Pairing men and cars is not always predictable. Some men like big, hulking trucks while others want to be cruising in a sporty, upscale-looking vehicle. However, men’s appreciation for autos, in general, is a given. Chances are most guys would own a few of their favorites, if they had the extra cash and places to park. Some of the wealthiest celebrities own a stable of cars they never even have the time to drive, yet they keep on buying them for the sheer pleasure of being able to admire and talk about their private collection to other enthusiasts.
The car collections of mega-millionaires almost always include the finest cars ever made, which means the value of many vintage machines continues to skyrocket in price year-after-year. Most men can only dream of tooling down Highway 101 in their own 1966 Cobra. Luckily, some of the coolest in the vintage line were produced in larger quantities, so they are not the priciest. So there is still a glimmer of hope for many of you who would love to think that ownership can be a reality.
Today we’re going to present 12 of the most loved vintage cars that we think you will enjoy.
12. Lotus Esprit
Introduced as a concept car at the Turin Motor Show in 1972, the Lotus Esprit sports car premiered in 1976 and was made until 2004. It’s sleek lines and design continued to improve over the years, such as in 1987, which is when the Vacuum Assisted Resin Injection process replaced the earlier hand laid technique.
A new Esprit was unveiled at the 2010 Paris Motor Show and the plan to manufacture the car in 2014 was eventually dropped. So the vintage models are even more admired and coveted by their owners.
11. Chevy Camaro
The Chevrolet Camaro was created as a response to Ford’s Mustang, which was a reaction to Chevy’s Corvair Monza. The competition for manufacturers to produce the latest big seller has always been a driving force of the automotive industry and will continue into the future with flying cars.
The Camaro is a classic introduced for purchase in 1966; it was an immediate hit, although the Mustang and the Pontiac Firebird had their own following. Vintage Camaros are still in high demand and loved by car enthusiasts.
10. 1971 Datsun 240Z
In Japan, this sporty car was known as the Nissan s30 while in the U.S. it was named the Datsun 240z. The two-seat coupe had the makings and performance of a hot rod, and was noted as being similar to the UK’s MGB-GT, which was produced about five years before.
The Datsun 240z was America’s big introduction to the fact that Japanese automakers could design and manufacture more than their reputable econo-cars. In 2004, the 240z came in second place on Sports Car International’s Top Sports Cars of the 1970s.
9. Porsche 356 A Speedster
The Porsche 356 was first built in 1948 and was the first Porsche sold in the United States. During the 18 years this car was manufactured, there were many variants made, such as the Speedster, Roadster and the A, B and C versions.
The C model was built in 1964, the same year the 911 was introduced and although the 911 was well received, it was the 356 that put the name Porsche on the map.
8. Shelby 427 Cobra
The last 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake sold for $5.1 million, which was a little less than what the previous owner paid after his seven year ownership, according to an article in Road and Track.
Of course, there were only two Super Snakes ever built, thus the high sticker price. The car was so fast that Bill Cosby sold it after one outing and the subsequent owner plummeted off a cliff killing himself and destroying the car. There are, of course, other models of the 427 which were built between 1963 – 1965 in small quantities. Clearly, you won’t find one of these on the low end of the price range.
7. Jaguar E-Type
This British sports car was manufactured between 1961 and 1975 and is noted for its sleek lines and high performance. Even Enzo Ferrari was quoted as calling the Jaguar E “the most beautiful car ever made”, which speaks volumes.
Any man (or woman) would be flying high to own or be seen in one of these vintage Jags. We’ve seen a few that are priced just right if you have the talent, patience and love for restoring those that were not maintained.
6. Maserati Ghibli 4.7
Maserati is a well known Italian car manufacturer responsible for building the Ghibli, which was introduced at the Turin Motor Show in 1966. Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro from the Ghia company, the Ghibli was noted for its long front end and aerodynamic hatchback.
The convertible Ghibli Spyder was introduced in 1969 and offered the choice of a removable hard top or soft top that folded up conveniently behind the two-seats. Maserati has long been known for its distinctive sports cars and the Ghibli was considered the model to own.
5. Aston Martin DB5
Of course, the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 was one of James Bond’s most recognizable vehicles because it was just used in the movie, Skyfall. Fast, sexy and very expensive, Bond also used this original car in the movies Goldfinger and Thunderball, which was sold in an auction in 2010 for $4.6 million.
The car used by Daniel Craig in Skyfall is much more affordable, and is priced at $450,000. It’s not likely there is a man on earth who would not love to drive or own this machine.
4. Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing
This classic Mercedes was introduced in 1954 and was considered to be an innovative design for the company in the post-war American economy. The gull-wing door design was a product of the heavy metal skeleton of the car, which did not allow enough room for traditional doors.
In fact, getting in and out was a bit of a problem, thus the tilt-away steering wheel was added. The car was a huge hit in the U.S. where more than 80 percent were sold. It’s still a coveted classic and long-standing favorite among all vintage car enthusiasts.
3. Boss 429 Mustang
The Boss 420 is considered to be a rare muscle car, as there were only 829 originals made. The 429 engine used in this model was developed in response to NASCAR’s rules that required that a minimum of 500 cars must be sold to the public that utilized this engine.
Unfortunately, Ford later discovered that the Mustang’s width wouldn’t hold an engine of this size, so the body had to be modified. The result was this fast, gorgeous model that is still considered one of the finest vintage cars around.
2. Corvette Stingray
The 1963 Corvette Stingray is perhaps the most coveted of the Corvettes. In fact, Jay Leno purchased one and had it restored back to its original stock standards. Although the entire line of Stingrays are admired, it is the original 1963 model that is sought after.
It was considered futuristic and sported a divided rear window, which was an unusual design element seen during that era. The hidden headlights, the easy-to-enter doors that cut into the roof and the fastback design made this car one of a kind.
The Stingray was able to accelerate faster than the others, due to its lightweight design. Both the convertible and coupe versions were in similar demand. It didn’t get much better than this, which is why this remains as one of the top vintage cars around.
1. 1969 Dodge Charger
Surprised to see this on our list? It’s a definite classic and one you can find more readily than most of the others on this list. The car is long for a mid-sized auto and included features that guys love, such as fully rotating headlights that blend into the grille when closed, as well as the fastback design that highlighted the six-lamp taillight.
The model was developed in 1966 as a response to Ford’s Mustang and the Plymouth Barracuda and became more mainstream and desirable as it was modified. The 1969 model became off-the-charts popular partly because it was featured in the hit television series, The Dukes of Hazzard (1979-1985), where it was named The General Lee. To this day, the Dodge Charger is a worthy vintage automobile.