Mainstream manufacturers such as Ford, Chevrolet and Honda are good at making cars that you can drive every day. Some smaller companies, however, are great at making ones that you can only drive on special occasions.
Small-volume automakers typically produce models aimed at niche markets. As a result, you technically can drive them on a daily basis, but you have to wait until the sun is shining to truly enjoy them.
Much like motorcycle owners, the people who buy these cars don’t do so with the intention of racking up tons of miles on their morning commute. But rather, they buy them as a way to turn their Sunday drives into moments of indulgence.
Here are five cars that are perfect on a sunny day:
Photo via Campagna
You probably wouldn’t guess it, based on how exposed you are to the elements in the T-Rex, but this three-wheeler ironically is build north of the border in Canada. The T-Rex’s streamlined look isn’t just for show, either, as this thing can give most sports cars a run for their money off the line. Powered by a 160-horsepower BMW in-line six-cylinder engine, the 525-kilogram (1,157-pound) T-Rex has a power to weight ratio of 305 horsepower per metric ton, and can reach 60 mph in 3.9 seconds.
Photo via Caterham
The Caterham Seven was one of the first warm-weather toys consumers could buy. Designed by Colin Chapman, the Seven originally was produced by Lotus, and Caterham purchased the rights to make it in the 1970s. Since then it’s produced various lightweight versions, the performance of which boggles the mind.
Photo via BAC
If you want to experience a pure driving experience, the BAC Mono is the car for you. As the most faithful interpretation of a Formula Ford car for the road, the Mono offers an unabridged field of view, as well as audible and tactile feedback that other cars can’t, thanks to its single-seat layout. Oh, and on certain road courses, it will send a track-only McLaren P1 GTR home with its tail between its legs.
Photo via Polaris
Polaris interestingly markets the Slingshot as a “three-wheeled motorcycle.” But as far as we’re concerned, if a vehicle has a steering wheel, throttle pedal and upright driver and passenger seats, it’s a car. Plus, Polaris has proven you can drift the Slingshot on a track, and you can’t say that about a motorcycle unless your name is Valentino Rossi.
Photo via Ariel
If the Mono provides the purest driving experience on this list, the Atom is a close second. Although it isn’t a single-seater like the Mono, the Atom similarly has an open cockpit design and a tube-frame chassis. If you’re feeling daring, you can opt for a V-8 in the back of your Atom. And if you do that, it will come with a front and rear wing to help keep you out of a ditch.
Thumbnail photo via Polaris
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