These Road Cars Actually Started Out As Race Cars

These road-legal cars have the ultimate motorsport pedigree, being developed as race cars first and road cars second.

There is no doubt that motorsport is the inspiration behind some of the most amazing builds in the market today, from sports cars to supercars, not forgetting hot hatches and hypercars. The technology behind these amazing cars has led to some of the most revolutionary technology applied to incredible road cars.

Other than the tech, racecars have also influenced the design of road cars. Today, many car manufacturers are going for aerodynamically efficient designs and applying these even to their big builds like SUVs and trucks.

Thus, it is safe to say that most, if not all road cars, draw their inspiration from racecars. And these ten road cars are a perfect example of that. Let us have a look at some road cars that started life as racecars.

7 MkIII Ford GT

Via: YouTube

While road cars draw their inspiration from racecars, racecars have sometimes been known to draw their inspiration from rivalries. One of the most famous automotive rivalries that made the world better for gearheads is that of Ford vs Ferrari. The story behind this rivalry echoes in the motor world hallways.

Via: YouTube

The Ford GT was built to go up against the prancing horses during the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race. This car was Ford’s way of showing Ferrari that they had what it took to build better cars than Ferrari. Famously, the Ford GT took all the spots on the podium, and following this victory, Ford built the MkIII Ford as the road variant of the Ford GT.

6 2017 Ford GT

Via: Car and Driver

The rivalry between Ford and Ferrari has lived on long after the two men who started it were gone. In 2016, Ford went up against Ferrari at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans race as part of the 50thanniversary of their 1966 victory.


Ford announced that they were building both the racecar and the road car of the Ford GT. In 2016, history repeated itself and Ford beat Ferrari in the GTE class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans competition. The road car variant then debuted in 2017, famously featuring a turbocharged V6 EcoBoost engine.

5 Dauer-Porsche 962

Via: Supercars

Porsche is one of the many European car companies that built its reputation on motorsport. The Porsche 962 was one of Porsche’s most dominant vehicles in the 1980s. This car’s success in motorsport was represented by the number of championship titles under its belt.

RELATED: 10 Amazing Modified Porsche 911s We’d Love To Take For A Spin

Via: Supercars

The Dauer-Porsche 962 was the brainchild of Jochen Dauer, known for stripping down racecars and converting them to supercar road cars between 1993 and 1997. After its success, Porsche took up the Dauer Porsches and claimed them as their homologation cars, to be enrolled in the Le Mans GTE classes.

4 Ferrari 250

Via: Petrolicious

Most classic Ferrari cars were born out of motorsport, often through homologation. The Ferrari 250 is no different. This car started its racing career at the 1952 Mille Miglia. At this race, it debuted as the Ferrari 250 S Berlinetta.

Via: ClassicCars

Although this car was slower on the straights compared to its counterparts from Mercedes, the Ferrari 250 still took the victory. After this victory, Ferrari signed up the 250 in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was, however, replaced with the Ferrari 250 MM (Mille Miglia). In 1953, Ferrari built and released the Ferrari 250 road variant.

3 Ferrari 288 GTO

Via: Sports Car Digets

The Ferrari 288 GTO was a racecar that unfortunately never got a chance to race. Ferrari built 288 GTO to participate in the Group B rally series. However, by the time they were done, the FIA had canceled the Group B rally due to safety concerns.

Via: Autoevolution

The 288 GTO went on to become of the most popular and most coveted Ferrari cars in the world. Today, this car is one of the most expensive Ferrari collectible cars.

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2 Jaguar XKSS


The original Jaguar XKSS is one of the rarest Jaguar cars in the market today thanks to a fire that destroyed a number of XKSS cars back in 1957. In recent years, however, Jaguar has rebuilt the destroyed cars to spec.

Via: News Atlas

The Jaguar XKSS was a road variant of the D-type racer. The D-Type racer dominated the 1955 to 1957 Le Mans competition. The XKSS then debuted in 1957, built on the chassis of the D-Type.

1 Lancia Stratos

Via: Carscoops

Lancia was once one of the best race teams in the world. At its peak, Lancia built and raced the Lancia Stratos HF, a lightweight and compact wedge car that went above and beyond what most people expected from a racecar of its stature.

RELATED: The Rise And Fall Of Lancia Automobiles S.p.A.

Via: Supercars

This WRC champion dominated for 5 years (1972 to 1977). Because of the homologation rule, Lancia built 500 road variants of the Lancia Stratos HF and named them the Lancia Stratos. It is, however, believed that Lancia built only 492 units of the Lancia Stratos.

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