Being behind the controls of a moving thing can be an exhilarating experience, if you’re in the right vehicle. In these ten machines, the sensation of fun comes instantly and naturally.
10.) Ford Fiesta ST
Praised as one of the most affordable and most enjoyable enthusiast cars on the market, the Fiesta ST is a great no-compromise hot hatchback. You can throw it around on a backroad, you can track it confidently, you can mod it, you can turn it into a rally car. The Fiesta ST is a blank sheet waiting for an owner to color in its future. It’s such a happy little car.
Suggested By: RedWhine, Photo Credit: Ford
9.) A Big Wheel
For many of us, this is where it all started. Speeding my feet away on that front big wheel and pushing the ass end out with my own weight. I remember it like it was yesterday, as does reader beardedbarsted.
This one. No gas required. No insurance required. No real maintenance required (except sticker replacement, maybe). I’m sure a vast many of us have great memories of our time in the seat on one of these. You can even get them in adult sizes!
When I was a kid, I had a friend that graciously allowed me to join him riding his Big Wheel down a hill. Somehow, we managed to survive without any broken bones!
In my mind, because of the great time many have had piloting a Big Wheel, this is the world’s most enjoyable vehicle. It evokes great memories, it’s insanely, ludicrously fun to ride one, and many, many miles have been racked up on these 3-wheelers over the decades.
8.) Mazda Miata
What can be said about the Mazda Miata that hasn’t already been said? Even though you’re limited to 167 horsepower (or less) from the factory, from the driver’s seat of a Miata every new road feels like an adventure and every corner is your bitch. There are few better feelings in the world than letting the wind rip over your head and through your hair as you point and direct the Miata through each corner. It’s just the best.
Suggested By: As Du Volant, Photo Credit: Mazda
7.) Grumman Tiger
Imagine soaring through the skies with an open canopy above your head. What an unbelievable feeling. The liveliness of a small aircraft like the Grumman Tiger aircraft just makes it all the more better.
It thinks it’s a little fighter plane, and you can open the sliding canopy in flight. Seal it up, and it’s very quick for a simple (fixed gear, fixed pitch propeller, only 180 HP) airplane.
6.) A Kart
Whether you’re racing a $15 rental go-kart or you’re really going at it in Endurance Karting or shifter karts, seat time in a kart is one of the best and most economical ways to test big track racing strategies and have fun while doing so, in a more safe environment than in full sized cars on track.
What’s better than a track day? An actual race where the speed feels more real, the adrenaline rushes harder, and you don’t have to worry too much about seriously hurting yourself or your wallet.
5.) Porsche Cayman GT4
There’s not one physical movement that can be conducted inside the GT4 that isn’t incredibly exciting and enjoyable. Step on and modulate the throttle, the 3.8-liter flat six growls at you like no other boxer has growled before, each shift throw “clinks” and “clacks” into gear in the most satisfying fashion this side of a gated-manual gearbox, and the steering almost feels like the car pivots from directly under you, not from far in front of you.
Nothing in this car gets old.
Suggested By: BoxerFanatic, Photo Credit: Porsche
4.) A Jet Ski
As Daniel Tosh once said, it’s impossible to frown on a wave-runner or a jet ski. My only disagreement with that is if you get saltwater in your mouth or eyes, because that’s a real pain. Otherwise, there’s nothing like a good jet ski adventure. Splish-splashing across waves like it’s nobody’s business—that’s the life.
3.) Morgan 3 Wheeler
The Morgan 3 Wheeler is arguably one of the most unique production cars on the road today. There is nowhere that it looks like it fits in, its driving experience is like none other, and everything in it feels slightly wrong, but completely right. As my friend Tavarish put it, “the car is a freaking perpetual smile factory.” That says it all.
Suggested By: Patrick George, Photo Credit: Morgan
2.) Honda Grom
If you’re a beginner or even an experienced rider, it’s near impossible to hop on a Grom and not let a stupid-ass grin take over your face. It might be small, low-powered, and visually not too exciting, but it is a pure ray of sunshine. You can go anywhere with it, see anything with it, and do almost anything with it. What more could you want out of a bike? (Don’t say a high top speed or superb acceleration.)
Suggested By: The Crazie Kanuck, Photo Credit: Honda
1.) BMW E30 M3
The BMW E30 M3 is one of few cars ever produced that truly feels pretty much perfect all around. It’s almost completely usable and dailyable, it feels at home no matter what kind of performance driving you’re doing with it, and you can throw almost any enthusiast or manual-driving driver behind the wheel and they’ll pilot it with ease and return with a triple thumbs up.
Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day’s Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It’s by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!
Top Photo Credit: Stephen Hennessey via Flickr