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Rare Race Cars You Can Drive on the Street

 The phrase "a racing car with license plates" is one that's used all too liberally in the automotive world, but the cars in this list are the real deal. They are the ones that blur the line between the road and track - bred for competition, but enjoyable on the street too. Some of them are actual sports prototype racing cars (that have seen action in real competition) converted for road use, while others were created as road-going adaptations of their racing counterparts. Furthermore, many of them are unique. Let's dive into the world of road-legal race cars:  
Click on images to enlarge
1. Lotus Elise GT1
Number Built: 1
Based on the diminutive production Elise, this beautiful Lotus wasn't a very successful racing car, but that doesn't take away anything from its aggressive beauty or rarity. In fact, just a single GT1 was entered in the 1997 24 Hours of Le Mans due to concerns about the car being able to last the distance. Just a single road-going example was ever made to bring the car in line with 1990s racing homologation rules.
2. Ferrari 330 P3/4 
Number Built: 1
This car, chassis 0846, is basically a phoenix fashioned out of metal. Starting off life as a 330 P3 in 1966, it was upgraded to its unique P3/4 specification before being destroyed in an accident at the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans, with what was left of it ending up in Ferrari's scrap yard. Somehow, owner James Glickenhaus acquired the priceless parts and had the car brought back to life in the early 2000s. He had the car certified by Ferrari inspectors to verify that it was the actual unique P3/4 chassis number 0846. Cars don't get much cooler than this.
3. Toyota GT-One Road Version 
Number Built: 2
The GT-One nearly won the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans, and was easily the fastest car competing that year. Driver Ukyo Katayama, driving the #3 car, was hunting down the lead BMW V12 LMR before a tire blowout ended his race. The two road-going versions of the GT-One in existence reside in museums in Europe and Japan respectively. 
4. Nissan R390 
Number Built: 1
This unique car was created purely to bring its racing siblings in line with the endurance competition rules at the time of their manufacture in the late 1990s. For many years, its was rumored that two road-going R390s were made, because this car was painted red for a time (it was believed to be an entirely different car). It's now resplendent in its original deep blue, locked away securely inside Nissan's Zama warehouse (where it keeps all of its most precious creations) in Japan. 
5. McLaren F1 GT
Number Built: 3
The "regular" version of the McLaren F1 GTR swept to victory at the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans, however endurance racing rules changed in the ensuing years, meaning that the manufacturer had to create a modified version of the car (which became known as the Longtail) to be able to go racing in the 1997 season.
McLaren was only obliged to build one road-going version of its Longtail racing cars to meet the new rules, however two very lucky customers got their hands on their very own. This silver and black car belongs to a private collector, and is currently in Japan.
6. Schuppan-Porsche 962CR
Number Built: 6
These cars are based on the Le Mans-winning Porsche 962, which (incredibly) remained competitive for the better part of a decade, and feature the racing car's engine. In the early 1990s, a couple of these cars were due to be shipped to collectors in Japan, but when payment for them didn't materialize, this led to the bankruptcy of both Vern Schuppan's eponymous company and racing team. Only five of 962CRs still exist today - one was lost in a fire some years ago. 
7. Ferrari F40 LM 
Number Built: 19
The production Ferrari F40, which is considered to be one of the most exciting cars ever made, is relatively well-known. What's less well-known is that Ferrari also made 19 hardcore LM versions of the car, and went racing. They feature different wheels, Plexiglass headlamps, lightened bodywork and a much more powerful engine. Privateer racing teams raced the cars successfully in the 1990s, and they are now highly collectible. An LM recently changed hands for $3.3 million. 
8. Porsche 911 GT1-98 Street Version 
Number Built: 1
This 1998-spec 911 GT1 is the only road-going version of the car that went on to win the 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans. It's essentially a museum piece, only making the occasional appearance at prestigious motor shows. It's arguably one of the most beautiful Le Mans prototypes created in the late 1990s, and continued Porsche's long and successful heritage at one of the world's most famous races. 
9. Ford GT40 MkIII 
Number Built: 7
The GT40 won the 24 Hours of Le Mans four times in a row in the mid-1960s, turning it into a legend. The MkIII was a toned down, road-going version of the race cars, featuring four headlights, a detuned engined and extended bodywork to provide a little luggage space. Four left-hand-drive and three right-hand-drive MkIIIs were made, and Ford even advertised the model for sale on TV despite its prohibitively expensive price. 
10. Jaguar XKSS
Number Built: 25 (production run completed in 2016)
This model came into being when Jaguar founder, Sir William Lyons, wished to recoup some of the financial investment that the company had made to go racing at Le Mans. In fact, all extant XKSSs were created by building up existing D-Type racing chassis, and modifying them to make them suitable for road use (the D-Type was a three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, taking top honors in 1955, 1956 and 1957).
Sadly, nine of the 25 completed cars were destroyed in a fire in 1957. Jaguar enthusiasts will be delighted to know that the manufacturer has announced that the nine cars lost in that fire will be built from scratch and sold. 
11. Lola T70 MklIII
Number Built: Unknown
It's unclear how many T70s were actually built by Lola Cars of England in the mid-1960s, however a few of them were converted for road use throughout the years. One such car is the blue one pictured here, which is owned by James Glickenhaus. He also owns the Ferrari 330 P3/4 listed above. It was raced before the collector acquired it in the 1970s. He has owned it ever since. 
12. Porsche 917K “Count Rossi” 
Number Built: 1 (racing car converted to road car upon request)
The two-time Le Mans-winning 917 was the car that gave Porsche its first overall victories at the endurance race in 1970 and 1971. The car pictured, 917-030, is one of two 917s converted for road use, however the other one has since been returned to racing specification in order to be able to compete in historic races. It was created upon request of Count Gregorio Rossi de Montelera and actually registered in the US state of Alabama, which (rather amusingly) agreed to do so on condition it never came close to the state's borders. 
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