Anyone that saw the “Back to the Future” films probably remembers the rather unique looking car with the wedge-shaped doors. Not everyone knows what that car was, but the overwhelming majority of film fans came to know all about the DeLorean, a car that existed in virtual obscurity up until then. As it turns out, this little car that nobody understood had quite an impact on the automotive industry, as you’ll see from the list of automobiles below. There are twenty of them that are similar to the DeLorean in one manner or another, many of them with the famous wedge doors incorporated into their own design.
About the DeLorean
Unfortunately, the original DeLorean never really got off the ground. In fact, there was virtually no interest in the car until it suddenly became popularized in the feature films that made it such an icon. Even then, it remained a relatively rare find, as only about 9,000 of them were ever made. It’s important to remember that these films are old enough to be considered classics themselves. Today, there are only a handful of examples left of this particular car. Out of the few that did survive, fewer still are actually drivable. As such, it would be exceedingly difficult for you to get your hands on one. If you’ve always dreamed of doing so, you might be able to fulfill those dreams by choosing one of the 20 cars on this list. As previously mentioned, they all owe some facet of their design to the original DeLorean.
20. Lamborghini Countach
This is a car that begin production as far back as the 1970s and continued for slightly longer than 16 years. There are a lot of things that make this car special, but the mere fact that it managed to stay in production for so long is definitely one of those things.The original cars had more than 300 horsepower and were among the most unique looking automobiles of their time.
They became even more ostentatious later on when Lamborghini started adding wings and other fixtures to the cars that weren’t a part of the design for the earlier models. These cars haven’t been in production for more than 20 years, but you can still find them at auction. If you do find one, be prepared to have a hefty sum of money available to purchase it, as they routinely command more than $1 million.
19. Nissan 300 ZX
This car was designed to be futuristic. Considering the fact that production started in 1979 and lasted until 1984, it definitely achieved its goal. In addition to the pop-up headlights and wedge wings on the doors (much like the DeLorean), this car also had other futuristic elements associated with it. For example, the dash was completely digital. This was something that was practically unheard of at the time the car was in production. To make things easy, they kept it on the same chassis as its predecessor, the 280ZX. It’s worth noting that it was also capable of producing 200 horsepower, something that was rather difficult to find at the time.
18. Lancia Stratos
This was a fine automobile that was manufactured for one reason and one reason only, to beat its competition in rally races. Most notably, it was manufactured to closely mimic the Bertone Stratos Zero, largely because they wanted to outperform it in competition. The car was a success, but because of exacting standards, it was only produced for two years. If you’re lucky enough to find one that’s still in drivable condition, consider yourself a very fortunate individual. There weren’t that many produced in the first place and the last one rolled off the assembly line in 1979.
17. Subaru XT
This car has managed to completely set itself apart from anything else ever manufactured by Subaru. It was in production for a number of years ranging from the mid-1980s until 1991. At its core, it was a sports car that was also designed to be a four-wheel drive vehicle that could go off-roading. That seems like an odd combination, but Subaru accomplished it by giving it its 4-cylinder Boxer engine.
This allowed for an extremely low profile and aerodynamic design. They also fitted it with a push-button 4-wheel drive system and separate push-button system that allowed you to raise the car up on its shocks. All of these things, coupled with a digital dashboard, made it feel like you were practically driving something from outer space that could morph into whatever you wanted it to be at the time.
16. Lotus Esprit
This car was designed by Giorgetto Guigiaro, the very same individual that designed the DeLorean. If you’re looking at the car, it looks like it’s straight out of an Italian design house. That being said, all of the engineering was done in Britain. It made the car something of a hybrid, but it was definitely one that worked. Like the DeLorean, this car was also featured in two major films, 1977’s “The Spy Who Loved Me” and from 1981, “For Your Eyes Only.”
15. Pontiac Firebird
This was a car that featured a wedge design that people absolutely fell in love with. The first one came off the showroom floor in 1982, an upgrade from an earlier model that had also seen a decent amount of success. It was fast, but the real kicker was when it eventually got picked to be what was essentially the star of the television show “Knight Rider.” The black Trans Am that stars in that particular show made the Firebird sell better than it ever had. Pontiac decided to give it an upgrade for its 20th anniversary and by 1989, the car that could hit 60 mph in less than five seconds and travel at a top speed of 162 mph was selling more than 120,000 units a year.
14. Bertone X1/9
This was a tiny little car that people absolutely fell in love with. It featured authentic Italian design and it didn’t cost a fortune to purchase one. As a matter of fact, it was virtually the only wedge car of its type that could be purchased without spending an arm and a leg in the process. It wasn’t a terribly fast car, despite its small size and lightweight design. Nevertheless, people absolutely fell in love with it. There aren’t many of them left today, but truly lucky individuals have managed to see at least one or two still in drivable condition.
