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Head-Turning Cars From The 1960s

by jvcc

The 1960s were undoubtedly one of the best decades in automotive history. The world was blessed with tens of legendary cars, including the first-ever supercar.

Take a look at the most influential automobiles of the ’60s from around the world. Virtually all of these machines have become priceless classics that are still desired by wealthy collectors worldwide.

Chevrolet Corvette

The Chevrolet Corvette was a game-changer pretty much from its ’53 debut. Sure, the first units were far from perfect, as the car was rushed into production and nearly ended up being discontinued because of various serious issues. As the years went by, America’s first sports car continued getting better.

Chevrolet unveiled the all-new Corvette C2 for the 1963 model year. The car’s handling and performance were improved dramatically. The ’63 model also featured a split window in the rear, making the ones built that year one of the most valuable Corvettes to date.

Porsche 356 C

This German sports car surely looks familiar, doesn’t it? It was eventually replaced by the iconic 911, which preserved much of its distinctive styling. However, the 356 is unarguably just as legendary as its younger brother.

The 356 first hit the market in the late 1940s. Porsche perfected the model throughout its production run, hence the final 356 C can be considered the most advanced variant. It was built for just two years starting in 1964.

Jaguar E-Type

This is yet another icon of the automobile world, and arguably the most legendary British sports car of all time. The Jaguar E-Type features the perfect combination of gorgeous design paired with exceptional performance.

At first, the British automaker offered the E-Type only with a flat-six motor. In the early 70s, the powerplant was eventually replaced with a more powerful 12-cylinder engine. Naturally, units powered by a V12 have become more desired over the years.

Dodge Charger Daytona

Shortly after unveiling the Dodge Charger, the American automaker created a souped-up high-performance variant named the Charger Daytona. Its aerodynamic front end and large wing are unmistakable. The Charger Daytona also packed a monstrous 440-cubic inch V8 beneath the hood.

A Dodge Charger Daytona, driven by Buddy Baker, was the first race car in NASCAR history to pass 200 miles per hour. Today, this piece of automotive history is among the most desired American vehicles of all time.

Ferrari 250 GTO

This Italian beauty dates back to the early 1960s. The 250 GTO, a legendary Italian race car, was built between 1962 and 1964. It packed a screaming V12 under the hood. The 250 GTO has gone down in history as one of the last successful front-engined race cars in its class.

Today, the 250 GTO is the most valuable car on the planet. Units sold in recent years were auctioned off for tens of millions of dollars. This should come as no surprise, given that Ferrari only made 36 250 GTOs.

Ford Mustang

The 1960s saw the birth of the Ford Mustang, which was the first pony car of all time. The vehicle was a huge hit among buyers and quickly became an icon of the 60s and the US as a whole.

The original Mustang premiered for the ’65 model year. The automaker sold a whopping 22 000 units on the first day, followed by nearly 1.3 million examples by the end of 1967.

Aston Martin DB5

You don’t need to be a petrolhead to recognize this beautiful grand tourer. The DB5 has accumulated a cult following after being James Bond’s car in Goldfinger. This absolutely gorgeous machine has remained the go-to automobile for Agent 007 to this day, making constant appearances in the franchise ever since.

The DB5 was designed by an Italian coachbuilder. Its distinctive styling can truly be considered a work of art, much like its straight-six engine rated at up to 325 horsepower. Back in the ’60s, classy sports cars did not get much better than this.

Ford Thunderbird

Ford released the Thunderbird to compete with the Chevrolet Corvette. In fact, the two vehicles were unveiled just months apart! Following its initial success, Ford released the all-new third generation of the Thunderbird for the 1961 model year.

The new Thunderbird received a total makeover, as well as a brand new 6.4L V8 beneath the hood. The 300-horsepower motor was the only engine offered in the Thunderbird at the time.

Porsche 911

This list would not have possibly been complete without Germany’s best sports car, the Porsche 911. This legendary moniker first appeared on the market in late 1964, it is still a vital part of the automaker’s lineup today. The millionth 911 rolled off the assembly line in 2017.

The original 911 featured an air-cooled six-cylinder boxer motor fitted in the rear of the car, similar to the drivetrain found in the VW Beetle. In fact, the two cars shared many of the same underpinnings.

Plymouth Roadrunner

The idea behind the Plymouth Road Runner was simple. Plymouth wanted to create a more affordable alternative to the GTX, an upscale muscle car that was a major hit back in the late 60s.

The Road Runner debuted for the ’68 model year, packing a 335-horsepower V8 under the hood as standard. Buyers also had the option to upgrade to an enormous 426-cubic inch Hemi V8 for just $714 over the sticker price.

Pontiac GTO Judge

This legendary high-performance muscle car was built for a little over a decade starting in 1963. Although Pontiac sold over 30,000 units of the first-gen, it was nowhere near as popular as its direct successor.

The revised second-generation GTO Judge debuted in 1968. The car came with a 6.6L V8 as standard, rated at 350 horses. Sales passed 87,000 examples that year, only to be followed by over 72,000 in 1969.

Dodge Coronet R/T 440

Dodge first introduced the Coronet nameplate back in the late 40s. However, it’s the fifth generation of the car that has gone down in automotive history. It was sold between 1965 and 1970.

The fifth-gen Coronet used the same B-Body platform as the legendary Charger. Dodge even offered this two-door muscle car with a 440-cubic inch big-block V8 under the hood, as well as a 426 Hemi. Muscle car fans were spoilt for choice in the 1960s, that’s for sure.

Ford GT40

The ’60s were one of the best decades in automotive history, and this legendary American race car is another prime example. It was developed with the help of Carroll Shelby to beat Ferrari at the infamous 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race.

The GT40 was an absolute beast, to say the least. Its rear-mounted V8 motor peaked at 350 horses. As a result, Ford managed to beat Ferrari at the ’66 Le Mans endurance race. The American automaker then went on a four-year winning streak with the GT40.

Chevrolet Chevelle SS

The Chevelle SS was introduced on the market in early 1964. It was a major milestone for both General Motors as well as automotive history as a whole. That’s because the original Chevelle SS was Chevrolet’s first entry into the world of muscle cars.

Under the hood, the Chevelle SS packed a 327-cubic inch V8 motor as standard, though buyers could upgrade to a bigger 396-cubic inch powerplant. Naturally, the 396 remains a lot more desired by collectors today.

Lamborghini Miura

The Lamborghini Miura needs no introduction. After all, this beauty is considered to be the first-ever supercar. It debuted back in 1966 and instantly made headlines as one of the fastest cars in the world at the time.

The Miura initially packed a 345-horsepower V12 mounted behind the driver. However, the P400SV variant saw a power output increase to 380 horses. In effect, the car could shoot up to 60 miles per hour in under 7 seconds.