Showdown: Aging Supercar Threesome Edition

It’s been a while since our last Showdown, mostly because making the poll takes an extra few minutes and we refuse to keep our loyal readers waiting that long for quality content.  Anyway, last time the Cosmo gave the Lancer a serious tri-rotoring. Speaking of threes, for today’s Showdown we just couldn’t keep it one-on-one. It all started with this absolutely gorgeous Ferrari 308 GTS, but we knew we couldn’t just bring you a picture of a pretty Ferrari and call it a day. No, no, no we had to counter the balance and high-revving song of the Italian V8 with the more beefy American brute force powering the Pantera. Topping it all off, we’ve got a ride that’s likely to shame the other two on a track, provided you’re ok with everyone thinking you own a strip club in Miami. How could you not jump?

We’re firmly of the opinion that Retail Red is for suckers; black is the new black. We don’t care if the 308 is far from the crew in Maranello’s finest work, it’s got a revvy V8 and killer lines. The 308 and 328 earn points in our book for being remotely affordable and (relatively) simple to maintain. Sure, stuff breaks, but HVAC switches are nothing compared to a flappy-paddle gearbox. We’d like to believe the black-on-black-on-black color scheme would cut down on the Magnum PI references and people asking you what happened to your gold chains. You could do a lot worse for $29,990.

Would you rather have a car that purred, or rumbled? The Pantera serves up a steel-toed kick in the ass to the dainty lightweight fiberglass cars of the 70s, offering Cleveland (rocks!) power and a steel body. Sure, cooling’s a relatively notorious issue on these cars, but modern aluminum radiators and high-powered fans can get the job done. Ford power means there’s no shortage of ways to wring more ponies from your Panther. If you’re truly batty, you could always go HemiPanter. This example could benefit from a little fit and finish work, and a maybe repainting that front bumper to match the body. The Pantera-specialist dealer says they’re still looking for backup offers at $37 grand.

In case you hadn’t heard, Bob Lutz’ last day at GM was a little while ago. While many remember him for such spectacular failures at the GTO and G8, it’s important to remember he was a driving force behind the creation of the Viper in his Chrysler days. In honor of that, and because it’s definitely the fastest of the three, we also offer up a 2005 Dodge Viper. In a way, it’s a kindred spirit to the Pantera, eschewing balance and grace for Hammer of Thor grade brutality. To date, the Viper is the scariest vehicle I’ve ever driven. With 10 cylinders, 500hp and six gears to play with, you there’s not much out there that’d stand a chance…provided you can avoid wrapping the whole thing around a tree. We’re kinda cheating here, because this one has a salvage title, purportedly due to a minor wreck that required some work on the nose cone. The reserve’s not met at $29k, but the Buy It Now’s only $36k.

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