A Racer’s Perspective VII: Sports Classics

Sports Classics: this class covers a wide range of different kinds of cars.  Everything from the uber expensive exotic classics, to the classic low riding hoopties, 70s cruisers, and even a car that became notorious by way of its affiliation with some 1920s American gangsters.  All of these cars are trouble makers in some way, shape, or form, whether it is sheer speed and evading the police, to noise violations, to drive by shootings, to driving a little under the speed limit with questionable “fumes” escaping the shoddy insulation.  Why do you keep getting in trouble with the law?

I see.  You want it.  You want it bad.  You want to be able to handle the curves and listen to it scream so all of your neighbors can hear it and know that she is responding to what you are doing to her.  You want to be the reason everyone on the street is envious of you, because you have her.  Am I right?  Of course I am, so let’s take a look…

Lets first have a look at the Coquette Classic.  This is an obvious Corvette, specifically a C2 (second generation), which first came out in 1963.  The only real difference is that the headlights are non-pop up (actually looks a lot like the C3 third generation), so you may as well assume that the car is basically an early ‘Vette.  The Corvette/quette comes as a hard top or convertible and they look awesome!  I preferred the convertible just so I could go with a roll cage and show my bad little self off.  The real live ‘Vette version might be the inspiration behind the new Stingray, which is a new car that a lot of people have been looking forward to, but for the time being, lets settle on the classic.

Ever since this car came out with the San Andreas Flight School update, no other car in this class has seen as much mileage.  I simply love this car.  It is simple, it is small, it has masses amounts of torque and kicking the rear end of the car out in a massive powerslide or cookie just puts a smile on my face.  In stock form, this car might be the fastest in the class.  That is not the case when some of these cars are fully tuned, but the reason i continue to use this car is because I am confident I can hunt almost anyone down in it.  Plus the soundtrack is pretty good, this has an excellent sounding engine.  Top speed and acceleration are both phenomenal.  Cornering is excellent.  Braking….is fairly horrible.  Especially in stock form you will need to get ready for any upcoming turns by making sure you hit your braking zone and stick to it.  It is better to brake too early and gain speed at corner Apex than understeer off the road completely or try to fix it by sliding through the turn (as fun as that is).  You can have a look at the video below, an in car view of the C2 at the Nurburgring against other cars of that era.  You can see that the car has trouble braking and cornering, but can keep up on the straights (they get on it a little later in the video, so fastforward).  Also: I spy somthing at 6:25 that creeps up on the right.  Do you see anything that looks familiar?

One car I am very torn about is the Dewbauchee JB 700.  700, an obvious tip of the hat to a certain James Bond (007).  The car is very much inspired by the 007’s Aston Martins, in this case, the DB4 and DB5 (the 1960s versions).  Watch it in action below.

The car itself has a lot of these little gadgets and these can be used in a couple of missions.  Unfortunately, for online racing, I don’t see these gadgets being very useful (or even useable).  There are guns mounted above the headlights (instead of having the pop-out versions in the 007 version of the car) but I have never been able to figure out how to USE them in GTA race.  That is not to say this is a bad car for racing, it is very quick.  It’s top speed matches the Coquette in stock form, although the acceleration is a little bit slower.  This can be easily changed by tuning the car.  You can also brake deeper into the corner than the Coquette, so it might be worth your time to have a hard look at this car if you expect to be taking some turns.  Get ready for the oversteer.  It is not a hard snap oversteer, in fact it is fairly predictable when it is sliding.  Great fun for drifting, in fact, if you are trying to take first place, I recommend keeping the drifting to a minimum.  Thank you JazzVI for getting a snap of this pretty car below.

Our first hoopty, the Albany Manana, has been around GTA for everrrrr and is your basic hoopty.  Large, somewhat slow, and not really noticeable, which I suppose is perfect for doing a drive-by in a bad neighborhood where the cops won’t show up.  I wouldn’t be taking this vehicle on too many races, however.  It is called a Manana because you ain’t crossing the finish line until the next day…

The Pegassi Monroe has the basic shape of a Lamborghini Miura or a Ford GT40 (or new Ford GT, but since this is a classics class, I assume the former).  Back in the day, the GT40 was quite the rocket, specifically in the GT series and endurance racing.  Here is some footage of it at the 1968 24 Hours of Le Mans.  At the very beginning, have a look at the Cirque de la Sarthe race track, where the 24 Hours of Le Mans is held.  There are TREES and walls everywhere, much different from how the track is now.  The drivers at this race during the early days were extremely brave and had exceptional skill.

