Each of the vehicles that grace this list represents an era, a piece of automotive history worth preserving, and showcases everything that made the mid-20th century auto industry great. From exotic cars to racing cars, powerful cars, and luxury supercars, these are 10 classic cars that every gearhead would want to have in their collection.
10 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra Super Snake
A beast of the ’60s, the 1967 Cobra continues to inspire awe among classic car enthusiasts with its stunning design and brute strength. Inside this engine, however, the legendary Carroll Shelby put a formidable 7.0-liter V8 and boosted it with a bonus of superchargers for extra power.
The end result was a 2,250-pound, 800-horsepower roadster capable of hitting 60 mph in less than 4 seconds, and cruising at a top speed of 200 mph. Beautifully designed by British AC Ace, this classic is any car and transmission enthusiast’s dream car alike, which explains why it sold at auction in 2007 for $5.5 million.
9 1963 Corvette Stingray Sport Coupe
With the 1963 model year, Corvette introduced a unique and beautiful design, incorporating components such as retractable headlights and an innovative aerodynamic body structure. More than 50 years later, this car has been hailed as the most beautiful Corvette ever.
It was the first fixed-top Vette, which made it even more distinctive and enticing to car enthusiasts. And thanks to the independent suspension and a large V8 with 360 horsepower and 5.4 liters, the Stingray was fully capable of competing with Shelby’s Cobra (also on this list).
8 1969 Ferrari Dino 246 GT
We can’t let this list go without including the iconic Ferrari Dino – Ferrari’s first mid-engine production car. Named after the founder’s son, Dino was more than just beautiful: he was perfectly capable, too. The Dino didn’t need a lot of horsepower to be thrilling on the road, weighing only about 2,000 pounds, or less than a ton.
Hence, it featured a 2.0L DOHC V6 engine that was capable of cranking it up to 60 mph in just 7.5 seconds. However, to own one of these today, you would have to set aside about £298,000, which is the equivalent of about $374,000.
7 1969 Dodge Charger R/T
With her endless popularity and long history of fame, having starred in films like Fast and Furious, this old man definitely deserves a place on our list. Its design is a unique combination of calm and aggressiveness. In its best version, the Supercharged 69 puts out 425 horsepower on the brakes, thanks to a massive 7.0-liter V8.
Today, this is a pony car that every gearhead would want to have as a decoration in their garage. The nice thing about the Charger is that it isn’t as hard to come by as some of the other cars on this list. You can get one of these in perfect condition for under $20,000, depending on the model.
6 Ferrari 250 GTO 1962
The Ferrari 250 GTO needs no introduction. Widely regarded as the most famous legendary car of the 20th century, it set the record for the most expensive car ever auctioned, with $48.4 million.
Its value lies in its design, rarity, and history, having been so widely used in historic racing tournaments. The 250 GTO features a 3.0-liter V12 engine, which sends 300 horsepower to the rear wheels and can reach a top speed of approximately 158 mph.
5 1965 Ford GT40
The 1965 Le-Mans Award winning Ford GT40 is a legendary icon that gave rise to the Ford GT as we know it today. The car was designed to break speed records and put European Le Mans racers like Ferrari to shame. It features a 7.0 liter V8 engine that puts out nearly 500 horsepower, allowing it to cruise at 200 mph.
Regardless, the original Ford GT is so beautiful and highly collectible that it’s capable of fetching millions at auctions, we’re sure no sane car enthusiast would mind having one in their garage.
4 BMW M1 1981
The M1 is one of the most unique and distinguished BMW cars ever made, and as such, it has been an enthusiast’s dream car for over 30 years. But there is an interesting story behind it. The M1 was BMW’s attempt to design a motorsport competition model to rival Porsche.
It did not manage to meet the requirements of the competition in time, and a total of only 453 were made by hand in its history. This is BMW’s first and only mid-engine supercar, so decorating the rear is a 3.5-liter inline-six that’s mated to a 6-speed manual transmission and produces a good 274 horsepower. Back in the late ’70s and early ’80s, this was enough to qualify the M1 as a super performance car, especially given its light weight of 2,866 pounds.
3 1963 Aston Martin DB5
It’s the same model that appeared in several James Bond films throughout the 1960s, forever cementing it as a unique and indisputable piece of automotive history. Regardless, the DB5 is stunningly gorgeous and offers the kind of luxury and refined elegance that is simply lacking in our time.
That’s why it might come as a surprise to some that the DB5 was among the fastest production cars of its era, featuring a 4.0-liter V6 engine that produced 325 horsepower and propelled the car to a top speed of 150 mph.
2 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL
Dubbed the “Gullwing,” due to its innovative door design, the 300SL is a million-dollar vintage supercar that has captivated the automotive community with its beauty and elegance for more than 60 years. When designed, the 300SL was eons ahead of its competitors, with its design elements still applied in Mercedes-Benz supercars to this day.
And while it might not look like one, the 300SL is a pure performance supercar from the 1950s. The acceleration of its 3.0-liter inline-six engine produces an impressive 215 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque. With a top speed of 140 mph, the 300SL held the title of the world’s fastest car when it was released.
1 Jaguar XJ13 1966
The XJ13 is one of the most beautiful and underappreciated sports cars ever produced. Its origins go back to the fifties of the last century. However, the final model was approved and produced in 1966 and built using aircraft technologies. Today, it is among the rarest and most valuable vintage cars of all time. Only one of these cars was produced, making it perhaps more valuable than the legendary 250 GTO (also on this list).
Its massive 5.0-liter V12 engine is intriguingly positioned behind the driver’s head and covered in a glass dome, which helps attract a lot of attention. Aside from being priceless, the car is extremely powerful for its time. At full throttle, the XJ13 produces more than 500 horsepower and can go to 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds.
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