Just as no one but the most devout Italophile would defend some of Italy’s more mundane cars (the Fiat… Punto?), no one but an Anglophile or the most blindly enthusiastic German car fan would deny that the Italians have designed some of the best sports cars the world has seen in the past 50 years. Here are the eight best that they’ve made.

Lancia Stratos

The Stratos was the ultimate example of a “homologation special” — just under 500 road-going versions were built so that it’s big, bad brother could conquer some of the most insane roads in the World Rally Championship. The street version had just under 200 horsepower, but also only weighed 2100lbs, making it incredibly quick, an awesome handler, and impossible to mistake for Marlon Brando.

Maserati Ghibli Spyder

The first thing you need to know about the Maserati Ghibli Spyder is this: Joe Walsh was did not lose his license doing 185 in this car. The car “only” did just over 150mph, which for the late ’60s and early ’70s was pretty solid, but this car’s not on the list because of the numbers like that. It’s here because this is possibly the single greatest car you could possibly pick to whip around the Alpine switchbacks with the top down.

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