According to You: Cars with the coolest spoilers
We asked. You answered. Thank you so much for that.
While we made the distinction between a spoiler and a wing upon asking this question last week, how about we forgo all those details and proceed straight to your feedback on our query? Because you folks came up with some great examples of those appendages, and you are why this “According to You” series is such a big hit!
Dodge Charger Daytona/Plymouth Superbird
These two cars had to come first; there were far too many votes from the Hagerty Community to even consider otherwise. Back when the vehicles that won in NASCAR races were available to buy at the local dealership the following day, there was nothing like the Dodge Charger Daytona and the Plymouth Superbird. As part of the Aero Warriors genre of American Muscle, this duo sported what could be the best of the spoiler breed.
Do I really need to spill any more digital ink about the “Wing Warriers” from Mopar? Probably not, though Hagerty Community Member MJ has a great idea when he suggests that “you can stay in shape doing chin ups on it!” Buellerdan adds:
“Back in the ’80s a friend had a Superbird. At a car show, when he wasn’t around, some of us tied a laundry line to the wing and the other end to a tree. We adorned it with various undergarments. He was not amused.”
As a contrast to the Winged Warriers, Hagerty Community member Mot dusted off a classic that doesn’t get the limelight it deserves. The Chaparral 2E was an absolute icon for an era, as Mot agrees: “As a 16-year-old I thought it was the coolest race car I had ever seen. The 72-year-old me still agrees.”
There was a moment in time—before Brabus Smart cars—when German tuners made a unique styling statement on vehicles that were both thin on the ground and available to the privileged few with an appropriately sized bank account. This is likely best personified in the AMG Hammer. As Hagerty Community member Tinge of Ginge says, “to be fair, the subtle spoilers that AMG-Mercedes put on their cars, especially in the ’80s, were probably the most complementary of those cars’ lines.”
1970 Pontiac Trans Am
Consider me blinded by science, as Hagerty Community member drjim made a great suggestion that got me sleuthing for more information. He says the 1970 Pontiac Trans Am’s advertisement(s) suggested it had “Gauges That Gauge, And Spoilers That Spoil.”
Indeed, as that ad implies, Pontiac added 50 pounds of downforce at the front and rear with the Trans Am’s aero enhancements. And the photo above? That looks like a legit wind tunnel, and the image came from the Firebird brochure. That’s a lot of high tech, 1960s technology implemented for a car introduced in 1970.
Porsche 911 Ducktail, Whale Tail, Tea Tray, Taco Wing
I forgot how many types of tails have been available on the Porsche 911 during the decades of production! Luckily we have experts in the Hagerty Community, and here are some of the greatest hits:
- JON: “Porsche 964, the 911 that had the best tail, especially when found on an RS America non-sunroof coupe, cage optional.”
- LynnJ: “Porsche 917-30, and 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 ducktail.”
- Glenn Barron: “The Porsche 996.1 taco wing is my hands-down favorite. Stylish and functional with adjustability for road or track use. A wing truly made for more than just looks!”
- Jerry W Lenoir: “Porsche 911 RS Ducktail, hands down.”
- David Boyko: “The Porsche 911 from the 1973 “Duck tail” through the “Whale Tail” and ending with the “Tea Tray” 1994 964 (930) Turbo Tail.”
- MATTMERICA: “Even though I am not a Porsche guy, I always thought the integrated spoiler that deployed at speed was cool as hell.”
Chrysler Crossfire + SRT6
We had two folks mention this unique car, whose top-level SRT trim wore a rather unique spoiler. Hagerty Community member Steve puts it best when he says that “one of the rarest and seldom mentioned is the Chrysler Crossfire SRT6 rear wing.” And not the “party trick pop-up one” of the base model, but “ironing board” version that went around the C-pillars.
There’s no doubt that General Motors was pushing the design envelope in the 1980s and early 1990s. Be it the polarizing style of the C4 Corvette, the dustbuster minivans, or the radical minimalism of the early GM-10s, The General was all about cleaning up its act and hiding everything it could. To wit, our own Ronnie Schreiber notes:
“The rear spoiler integrated into the deck lid of the fourth-generation Camaro is superbly brilliant. It’s organic, part of the design, not tacked-on like most aero devices. I don’t know if it works or not when it comes to creating downforce, but it’s beautiful.”
One of the things that separates an Evolution from a mere Mitsubishi Lancer is that radical spoiler. Sure, that’s not all, but truthworldwide says it best: “Taking the wing off of an Evolution is a bit like removing a rooster’s comb. Functionally it won’t detract that much performance but you’ve really degraded the attitude.”
Wait, you can make a long roof even longer? You can, and it works: as Zach notes, the Volvo V70R’s rear spoiler is both optional on other V70s and is “a very subtle extension of the long roof.”
While the front spoiler on Lamborghini’s Countach had a dubious reason for existence, it was both memorable as a movie car and supremely radical. Hagerty Community member DUB6 made it easy for us to add this car to the list because of The Cannonball Run and this quote: “Lots of Lambos have wings, but only THAT (movie) car counts as the coolest ever.”