The Monroe is no slacker either.  It has great speed, has some of the fasted top end speeds of the class.  It handles very well and has good acceleration.  Braking is also very good, despite the car’s size.  That is really the only downfall of the car, it handles like a large car, despite having good overall traction.  It takes only a moment to get used to it, but once you understand the car, it is very quick, and can compete against the fastest cars in the class.

Here are two cars, The Stinger and the Stinger GT that I consider to be reminiscent of the Dino Ferrari 250 GTOs (with what appears to be a Shelby Daytona rear end) Legendarymotorsports dot com advertises the GT as being the sport/performance/racer model, but I can’t see any difference whatsoever in terms of their performance, so the question really is if you would like to spend a little bit extra ($850,000 vs $871,000) for a hard top rather than the convertible edition.  You can check out Martin Brundle below as he throws around what is often quoted as being a $14 million dollar car.

Speed in the Stinger is pretty good.  Not the best, in my opinion, but definitely competitive, especially if it is tuned.  Handling is easy and predictable, acceleration is MUCH better if you tune the engine, and top speed is up there nipping at the heels of the front runners.  Braking definitely could be better. 

Another hoopty in the class is a Vapid Peyote which is basically a 1950s Ford Thunderbird with what appear to be Cadillac lights off of a 1960s Coupe DeVille.  I’ll be honest, this car is not fast, but it is gangstuh.  That era of luxury model cars had tendencies to get lowered on some small spoke wheels, this car can be a looker if you hook her up with some aftermarket parts.

If there is a sleeper in this class it would have to be the Lampadati Pigalle, seen above, part of the “No I’m not a Hipster” package.  I call it a sleeper because it doesn’t look like much, maybe an early Maserati, and you can even make it look like it has been rusted out and not kept up, despite its $400,000 price tag (if you want a rat looking vehicle).  But this car yields the best traction in the class, and its acceleration and top end speeds are not bad at all, not the best, but depending on the course layout, this car can easily make up for any gap lost on the straights (if you push hard in the corners).  It is also very predictable, making it a calm drive even at speed.

So you think you are a gangster.

Not if you don’t have the Albany Roosevelt, part of the Valentine’s Day Massacre Special.  This car is basically Al Capone’s four-door 1928 Cadillac Model 341.  It gets it’s name “Roosevelt” because there were rumors that following the Pearl Harbor attacks, the Secret Service found a need to create an armored vehicle for President Roosevelt in case of an attempt on his life.  Not wanting to wait very long to build one, they turned to Capone and borrowed his armored vehicle to transport the President.  These rumors turned out to be false, but the car is real, and comes equipped as a 1920s rolling tank.  Wanna off somebody?  Get your girls to grab their tommy guns and let them stand on the running boards on the car, it can make for a quick in-and-out assassination.  There is so much style in this car, it is a true joy.  It even comes in green, like Capone’s car once did.  For a rolling tank from the prohibition era, it isn’t particularly quick in a race, but if you have your girls with you and certain cops who haven’t been paid off yet try to bother you, something tells me you can handle them easily.

There are four versions of the Declasse Tornado.  FOUR.  And much like the Stingers, there really isn’t any performance difference that I can see between all versions of the car, so then the question becomes: do you want a prestine 1957 Chevy Bel Air convertible or hardtop, or do you want a crappy run down version of the car?  I don’t see this car winning too many races, it is large and slower than the other high performance versions of the sports classics.  Although if you want a rat-looking car, you can do it.  If you want something pretty, classic, and original, then this also fits the bill.  I won’t be buying this car anytime soon.  In fact, I believe Dr. Rosenthal has a project for sale, if you are interested, a pic is posted below.

As for the other Buggatti in the game, the Truffade Z-Type is based off of the classic Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic, one of the most expensive cars of the world and perhaps the fastest car at the time.  In stock form, this car is outperformed by some others in the class, but fully tuned, I would argue it is the fastest car of the class.  That being said, I would have to say, I do not use this car very often.  I have one, and trust me, it is fast, its acceleration is smooth and simple, it’s top speed is unmatched in the class, it brakes very well, it has excellent tractionand then the rear end slips out

Its very weird.  It is slightly prone to oversteer, which isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, but when the car begins to slide is when you run into trouble.  Some cars are very easy to control when they begin to slip, just a little counter-steer, a little throttle (or back off of the throttle) and there you have it, back in play!  Some cars give you no warning.  You just find yourself backwards randomly.  This car is neither of these scenarios…its odd.  It starts to slide, and then you countersteer…everything happens slowly and you think it is predictable, but it isn’t; the car basically decides whether it wants to cooperate or not, and sometimes it is just like no, we are going THIS way!  While I appreciate the enthusiasm, this attitude becomes problematic in racing situations.  There are no “small mistakes” to make in this car.

