What makes a car a classic? Performance figures? Ok, but the VW Beetle is one of the most famous classics in the world and it is slower than – well, just about everything! Design? Yes, but design is a very subjective characteristic, so it would be difficult to set the ground rules determining which car will become a classic based solely on its design features. Unique and recognizable would be far better distinguishing attributes. Low production numbers? Yes, this is it. This should be the first criterion. First of all, cars produced in low quantities are very exclusive and guaranteed to be great. Simply put, no company will ever invest in the development of a car that will be produced in very limited quantities and make it anything but the best, to say the least. That being said, it doesn’t mean that a simple city car will not become a classic in times to come. The likes of the new Fiat 500 might have a good chance of that, but most modern city cars look like they come from the same designer. They are sticking to identical design philosophies and current technologies, so it is difficult to single out a future classic. So, let’s skip those. This list will be filled with cars we’d be willing to bet our money on.
So, here are the rules. They need to be made in just a few units, they need to be recognizable and, following the current trends, they will definitely be high performance models. And speaking of exclusivity, we have opted for the ultimate. The most common one of them has been made in only nine pieces and is the first on the list.
Lamborghini Veneno Roadster
I don’t know if more people love or hate the way the Lamborghini Veneno looks. Is it as groundbreaking as the Countach was when it first appeared, or is it an abomination? Either way, in terms of performance, it is as good as they get. The Roadster version is the most extravagant one and only nine have ever been made. It first saw the light of day at the Geneva Motor Show and it stunned audiences even more when its performance figures were released. It reaches 60 MPH in fewer than 3 seconds and top speeds are in excess of 220 MPH. The only problem, however, might be its price. Now, you do expect a super car to be expensive, but costing about as much as four Bugatti Veyrons might be a bit too much.
The company based in Surrey, England has been producing extremely lightweight cars since 1973. Caterhams usually have far less power than cars trailing far behind on the track. This is facilitated by the fact that each and every one of them has been made to serve as the ultimate track car. Cram a capable engine into the mentioned lightweight chassis and that’s it. Well, for Levante, which was made to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the factory, they decided to surpass the “capable engine” and add a bit more zest. It is a deceivingly sized 2.4 l V8 which, aided by a supercharger, gives 550 HP and 300 lb-ft of torque. Pretty good, right? Well, it gets even better when you learn that this kind of power is supposed to deal with a body weighing just 1,100 lbs. Even the price of $180,000 is reasonable, especially bearing in mind you get a complementary two-day training before you are actually allowed to drive the Levante. Still, even though the price is acceptable, there is still a serious obstacle to surpass if you wish to own the Caterham Levante. There are only eight of them in the entire world.
This is the most exclusive car in terms of information disclosed to the public. It is also one of the two cars on this list which have been made in only one unit. It looks like a futuristic supercar from the first half of the previous century, but not a real one – rather a daydream of a comic book-drawing car enthusiast of the era. The scarce things we do know about the car include the fact that it is propelled by a V12 engine with two turbochargers increasing the power to about 700 HP. In all honesty, even if this car lacked most of its power, the absolutely unique design would be enough for it to make the cut.