Racing Cars You Never Knew Existed

Ever heard of the Ferrari 250 GT SWB Breadvan, the Jaguar XJR 15 or the Maserati Barchetta? No? Well, these are three of the rarest racing cars that have ever been designed and built. Here’s the backstory.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Breadvan

The Ferrari 250 GT SWB Breadvan is a one-off Ferrari manufactured in 1962. It’s not an original design since it was built from a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB. This car had previously competed in the 1961 Tour de France and finished in second place. Due to its design it was nicknamed “La Camionnette” (little truck), while the English-speaking journalists called it the “Breadvan.” It made its competition debut at the 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans, quickly passing all Ferrari GTOs and coming in 7th overall during the fourth hour when a driveshaft failure caused its retirement. Results at other races proved the design’s effectiveness, as the car won the GT class in two races during the 1962 season. The car’s last race in period was at the Coppa Gallenga Hillclimb in 1965. Since 1973 it has appeared regularly at historic races worldwide, including events such as the Monterey Historic Automobile Races, the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Tour Auto. Today it’s one of the most expensive cars in the world – one sold in 2014 for £23million at auction.

Jaguar XJR 15

The Jaguar Sport XJR-15 is a two-seater sports car produced by Jaguar Sport, a subsidiary of Jaguar and Tom Walkinshaw Racing between 1990 and 1992. Only 50 cars were made, each selling for £500,000.

The concept of the car was announced in November 1990 and competed in a single-make racing series called the Jaguar Intercontinental Challenge, which supported three Formula 1 races [The Monaco Grand Prix (Moncao), The British Grand Prix (Silverstone) and the Belgian Grand Prix (Spa-Francorchamps)] just one year later, in 1991. Sixteen cars built in racing specifications were entered in each of the three Grand Prix. The XJR-15 was the world’s first road-car made entirely from carbon-fiber. It’s the lesser-known sibling to Jaguar’s turbocharged XJ220 supercar. The XJR 15 could reach 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and go 191mph. One of the original cars finished fourth in 1999, in the first ever Historic “Group C” invitation race at Donington in the UK, which was organized by the Aston Martin Owners Club.

Maserati Barchetta

The Maserati Barchetta is a mid-engine racing car that was designed and developed for the one-make racing series Grantrofeo Monomarca Barchetta Maserati, which was held 1992 and 1993 throughout Italy and Europe. It featured sixteen races in total, most of them in Italy at the time, considering the cars offered by Maserati had a steel unibody construction. It featured a Formula 1 suspension geometry and body panels made of carbon fiber which resulted in a total weight of 775 kg (1,709 lb). The car was able to reach a top speed of 290km/h. Only 17 racing model and two prototypes are believed to have been produced in Modena, Italy. One of the original cars was up for auction in 2018 in Germany with a starting price of 325K euros (~$357K USD today).

These are only three of the rarest race cars. Tell us which car you’d like to see on this list.

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