Here’s a Hot List of 10 Classic Beauties That Is Going to Leave Your Heart Revving up for Them.
There are those who say that your car is purely there to get you from A to B. But as you’ve clicked on an article about classic cars, we’re pretty sure you’re not one of them.
Whether you’re a full-on petrol-head, or want to brush up on your knowledge of classy vintage motors, this one’s for you. Here, we’ll be giving our pick of cars it definitely won’t hurt to be seen in. There are a few things they all have in common. They all ooze luxury — they’re icons of the age they come from. And they’ve all raised the bar for car-makers, having gone on to influence countless cars since they rolled off the production line.
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If you have the need for speed, and reading a long article doesn’t do it for you, here’s a quick and fun YouTube upload on this topic:
With that plugged, let’s drive to the first item in today’s article.
Bugatti Type 57 (1934-1940)
In the last decade and a half, Bugatti’s conquered every known record for speed, acceleration and price. But let’s take a quick look at their earlier years. Back when they were known for their combining grand prix victories with a flair for design. And the Type 57 was hailed as one of the most beautiful cars of its time.
A lot of people still agree with that assessment. Among them, none other than Ralph Lauren, who owns a 57 SC Atlantic — one of only three of that specific model to still exist. In fact, the car he owns has such a unique place in automotive history, that it’s estimated to be worth a staggering $40 million. Yep, you heard that right. At that price, it even puts Bugatti’s current model, the Chiron, in the shade.
For Bugatti fans, it may not have much in common with current models at first glance. But look at the grill on the front, that’s in the shape of a horse-shoe. Does it look familiar? If you know your recent Bugattis, it will bring to mind the nose of the Veyron and the Chiron. Since Bugatti’s early days, it’s been a Bugatti hallmark.
Porsche 356 (1948-1965)
When we’re talking about icons of the classic cars, they don’t come much bigger than Porsche. Sure, we could have gone for the 911 — without doubt, a timeless classic, still going strong after almost 60 years of production. But because we figure you all know the 911, we thought we’d go for its lesser-known predecessor — the 356.
It’s no secret that Porsche and Volkswagen share the same heritage, and some of you will know that the sleek and streamlined 911 was conceived as an upmarket version of the cute and quirky Volkswagen Beetle. What you might not know is that the 356 is the missing link between them. A sporty version of the Beetle when it first came out on 1948 — that went on to inspire the 911.
Just take a look at those round bug-eye headlights on all three cars. And the fact that they all have the engine in the back and the trunk in the front.
Maserati A6 GCS Berlinetta (1953-1954)
From their origins making Grand Prix cars over a century ago, through to the luxury ones they make today, there aren’t many car names that get car enthusiasts quite as hot under the bonnet as Maserati.
And when it comes to its road vehicles from the past, a special place goes to the A6 GCS Berlinetta. They were so limited-edition that only four of them were ever made. And for a lot of Maserati fans, they’re the most beautiful car ever to roll off the Maserati production line.
The word Berlinetta means a two-seater with a low roof. And even though they were designed to turn heads on the road, these are racers as well. That’s why if you look closely, you’ll see the refueling cap up near the roof — to help fill it up quicker on the racetrack.
Out of the four A6 GCS Berlinettas originally made, only three of them still exist. In case you’re a Maserati collector with cash to spare, and can’t track any of those three down, don’t despair — any Maserati A6 is considered a classic.
Ferrari 250 GT California Spider (1957)
Choosing the greatest Ferrari ever is definitely not an easy choice. Some would go for their 2013 supercar, LeFerrari. And we can see why. But as we’re talking classics, we’ve chosen this one. The 250 GT California Spider.
Some have called it the best convertible ever. It was based on the 250 Berlinetta. Yep, now you know what Berlinetta means. But in case you don’t know, in the car world, a “spider” means a 2-seater sports car with an open roof. And this is one hell of a spider.
And we’re not sure exactly how familiar you are with 80s teen movies. But in case you’ve watched the 1986 classic, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, you’ll have seen this car in action. In fact, the entire story revolves around it. As the title tells us, high-schooler Ferris bunks off school, and persuades his best friend to borrow his dad’s prized California Spider for a joyride. The film ends up with the car getting trashed. Luckily, they used a stand-in for that scene — because only 37 of California Spiders still exist.
It’s not just the California Spider, the words “Ferrari” and “Exclusive” go hand in hand. Check out Top 15 World’s Most Expensive Ferrari Cars Ever Sold.
Mercedes 300SL Gullwing (1957)
Ever since the Mercedes name was trademarked, it’s been a byword for “classic”, producing some of the most elegant cars out there. But not many of them have gull wings, that open upwards instead of sideways. But the Mercedes we’ve chosen — the 300SL does.
The story of this car goes back to Germany, just after World War 2. Daimler-Benz’s factories had been destroyed by bombing, and even the company directors thought Mercedes was done. But against all odds, just 6 years later, they took the world’s grand prix circuits by storm with the W194 racer. And it wasn’t long before the road version followed — the 300SL.
