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Ferrari F40

Ian DawsonphotographersMark Gillieswriters

Of all the superexotics that have appeared as a subspecies of the genus Supercar in the past twenty years, two still have near-mythical status: the McLaren F1 and the Ferrari F40. The McLaren, for all its brilliance, was never officially sold in the United States and thus couldn't be considered for this list. But the Ferrari was offered here, so it makes the cut. Built to celebrate Ferrari's fortieth anniversary, the F40 looked glorious: it was as exotic, as wild, and as beautiful as a Ferrari should be. With 471 hp from its 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine, the lightweight exotic was (and still is) blindingly fast. The F40 wasn't built as a racing car, yet it feels like a roadgoing competition car, from its stripped-out interior to its delicious steering and its bad-boy attitude at the limit. The F40 is a car that you tame, a car you have to master. It's hugely satisfying and exhilarating to drive fast, even if you may feel a tinge of fear when the turbos come in with a bang; after all, there are no electronic safety nets. About 1300 F40s were made from 1987 to 1992. Since then, Ferrari has produced the even more exotic F50 and the Enzo. But for all those cars' abilities, they lack the soul of the F40 and the drop-dead gorgeous styling that distinguishes it as one of Pininfarina's high points.