A long time ago when someone purchased an exotic car they purchased it because it appreciated, meaning it became more valuable. For that reason, before 1991, the idea of a Cannonball Run style event was more suited to fictional movies than actual roads. During this time you’d be hard pressed to find an exotic with over 100 miles on the clock. Then the Kuwait invasion happened in 1991, an oil crisis began, and something happened to our view of exotic cars.
Suddenly, and without warning, exotic cars began to depreciate. Vehicles like the Ferrari Testarossa had been heavily produced and companies like Lamborghini, then owned by Chrysler, were always on the brink of collapse. Competition like the Honda NSX came to bear at a percentage of the price and suddenly no one was buying anymore. That meant exotics now needed to be designed with the driver in mind instead of just making crazy power (which is probably why the McLaren F1 dominated the top speed market for so long). Exotic companies began producing more vehicles to keep profits up, reducing prices even more, and exclusiveness had finally worn off.
So you had a choice. You either sell your exotic car and consider another investment or you do something that was completely unheard of… you drove it. A new marketing mindset was born and a new wave of buyers, empowered by internet success still dreaming of the cars that once wallpapered their bedrooms, purchased with just that purpose in mind. Then in 1999 a man by the name of Maximillion Cooper, inspired by the movie Gumball, created a road rally of exotic cars and the dreams of many car enthusiasts both young and old were realized; to see exotics on the road. Then a company by the name of Teckademics covered it, created the Mischief 3000 movie, and made it famous. The genie was finally out of the bottle and nothing would put it back.
Fast forward to today and seeing a Lamborghini or Ferrari tearing up a highway isn’t that rare. Events like Irvine Cars and Coffee have pulled in close to 1,000 cars per event. Copycat cars and coffees and rallys popped up everywhere. Do a little searching and you’ll even find track events that, for a minimal fee, will allow you to do laps in your favorite exotic.
Yet there are still cars out there that are incredible and numerous and still don’t ever come out. Maybe buyers just want to keep them pristine or they actually believe they may appreciate after a time. Still you wonder if they are hiding out in some garage somewhere waiting for their opportunity to stretch their legs.
Here are 5 awesome vehicles for the street, that you never see on the street!
1.) Jaguar XKR-S
Packed with a 550 horsepower motor in one of the coolest looking bodies ever created the Jaguar XKR-S was a statement that Jaguar was back on the scene with a vengeance. This car was not mass produced in the traditional sense, as the numbers were always low, but even then you’d think you would see some running around in the wild or showing up in your favorite rally like it’s lost cousin the XJ220 did. Yet, pull up your favorite social media and you won’t see, well, any of them. The only thing I can think is they are being stored until they’re worth more since the numbers are limited, but the demand for the Jaguar XK was very selective. It was replaced by the Jaguar F Type which was a totally different type of car so perhaps that could play a roll in the death grip owners have since they have nothing to replace one.
2.) Bentley Continental Super Sport
When the Nissan GTR came out a war started between it and it’s most capable rivals, the Porsche 911 and Chevrolet Corvette. Sneakily in the background Bentley began to prove, once again, that they knew how to go faster and still stay in style. They did it with this iconic car, the Bentley Continental Super Sport. It replaced comfy seats with hard, yet comfortable, carbon fiber seats while completely removing the back seats. This car was fast in all the right ways. A turbo 12 cylinder, all wheel drive, 600 horsepower masterpiece. A luxury car capable of 200 mph speeds backed by a century of winning pedigree. The competition wisely never brought up the car in conversation. Still, go to your favorite Cars and Coffee or high speed rally and you’ll be hard pressed to find one, even just driving around. You can still find Bentley on the race track with Pirelli World Challenge and Super GT, but the streets are bare and it’s just really odd from such an amazing performance vehicle that was absolutely made to be driven.
3.) Aston Martin Rapide
I know what you’re going to say, this isn’t really a car show kind of car. Although I would like to argue it’s more important to think that a 4 door, 505 horsepower, 200+ mph car hasn’t been seen anywhere on a rally or on the road traveling at all. Think about it. This car is amazing in all the right ways and just says load up a few of your friends and drive across the country. Add in a reason to drive and… look, where are they hiding! I’ve managed to see a few dealer cars in big automotive shows, but once the lights came up I think they all scattered into the woodwork and disappeared and it breaks my heart.
4.) Saleen S7
When it comes to supercars the Saleen was meant to represent the power of American engineering. It was produced from 2000 – 2007. It made various power outputs and all them were race car levels. It was considered a very capable and fast car. Other than some notable appearances, such as in the movie Bruce Almighty, it’s largely an invisible car. I’ve seen one presented by the Saleen company itself and one that ran in a rally back in the early 2000’s, again manufacturer presented, yet, since then they’ve been notably absent from a scene where McLaren F1’s, Mercedes CLK-GTR’s and Maserati MC12’s are still making waves to this day. It seems rather odd that they don’t get more conversation since they seem to all hail from the same pedigree of street bred race performance. They just disappeared. It would be very easy for a car with production numbers in the hundreds to do that as many owners easily see potential appreciation in them and they probably aren’t wrong. You’d think that even with that you’d see one lone and crazy driver taking his out for a spin from time to time to brag about them. Yet, like a wild Do do, there are none to be found.
5.) Lamborghini Jalpa
One of the great things that happened in the new era of driven exotics was you got to see cars that you never would’ve seen aside from a television appearance on the road prior. I’ve rubbed elbows with Testarossas, Muiras, and the legendary Countach, but even then some still remain elusive. That being said Lamborghini was known for making some cars that didn’t get bedroom poster wall time like the Countach. The Jalpa is one such example, Lamborghini’s V8 supercar. The only appearance I’ve ever seen was being helmed by Phil Collins in Miami Vice in the ’80’s. Yup, we’re talking a ton of years ago. Since then drivers in rallys and other events are always looking for that alpha car that nobody else has and yet they seem to have always passed over the Jalpa. Maybe they don’t even know it exists, but alas I’ve never seen one in the wild.
If you have seen one of these vehicles, post in the comments and let us know! We’re always looking for those rare animals in the wild. If you have some other cars you never see, post that up as well. You never know when someone has spotted one!