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Take one look at these purpose-built sports cars and you'd expect them to be fast. You would be wrong. Even before we got used to powerful V6 Camrys, these ten rides chosen by Jalopnik readers were the slowest sports cars the world had ever seen.
Welcome back to Answers of the Day — the daily Jalopnik feature where editors take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by and for the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!
Suggested By: unhcampus
1/4 Mile: 16.9
Why we want one anyway: The Mondial had the V8 from the sporty 308, but in a bigger, heavier, floppier body. In its first two years in the US, the Mondial had 180 horsepower and was over two seconds slower to 60 than even the crappy Corvettes of the time. Even though the back seats are for people without legs, it's a real Ferrari, with all the poise and panache you'd expect from the brand. And it's about a thousand times cooler than a chintzy 360 Modena.
Photo Credit: storem
9) 1973 Porsche 914
Suggested By: dogisbadob
1/4 Mile: 18.1 (at 74mph)
Why we want one anyway: "The 914 is no sports car. Not enough power." This wasn't written by some jaded auto journalist, spoiled by the speed of modern family cars. This was written by Motor Magazine in 1973. It meant something to be underpowered back then.
Regardless of its lack of oomph, these little mid-engined ‘70s Porsches look like nothing else on the road, they're affordable, and they'll keep you entertained on a twisting road, just so long as there isn't too steep an incline.
Photo Credit: Alden Jewell
8) 1980 California Corvette
Suggested By: Cloud81918
1/4 Mile: 16.3
Why we want one anyway: Instead of the regularly pathetic 5.7 liter, 190 horsepower car, the one-year, one-state-only California Corvette got a unique, smog-choked 5.0L V8 with a mere 180 horses. There were slower Corvettes in the ‘50s and the mid—70s, but by 1980, regular cars were catching up with Mr. Plastic Fantastic and his 3-speed automatic. Does it still look badass? Yes. Would we still buy one? Of course!
Photo Credit: Chevrolet
7) 1946 Triumph 1800
Suggested By: P161911 finally got a new password, and still hates the new layout
1/4 Mile: Unknown
Why we want one anyway: You wouldn't expect a Triumph from the late 1940s to be fast, but you don't understand just how slow these things are. With 63 horsepower from their 1.8 liter engines, they were over a dozen seconds slower to 60 than even a rival MG. A half-starved WWII refugee on a Vespa could take it on in a drag race.
With its bosomy, wood-framed aluminum body and top-down charms, going fast isn't really the point anymore. We'd love to take one out to the country for some true motoring. Like a sir.
Photo Credit: Chris Sampson
6) 1990 Mazda Miata
Suggested By: Viperfan1
1/4 Mile: 16.5.
Why we want one anyway: To put the Miata in context, you could buy a Ford Escort GT that was faster than a Miata to 60 mph. Even your creepy uncle's Chevy Beretta GT could out-drag an MX-5. Through the corners, though, the Miata is several orders of magnitude more fun than any of its contemporaries, and it's genuinely more desirable than most sports cars built since.
Photo Credit: Aidan Cavanagh
5) 1984 Pontiac Fiero
Suggested By: ForzaFanatic3
1/4 Mile: 17.5
Why we want one anyway: Pontiac actually pitched the Fiero SE with its 98-horsepower "Iron Duke" 2.5 liter engine as a fuel-saving commuter before owning up to the fact that it was just a horribly slow sports car. Anyone with half a brain looking for a cheap, mid-engined ‘80smobile would buy an MR-2, but they'd be missing out on the orphaned car cool factor that you only get with the Fiero.
Photo Credit: Alden Jewell
4) 1958 Berkeley Sports
Suggested By: smalleyxb122
1/4 Mile: Unknown
Why we want one anyway: Britain's Berkeley sports cars, from the SE322 of the 1950s to the B60 of the ‘60s, were an attempt at making an affordable sports car. How'd they do it? They gave their cars one of the smallest engines of all time, a 0.32 liter two-stroke, two cylinder. It put 18 horsepower to the front wheels in the early years, but a later three-cylinder bumped that up to 30hp. They're a joy to drive, unbelievably weird, and impossibly rare. We don't care that it chuffs out blue smoke and can't make it to 100 miles an hour. We love it.
Photo Credit: Brian Snelson
3) 1981 Delorean DMC-12
Suggested By: Ravey Mayvey Slurpee
1/4 Mile: 18.0
Why we want one anyway: There's a reason why it took Marty McFly so long to get to 88 miles an hour. The Delorean shared an engine with a Volvo. The DMC-12 had every right to be a fast car – it had the looks, the engineering, and it was built by the guy who got the GTO off the ground. It just wasn't fast, and though that was a problem for buyers in the early ‘80s, it's not a problem for anyone now who just wants to cruise around with the gullwing doors open on the highway, soaking up its impossible cool.
Photo Credit: pyntofmyld
2) 1979 MG Midget
Suggested By: minardi
1/4 Mile: 20.3 (at 70mph)
Why we want one anyway: For a few years in the mid-‘70s, the featherweight Midget was actually a bit faster than its brother the MGB. However, at the end of its 18-year production run, the Midget just couldn't keep up with the rest of traffic.
If somebody in '79 drove a Detroit land yacht off the lot, like a Ford LTD, and found you in a Midget at the stop light, they would absolutely dust you. When the road got twisty, the Midget would be hilariously fun, while the LTD would squeal its tires until you gave up or plowed into a tree.
Photo Credit: Laser Burners
1) 1950 Crosley Hot Shot
Suggested By: DannyBN - Same price as 4 Mustang V6's
1/4 Mile: 23.4
Why we want one anyway: If I told you there was a small, light American sports car built from 1949-1952 that won the Index of Performance at the 12 Hours of Sebring, you'd think it was fast. The 26 horsepower, four-cylinder Crosley Hot Shot, aiming to be an affordable, fun sports car, was anything but. It tops out at 74. It takes longer to get to 60 than it takes to run a quarter mile. A standard Ford V8 would get to 60 ten seconds before the Hot Shot.
For all of you out there who might lust after a Caterham or any other lightweight trackday special, you should know that the Crosley was so bare-bones, so lightweight (1,175lbs), that it didn't actually come with doors as standard. We want one so bad it hurts.
Photo Credit: Crosley