10 Lust-Worthy Classic Sports Cars

Get revved with a racy photo book full of auto erotica.

If you’re into gorgeous retro rides, take a spin through Jared Zaugg’s Gentlemen, Start Your Engines: The Bonhams Guide to Classic Sports & Race Cars.  UK-based Bonhams auctions some of the world’s most impressively old-timey Ferraris, Maseratis, Porsches and more, some of which sell for millions, and Zaugg has steered the hottest wheels into an oversized coffee table book. It’s full-throttle car porn, but the author’s exceptional taste kicks it into high gear.

Zaugg, who worked with Bonhams in the U.S., co-founded the now-defunct Legend of the Motorcycle annual event and launched super-chic men’s clothing line Bench & Loom, inspired by style gods Steve McQueen and James Dean. His 320-page tome is jammed with photos of classics from 1900 all the way up to 1997. Zaugg’s zippy text gives the book’s dream machines more than mere curb appeal, and includes key details like how much they sold for at auction.

Zaugg attributes his obsessive focus on sports and race cars to the fact that nearly all major innovations in automotive history were driven by the spirit of competition. “Racing represents the best of us,” Zaugg writes. “Ingenuity, competitiveness, perseverance, hope, bravery, sportsmanship, and, sometimes, humility.” Here are ten of the coolest classics from Gentleman, Start Your Engines:

1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300

“Few great classic sports cars can match the intense sensory overload provided by the supreme Alfa Romeo 8C 2300,” Zaugg writes. “From visual, auditory, olfactory and tactical senses, the mix is lusty and unforgettable.” Sold for: $4.2 million in 2012

1951 Ferrari 212 Export Berlinetta

This early race-bred Ferrari V12 was purchased new by Augusto Caraceni of the famed House of Caraceni, one of the “fathers” of Italian tailoring. Only four of these cars bodied by Carozzeria Touring were ever built. Sold for: $3.2 million in 2014

1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing

The famous Gullwing,”born from enormous racing success” is “an undisputed icon of mid-century design,” Zaugg notes. “It is no exaggeration to say that it is one of the greatest cars ever made.” It later inspired the SLS AMG. Sold for: $1.3 million in 2014

1957 Porsche 356A Speedster

James Dean and Steve McQueen both raced Porsche 356A Speedsters, the car that would evolve into the iconic 911. “No other car achieves the combination of comfort, performance and fuel economy of the Porsche,” Road & Track gushed at the time. Sold for: $253,000 in 2014

1960 Aston Martin DB4 GT Jet Coupe

Aston Martin commissioned designer Giorgetto Giugiaro of Bertone, who was only 22, to give its well-bred British DB4 GT coupe some serious Italian style. Out of a handful originally produced, only one beautiful specimen remains. Sold for: $5 million in 2013

1963 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster

The convertible version of the Gullwing was a “marvel of engineering and design” with a top speed of 150 mph, astounding at the time. Though extremely refined, the luxurious sports cars “never strayed from their racing roots.” Sold for: $1.8 million in 2014

1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C

A competition version of the super-cool coupe owned by the likes of Steve McQueen and Miles Davis, it “remains one of the most beautiful Ferraris ever created,” Zaugg declares. “It’s stunning to look at from any angle, and to many it represents the perfect embodiment of the 1960s sports car.” Sold for: $9.4 million in 2015

1967 Iso Grifo 5.4-Liter Coupe

Not all incredibly sexy classic Italian cars cost seven figures; the Iso Grifo is proof that “pedigree doesn’t mean a thing,” Car and Driver noted. In fact, this bad-ass coupe was powered by a humble Chevrolet 5.4-liter, V8 engine. Sold for: $298,000 in 2014

1972 Lamborghini Miura SV Coupé

When first introduced as a concept in 1965, Lamborghini’s beautiful Miura “set the whole motoring world on its ear,” Road & Track reported. The SV Coupé version in 1972 served as the ultimate expression of what had come to be known as the world’s first supercar. Sold for: $1.4 million in 2013

1979 BMW M1 Pro-Car

BMW’s collection of Art Cars painted by famous artists is one of the most valuable automotive assemblages in the world. In 1979, artist Frank Stella painted an already enviable M1, which was later exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum. Sold for: $854,000 in 2011