Ford bi-planes (Mustang SVO, Merkur XR4ti)
Bi-plane spoilers were a bit of a trend at Ford in the 1980s, even though someone really wanted a Tri-plane spoiler for the Escort Cosworth. No matter, the 1983 Sierra XR4i, 1984 Mustang SVO, and 1985 Merkur XR4Ti made their respective marks in the high performance, four-seat grand touring car market. But that’s me talking, in all my glorious brand loyalty to the Blue Oval brand. But, shockingly, four others chimed in too!
- Jeff Weimer: I always thought the Mustang SVO double spoiler was cool.
- David Sanders: The most bizarre spoiler has to be the Merkur XR4Ti.
- rbindy: Always loved the ’86 Murkur XR4TI double wing.
- Ed Williams: The little-lamented yet difficult-to-ignore XR4Ti with bi-plane wings was both beautifully integrated and functional. When Ford/Merkur went to the one-level deck spoiler in ’89, the Cd increased.
Top-level Ferraris and aerodynamic enhancements go hand-in-hand, so the suggestion from SLOFLY for the F50 was clearly necessary. And Tim adds its predecessor, going further by asking why he doesn’t see “the most obvious answer […] Ferrari F40, of course!”
BMW 3.0 CSL
Hagerty Community member Jim Goegebeur put the BMW 3.0 CSL “Batmobile” on our list. As our very own Rob Siegel says: “The 3.0 CSL was a seminal vehicle for BMW, as even though it wasn’t badged as an “M” car, it was the car that birthed BMW’s Motorsport division.”
Shelby Daytona Coupe
Not all ducktails live on Porsche 911s, apparently! Hagerty Community member Steve reminds us of the relevance of the Shelby Daytona Coupe, saying we gotta include: “the duck tail on the Shelby Daytona Coupe from the 60’s. That thing is sexy!”
Much like the fourth-generation Camaro, the Honda/Acura NSX sports a beautifully integrated rear spoiler. And since it came two years before the F-body, perhaps General Motors was inspired by it? We may never know, but Tracy Smith thinks it’s worth our time because it’s “not the wildest, but by far the most integrated into the whole car design.” Without this spoiler, Tracy says, “the car would be completely different.”
Saab 900 Turbo/SPG
Saab worked hard to cater to the enthusiast market, fitting a turbocharger (among other things) to the 900. The SPG (Special Performance Group) included the spoiler you see above, making it clear this isn’t just a quirky-looking Swedish hatchback. Hagerty Community member Wes V notes that Saab’s spoiler truly “changed the character of the car to the definition of cool.”
Mustang Shelby GT350 R
We once noted that the Shelby GT350 R is peerless, as “there’s no other production car under six figures which feels even remotely as special.” Community member Mark Eisele likely agrees with that statement, writing that its “design was aided by Ford’s race drivers, not a committee!”
Toyota Supra Turbo (Mk IV)
We started with an example from our initial question, so why not end with one, too? Community member Adolphus Chester votes for the fourth-generation Supra Turbo once more, suggesting that it is “the coolest ever” and that the “entire back end of that car is unmistakably gorgeous, hands-down.”
The people have spoken. How can we argue against the Supra, or any of these iconic cars?
Looks like I just found a good counterpoint, as spoilers clearly aren’t just for cars.
Didn’t like what you saw here? No problem! Our next installment happens next week, where we ask a new question looking for fresh insight from the Hagerty Community … that means you!
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Leaving out the iconic Ferrari GTO ducktail is inexplicable.
’83 “Direct Connection” Dodge Rampage. Great roof spoiler.
Most of these are pretty cool. The Super Bird and Daytona have to be number 1 and the Countach and Jalpa number 2, of course these are rally wings rather than spoilers.
In 1979 Paul Newman won the SCCA C Production National Championship in a modified Datsun 280ZX. The most visible modification was a rear wing that was specifically designed for that car. The wing also appeared on a homologation special edition 280ZXR so it could qualify for that class. It was also available in limited numbers through the NISMO catalog.
Porsche 944. 1980s M3
Seeing the Chaparral 2E reminds me of the anti-tail Chaparral 2J that used vacuum to suck it to the track.
Great styling, but for most of these cars the spoiler is just for show. You would have to drive them at illegal and unsafe speeds to get any aerodynamic effect.
1988 Mazda 323GTX, which was alleged to actually create downforce. Must say it was a handy place to put your beer. The Porsche whale-tail was even better, it could hold a fully stocked bar!
As for the 4th Gen Camaro, I replaced that rear hatch and glass with a fiberglass lid and a polycarbonate rear window. Saved 80lb in weight, and it looks better.
1987 – 1995 Porsche 928 S4, GT & GTS. That wing would absolutely glue the car down to the road at speed.
you missed the 3rd gen Firebird aero spoiler http://3rdgenformula.com/images/Exterior/87Formula.jpg
I’ve always loved the spoilers on the 2nd Gen Trans Am. That’s why I ordered and took delivery of a Brewster Green 1973 Trans Am when new and still have it.
Where is the Gen 5 Viper ACR Extreme?
2019 Corvette ZR1
What about 2004 wrx sti
I am happy to share my photo 🤭
1990-91 (in America) Audi Coupe Quattro. Look it up.