1955 Porsche 550A Spyder
A Porsche landmark, the car James Dean died in, and one of the best-looking sports cars of the 1950s. You, too, can be a little bastard.
1960 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato
A hotted-up, sexed-out version of the ordinary DB4. 314 hp, a top speed of 154 mph, and fender arches to die for. Quite possibly the creamiest Aston coupe ever built.
1969 Pontiac GTO Judge
It may have been named after a comedy routine on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, but the Judge was no joke. The ultimate GTO, it featured a Ram Air III V-8 and almost every option in the book.
1970 Datsun 240Z
Sure, it's a bit truckish and relatively uninspiring to drive, but it's also one of the most capable sports cars of the 1970s. A torquey six lives under that long snout, and while it's no high-rpm screamer, it's still strong enough to get the job done.
1970 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona
Indifferently built and heavier than the Washington Monument, the trucklike Daytona is a testament to how far looks and a great engine will take you. A 352-hp V-12 sits in that long nose. You know you want it.
1971 De Tomaso Pantera
As Panteras go, the '71 model is a connoisseur's car. Devoid of the garish styling found on later Panteras, this simple Italian-American exotic looked the part and delivered the goods. A 350-hp Ford 351 lived under the rear hatch.
1973 BMW 2002 Turbo
The fat fender flares, the three-box proportions, the grunty turbocharged four - the 2002 Turbo is the craziest iteration of BMW's legendary 2002. Hefty lag and skinny tires made for seemingly endless laughs. OBRUT!
1974 Ford Escort RS1600
This one's easy: Dog-bone Ford Escort plus Cosworth BDA — a detuned version of Ford's period Formula 3 engine, and one of the most spine-tingling four-cylinders ever built — equals old-school rally car par excellence. One of the winningest British Fords of all time.
1977 Aston Martin V8 Vantage
At its launch, this 170-mph behemoth was hailed as Britain's first supercar. In the right hands, the massive Vantage could out-accelerate a Ferrari Daytona and out-testosterone a big-block Corvette. Rule Britannia.
1977 Saab 99 Turbo
When Saab paired the then-novel turbocharger with its quirky 99 hatchback, it created a monster. If you can stand the 99's legendary lag, you'll be rewarded with a healthy dose of front-wheel-drive shove. The blueprint for all great Saabs that followed, and the peak of the marque's 1970s glory.
1980 Lotus Esprit 2.2
James Bond may have installed a speed-sapping ski rack on his, but the 1980 Esprit Turbo was Lotus's first true supercar. Top speed was a heady 152 mph, and the Giugaro-penned body cladding added a bit of weird Italian flair.
1981 Volkswagen Scirocco S
Italian styling, German engineering, and the cool, lift-a-wheel vibe of the Golf/Rabbit GTi in a sleek package.
1982 DeLorean DMC-12
Let's be real here: The best reason to vote for the DeLorean DMC-12 is because it's the only car on this list that was ever turned into a time machine. The stainless steel body and gullwing doors add up to a relatively high curb weight, but remember: Where we're going, we don't need . . . roads. (If you don't need roads, you don't need curbs. Get it? Ha!)
1982 Lancia 037 Stradale
Built to homologate Lancia's ridiculous 037 rally car for Group B competition. Styling resembled that of Lancia's street cars, but everything under the skin was deadly serious. A balls-out speed explosion with a taste for blood.
1984 BMW M635CSi
Badged M6 in America, the M635CSi got the 3.5-liter, 286-hp straight six from the M1, retuned suspension, and a 158-mph top speed. Autobahn missiles don't come more shark-nosed than this.
1984 Peugeot 205 Turbo 16
Only 200 street-legal examples of the Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 were built. A 400-hp four lived in the back seat, and if you looked at it funny, it would eat you for breakfast. Like the Renault R5 Turbo, this is Frog Crazy of the best kind.
1986 Honda CRX Si
Virtually perfect handling, a sub-2000-pound curb weight, and a cheeky demeanor: The first generation of Honda's manic, front-wheel-drive snotrocket is also the best.
1987 Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500
After winning forty consecutive British touring-car events, the Ford Sierra Cosworth was effectively banned from competition. The RS500 is the barely streetable, Tickford-built homologation version of that car. Gobs of power and a massive spoiler were standard.
1988 Pontiac Fiero GT
In 1988, Pontiac finally abandoned the notion that the mid-engine, V-6-powered Fiero was a commuter car. The resultant attention to detail fixed many of the model's problems, and while it was a case of too little, too late — production ended that same year — the '88 GT is still the best and most talented of the Fiero bunch.
1990 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evo II
An amped-up version of Mercedes-Benz's 190E 2.3-16, the 2.5-16 Evo II was the ultimate evolution of Mercedes's relatively tame 190E. See that insane wing? This is — you guessed it — another high-strung homologation special.
1990 Toyota Celica GT-Four ST185
Solidifying Toyota's mid-'90s WRC dominance, the ST185 was the first homologation-special Celica to be sold to the public. It was also the first Toyota to compete in Castrol's iconic red, white, and green livery.
1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth
Forbidden fruit in America, the '92 Escort RS Cosworth was a pocket rocket of the highest order. The 2.0-liter four between the front wheels was rated at 224 hp, but enterprising tuners easily raised that number. The Cosworth's awesomeness was only supplanted by that of the second-generation Ford Focus RS.
1992 GMC Syclone
A turbocharged V-6 in a lightweight, all-wheel-drive pickup with ABS and discs at all four corners. The Syclone accelerates like a bat outta Hoonville and doesn't mind turning or stopping. Car and Driver famously tested it against a Ferrari. Is it any wonder that people still go nuts for these things?
1992 Nissan 240SX SE
The 240SX was a simple and affordable rear-wheel-drive coupe that offered more handling than power. Road-racing geeks loved it, drifters embraced it, and tuners went to town. The last of the great '80s Japanese coupes.
1993 GMC Typhoon
Pair one GMC Jimmy and one turbocharged, 4.3-liter, 280-hp V-6, and you have a supertruck capable of outsprinting a Ferrari 348 to 60 mph. The sister model to the hot-like-love GMC Syclone.
1994 Porsche 928 GTS
When the 928 GTS was introduced, it was a case of too little, too late for a car that essentially ahead of its time. Despite being spectacularly good, Porsche's luxury GT didn't find much of an audience.
1996 Subaru Impreza WRX Type R STi
The WRX Type R STi was a 271-hp, 2700-pound homage to Subaru's WRX rally car. It never came to the United States, but it's still a lustworthy piece of Fuji Heavy heritage.
1998 Aston Martin V8 Vantage V600
There is one word for Aston's V8 Vantage V600: bonkers. This massive beast packs a twin Eaton supercharged 5.3-liter V-8, and it makes a mind-bending 600 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque. That it does this while looking so good? Criminal.
1999 BMW M5
The American muscle car as built by autobahn-obsessed Germans. V-8 power, eight throttles, and rear-wheel drive. When delimited, enough straight-line speed to outrun half of Stuttgart.
2002 BMW Z3 M Coupe
One of the few true shooting brakes sold in America, the M Coupe combined the sporty handling of the Z3 M roadster with the utility of a hatchback and a bit more torsional stiffness. Refined hooliganism, and the last truly nutso car to come out of Munich.