
Porsche 911 GT3RS 4.0 (997)
Beyond being the car I used most often in Real Racing 3 back in its early days, the RS 4.0 just screams “ultimate”. Grippy, fast, uncompromising, and also comes in manual. It’s the kind o car that gets spoken in myths, except it’s real.
Mid-engine exotics that rally are a rare breed, which is why Lancia just rules. They have the 037, that beat Audi in the cut-throat Group B class, and the Stratos, pretty much the first to nail the formula. I love it, because it’s small but spunky, and because it’s a rally car, it can go anywhere. One day I’ll have that and Singer-fy it.
The McLaren F1 owes its life to the NSX, a legend among JDM. Ayrton Senna helped build it, and drove it round Suzuka as if it’s his own chariot. Its interior is perfect. Its VTEC checked out. But as a package, the OG NSX is incomparable. No wonder the sequel (which I thought was good) took so long.
Well-known as the BTCC’s fastest brick, the 850R is what got me in Jalopnik in the first place, and I haven’t looked back since. And then James May drove it to Africa. That elevated this wagon to hero status.
Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG-S Wagon
Despite the Audi RS6 being faster, it was the Merc that hit me first. A longroof that can keep up with supercars while cocooning its occupants in luxury? Why not?
Or maybe I like the Eagle Speedster more? I don’t even know anymore. They’re both too stunning.
The McLaren P1 laps faster. The Porsche 918 Spyder is more advanced. Koenigseggs will shit on it ten times out of 10, and Ferrari, as a company, are villains. But as makers of cars, they’re nothing less than the best, and the LaFerrari, lighter and more powerful than either of the former two and more alluring than the latter, spoke to emotion rather than reason; it went for my heart than my head, like every Ferrari does.
Admittedly, it helped that Jeremy Clarkson sold this car to me so bloody well I forgot that it’s had teething problems over the years, but the BAC Mono intrigues me like no other car that I consider my favorite. It captured my imagination, and made me think of what-if scenarios once I got my hands on the car. The Mono is a modern icon, at least from my point of view, and if I had the money I would ask for more, as well as a spec racing series.
Aston Martin V12 Vantage S 7MT
Jalopnik’s review of the V12 Vantage is the first of its kind I read, and soon I was immediately infatuated. It’s a super-tourer of the fastest kind, able to fight supercars in its time while still providing Bond-tier touring capability. Now it’s gone, but before it went the car got 600hp and the manual transmission returned to prove that this is still one of the world’s best cars to drive. At the least, this is one of a kind.
Ferrari 458 Italia / Speciale
Come read my feature about my personal 458 toy. It pretty much tells the story of how I fell—and stayed—in love with what I think is Ferrari’s best V8 car.
Based on empirical evidence, however, the McLaren F1 is still the king. Nothing can touch its 240mph top speed unless you use forced induction, and few boast of three seats with centre seating for the driver. Gordon Murray’s brilliant design stood the test of time, and is still revered to this day, even as more capable machines have been made since. The story of its creation and origin is legendary, and out of every mid-engine supercar since the Lamborghini Miura, it’s the only one to win Le Mans. Everything else pales in comparison to the mighty F1.
Amazingly enough, there are still 21 more cars from all sorts of eras and classes that I have yet to list down, because I’m strange like that, and it will come tomorrow, same time as now.
I shall now pass the ball to you: what’s your 21 great cars?