Dream cars. We’ve all had them. Drooled over them. Maybe they were plastered on your bedroom wall as a poster or on your computer as wallpaper. Problem was that cars worthy of such dreaming often came with a steep price tag. Luckily, time went by and these dream cars, while still dream cars, are not so expensive. Here are eight dreams cars under $40,000.
Toyota Supra Twin Turbo
After a decade and a half of rubbish, the 90s was the decade performance cars came back. Manufacturers realized that you could have blistering performance while keeping the good graces of the EPA. While a handful of vehicles led the pack in the early nineties, none was more dominant than the Toyota Supra. This particular Supra, with 2JZ-GTE twin turbo V-6, was very desirable, as 276 hp was standard and performance modifications were unlimited.
While not as popular in the early nineties as other twin turbo offerings from Nissan or Toyota, the RX-7 driven by Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) in The Fast & The Furious certainly added to the significance of this rotary beast. The sequential twin turbo with 252 hp and near perfect 50/50 weight balance made for a very competitive automobile.
When introduced, the S2000 was an engineering marvel. With a screaming, traverse-mounted I-4, about 240 hp was made at the nosebleed inducing 8300 rpms. Additionally, it was one of the first readily available vehicles with push-button start. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you view it) the second generation S2000s came with a slightly larger engine, which produced slightly less hp, albeit at a more user friendly 7800 rpms, and slightly more torque. Widely lauded by automotive journalists, the S2000 also comes standard with renowned Honda reliability.
Ferrari 308 GTSi
OK, we realize that if you’re ready to drop $250,000 on a new 488 GTB, then you probably aren’t reading this article anyway. So for the rest of us that are not lottery winners, professional athletes, or trust fund babies, but still crave the prancing stallion of Maranello’s finest, then look to the 308 GTSi. Produced from 1975 to 1985, the GTSi wasn’t the most powerful Ferrari ever, but the 3.0 V8 with Bosch fuel injection did put out a spirited 202 hp. And it is, after all, a Ferrari.
While on the subject of Honda, it is only natural to include their branded for U.S. markets Acura NSX. Debuted in 1989, the NSX was no less than absolutely stunning. With a sleek and low silhouette, the NSX looks more like an expensive Italian exotic than Japanese ride. Adding to the appeal is the 3.0L V6 putting out 270 hp mated to a chassis design that even includes the racetrack know-how of the late Ayrton Senna.
Those two letters and one number have been synonymous with performance on the Corvette lineup since originally offered back in 1990. And while new top-of-the-line Corvettes produce mid-600 horsepower numbers, the 1991 ZR-1 is no slouch with a 375 hp LT-5 engine. All that power made its way through the 6-speed transmission and ended at steamroller sized rear rubber—ZR speed rated rear rubber, mind you.
Debuted in 2007, the 4th generation M3 was actually slated to become an M4, but the desire to retain the M3 series meant that 3 won out in the end. Power is ample at just over 400 hp from the naturally aspirated 4-liter V8. Styling is true to the M series, complete with bulged hood and side vents.
Dodge Viper SRT-10
No list of this magnitude would be complete without one of the pillars of American performance. Following a significant re-design in 2002, the second generation Viper—now called Viper SRT-10—also came with increased get up and go. Power came courtesy of an 8.3-liter V10 with 500 tire incinerating horsepower and 525 lb-ft of torque. Straight off the showroom floor, the Viper SRT-10 did 0-60 in 3.8 seconds (traction was likely an issue in this RWD beast) with a top speed of 189 miles per hour.