Top Ten Crazy Badass Race Cars of Awesome.

What are the most badass and bonkers race cars in history?

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Cars built for racing should naturally exude baddassery. Doesn’t matter if they were built to race in time attack or a GT series, hit the rally stage or flat out runs up the drag strip or mountain. These are the crankandpiston top ten and they exist because race car.

Two of our selection are from the fire-spitting era of Japanese Super Silhouette racing between 1979-1984, and both from Nissan. The Tomica KDR30 Skyline and S12 Silvia Super Silhouette embody the glory days of the Super Silhouette series and spawned the Granchan movement within the Bosozoku-style of Japanese car culture. I would be quite happy to end the list there but, unfortunately, other members of the crankandpiston team have opinions…

Rally cars have a tendency to be to be tough as tits and that equals serious points on the badass-ometer. Audi’s Group B rally legend, the Sport Quattro, is still considered the most powerful rally car to compete in international rally in Sport Quattro S1 E2 guise. But is it more badass than Nobuhiro ‘Monster’ Tajima’s bonkers Suzuki, the last proper Pikes Peak car before the Race to the Clouds went a bit soft and got itself paved to the top?

Typically, Phil McGovern’s choice involves a crazy Beetle in the shape of the Super Saloon (Mick Hill / Doug Niven) Beetle Chevrolet. Yup, that is a Beetle with a five-litre Chevrolet engine. But is that crazier than the Hurst Hemi Under Glass dragster pulling wheelies down the strip? Granted, the Hemi Under Glass was more of an exhibition drag racer but scores extra kudos for being ridiculous.

The BMW 3.0CSL ‘Batmobile was bat-guano bonkers but you can’t argue with its success in the European Touring Car Championship and class victory at Le Mans. The Batmobile, despite its aero package, conformed to tradition and only had four wheels. The same cannot be said of the the Tyrrell P34 which is commonly referred to as the most recognizable design in the history of world motorsports. This six-wheeled wonder of Formula 1 scored first and second place in the Swedish Grand Prix proving it was more than a gimmick.

Lastly, two cars from the modern era. Contemporary time attack cars are some of the craziest vehicles currently out there. With little in the way of rules and regulations, monster engines combine with semi-scientific aero to produce some outlandish track cars. Our pick of the bunch is the Mitsubishi Evo known as NEMO. However, for truly awesome – and genuine – aerodynamics, it doesn’t get any better than the Nissan Deltawing which is the track equivalent of a Lockheed SR-71. And that always equals awesome.

Okay, that is our Top Ten. What did we miss?

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