While it may be tough to stump a dedicated gear head, we’d wager that the vast majority of car-aware types out there have neither seen nor heard of this interesting group of four cars:
- 1996-04 TVR Cerbera – TVR was a low-volume British manufacturer of sports cars based in the seaside town of Blackpool. They were in business from the late 1940s until 2006, and the Cerbera was one very outlandish sports car. Named for the mythological three-headed dog that guards the gates of Hades, the V-8 Cerbera could accelerate from 0-60 in 4.4 seconds and do 180 mph. Sadly, emissions and safety regulations meant the car was never sold in the U.S., where it remains essentially unknown.
- 1963-65 ATS 2500GT – Enzo Ferrari was a tough man to work for, and in the early 1960s, many of his key employees got fed up at around the same time and decided to out-Ferrari Mr. Ferrari by putting together a mid-engine V-8 powered sports car about 10 years before Ferrari adopted a similar configuration in the 308 GT/4. The project was undercapitalized and collapsed, with only 12 very lovely cars built.
- 1961-64 Reliant Sabre – The Sabre was a small British GT that, in coupe form, looked like a pint-sized Aston Martin. Powered by various English Ford four- and six-cylinder motors, the Sabre had the odd distinction of being produced as the Sabra Sports in Haifa, Israel, and remains to this day, the only Israeli-built sports car.
- 1973-79 Bitter CD – Erich Bitter was a successful German race car driver with the ambition, like so many others, to build his own car (named for himself, of course). The Bitter CD was an unusually well-executed car (support and help came from none other than Bob Lutz, then the head of GM’s German Opel division). The sleek and pretty CD was powered by a small block Chevy V-8. In spite of its American power, the CD is exceedingly rare in the U.S.