These Cars Were So Popular No One Could Buy Them
The great Yankees catcher and king of the malapropism Yogi Berra once said, “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” While you take a moment to parse that out, consider this: The same sentiment can apply to cars. Every year, at least one model gets released that captures the public’s imagination. In 2016, it was Ford’s Focus RS and Raptor. For 2017, it’s the Honda Civic Type R and Tesla Model 3. Although there isn’t much common ground among any of these models, there is one common thread: They’re nearly impossible to get.
For well-heeled enthusiasts, there is a special kind of bragging rights to picking up one of the first cars to roll off the assembly line. And as there are a lot of well-heeled enthusiasts out there, every now and then a production vehicle sells out before the general public even gets a chance to get their hands on one. More often than not, this phenomenon occurs with an already outrageous supercar. But recently, more attainable models have become forbidden fruit, too. Looking over the past few years, here are 10 cars that were so popular they sold out almost instantly.
1. 2017 Ford Raptor
When it debuted in 2009, the Ford SVT Raptor was a revelation. A street legal 4×4 built for off-road duty, the Raptor became an icon before it disappeared in 2014. Flash-forward two years, and Ford released an all-new Raptor for 2017. And though the trucks started at around $48,000, dealers were reportedly getting away with adding up to $10,000 to the sticker price.
If you’re lucky, you might still be able to find one of these marked-up trucks somewhere. But production ended back in January 2017, and the last truck off the line sold for a whopping $157,000.
Next: Chevy introduced this model to send a Camaro out with a bang.
2. 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28
Chevy decided to send the fifth-generation Camaro out with a bang by bringing back an iconic nameplate from the past. Introduced in 2014, the Z/28 was a $75,000, 505-horsepower beast designed for heavy duty track use. Just 500 were built for 2014; by April of that year, they had already sold out. In 2015, Chevy built another 2,500. Those sold out almost as quickly.
Next: This car has the potential to change the way we drive.
3. 2017 Tesla Model 3
On March 31, 2016, tens of thousands of people put down deposits for the groundbreaking Tesla Model 3. Well, it’s groundbreaking in theory; it hasn’t been real-world tested. The California-based EV startup promises its compact electric car will go at least 215 miles on a single charge, start at $35,000 (before tax credits), and go from zero to 60 in under 6 seconds.
Today, there are over 500,000 reservations for the car, which is expected to reach the first customers by the end of summer 2017. If you’re looking to reserve one, you might be out of luck. As it stands, the Model 3 is sold out until late 2018.
Next: This red-hot model was instrumental in reviving Volvo in the U.S.
4. 2015 Volvo XC90
With its distinctive good looks, world-class cabin, and solid performance, Volvo’s XC90 SUV quickly became the most awarded SUV model of the 21st century. But even before it made it to your local Volvo dealership, there was a surprising amount of hype surrounding this Swedish people-mover. In September 2014, Volvo sold the first 1,927 XC90s online to commemorate the company’s founding year. Every single model found a home within 47 hours.
Next: This long-serving American bruiser is sadly no more.
5. 2017 Dodge Viper
For a long time, the Dodge Viper reigned as America’s lone supercar. But after it was reintroduced for 2012, sales began to drop off precipitously. Turns out the American car-buying public didn’t know how good they had it. Once Fiat Chrysler announced the Viper would be history after 2017, it limited production to 485 cars. By February, every single one had been accounted for.
Next: This hypercar sold out before the public ever saw it.
6. LaFerrari Aperta
Ferrari’s hybrid hypercar LaFerrari was one of the fastest and most exclusive machines on the planet during its 2013 to 2015 production run. The million dollar-plus cars were limited to just 500 examples and quickly sold out. In 2016, Ferrari unveiled the open-topped Aperta version. Unsurprisingly, despite its $1.5 million-plus price tag, all 209 models were spoken for before the general public ever got a look at one.
Next: When it debuted, this coupe took muscle to the next level.
7. 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat
Now that Dodge has moved onto the even more insane 840 horsepower Demon, the 707-horsepower Hellcat Charger and Challenger almost feel like old news. But it’s impossible to overstate just how much of a shock these cars created when they hit the scene in 2015. That year, Dodge built 7,168 Hellcat Challengers. By July 1, every single one had been spoken for.
Next: This track car paid homage to a 50-year-old muscle car icon.
8. 2015 Shelby GT350R
In 2015, the Ford Mustang underwent its most radical reinvention since the iconic Fox Body cars were introduced in 1975. With a range of fantastic new engines and a first-ever fully independent suspension, the Mustang was more capable than ever. That year also saw the introduction of the track-focused Shelby GT350R. With a lighter curb weight, track-focused suspension, and 6.2-liter “Voodoo” V8, the GT350R was about as close to a street-legal track car as you could get. In homage to the original 1965 GT350, Ford matched its production numbers and built just 37 GT350Rs. Every single one was spoken for within minutes.
Next: This supercar is also the star of the latest Forza video game.
9. 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS
The latest edition of the popular Xbox game Forza features the new Porsche 911 GT2 RS on its cover. So instead of unveiling it at an auto show, it unveiled the racer at E3, the massive Los Angeles entertainment expo. The most powerful 911 ever, the GT2 RS’ 3.8-liter flat-six cranks out 700 horsepower. The $289,000 supercar will be limited to 1,000 units, unveiled at September 2017’s Frankfurt Motor Show. It’s a moot point because the car is already sold out.
Next: This all-American supercar won Le Mans a year before it hit the street.
10. 2017 Ford GT
In 2016, Ford unleashed its GT supercar on the international endurance racing circuit. An homage to the 1960s-era GT40, the GTs made history by winning their class at Le Mans, exactly 50 years after the GT40s legendary one-two-three finish. In 2017, Ford began delivering its road-going GTs. Over 6,500 people applied to own one of the $450,000 supercars, but Ford built just 500.