Another drawback is price.  Why would you spend damn near a million dollars for a stock Z-Type if you are going to crash in the first turn?  And you will crash.  That being said, this car is also very strong and reliable when the armor is upgraded, smashing into a wall at speed does not appear to adversely affect the car.  I would say that this is the fastest car in the class, if you can hold her together.  Despite being a little quirky, she is capable of doing some serious damage, both in terms of trashing your opponents and crashing into a building.

Finally, I come to the new car in the class, the Lampadati Casco.  Part of the Heists update, this car impressed me right from the start.  Based upon the Maserati 3500 GT, this thing is a looker.  Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear once said that this car is a lot like “Jordan and Cameron Diaz. In a bath together. With a Lightning jet fighter. And lots of jelly”.  Not sure what that is about, but the car is definitely a looker.  She not only looks good, she sounds so delicious at full throttle.  This may be one of the best sounding vehicles in the game. 

In terms of performance, this car is very fast, on par with the Coquette when fully tuned and actually has better braking.  By the numbers, the Z-Type is faster, but since the DLC came out, I find myself driving this car more and more.  I love it.  It is a blast to drive, it looks good, sounds good, and can win races if you push her hard.

*UPDATED* Ill-Gotten Gains

As part of the Ill-Gotten Gains DLC, we find the Benefactor Stirling GT.  This car is blatantly a 1950s Mercedes 300SL, complete with Gullwing doors and everything.  This classic vehicle was driven by and named after the famed Stirling Moss, legendary Formula 1 driver and all around awesome Mercedes wheel-man.  This car looks beautiful, and can be modified to look like a purpose built, old school, rally fighter (you can even opt to have a spare wheel on the back).  The car sounds glorious, given the time period, not so much of a roar, but more of a stern purr (if there is such a thing).  Check out GottaPlayGTA’s Stirling below for a good look at this classic!

San Andreas

In terms of performance, this car has the best handling of the class, it is also small, and nimble (if you are ready for the rear end to break loose every now and then).  Braking is phenomenal, and to be honest, the only thing that the car is lacking is in the top speed department.  Acceleration is superb.

So what is in your garage, Reckless?  Since the Ill-Gotten Gains DLC part one was released, I plan on keeping only two cars in this class now, the Stirling, for its awesome cornering and acceleration performance, and the Z-Type, which is still the heavyweight hitter in terms of top speed.  Stay tuned for more!

*Disclaimer: these are my opinions. While I love racing in GTA, the in game physics are simply not what I would call a driving simulator. Having said that, I believe the physics for a game are very good, which means strategy and knowledge are both crucial to winning races. Furthermore, many of the cars have different strengths/weaknesses and the driver is always a determining factor in winning races. These are my opinions, and I am open to discussion and alternative perspectives on these matters.*

Live fast, die young.

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5 thoughts on “A Racer’s Perspective VII: Sports Classics

  1. Great column as ever.
    one correction, the boss is pictured with a yellow Bullit, ie the retro 2010s era Ford GT, as opposed to the Miura/Munroe.

    I had assumed the Lampadati Casco. was based on a Ferrari 250 GT Coupe but I think youre right it is more like the Maserati 3500, and the use of the Lapadati as opposed to Grotti name seems to back this. Man i love that era of cars.

  2. Oh also the Lampadati Pigalle is mostly a Citroen SM.. it did have a 90degree V6 made by Maserati tho. French styling, italian reliability….nevertheless one of my all time favourite cars

  3. Good call on the Bullitt. Way to ruin my segway haha! And whoa on the Citroen! I have never seen these before (not very exposed to them where I am)

    That is cray! Also: I can TOTALLY see the Ferrari 250 GT front on the Lampadati. I love that car!

  4. Loving the Stirling, but the Casco still sounds the best. Everyone keeps on about the Pigalle, it just looks like a pig. I think my sports classic collection seems to be growing – Monroe (in yellow as per Miura – GT40?), Casco (with tuner tyres for ultimate handling), Stirling (check out the rubber on the back axle – mine’s high end) and the ‘Pink Goddess’ Tornado Convertible, just because… (will post some shots later, when I’ve cleared some space)

    • I agree, the Casco has such a wonderful soundtrack. The Stirling sounds good in a nerdy kind of way, I mean that car sounds like that era of racecar. The Casco just sounds mean, deep, throaty growl.

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