Daimler-Benz engineers did make a few modifications in the transition from the racer to the road vehicle. Racing drivers had complained of engine overheating, so they solved this by adding the super-sleek grills on the side. And those grills have become a trademark feature of some of Mercedes’s sportier models to this day.
For an updated version of the 300SL, look no further than one of their more recent high-end offerings, the SLS AMG. And you’ll see not just the same side grills, but also those upward-opening gullwing doors, in homage to the 300SL.
Cadillac 1959 Eldorado Biarritz Convertible (1959)
It’s time for the first of the American classic cars on our list. As you’d expect from American autos, it boasts muscle, flare and plenty of space. And in this case, quite a bit of luxury too.
The Cadillac Eldorado, in production from 1952 to 2002, was positioned at the top end of the Cadillac line, with several versions coming out. But for many Cadillac enthusiasts, the 1959 is the one to beat them all.
When it comes to size, it doesn’t mess around, at 19 feet, or 5.7 meters long. And its futuristic design still looks pretty sci-fi sixty years later. Especially thanks to its crazy over-the-top tail fins. Stand behind them, and you might actually think you’re standing behind a small jet-plane. All of which adds up to make it one of the most recognizable cars ever built.
Jaguar E-Type (1961-1975)
When this classic car came out in 1961 it caused quite a stir. Not many cars would fare well competing head-on with the likes of Ferrari and Maserati. But in the 60s, Jaguar did just that, and they did a fine job of it. Not only did they beat them on speed – with the E-Type getting up to 150 miles an hour – Jaguar also did this at under half the price (at the time, three thousand dollars).
No wonder the E Type became a favorite of the 60s jet-set, dazzling with its high performance and sleek design. Not to mention a state-of-the art suspension system, which Jaguar kept on using until the 90s. Even Enzo Ferrari called it ‘the most beautiful car in the world’. And we’re certainly not going to argue.
In the 60s, they may have been a bargain at $3000. But don’t expect to get them for those prices these days, even after you adjust for inflation. E Types are known to auction for crazy prices. In 2013 one went for 467 000 in Sotheby’s, Manhattan.
Lincoln Continental Convertible (1961 – 1969)
Next up, a true American classic. Many count it as one of the most luxurious American classic cars. It was built by the Ford Corporation, under their high-end division, Lincoln. And while Continentals still roll off their production lines to this day, for a lot of connoisseurs, it’s the 60s convertible that really takes the spotlight.
And lately these super-cool cruisers have enjoyed a spike in demand, thanks to a few high-profile appearances on our screens. If you’ve watched Entourage, you’ll recognize the Continental from the opening credits. And any Maroon 5 fans out will know it from the music video of ‘Sugar’. The one where Adam and the gang cruise around town crashing every wedding party they can — but thankfully not the car. With appearances like this, it’s definitely boosted its credentials as the car to be seen in with the hood down and your buddies in tow.
On a darker note, you might also recognize it from one of the most famous historical events from the last century. Because John F. Kennedy was in a Lincoln Convertible when he was assassinated in 1963.
Aston Martin DB5 (1963-1965)
Did you really expect us to get through an article on classic cars without mentioning James Bond? And when it comes to the 007’s cars, there’s really only one we could choose — the Aston Martin DB5.
That’s because it was the first true Bond car — the perfect gadget for the super-spy — even though it took until the third film in the franchise to make an appearance. In 1964’s Goldfinger, you see it in all its glory, with Sean Connery at the wheel. Also with a pop-up bulletproof shield, machine guns built into the sidelights, rotating number-plates, extendible tyre-slashers in the back wheel, an ejector seat, an oil slick delivery system and — wait for it — a built in telephone. This was 1964, remember.
Since then, it’s become one of the longest-running product placements in film history. And Bond may have been linked with other car brands over the years, but when James Bond thinks cars, they think Aston Martin.
And in case you really want one with all the spy gadgets we just mentioned?… You’re in luck, because Aston Martin is about to roll out the DB5 Goldfinger Continuation — yep, with replicas of all those gadgets. Keep in mind, it will cost you 2.75 million pounds before taxes. The guns have light and sound effects instead of real bullets and the tire shredders aren’t real either. And to cap it all off, it isn’t road legal – which has got to make it one of the most expensive toys you can possibly buy.
Lamborghini Miura (1966-1973)
That’s for our last pick, the car that really started the war between Ferrari and Lamborghini, which is still raging today. The Lamborghini company was founded in 1963 when tractor maker, Ferruccio Lamborghini, dissatisfied with his Ferrari, decided to make his own luxury sports car. But it wasn’t until the Miura came along three years later, that he really gave Ferrari something to worry about.
When the Miura was released, it was the fastest production road car, with a top speed of 170 mph. It got up to 60 mph in just 5 seconds. And didn’t exactly do poorly in the looks department, either — thanks to its pointy nose and sleek design. And details like the doors, designed to look like bull horns. And the eyelashes around the headlights to give it added sex appeal — as if it needed any more.
It’s one of the cars that defined 1960s cool and Italian Dolce Vita, featuring in the opening scene the Italian Job — the original version. Top Gear have called the Miura the daddy of all supercars — the one where the concept of the supercar began.
So Aluxers, what other cars do you think we should have put on this list?