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15 Cars We Really, Really Want to Drive

• Keith Barry via

Sure, the Los Angeles Auto Show had its share of sweet cars. We love the Fiat 500. We'd gladly drive a Porsche Cayman R home. And we're sure there's got to be some purpose for the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet, even if we're not sure exactly what it might be. But nothing in L.A. can compare with these 15 legendary cars.

We've driven a lot of cars over the years, from the Vega to the Veyron, but these 15 have eluded us. Whether it was our F1 sponsorship falling through, that deposed Nigerian prince who promised us millions turning out to be a fraud or Dietrich refusing to over the keys, we've never had the pleasure of driving these examples of vehicular greatness.

These 15 cars will inspire envy and covetousness so great you'll have to go to confession after merely looking at the photos. Call it a wish list, call it a bucket list, call it a list of reasons why automotive writers need to get Goldman Sachs–size bonuses — and call us if you own one of these beauties and don't mind letting us borrow it for the weekend.

McLaren MP4/4
McLaren MP4/4

If you watched a Formula 1 race in 1988, chances are you saw either Alain Prost or Ayrton Senna cross the finish line first in a McLaren MP4/4. Not only was it the most dominant car of the season, it is among the most dominant cars ever.

Designed by Gordon Murray and Steve Nichols, the MP4/4 ensured the era of turbocharged F1 cars would remain in the history books even after they were banned for the 1989 season. The MP4/4 dominated with a Honda RA168E turbocharged V-6 that put out 685 horsepower at 12,500 rpm. It failed to win just once — at Monza, when Senna wrecked and Prost had engine trouble.
Ferrari 430 Scuderia
Ferrari 430 Scuderia

A lighter Ferrari F430 with a more powerful engine? Yes, please! That plus 60-millisecond shifts from a semiautomatic transmission, traction control that combines F1-Trac with the E-Diff electronic differential,and an exhaust note that's somewhere between Verdi's "Triumphal March" from Aida and a Jimmy Page solo. Few cars manage to achieve such heights of technological sophistication without abandoning raw, organic passion.
Porsche 908/3 racing
Porsche 908/3

Porsche's famed 917 was too big for twisty tracks like the Nürburgring and Targa Florio, so it designed a car the size of a coffee table and bolted an eight-cylinder boxer engine on the back. The whole thing weighed around 1,200 pounds and was only about 11 feet long — roughly the size of Smart fortwo. Can you say insane power-to-weight ratio and phenomenal handling? Oh, yes.

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