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As the saying goes, it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye… or until someone overcorrects and slams into a guardrail.

Here are five dangerous cars that appear to be designed to ensure a fool and his money are soon parted.



Dodge Viper



The Dodge Viper was the last car to be made without traction control or electronic stability control, two nifty computerized gadgets that can prevent one from crashing due to an accidental over-application of power — which is frightfully easy to do in the V10-powered Viper. No surprise that the attrition rate among these cars is huge….

But don’t listen to us. Shop for your Dodge Viper here.



AC-Shelby 427 Cobra



The 427 Cobra is dangerous for the same reason as the Viper: An excess of power and a shortage of electronic safety nets. But the Cobra ups the danger ante with primitive brakes, insufficient seat belts and open body work. There isn’t even an airbag to give you a fighting chance. Replicas may have somewhat more modern hardware, but a badly handled Cobra is still a tricky beast.

But it won’t happen to you, right? Find your Shelby Cobra here.



Old Porsche 911s



The 911’s design, with the engine behind the rear wheels, is a fundamentally bad idea: Once the rear end breaks loose, it swings around like a pendulum. Porsche spent years trying to mitigate the 911’s dangerous tenancies, but it wasn’t until 1998 with the introduction of electronic stability control (Porsche Stability Management, or PSM) that the problem was largely nullified. (Of course, you can still turn PSM off.) 911s have lots of grip, but drive them too fast and they can quickly result in an untimely demise.

But you can handle it … right? Find your classic Porsche 911 here.



Any muscle car of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s



Detroit developed powerful engines long before they developed competent suspensions or adequate brakes. Most fire-breathing muscle cars have soggy springs that all but eliminate the option of high-speed directional changes, along with drum brakes that are barely useful to begin with and purely decorative after a few hard stops. Once up to speed, they are more like unguided missiles than cars.

But they sure do look and sound good! Find your classic muscle car here.



Volkswagen Beetle



“What?” you say. “The innocent-looking Beetle wouldn’t hurt a fly!”

Indeed, while flies may be safe in the confines of the Beetle, humans are not. Older Bugs have the same swing-axle suspension that flipped the Corvair on its roof, along with seats seemingly designed to launch occupants out the rear window if the car is rear ended. After his attack on the Corvair, Ralph Nader went after the Beetle (read Small on Safety: The Designed-In Dangers of the Volkswagen). People liked VW more than GM so they didn’t pay attention, but you should.

But it can’t be dangerous … it’s so cute! Find your VW Beetle here.



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Porsche pic reminds me of when the 996 GT2 came out and was quickly nicknamed the widowmaker. Someone moron here bought their kid a 996 GT2 as his first car when they came out, went to school with my buddies younger brother. Yeah.... take a guess at what happened lol. I mean what parent does that? I can totally just picture them in the dealer going give me that cool looking Porsche not knowing wtf the car was capable of.

But back to the Porsches, the 80's turbos were wild, and pretty scary. Not fast by todays standards, but the turbos were basically an on/off switch lol... you could be cruising through a corner and then WHAM.... lol
 

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While I've never raced one, I've ridden shotgun in a classic 911 during many special stages of closed twisty roads. It had modern suspension and brake upgrades, and despite only 200hp, it weighed 1000kg and was easily up there with the GT3's on tight enough roads - mainly because the driver was exceptional (not me). I can see how the early 930 turbos got the widowmaker label but truth is they handle really well if you are aggressive with them. They will turn in faster than most, but once committed you CANNOT back off. The car responds to being driven like you stole it, back off in a turn and you fly off. Quite addictive and catchable once you get the feel... but poor throttle control on a turbo would make it more extreme, the pros would be using the throttle like they had parkinsons disease on tricky turns, not smooth cars on the limit like the new ones are

The Viper? MEh - that's just bad judgment, they're good handling cars until a Mustang driver hops in and thinks they can keep their foot in to get out of trouble. It's not a 911 that likes that. Most decent drivers would be happy to drive in the rain in a Viper if the tires were good and push on in a twisty road, they're pretty damn good cars if we can apply throttle control north of a 16 year old child in a tantrum.

The Cobra - no shit. At least those old tires liked to drift and gave a good window to play with if you didn't mash it. Again, the 16 year olds were going to spin, only faster.

The Beetle - yep - non of the British small cars fared well in crashes either.. better to not crash
 
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