Top 10 Cars to Scare the Daylights Out of You on Halloween
Don’t tell me you don’t believe in ghosts. They’re out there, man, and not just on Halloween. I think several live in my laptop, in my digital camera and in my #@$%^&* Soviet Cold War-Era Apple iPhone 6. My home internet service seems to be run by them, too. And those are just the household appliance variety. There are many more in the automotive world. With Halloween only a day away, consider getting one of these to ride around in and placate the spirits. If Rolls-Royce, with three great otherworldly names, is too rich for your blood, try any of several Dodge products, ranging from the Demon to the far-less-pricey Shadow, both of which you’ll find on the used car market. That might be the scariest place of all.
Oh, and one more thing: Boo!
Truth be told, there is nothing at all scary about this Ghost. It’s new from the Pantheon Grille to the new LED taillights. In fact the only things carried over from the previous record-setting-sales Ghost are the Spirit of Ecstasy on the hood and the umbrellas in each rear door. Everything else is brand spankin’ new.
The whole thing rides on a new aluminum space frame, some of which is shared with the Phantom and the Cullinan, but used here is sized just right for this new automobile. In all three applications it’s known as The Architecture of Luxury. In the Ghost it is optimized for quiet, comfort and even a little handling. Yes handling.
“We’ve been able to take all the other improvements from the Architecture of Luxury, and before we built it we asked current Ghost owners, ‘What would you like in a new Ghost?” explained Rolls spokesman Gerry Spahn. “They wanted it to be simplified. They feel the Ghost was an alternative to the ostentatious nature of the Phantom. The Phantom is opulent. They wanted something more personal. And they wanted a driving car. This is the Rolls-Royce that became a daily driver. It’s such a manageable, wonderful car to drive.”
And then they let me drive it. And it was opulent, and it did drive like a Rolls-Royce, and even though it was 18 feet long, I took it up into the hills on some very twisty mountain roads I knew. The thing I liked about this large performance sedan was it allowed a little roll, a bit more than many competitors that use those new 48-volt torque-twisting anti-roll bars to virtually eliminate roll. This one leaned over a little and felt more natural. And driving anything is just a matter of figuring out its limits and then exploiting them. So in that regard, in the context of a 5,628-pound succulent living room, it was fun to drive.
The 6.75-liter twin-turbo V12 was so polite in performing its duties, it felt almost like an electric motor, though one making silent and effortless 563 hp. I’ve been lucky enough to drive all three of the new Rollers and if I had to pick one I’d pick this one. There, I said it.
One source I found said Rolls-Royce picks these names because, like a Phantom, few people see it and even fewer touch one, just like the car. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I have been lucky enough to not only see and touch but drive this Phantom and the one before it. The most surprising thing about both of them was that they could actually handle. That probably has something to do with BMW’s ownership of the company, and BMW knows how to make a car handle.
The difference with the Phantom is you’ll more than likely be sitting in the back while someone else drives, which is unfortunate, but you have an empire to run and you can’t be bothered with trivialities like driving. The Phantom gets the same V12 as the Ghost and even weighs about the same, so not driving might mean missing out on all the fun.
Wraith is more of a proper Halloween name, “a spectre seen just before death.” Yipee! Think of it as a fastback Ghost. It rides on the previous Ghost platform and uses the 6.6-liter V12 in the old Ghost instead of the new model’s 6.75 liter. The Wraith’s stylish body makes it easily the best-looking of the Rollers. So if you’re looking for looks instead of performance, though you’ll get both here, each in its own way, pick the Wraith.
These two Shadows cover both ends of the pricing spectrum. The Rolls Silver Shadow was built from the mid-‘60s to the early ‘80s before it passed the name on to the Dodge Shadow, appearing in 1987 and actually hanging on, against all odds, till 1994. . For the record, the scariest driving experience I ever had in my life, after a ride in Elon Musk’s boring tunnel, was driving a Dodge Shadow turbo V6 on the German Autobahn. That thing moved around in ways sudden and terrifying unlike anything before or since. It made plenty of horsepower to go fast, but no one thought to design a suspension that would keep it going straight. Scary indeed.
Never heard anything about copyright infringement in this case. As if anyone would mistake the 1989-’94 Dodge Spirit for the 1980s Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit.
With 840 hp, 770 lb ft of torque, 0-60 in 2.1 seconds, 9.5 seconds in the quarter mile and a 203-mph top speed, surely this beast is straight outta hell. Alas, it was exorcised from the market after only 3,300 units were made. The last one hit the showroom in 2018, condemning the model to the used car market, surely a special kind of hell. (There was also a Dodge Demon in the early ‘70s, one of the few bright spots of that decade.)
And what kind of pets do they have in hell? Hellcats! Unlike the Demon, this one is still being made. Granted, you’ll have to get by with just 717 hp, but if that’s not enough, get the Hellcat Redeye, which turns out 797. That’ll get you outta hell! Boo!
When they introduced this supercar to us in the press, they said it was named for a Spanish fighting bull. Now I learn that Murcielago means “bat” in Spanish. Who knew? Well, the world’s 580 million Spanish speakers knew, for sure. And bats are part of Halloween, as any kid who had to cut out bats from construction paper in elementary school can tell you. So here is your 661-hp bat.
Diablo was named after another fighting bull, in keeping with tradition. Now, we all know that Diablo means devil in Spanish. And this car was a devil to handle, ask anyone who has ever tried to autocross one. I myself practically spun one on Mulholland and I wasn’t even trying. The Diablo maxed out at 575 hp in street trim, showing you the power of the devil. Watch out!
For the record, Pontiac never produced a Banshee beyond some concepts. But they were cool concepts, sort of like Pontiac Corvettes. Too bad GM never made any. GM did see fit to sort of give Cadillac its own Corvette with the stylish XLR, but I digress.
These three styling exercises were made by the great Italian designer Franco Scaglione, while he was working for Bertone. They were created for Alfa Romeo and have been held up as paragons of styling glory since. Just a few nights ago they sold for $14.8 milion, a truly otherworldly sum.
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