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Let's look back at some iconic cars that managed to survive for generations, and are still desired by everyone. No matter if you're a car enthusiast or just want to see what the best cars of the old times were, the following list is bound to give you a nice look into the automotive history and a style that passed the test of time.
Among the first sports cars of its era, the Mercedes SL 300 Gullwing was the fastest production car of its time when it was first launched in 1954. It was the first car to feature direct fuel injection, and it could reach the incredible 160 miles per hour in speed. Nobody really expected something like that from Mercedes. And nowadays, around three-quarters of the original SL 300's survive, many still in the hands of their original owners.
It was once considered the most beautiful car ever made by Enzo Ferrari. The 1960s Jaguar E-Type is a classic sports car that everyone who saw it, fell in love with it and wanted it. This example of British motoring history can go up to 150 m.p.h. and its brakes are better than most cars from its generation too. If you want to take this classic car for a spin, you can visit the Jaguar Heritage Driving Experience program in Kenilworth, U.K., where you can pay for having the opportunity to drive it.
The emblem of muscle cars for many years, the Chevy Corvette is one of the most desired and collected vehicles in America. The second generation, which spanned 1963 to 1967, is considered one of the most iconic American cars ever produced, and still feels amazing and fresh today. Early generation Corvettes can still be found quite easily in the U.S., so you can find one with not much effort if you wish to own it.
Considered by some to be the best-looking sports car ever built, the Lamborghini Miura debuted in 1966 as a well-rounded mid-engine speedster designed to challenge Ferrari at the time. When driving this car, the sounds of six carburetors feeding a powerful, vibrating V-12 sing right behind your head, in what it is probably one of the most beautiful cars ever put on the market.
The Porsche 911 represents vintage driving at its best, especially during its golden era before the car's 1974 redesign. The early 911 was purely magical. The machine is amazingly well-built and delivers one of the most genuine driving experiences when compared to any other sports car ever built. Even by today's standards, first-generation 911s have the horsepower to go beyond its limits and can hold their own on any racing track.
The original Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn drophead launched in 1949 and lasted until 1954. The goal of its name was to mark the dawn of a new generation for the world and Rolls-Royce company. Slightly smaller than previous cars in its generation, the Dawn helped the British famous car brand to reintroduce motoring craftsmanship while bringing the company into the modern age. They're extremely rare items, with only three of the original 28 dropheads currently being in the U.S.
The 1960 Dodge Dart was designed with the goal of giving new life to the famous Plymouth Savoy. The more impactful name was selected along with it, and the Dart was launched on the market in 1960. The iconic car was brought to consumers as a coupe or sedan, and with three different options. You could choose a Seneca, Pioneer, or a Phoenix.
Ferrari made only 39 of these classy race cars between 1962 and 1964, so they are incredibly rare to find today. The Ferrari 250 GTO is probably one of a kind in terms of value and recognition, but the reality is that only a few people in the world will ever have the chance to actually drive one. An early model of this car managed to get $38 million at Bonhams' Quail Lodge Auction at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance a few years ago.
Aston Martin DB4 is the precursor to James Bond's getaway car, the DB5, and an iconic workhorse. The DB4 is a very reliable car that could take you across the country even today. It's no wonder that James Bond favored its close relative, the DB5. The DB4s come in very short supply, so if you wish to drive one, your best chance may be to become the friend of a car collector.
When BMW reached the American market in 1975, it brought a number of models with it, including the BMW 3.0 CSL coupe. Soon after, it was driven by the racing legends Brian Redman, Sam Posey, and Hans Stuck, and the car managed to score a victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring race and won Daytona the next year. The success established BMW's performance legacy. In addition to its incredible engineering, the 3.0 CSL pioneered a number of technologies that were used in later BMW models.
Acura's famous car from 1990 to 2005, the NSX is young but still mighty. While it wasn't considered as good-looking as its European competitors, the Acura NSX showed the world that supercar specs and daily-driver needs could co-exist in harmony. Fortunately, Acura made 9,000 first-generation NSX cars, so finding one is quite easy.
Also called Cobra, this high-performance descendant of the Ford Mustang was an amazing car of the late 1960s. With Ford's V8 engine, the Shelby GT350 was an amazing racecar available for the average user. As soon as you get a chance to drive it, you will quickly see why designer Carroll Shelby is considered one of the 20th-century's automotive genius. If your dream is to drive a vintage Cobra, you will probably need to visit a high-end classic car auction house, dealer, or specialized broker.
It was Porsche's first production car. This rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive Porsche 356 managed to survive four generations before it was retired from production during the mid-1960s. Considered the most advanced of the four-cylinder Porsches, the 356 is also seen by vintage car experts as one of the most fun to drive. And getting one isn't that difficult as about half of the 76,000 cars originally produced survived to this day.
If you watched television in the 1980s, you will likely remember Thomas Magnum, played by actor Tom Selleck, driving this car on Magnum, P.I. Manufactured from 1975 to 1985, the V8 Ferrari 308 GTS represented elegance and adventure in all their glory. If you want to see the car, though, you might find one on display at locations such as the Cars of the Stars Motor Museum in Cumbria, England, or Universal Studios Hollywood.
Less than 1400 original Ford Mustang Boss 429s were manufactured altogether. It was because Ford wanted to bring to the market a Hemi engine for NASCAR to compete with Chrysler’s powerful 426 Hemi. While the Boss 429 was only bringing a power rating of 375 hp, some experts say that it could easily produce even more than 500 hp. Ford had adapted the body of the car and removed AC just to fit in its giant engine inside.
Even though this American gem of a car would continue to live on for the better part of three decades, it reached a high with the 4th generation Cadillac Eldorado back in 1959. It was large, sumptuous, and displayed a unique style. The chrome, that grille, the headlights, and the taillights, were all catching the eye of anyone crossing paths with the beautiful car.
The Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda, also named Barracuda, packed Chrysler’s 426 cubic inches 7.0L Hemi V8. The Barracuda was Plymouth’s first so-called pony car. From 1970, the ‘Cuda began to be built on a special body, establishing its own unique look and feel among the competition of that time. Today, this is one of the most valuable and collectible muscle cars.
We admit that with this installment on our list, we may be stretching the definition of a cool car, but let's all agree that the El Camino is a cool classic car. And when it comes to the 1970 Chevy El Camino SS, the level of coolness goes even higher. With those racing stripes in the middle and incredible power, you’ve got a legit and unique classic of the muscle car era that lives on to this day as an amazing car to own.
The BMW Z1 is the car that started the BMW Z series that goes on to this day. Indeed, it wasn’t even sold in the US, but this car represents all that is weird and quirky about 1980s sports cars, and that qualifies it as a super cool and interesting car. The Z1 featured the same engine as the 3-Series of its day, but it isn’t the engine or its performance that the Z1 is remembered for. It's the unique slide down doors, although they weren't very practical, they sure looked awesome.
Which one of these cars you dreamed of owning whenever you saw them on TV or in a magazine. Do you still wish to own one today, or did you already fulfilled your dream? Let us know in the comments section, and we hope you enjoyed our selection of classic cars that left a mark on history through their style and innovation. For more content like this, visit our website!