Favorite Italian Cars

Last week we challenged one of our readers to come up with a list of his favorite Italian cars. He named five models, all top of the line sports cars, which is what most of us associate with the term 'Italian car'. And what's the point of talking about fast Italian cars if you don't include a video.

So here's the article with a short video on each car. Thanks, Jay, for your contribution. [Please note that the views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the web site owners.]

Jay's Top Five Italian Cars

Although I'm writing about Italian cars, the real topic of this article is freedom, freedom to choose, freedom to live free of the “safety Nazis,” to borrow P.J. O'Rourke's memorable term, and a temporary freedom from stressing about the environment. Freedom includes having things you don't need. Who really needs a Corvette, a GT500, or an Italian car? Nobody. But deep down inside, many of us, myself included, want one. So here is my list of favorite Italian cars that I don't need but really, really want – counting down from five to one. (Sorry, Fiat, you didn't make the list.)

5. Ferrari 308 GTS Targa

Not the most expensive, or the fastest Ferrari but, hey, it was Magnum's car on the Magnum, P.I. TV show (1980-88). It had a 3L V8 engine which could kick out some 240 horses and hit 150 MPH. O.K., it proved a bit lacklustre in the 0-60 competition, taking a leisurely 7 seconds (a Corvette ZR1 takes 3.4 seconds), but, then again, you can fantasize that you're in Hawaii, with Magnum as your driver.

4. Lamborghini Murcielago

A 4WD, mid-engine monster whose name means “bat” in Spanish and was the name of a famous Miura fighting bull in the 19th century. It produces an awesome 640 horsepower from a V12 6.5 L engine and has a top speed of 212 MPH. Named after a bull with a name that means a bat, it looks like a land shark that will eat anything in its way.

3. Ferrari 250 GTO

Something Grace Kelly and Cary Grant would drive in Monaco on their way to a wine, bread and cheese picnic in the 1950s. It had a 3L V12 engine with a top speed of nearly 160 MPH. Built 1962-64, only 39 were ever made, and to get one, Mr. Ferrari himself had to approve.

2. Lamborghini Countach LP400

An unbelievable car. Lamborghini made only 150 of these beasts during the 1974-78 production run. It has a top speed of nearly 200 MPH generated by a 4L V12 engine. Close to the ultimate in cool, and no surprise that BBC's Top Gear show named it the world's sexiest “super car.”

1. Ferrari Enzo

And the winner is… the Ferrari Enzo. The factory made only 400 of these fire-breathing 6L V12 dragons that can roar by you at some 217 MPH, making it one of the world's fastest cars. If looks could kill, this car would be a serial killer. It is the ultimate in coolness and refined macho power. If Steve McQueen were a car, he would be this one.