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Six cars to drive before you die

Motoring journalist Rob Griffin lists the top six dream machines that he believes everyone must drive before they take the final exit.

Every petrol head needs a motoring bucket list.

These are the cars you either loved as a child or secretly pretend you are driving when behind the wheel of a dull people carrier.

There are no shortage of cars to choose from, but here are six you might want to include on your shortlist.

Ford Mustang

The original American sports car: few things can beat the thrill of a muscular V8 engine grumbling away under the hood.

Tough, exhilarating, stylish – the Mustang has been a mainstay of American car culture since the 1960s.

In many people’s eyes the name is inextricably linked to the Shelby branded high performance versions – inspired by racing driver Carroll Shelby – dating back to the late 1960s.

The Shelby name has been revived in recent years and our pick is the latest monster – the GT500.

Ferrari F40

No list of ultimate cars is complete without a blood-red Ferrari.

Getting behind the wheel of any machine adorned with the prancing horse is a magical experience but the F40 is a bit special even by the Italian manufacturer’s standards.

It was a stripped-out supercar built to perform and didn’t disappoint.

It burst onto the scene around a quarter of a century ago and held the record for being the fastest production car with a speed of 201.4mph.

Aston Martin DB5

Who doesn’t want to pretend they’re James Bond for the afternoon?

There have been plenty of incredible Aston Martins down the years but the DB5 stands out as the one you must experience first-hand.

Widely regarded as the most stunning Aston of all time, the DB5 was made in the early 1960s and achieved immortality when it appeared, laden with gadgets, in the film Goldfinger.

Okay, it’s not the quickest car you’ll ever drive but who wants to go quickly when you are soaking up this amount of history.

Ariel Atom

For sheer excitement the Ariel Atom is hard to beat.

Driving an Atom is like strapping yourself onto a wasp.

It’s unbelievably quick – as demonstrated when Jeremy Clarkson’s face was pushed out of shape as he roared up through the gears for an episode of Top Gear.

“I have never ever driven anything that accelerates so fast!” he said.

With a unique tubular chassis design instead of a body this is motoring in the raw, and an awful lot of fun.

Porsche 911

Few cars have made more of an impression on the motoring world than the Porsche 911, which was developed to be a more powerful and refined replacement for the 356.

Although it has undergone numerous facelifts down the years, the 911 has retained its instantly recognisable Look.

The most recent incarnations of the breed are awesome machines - the Turbo S, for example, can hit 0-62mph in just 3.1 seconds.

But our pick of the bunch would be a bit older and slower in the shape of an original 911 that arrived back in the early 1960s.

Bugatti Veyron

Bugatti Veyron

There is simply nothing else like the Bugatti Veyron.

It’s is the supreme sports machine and was given the ultimate accolade when Top Gear named it Car of the Decade 2000-2009.

The Veyron, named after Pierre Veyron, a former Bugatti racing driver, is the perfect combination of style and performance.

This beautiful machine backed up its good looks with a top speed of more than 400 km/h.

It doesn’t matter what type of Veyron you get to drive – it will still be a Veyron!

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Rob Griffin

Rob Griffin

Rob Griffin is a freelance journalist who regularly appears in national publications, including The Independent and Daily Express. He covers motoring, business, and personal finance issues.

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