13. Toyota MR2
Interestingly enough, this particular car was actually designed around the Bertone discussed in the above paragraph. Toyota had never been known for designing a sports car, as this was the early 1980s. They ended up designing one that was a little bit bigger than the Bertone. It also performed better. People absolutely fell in love with it. It was a true wedge with rear-wheel drive and a mid-engine design that allowed for a center of gravity that helped keep the car stable, even when going too fast around a turn. After a few years, Toyota gave the engine a turbocharger. To this day, people still talk about how much they love this car.
12. Saab Sonett III
This is a car that had a somewhat troubled history. It was based on the original Saab Sonett that was designed in the 1950s. They redesigned it in the late sixties but then in the 1970s, they decided they wanted something new without having to pay for a completely new design. They ended up hiring an Italian designer to work around the existing chassis. The end result was a car that was indeed a wedge with true Italian flair. That being said, the chassis never really fit the design, nor did the engine. As a result, this was a car that never really got off the ground with consumers.
11. Aston Martin Lagonda
You already know that virtually every sports car manufacturing during the 1980s used the digital dash, but did you know that this was the very first car that ever did it? This automobile wasn’t even a sports car, either. It was actually a wedge design incorporated into a four-door sedan, a quite large one at that. The end result was an aerodynamic car that looked like nothing else on the road which just happened to be capable of hitting 150 miles an hour.
10. Lamborghini Murcielago
At first glance, this car looks like virtually every other Lamborghini wedge produced during the 1980s. However, it was actually quite different in the sense that it was the last V12 married to a manual transmission produced by the company. Love it or hate it, it was definitely a car that was worth taking a second look at. In addition to its traditional wedge design so reminiscent of the DeLorean, the car also incorporated the pop-up headlights, the pointy nose and the sleek aerodynamic body style that Lamborghini has become so well known for over the years.
9. Mazda RX-7
One of the things that people loved so much about this particular car was that it was incredibly agile. It had the type of handling characteristics that every driver dreams about. This is responsive in the extreme, yet it didn’t try to send you off into the ditch every time you sneezed. It also featured a rotary engine, something that is exceedingly rare. Coupled with its wedge design, it truly is one of a kind. There are a few of them that are still on the road today in drivable condition. Surprisingly, you can pick up one that’s in fairly good shape for less than $10,000.
8. Ferrari 512BB
This is one of the most unique Ferraris ever built. The wedge doors were very akin to the DeLorean, as was the entire rear section of the car. Aside from the power plant which allowed the car to travel at a much faster speed than the DeLorean could ever hope to achieve, the biggest difference between the two is in the front end. As you might expect, the Ferrari was sleeker and more aerodynamic.
7. Isdera Imperator 108i
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever actually lay your eyes on one of these cars, as there were only about 30 of them that were ever produced and that was during the 1980s. If you ever do see one, you’ll never forget it. The car is a wedge design in the extreme. In fact, it looks more like some type of aircraft from the future than it does an automobile. It also made use of the Mercedes-Benz V8 engine.
6. Lamborghini Huracan
This is a car that’s currently produced by the company which still utilizes that traditional wedge design. As expected, it’s definitely got some upgrades as compared to its 1980s cousins. It’s much more sleek and blended in its design, but that distinctive wedge is very much present. It also incorporates a V10 engine that will allow you to leave all of your troubles (and maybe even your hair) behind.
5. De Tomaso Pantera
The Pantera was often considered a direct competitor to Lamborghini, as if you could have a version of the more expensive car that came at a more suitable price tag. It looked almost like somebody took the front half of a Lamborghini and married it to the back half of the car from “Starsky and Hutch.” It also incorporated a Ford V8 engine. As such, it wasn’t terribly popular with a lot of people but in more recent years, it’s become something of a favorite among certain collectors.
4. Vector W8
This car had a wedge design that incorporated extreme angles that seemed to go in all kinds of different directions. It almost looked like a Lamborghini on steroids. It was a car that wasn’t terribly popular with the public and as such, only about 17 of them were ever produced.
3. Maserati Khamsin
You might have trouble believing it, but this particular automobile was actually designed by Bertone. It’s a small car with a very distinctive wedge design that was loads of fun to drive. As a matter of fact, there are still a few examples available today but the overwhelming majority of them belong to collectors who have no intention of letting go of them anytime soon.
2. Triumph TR-7
This car is so much like the DeLorean it hurts. It has a distinctive wedge design and it looked great if you were looking for a futuristic car that sets itself apart from the competition. However, it was also one of the most unreliable performers that was ever built. There are virtually none of them left in drivable condition because you were lucky if you managed to drive them off the lot without a problem. In some ways, it shared some of the similar performance problems associated with the DeLorean. To put things another way, reliability was definitely not its strong suit.
1. BMW M1
Did you know that BMW actually designed a wedge car with a mid-engine design? It’s true, they did indeed design a car like this. If it was possible for a DeLorean to have a love child with a Ferrari, this would probably be it. It featured a relatively modest 6-cylinder engine that wasn’t the fastest in the world, but it was certainly a lot of fun to drive.