So when GRR stumbled across a trio that could be seen as preceding the modern holy trinity almost perfectly, we had to take some time and share the experience with you. The Porsche 959, Bugatti EB110 and Ferrari F50 may never have been on sale at the same time but they are so rare that finding them together at Retromobile is a rarer moment than finding the holy trinity together (only 800 EB110s, 959s and F50s were built, compared to nearly 2,000 P1s, LaFerraris and 918s).
But what makes this trio even more intriguing is that they are almost the last generation of top-level hypercars that also developed real racing pedigree. The 959 was famously headed for the rally stages of the WRC in the Group B era before being hastily diverted onto the sand dunes of the Paris-Dakar (which it duly dominated in 1986). The other two's racing history is slightly less obvious. The EB110 did get developed into a GT car, but was sparsely used, although it reached the end of the 1996 Daytona 24 Hours in the hands of Derek Hill (son of F1 champ Phil). But the F50 was the one that fired so near and yet so far. A racing version of the Ferrari was in development, ready to replace the not hugely successful F40 LM in the BPR. But then the programme went south, the BPR ended, Ferrari elected to focus more on Formula 1 and we never got to see the true potential of the F50 in action.
But besides that, we reckon the older trio are more striking to look at. For us the 959 is one of the best-looking Porsches of modern times, the EB110 can turn heads anywhere it goes (and was owned by Michael Schumacher) and the F50 took the extreme racecar-for-the-road concept of the F40 and brought it into the '90s, with swooping curves replacing the predecessor's harsh edges.
And that is why seeing the 959, EB110 and F50 together is much cooler than seeing the modern versions. But don't just take that from us, take a saunter through the gallery above and let us know below if you would prefer seeing the 959, EB110 and F50 together or their modern counterparts?
Photography by Tom Shaxson.