Special edition cars usually fall into one of two categories. They will be limited edition vehicles, often produced in very small numbers either by small companies who can only afford to make a few models at a time or by well-known automotive names who are producing them to show off their skills at one of the big motoring shows which take place every year around the world. These high-performance vehicles are supercars in every sense of the word and have a super-sized price tag to match.
The other type of special edition cars is not so valuable, or usually anywhere near as impressive as these limited run collectors’ editions. These tend to be regular cars which have been given a makeover as part of an advertising gimmick, or even as a tie-in with some major cultural event. Increasingly, car manufacturers are even making special edition vehicles in partnership with movie studios or the makers of computer games to promote their latest release.
Those first cars, the exclusive limited edition models, can often be worth hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, but considering the engineering and design work which has gone into creating these automotive works of art, there are many who would still say that they are worth every penny. However, the special edition versions of ordinary, everyday cars aren’t always quite as commercially successful – as you can see for yourself from the list below.
20 Worth A Fortune- Zenvo TS1
Only 15 Zenovo TS1 models were ever made, and the car was launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 2016, marking ten years since Danish company, Zenovo Automotive, started to produce their own high-end, high-performance, high-priced vehicles. The TS1 was one of the fastest road legal cars at the time of its launch, with a top speed of 230mph, thanks to its powerful 1,163hp V8 engine, which could accelerate the car from 0 to 60mph in under three seconds.
Zenovo TS1 models, which are worth around $1.8 million, were just as impressive on the outside as they were under the hood.
19 Worth A Fortune-Pagani Huayra BC
The Pagani Huayra is a super-expensive supercar, a favorite with celebrities like Dwayne Johnson and Wyclef Jean, despite the fact that it can cost up to $1.4 million. However, car manufacturer Pagani also created a special edition version of its Huayra vehicle, the Pagani Huayra BC, which is lighter than the ordinary model, and therefore significantly faster, able to accelerate from 0 to 60mph in 2.94 seconds, and with a reported top speed of over 230mph.
At just 2,685 pounds, it is one of the lightest so-called hypercars ever built, but will still set you back a cool $2.5 million.
18 Worth A Fortune- Bugatti Chiron
Bugatti is another name that is already well known in the automotive world, thanks to its popular Bugatti Veyron supercar, which costs between around $1.7 million, depending on which extras the buyer chooses. However, even that outrageous price pales in comparison with the cost of the limited edition Bugatti Chiron, which will cost any prospective driver at least $2.7 million.
While 500 Bugatti Chiron models were made, they remain something of a rarity on the automotive market, as owners tend not to sell them once they get their hands on one! Its speed is electronically limited to 260mph for safety reasons, as the Chiron could actually travel at up to 290mph!
17 Worth A Fortune- McLaren P1 GTR
Formula Fans already know that McLaren makes stylish and speedy cars; after all, the team has won 182 races, 12 Drivers' Championships, and eight Constructors' Championships since they first started competing in 1966. However, the same firm also makes very limited edition supercars, including the McLaren P1 GTR, a track-only version of their existing P1 car which was nevertheless available to members of the public who wanted to buy one of their exclusive vehicles to indulge in their own fantasies of becoming a race car driver.
Only 58 McLaren P1 GTR models were ever made, and they have a price tag of just over $2.7 million.
16 Worth A Fortune- Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio
Legendary Italian car maker Ferrari has been in the business of making supercars since 1947, so it is hardly surprising that their 2013 concept car, the Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio, is one of the most stylish and most expensive limited edition vehicles ever made. The car, which costs $3.4 million, is named after Sergio Pininfarina, who took over as Ferrari’s president in 1966 after the death of his father and was in charge of the company for forty years.
Only six of these luxurious supercars were ever made, which means that the value of these collectors’ items is only going to increase further over time.
15 Worth A Fortune- W Motors Lykan Hypersport
Ferrari, Bugatti, and even McLaren may be familiar names to gearheads, but only the most ardent automotive admirer will have heard of the car manufacturer W Motors. Their Lykan Hypersport model may not be as fast or as powerful as some of the other vehicles on this list – although it still manages an impressive top speed of 240mph – but what makes it so expensive are the custom decorative details which the client can choose.
