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Number 10: Fiat Panda
This former European Car of the Year made it clear that an Italian car could be a success without serious performance credentials. The 1980 debut of the Giugiaro-designed box on wheels gave buyers a frill-free way to get around without a great sense of urgency.
Number 9: Maserati Bora
Truly one of Maserati's best-looking and -performing cars, the V8 mid-engine coupe of 1971-1980 was good for up to 165 mph in tip-top tune shape. Even the EPA regulations of the day didn't emasculate the Bora as they did with other cars.
Number 8: Ferrari 308 GTB / GTS
The car most associated with Magnum, P.I. had plenty of star power in its own right, making it a success then and a reasonably affordable means of
Number 7: Lancia Stratos
The short wheelbase and wedge shape suggested performance, and the Stratos backed it up with a willing and able V6 sourced from Ferrari. With just under 500 produced from 1972-1974, you'd best grab any model you can find.
Number 6: Alfa Romeo Spider
Alfa Romeo has been dubbed as the poor man's Ferrari, but in some ways that's really a compliment. A twin-cam engine that loved to rev and tossable handling. Alfisti aren't enamored with the rubber-bumper cars that hit the scene in 1974, and the best compromise of looks and drivability is probably found in the steel-bumper 1971-1973 cars, with their fuel-injected, 2.0-liter engines.
Number 5: Lamborghini Murchielago
The all-wheel drive Murciélago still commands your full attention and respect for what its V12 can do, but now you can drive it hard without fear of needing major service at the end of the day. That's especially true of the LP640 and its even more powerful (632 horsepower) 6.5-liter engine, introduced in 2006.
Number 4: Ferrari 250 GTO
The original Ferrari GTO of 1962-1964 embodied what few other cars have: gorgeous looks, fearsome performance, racing success, and (relative) civility on the road. The Scaglietti design was used to more or less replace the bodywork of the open 250 GT Testa Rossa to comply with FIA sanctioning rules -- not that Ferrari played by all the rules.
Number 3: Fiat 500
Every country had its postwar "people's car." In Britain, it was the Austin Mini. Over in France, the Citroen 2CV slowly moved the masses. And, of course, the VW Beetle was a worldwide hit. The Italian version of this formula was the iconic Fiat 500.
Number 2: Lamborghini Countach
Some cars just weren't meant to be tamed; the best you can hope for is a truce. If any car embodies such a relationship, it's the
Number 1: Ferrari Enzo
Plenty of automakers claim to integrate racing technology into their street cars, but the ultimate example of this, and of Italian cars in general, is Ferrari's Enzo.