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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

10 Cars That Seriously Suffered From Underproduction


Every so often, a car comes along that’s truly special: a one-in-a-million vehicle – almost literally, in some cases – or a rarity that most people may never get to even see, let alone own. To make matters worse, manufacturers, for one reason or another, generally make very few of them.

Over time, models slip under the radar, are totaled, or meet another less-than-desirable fate. This makes the remaining models increasingly rare and valuable, but don’t expect this to happen to your minivan or pickup — these are cars that were rare and valuable from the get-go.

 Of course, by making more, they wouldn’t be as valuable or as special. But for some cars, there just can’t be enough of them. Chris Perkins from Jalopnik listed 10 of what he thought deserved more than what was given, and we’ve showcased them below.
The world doesn’t need any more Camrys; we need more cars like these,” he writes. We agree whole-heartedly. What would you add?
Stan Honda/Getty Images

Pontiac Solstice Coupe

Pontiac Solstice convertibles are commonplace. But the hardtop coupes? Those are harder to come by, as GM only made 1,266 of them in 2009. It argubaly looked better than the soft-top and added some more rigidity as well. A handful of them were also available in the GXP trim, making them even more exclusive. “This is the sport coupe we wish GM was making now,” Jalopnik said.

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Volvo V70R

Volvo has long been known for its safe and sensible cars, but every now and then, it likes to surprise. The V70R was one such surprise: It packed between 235 and 300 horsepower (depending on the year), and as much as 295 pound-feet of torque, all of which was sent out to all four wheels. Volvo only made 3,500 models, and over time, higher-performance wagon options have become fewer and farther between for U.S. customers.

Source: Porsche AG

Porsche 914/6

The Porsche 914 was a disgrace for purists of the Porsche brand and, overall, the 914 didn’t really live up to the standard that Porsche had set for itself — with the exception of the 914/6, which used Porsche’s renowned flat-six engine in place of the 914′s custom four-cylinder. If you can find one, chances are good that its price will be atmospheric, since so few were made: 3,338, to be specific, making it among the most sought-after Porsche models.

Source: BMW

BMW 1 Series M Coupe

In the words of the venerable Jeremy Clarkson of BBC’s Top Gear, the BMW 1 Series M Coupe was a car that shouldn’t have worked, but did. And amazingly well. It was largely a Frankenstein-type project, as it had the engine from a Z4, the door mirrors from an M3, and the rear axle from an older M3. Unfortunately, BMW only allowed 740 of them into the States.

It was replaced by the new M235i, but experiences are showing that it just doesn’t have the same kind of magic that the ragtag 1 M Coupe had. “BMW sent just 740 1M Coupes to the US which is a shame considering it’s one of the best BMWs of the modern era,” Jalopnik lamented.

Jean-Francois Monier/Getty Images

Ferrari F40

All things considered, the F40 is one of the higher-volume supercars built by Ferrari — the F50, the Enzo, and the LaFerrari are all in shorter demand than the iconic F40, of which there were 1,311 made.

 But for a car that defined performance for the better part of the 1980s and 1990s, and is still an enduring symbol of everything that’s right with automotive engineering, that’s just not enough. “In fact, there are more F40s than all the others combined but I don’t care.

The F40 is the best of them all and the world needs more than 1,311 of them,” Perkins wrote for Jalopnik.

Juergen Schwarz/Getty Images

AC Cobra

“There’s approximately 10 billion replicas and just 998 original Cobras. If that doesn’t prove that Shelby needed to make more Cobras I don’t know what will,” Perkins said, and he’s got a point. The original Cobras are some of America’s most valuable collector cars and are a crucial part of the country’s racing heritage. If you are somehow able to get your paws on one, expect to be paying well into the six- and nearly seven-digit range for one.

Toshifumi Kitamura/Getty Images

Toyota 2000GT

The Toyota 2000GT is arguably the most beautiful car to ever hail from the far East, and due to its incredibly low production numbers — only 351 were built in the first place. It’s also one of the most valuable Japanese cars in the world today (it’s the only Japanese car to surpass $1 million at auction, Jalopnik reports).

Toyota took what was at the time a very Italian coupe formula and augmented it with some design Japanese-inspired language, and the results were stunning. Power came from a 2.0-liter Yamaha-sourced mill that offered 150 horsepower, though a larger 2.3-liter engine was offered on nine exclusive models.

Source: McLaren via Facebook

McLaren F1

It had a BMW-derived V12 and chassis that was developed by a company that rose to greatness in Formula 1 racing. It had an unusual single front seat and two-backseat seating configuration, and is still by today’s standards one of the fastest road-going cars ever. But McLaren only made 107 of them in total, and F1s are now going well into the millions at auction, as many, Perkins included, consider the F1 to be among the best cars ever made.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Tucker 48

The Tucker is an infamous story not just because the car was groundbreaking — in many ways, it was — but because the automaker managed to only produce 51 Tucker 48s before going under.

 It was the Tesla of its time, showing immense promise, but was ultimately met with failure (rumors speculate that the Big Three automakers were somehow involved in the company’s demise). A long, drawn-out drama surrounded Tucker’s crash and burn, and inspired the movie Tucker: The Man and His Dream in 1988.

Robyn Beck/Getty Images

Every homologation special

In certain leagues of racing, cars can only legally be entered if they are paired with a minimum number of road-legal versions for public consumption. These are called homologation models, and over the years there have been several, from the Lancia Stratos to the Mercedes CLK-GTR (pictured above).

 Unfortunately, automakers often make very few of these cars — no more than required — and as a result, they are often rare, expensive, highly sought after, and completely mental from a performance point of view.

I could have put a homologation for every spot on this list, but instead, I’m going to dedicate the number one spot to all of them,” Perkins wrote. “Lancia Stratos, Ferrari 250 GTO, Ford RS200, BMW M3 EVO, Porsche 959, Ford GT40, Mercedes CLK-GTR, Celica GT-Four, Renault R5 Turbo, Ferrari 288 GTO, Audi Sport Quattro, Lancia Delta Integrale. The list is endless.”