The LED headlights of the Lykan Hypersport are augmented with 220 diamonds, or whatever precious stone you desire, while the interior is hand-stitched with thread made from real gold. Hardly surprising that it has a price tag of $3.6 million.
14 Worth A Fortune- Lamborghini Veneno Roadster
The Lamborghini Veneno Roadster borrows much of its engineering and its design from a car that the Italian automotive giant built for the racetrack, only it is completely road legal. Vehicles for motor racing don’t come cheap, however, which is why Lamborghini only ever built and sold nine of its Veneno Roadster models, at a cost of around $3.9 million each.
The Veneno Roadster boasts a mighty 6.5-liter V12 engine, with the ability to accelerate from 0 to 60mph in just 2.9 seconds, and with a top speed of 220mph. It even manages to look like a race car, which is probably just what appealed to the lucky people who managed to get their hands on one.
13 Worth A Fortune-Aston Martin AM-RB 001
Aston Martin is close to being the most quintessentially British car manufacturer; after all, they do provide British superspy James Bond with his vehicles! The Aston Martin AM-RB 001, as the name suggests, is the first car in a joint enterprise between Aston Martin (AM) and the Formula One Red Bull Racing team (RB).
Its aerodynamic exterior was designed by Red Bull’s technical director Adrian Newey, and it was powered by an impressive aspirated V12 engine. When production started on the AM-RB 00 in 2018, Aston Martin intended to make a maximum of 150 models which would go on sale to the general public for $4.1 million each.
12 Worth A Fortune-Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita
Koenigsegg is up there with Bugatti when it comes to the iconic supercars that have proven a big hit with the rich and famous, and the Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita was one of the Swedish company’s most exciting – and most exclusive – creations. Only two CCXR Trevita models were ever made, although it was initially supposed to be three, as the vehicle was built from super-light carbon fiber, layered with a diamond finish, and was powered from 0 to 60mph in less than three seconds by an impressive V8 engine.
That kind of exclusivity doesn’t come cheap, however, and the CCXR Trevita will set you back at least $5 million.
11 Worth A Fortune- Mercedes Benz Maybach Exelero
Mercedes Benz is not the most glamorous name on this list. The German car giant is a reliable producer of great luxury cars, but no-one would usually put them in the same category as Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Bugatti. Nevertheless, one of the most expensive special editions cars ever made is a Mercedes Benz vehicle; the Maybach Exelero.
Only one model was ever built for a start, and the unique Exelero was a prototype which was created by Mercedes Benz to be a kind of crossover between a sports car and their usual luxury executive cars. Rapper Birdman bought the only Maybach Exelero in existence for $8 million back in 2011.
10 Not Worth It-Kahn Flying Huntsman
It takes a creative, or maybe a crazy, mind to look at a Land Rover Defender and decide that it doesn’t look big enough. After all, this rough and ready precursor to the SUV has been the mainstay of British countryside life for decades. However, auto designer Afzal Kahn took an old-fashioned Land Rover Defender and reinvented it for the 21st century, making it look more like something that would be used by the Terminator than a British farmer in the process.
Perhaps the most bizarre modification was his decision to extend the length of the vehicle, giving it six wheels instead of four.
9 Not Worth It-Range Rover Holland & Holland
Land Rover’s Range Rover has always been the luxurious older brother of the rough and ready Defender – but it is possible to take that luxury too far, as the Holland & Holland special edition launched in 2014 demonstrates.
It is accepted that the Range Rover has a fan base among country gents – and ladies – but this Holland & Holland special edition of the luxury SUV really took that idea and ran with it, featuring wood-paneled trunk storage for your picnic equipment (including somewhere to keep your champagne chilled) as well as a carpeted tailgate which gave you a comfortable seat if you stopped for a snack on the road.
8 Not Worth It-AMC Levi's Gremlin
Sometimes, special editions of cars really add something to the original model, whether that is in the vehicle’s design or in the performance of its engine. And sometimes, special editions of cars are nothing more than a gimmick, designed to try and trick more consumers into parting with their hard-earned cash. The AMC Levi’s Gremlin looked from the outside just like a regular AMC Gremlin, a popular subcompact car which was on sold over 600,000 models in the US between 1970 and 1978.
