The bucket list: ten aspirational cars to own in this lifetime (and possibly the next)
Another week, another bucket list. This time, we’ve tried to select cars that are aspirational (meaning none of these is happening anytime soon) but still somewhat realistic – i.e., as we have seen even just this week, that space existing somewhere between readily affordable (on one end of the spectrum) and pure fantasy (on the other), where cars are just within (or perhaps just beyond) reach. So no, we didn’t bother putting a Lusso on here. Also important is that they be eminently drivable, meaning cars with less than stellar driving reputations have for the most part been excluded— they have little place on this list.
Clearly, some here are more immediately attainable than others, while others we may need to wait years and years before getting a chance to sample.
Here they are, in no particular order.
Porsche 911 (997) GT3
And it matters not whether it’s the 997.1 or 997.2. The harder-core GT3RS variant isn’t unwelcome, either, but nor is it necessary— the plain vanilla GT3 (a laughable description if there ever was one) should be plenty, thanks.
911, pre-1974 (“long-nose”)
Again, doesn’t matter whether it’s an ‘S’ or a ‘T’ or an ‘E’ or something in-between as long as it has that sexy long-nose and Fuchs or even some steelies. Damn.
Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTV “step-nose”
Maybe the prettiest little Italian sports coupe ever. And one of the wickedest-sounding.
BMW 3.0 CS/CSi coupe (E9)
Quite possibly the prettiest postwar Bimmer this side of the 507. For us, it stole the show (and our hearts) at this year’s Deutsche Classic— we couldn’t tear our eyes away. More of a grand tourer than an out-and-out sports car, but with looks like these, who cares?
Lays claim to the purest, most unfiltered driving experience on this list.
When the Seven is just too impractical.
Ferrari F355 (Berlinetta, though the Spider is pictured)
There are faster Ferraris, there are more exclusive Ferraris, but even after all these years, this is still our sentimental favorite— arguably the nicest-looking modern Ferrari, and one we can aspire to one day own (hopefully). Pretty, usable, and insanely desirable even today. This one probably takes our top prize.
Nissan Skyline GT-R (KPGC10)
Surprised to see this here? So are we. But maybe there’s no reason to be. This is, after all, quite possibly our favorite Japanese car— and yes, that includes the 2000GT. There’s just something about these cars… they’re almost stately, yet at the same time utterly badass. The presence they exude is almost overwhelming. An enigma of a car if there ever was one.
If you must know why, look no further than to guest contributor Royce Hong’s feature.
BMW M Coupe (E36/8)
The last of the truly unique, original BMWs (parts bin car or not), and our favorite modern one— it’s destined to become a classic. No, they don’t make ‘em like this anymore— not even the new 1M Coupe. Make ours the S54 (this is important).
Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 (W109)
It only singlehandedly gave birth to the concept of the automotive Q-ship. Sounds wicked and goes like stink, and looks so good while doing so. Boss.
Honda/Acura NSX (first generation)
Before the Audi R8 took up the mantle of ‘everyday supercar’ there was the Honda (Acura in the US) NSX. Supposed to be a sweet driver. That is all.
In a way, it feels kind of wrong that the 356 – a perennial favorite if there ever was one – didn’t make the final cut, but the presence of one beetle-backed aircooled car on the list (the 356′s successor, the 911) almost makes the 356 seem expendable. Almost. Our rationalization is that the early 911 offers most of the 356′s looks but also more – a lot more – performance (if less overall charisma and mystique).
Yeah, still feels wrong.
For the sake of brevity, many good cars had to be left off this list, as you can see. It’s obviously highly subjective – there are no right or wrong answers here – so let’s hear yours, since it’s bound to differ. Have at it!