1. BUGATTI VEYRON 16.4
The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 is perfect for the driver who wants to drive as fast as humanly possible before he or she dies. Unlike other extreme luxury sports cars that go fast, the Veyron is one of the easiest power production vehicles in the world to drive. Add in the top-end speed of 253 MPH, and it is easy to see why so many auto drivers have fallen in love with the vehicle. Engineered by Volkswagen, the car includes all-wheel drive, a stronger-than-normal suspension, and a total of 12 radiators to support the sheer engineering power required to run the Veyron 16.4. One of the most challenging aspects of driving the Veyron is actually finding someone to let you give it a try since the cars are reported to sell for more than £200,000.000.
2. FERRARI 250GT SWB
When a car aficionado first things of a luxury sports car, the Ferrari 250GT SWB is one of the first autos to come to mind. When the power of a V-12 engine is added to the mix similar to the original design of the vehicle, the auto definitely fits in any list of cars that one should drive before you die. The Ferrari 250 GT SWB (short wheel base) just sounds cool when running. Between the engine noise exhaust, the auto gives off an aurora of power and the street-legal versions of the vehicle are rated between 220 and 240 horsepower. One of the most popular Ferrari builds is the Pininfarina-styled Gran Turismoberlinetta that was produced by the company between 1960 and 1962. The shifter of the auto is one of the best to give the driver a true feel of the car that is hard to match with modern sports car builds which use an electronic throttle.
3. MINI COOPER S
The Mini Cooper S represents the culmination of the company’s efforts into supping up the already popular vehicle by John Cooper who was the boss of the company who won the 1959-1960 Formula 1 racing championships. The 1275-cc car is rated at 76 horsepower and can almost top 100 MPH when tweaked just right. Aficionados who have not taken the time to drive the mini are missing out on one of the most unique rides to try out before you die. The vehicle is just over 10 feet in length and uses 10 inch diameter wheels and tires, but somehow still manages to seat four people without requiring the rear seat passengers to be children. Although the performance metrics of the S and even newer versions of the auto are not record setting, the Mini Cooper is one of the smallest automobiles that one will drive in a lifetime and delivers a rewarding driving experience.
4. 1963 SPLIT WINDOW CORVETTE
One of the most unique Corvettes to be produced in the long line of American muscle car is the 1963 Split Window Corvette. The second generation Corvette that was released in 1963 was the first to bring the Corvette performance to the public at large. The automobile features an eight cylinder, 327cid engine and is rated at 250 horsepower. The car was the first to also include a split rear window which after the feature was deleted in 1964, made the 1963 edition unique enough to add it to one’s bucket list to drive before dying. Depending on the specific build and condition of the 1963 Corvette, values of the auto range between $60 – $245,000 USD. For those desiring more power out of their second generation Corvette ride, the company changed the engine in 1966 to the 427 V-8 rated at 430 horsepower, it just will not have the now famous split window feature.
5. VOLKSWAGEN BUS
Although it has not been in production in the United States for a while, the Volkswagen Bus has one of the longest production runs of any vehicle ever produced from 1949-2013. One of the original catalysts in the van production market in the United States, the bus is one of those vehicles that have to be driven to be really appreciated. First time drivers beware; however, as the VW Bus models available for purchase in the United States that still run require the owner to be able to make small mechanical adjustments and repairs to the vehicle to keep it on the road at times. Just based on the long-standing history of the van, it definitely rates inclusion on anyone’s list of cars that should be driven before dying.
6. JEEP WRANGLER
The Jeep Wrangler is one of the most iconic American automobiles to ever be produced. The original design of the vehicle was based on the Jeep Willys, and has undergone its own design evolution in that timeframe. The vehicle is credited with basically getting Americans started with off-roading with their automobiles, and driving just about any model with a standard shift and top down or removed makes it one of the “must-drives” on the cars one should drive before you die. For the adrenaline junkie in you, taking an off-road drive in a Jeep that has been lifted is an experience hard to match across most other makes and models of automobile ever produced.
7. FORD MODEL T
Taking a drive in the Ford Model T is a definite must for any car aficionado before you die. The Model T helps connect one with the dawn of the automotive age before just about any adult-aged person became expected to own and drive a vehicle. The Model T enjoyed a 19 year production run that ended in 1927 with more than 15 million vehicles being produced in this timeframe. The car is rated at just 20 horsepower, and has two forward speeds in addition to three foot pedals compared to the now standard two that we have all come to expect (the third pedal is used for reverse propulsion. There are an estimated 25,000 Model T’s assessed to remain in drivable condition, so finding one to check off one’s bucket list should not prove too challenging.
8. DUESENBERG SJ
The Duesenberg SJ is one of the truly unique power cars built in the late 1920’s and 1930s. The automobile is extremely large, and featured some of the most cutting edge technology found in the automobile industry in the pre-World War 2 timeframe making driving one of the models left in working condition a must before you die. The car weighs more than 2.5 tons and it features a 6.9 liter, straight eight engine with a 6.9 liter size. The SJ model was built in 1932 when supercharging the engine was introduced by the manufacturer, and the engine power rating increased from 265 to 320 horsepower as a result. There were not a large number of Duesenberg SJs produced; however, many that were produced are still in drivable condition if you can locate one to drive to check off the bucket list.
9. BMW 2002 MODEL
The BMW 2002 model was the first to really get the American car market introduced to the idea of European sports sedans. Although there have been a large number of BMWs sold and driven in the United States since the company first began exporting vehicles to the United States while it was in production between 1968-1975. BWM produced three variants of the 2002 to include a hatchback, convertible, and sedan. Any of these three models are worth driving before you die, and the 2002s feature a 1,990 cc engine. Before showing up to drive the automobile, car drivers are warned to ensure that one can drive a manual transmission before grinding the gears on the vehicle.
10. CITROËN DS
The Citroën DS is a French automobile that was first launched in 1955. Based on cutting edge technology for the time, the auto was streamlined to the maximum extent possible, and it also included a one-spoke steering wheel, fiberglass rook, and a unique for the time hydropneumatic suspension. The company also added swiveling headlights in 1967 which had not been seen on production cars to a great extent prior to this timeframe. Although the auto is temperamental to learn to drive, it is able to top 115 MPH despite only featuring a four cylinder engine. For those who like to connect with automobile industry history, the DS ranks atop the list of cars you should drive before its time to die.
11. PORSCHE 911 CARRERA RS
The Porsche 911 is one of the original muscle cars in the automotive industry. The original production runs of the Porsche required a significant amount of skill to drive effectively compared to the current year models. As a result, the Porsche 911 Carrera RS makes our list of the must-drive automobiles for one to drive before its time to die. The Carrera RS was released by the company in 1973 and was lightweight featuring a larger front unit along with a new rear spoiler. These improvements helped to resolve many of the stability issues at high speed that the car suffered from earlier in its production life. The car’s engine size was increased to 2.7 liters and it is rated at 207 horsepower making it one of the faster 911s of the early models of the vehicle.
12. LOTUS ELISE
The second generation Lotus Elise is worth driving before one dies due to its traits of combining low weight and high agility in a vehicle. The auto first debuted at the 1995 Frankfurt Auto Show, and it is based on a very rigid aluminum tub design. Weighing under 2,000 pounds, the car delivers one of the most intimate driving experiences of any automobile one will drive. The auto’s engine is a Toyota-sourced 1.8 liter, V4 that is rated at 189 horsepower. Combined with the overall low weight of the vehicle, this powertrain lets the car go from zero to 60 in under five seconds. The auto’s steering is unassisted, and cabin is fairly small, but overall driving experience is one not to miss.