But on the inside, it had seats made from Levi’s denim, which was supposedly its unique selling point, but which just ended up looking and feeling a bit like a publicity stunt.
7 Not Worth It-Fiat Kung Fu Panda
Recent years have seen car manufacturers coming together with even more unusual partners than Levi’s jeans. It has become par for the course for movie studios and even computer games developers to partner with auto companies to create special edition versions of their vehicles which help to promote an upcoming cinema release or a new game.
This was the case with the Fiat Kung Fu Panda – a Fiat Panda which had been given a makeover to promote DreamWorks cartoon Kung Fu Panda, complete with black circles around the headlamps, like panda eyes, and cute panda faces on the front seat headrests.
6 Not Worth It- Land Rover Tomb Raider
To be fair, a car called the Fiat Panda was at least the obvious choice to promote a film about a cartoon panda. The link between Land Rover’s rough and ready vehicles and computer game adventurer Lara Croft was a little more tenuous, although you could easily imagine the fictional character driving one when she wasn’t raiding tombs in exotic locations!
The end result was a Land Rover with a lot of the luxury features stripped away, to create a much more old-school and robust off-roading vehicle, complete with a few custom touches as a nod to the successful video game franchise.
5 Not Worth It-Smart ForTwo by Jeremy Scott
There are many motorists who say that the Smart ForTwo is a special edition concept car that has just got out of hand! However, there is no denying the compact vehicle’s popularity, especially among city commuters, and it is certainly not going anywhere anytime soon.
In an attempt to give what is a very functional car a touch of glamour, Smart asked fashion designer Jeremy Scott to give their creation a makeover, and the result was a ForTwo model with a rather startling set of rear wings, his signature style, plus diamond-stitched seats and a white leather interior for a little extra opulence.
4 Not Worth It- Mitsuoka Orochi Neon Genesis Evangelion
The Mitsuoka Orochi was already an unusual sports car before it was given a custom paint job of riotous clashing colors. First designed as a concept car in 2001, the Mitsuoka Orochi was then in production between 2006 and 2014, and really embraced its heritage when it came to a variety of special editions inspired by the country’s famous anime TV series.
The Neon Genesis Evangelion edition was supposed to have been inspired by the robots from classic 1990s anime series of the same name, but it wildly missed the mark, and just ended up looking like a messy version of the Volkswagen Golf Harlequin – only a lot more expensive!
3 Not Worth It- SsangYong DMZ
SsangYong is not one of the best-known car manufacturers in South Korea, but it is nevertheless the fourth largest automotive company in the country. Their Korando pickup truck, now renamed the Musso, was a big success around the globe, and their special edition DMZ model sold really well in the UK – although why it was so popular remains a mystery to this day!
For a start, the DMZ featured a rather bad looking camouflage paint job, which isn’t really a requirement on the morning commute in London, and perhaps more significantly, it took its unusual name from the controversial De-Militarized Zone which lies on the disputed border between North and South Korea!
2 Not Worth It-Fiat Panda Italia 90
Ask any soccer fan which was the best World Cup in history, and there’s a good chance that a lot of them will tell you that Italia 90 was one of the most exciting tournaments. In fact, probably the only bad thing to come out of the Italia 90 competition was the so-called special edition Fiat Panda which the Italian motor manufacturer produced ahead of the tournament.
Part of the problem is that the Fiat Panda was an intrinsically bad car in the late-80s and early 90s, and adding a splash of color and sticking the Italia 90 logo on the hood was never going to change that.
1 Not Worth It- Volkswagen Golf Harlequin
The Volkswagen Golf Harlequin is probably one of the most infamous special edition vehicles and has something of a kitsch value among car collectors thanks to its unique appearance. As the name suggests, the Harlequin featured different colored panels on the cars, with one door in dark blue, one in light blue, a red hood and a yellow trunk – or any other combination of those colors!
It was certainly eye-catching, and the mid-90s Golf was an enormously popular and reliable set of wheels. So not the worst bargain special edition to buy, if you don’t mind people thinking you’re from the local circus…
Sources - Auto Trader, Car and Driver, Top Gear & Top Speed