Grand tourer is a type of modern transport vehicle that has been developed for high performance in long distances. The first models go back to the early 1950s in Europe, where big carmakers such as Enzo Ferrari got into this line of product and improved their production each year.
Besides technical terms, a grand tourer is usually a car that combines style with speed and performance that mostly comes in a comfortable and, more often than not, a luxurious package. The car manufacturers show off their abilities to develop and apply advanced features on their models each year by summing their overall progress in a GT or a supercar model.
Since the culture has deep roots in the European region, we decided to review the top 14 models that have originated from there plus the 3 noticeable GT models that came from Japan.
17 Volvo 780 Coupe
The 780 was revealed in 1985 Geneva International Auto Show for the 1986-year model. The company had planned to use its predecessor’s engine (the PRV V6 that could also be found on Renault 25 and Alpine) on this model. Still, due to overheating problems, they went another direction and featured a couple of other powertrains on the model.
16 Opel Diplomat V8 Coupe
Opel is a pretty honorable yet unmentioned brand when it comes to classic models. This brand was formerly a subsidiary of GM, but since 2017, it is owned by the French automaker Groupe PSA. The Diplomat was one of the three flagship models (Opel Kapitan, Admiral, and Diplomat) that Opel introduced in 1964, all of which were available with an inline 6-cylinder or bigger Chevrolet V8 engines.
15 Iso Grifo
Grifo is the model that Italian automaker Iso built in limited numbers from 1963 to 1974 to compete with grand tourers from Maserati and Ferrari. The company also released a Series II version with a couple of obvious upgrades in 1970. The production figures for both models sums up to 413 units, of which 322 were Series I, and 78 of them were Series II.
14 Citroen SM
This model was so successful in the early 70s that won the 1972 Motor Trend Car of the Year. However, just two years later when Citroen went bankrupt and was bought by Peugeot. Reportedly, the model was discontinued because the sale numbers related to the year’s model shrunk to as few as 115 units per year.
13 Isuzu 117 Coupe
The records show that during its 13 years of production life, the company has sold almost 86,000 units of the 117 with various body types. The coupe version, however, ended up being a pretty decent collectible item since it was proven to have a strangely long life-cycle alongside its famous high-performance functions.
12 Poesche 928
The 928 ran in production from 1977 for 18 years. It was basically designed and developed from the original 911 and was intended to replace that model or be a more versatile option to choose from the Porsche car dealership offers. This model is powered by Porsche V8 engines that came in different displacements and were mounted in the front.
11 Lamborghini Espada
This Italian beast’s power was rated 325 hp at 7200 rpm for its Series I model and later was increased to 350 hp with the new modifications on the Series II and III versions of it. The Espada was rumored to be revived in 1999 and once again in 2006 when Lambo revealed the Estoque concept car instead.
10 BMW Series 6 E24
BMW made this model in order to make a broader spectrum of choices for those who were intending to buy a high-performance but still classy and comfortable vehicle. It came in only a 2-door coupe body style, and aside from a couple of modification models, this car is powered by a range of M inline 6-cylinder engines.
9 Jaguar XJS
When it comes to classic models, Jaguar has the all-time favorite exotic models for collectors and basically for any car enthusiast. This British carmaker made this model from 1975 to 1996 and it was intended for replacing famous and iconic E-Type with various displacements featured on either l6 or V12.
8 Nissan Skyline GT-R KPGC110
The KPGC110 is the model code that was given to the second generation of the Skyline GT-R, which was briefly produced in 1973. The GT-R also made a comeback in 1989 and ran in production till 2002 but was discontinued after that. It was mentioned in BBC’s Top Gear program as “the only true Japanese contribution in the line of supercars.”
7 Mercedes W111 Coupe
W111 was the code name that was given to a sequence of models that were based on the same chassis with a variety of engine blocks and body types, including four-door sedans and two-door coupes and cabriolets. It was first introduced with an inline 6-cylinder 2.2-liter engine, and later more engine options and features were added to the base model.
6 Bentley R-Type Continental
There were exactly 2,323 R-Types built from 1952 to 1955, and only 207 of them were Continentals, which meant a road-going performance car back then but was usually sold for domestic traveling proposes. The low number of Continental Type R has made it into a rare item for collectors. An unrestored 1952 Type R Continental was sold in 2015 for $1 million.
5 Rolls-Royce Corniche
This is one of Britain’s finest luxury automobiles that was being manufactured from 1971 to 1995 for 5 generations/series, all of which packing the same 6.75-liter OHV V8 with a hint of the turbo in its last generations. The model was renewed for the 2000 model year and was sold with the base price of $359,900.
4 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona
Ferrari made 1,406 total this model for different purposes. The GTB/4 (Berlinetta) and GTS/4 (Sports) version of the Daytona was probably the last Daytona that left Ferrari’s factory. In 1971 a Daytona drove from New York City to Los Angles (2,876 miles) in 35 hours and 54 minutes with the average speed of 80.1 mph to showcase the model’s potential for high-speed travels.
3 Toyota 2000GT
The 2000GT has a special place in our top classic cars list and in our hearts. 351 instances of this model were made, of which only 60 made it to America, and the rest were distributed worldwide. It used to be priced at $6,800, which was even more than the Jags and Porsches in its time.
2 Aston Martin DB5
This is what happens when European car manufacturers decide to do a merged project with each other. Half British and half Italian DB5 is mostly famous for its looks and appearance in the third James Bond movie, Goldfinger, in 1964. Aston ran the production of this model from 1963 to 1965 and made only 1,059 units of them.
1 Maserati 5000 GT
A total of thirty-four 5000 GTs (also known as Shah of Persia, because it was commissioned by the Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi) were made from 1959 to 1965. That’s a pretty low production figure for a ten-year run. But hey, if the emperor of a kingdom was impressed by it, guess what collectors think about owning one.
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