On the question and answer website Quora.com, there is a panorama of car lust on display, with no machine dominating the scene.

While there are reoccurring vehicles on the list – of note the 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, Volkswagen Beetle and (these are dreams, after all) the Batmobile – there were clearly some that evoked more passionate responses than others from Quora users.

Blurred dreams

One of the most commonly cited factors contributing to a car’s desirability is the simple fact of how fast it can go.

Quora user Matt DeCelles gives the top spot to the F40, the last Ferrari built while company founder Enzo Ferrari was alive. DeCelles noted that the F40's power to weight ratio, as well as a lack of modern frills such as radio and carpeting, made it a "true driver's car". Also stoking DeCelles’ fantasy is the fact that the F40 was the first street-legal production car to break 200mph.

Opting for less flamboyance was Nikhil Lengade, who eyed a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL gullwing. This classic was one of the first cars to  employ fuel -injection technology, helping it achieve fastest-production-car status when it rolled off the assembly line. Lengade appreciated that the SL could be driven hard on a track, but could find its way back home "without a fuss".

Personality plus

Speed isn't the only factor powering car enthusiasts’ dreams. Sometimes there is no substitute for uniqueness. That explains why Louis Devineau chose the French-made Citroën DS.

"I've always thought it's the prettiest car ever made, and while it's not fast or sporty by any stretch of the imagination, it's insanely comfortable, quirky, and as I said, drop-dead gorgeous," he wrote. The DS debuted in 1955 and was known for its aerodynamics and futuristic height-adjustable suspension. Devineau said that when it comes to the car's technology, "it's basically the most important and groundbreaking car since the Model T."

For Zoltan Korossy, the Soviet-era Trabant is the way to go, though the car's body was "basically canvas cardboard". But the Trabant is more than just a car for Korossy; it also has sentimental value. He said the car brings back memories from when he visited his family in Hungary as a child. "It's nostalgia on four wheels."

Taking the dream off-road

Not everyone is satisfied with dreaming between the lane lines. Rajas Nimishe has his sights on a Ghe-O Motors Rescue truck. The monstrous all-wheeler dwarfs the original Hummer, and Nimishe says the Rescue has "approach and departure angles that would make a Jeep Wrangler weep on its Trail Rated badges." He added that while most people dream of luxury or sports cars, "only an off-roader can give you the adrenaline rush".

The definition of off-road, however, can vary from person to person. For Mike Farkas, it means leaving terra firma altogether. He wants a Terrafugia TF-X, a vehicle that converts from a road-worthy car into plane. The goal for the TF-X is to accomplish vertical takeoffs and landings, and ply unrestricted air space. Terrafugia will sell you a Transition flying car for $279,000. "What a brave new world," Farkas wrote.

The lure of the unobtainable

While most dream cars are at least somewhat realistic, these final two are a bit out of range for all of us.

Quora user Ankan Bansal wants to get his hands on Doc Brown's modified DeLorean DMC-12 from the 1985 film Back to the Future. And who could blame him? It's a plutonium-fuelled, 1.21-gigawatt time machine with a sexy stainless steel shell. The only drawback, as any ‘80s cinephile will tell you, is that it tops out at 88mph.

Shashank Singh puts President Obama's bespoke Cadillac limousine, often referred to as the Beast, at the top of his list. "The presidential limousine is a symbol of power, fame, respect and the once-in-a-lifetime (maybe two) chance to make a change in people's lives," he wrote. Indeed, with missile scramblers, thick armour and untold numbers of armaments on board, the Beast is like no other car. Singh added that he likes the limo "because a car is not just about looks, performance or design. It is a representation of the person sitting inside the vehicle."

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