Vintage Cars That Are Still Something Special Today
Cars: Prince Philip once quipped: “When a man opens a car door for his wife, it’s either a new car or a new wife.” The 97-year-old might have a few vintage ideas about what it means to be chivalrous – but that is to be expected with such an old member of society.
In fact, how old were the cars he would have driven all those years ago? We take a look at some of the best vintage cars out there to see if many of them are still being driven today. The only difference between a boy and a man is the size of his toys – so let’s go for a drive…
A Volkswagen Beetle
Here’s one of the most iconic examples of the swinging ‘60s. This photo perfectly captures the feel good and carefree era of debauchery. Judging by the look of these folks, they’ve certainly dabbled in a few exciting things.
Volkswagen Beetles have been updated and modernized over the years, but these classic models still appear to be the most popular. Even though it doesn’t come with many high-tech features, you won’t mind since you’ll be taken down a street right to Memory Lane.
A Chevy Impala SS
This vehicle first hit the road in the 1990s and has become a classic car in the following 20 years. For those who loved the original Chevy Impala, the SS is an ‘updated’ look on the iconic roadster.
Even today, the car is gentle on the roads and commands an enjoyable journey. It can still be found on the market and can be purchased for around $18,000. If you want to revisit your past, then the Impala SS is the one for you.
A Datsun Z
You may know it today as a Nissan, but for years these gorgeous cars were called Datsuns. The brand first came to the United States in 1958 and was a successful venture until 1981. Then, they rebranded to Nissan and became the classic cars we all know today.
Still used today, the Datsun Z are great cars to take on the winding country roads with friends for weekend trips. If you’re looking to invest in one, then you’re in luck: some are going for as low as $1,000.
A Toyota Corolla AE86
Car lovers everywhere will recognize the Toyota Corolla as one of the most reliable cars of all time. This 1980s hatchback model is one of the most iconic cars of the era and has earned a new lease on life in recent years.
Due to its reliability and reputation, many people are still seeking this out today. The AE86 is still traded today, but you shouldn’t plan on taking it onto the race track anytime soon! These are definitely more delicate than other cars.
A Mercedes Benz E-Class
We know that German cars don’t have the best reputation when it comes to their performance, but the E-Class might be one of the most notable exceptions. You can expect to go from A to B pretty easily once you stick this into gear.
You can buy your very own Mercedes Benz E-Class from the 1980s for as little as $10,000. It won’t be as fancy as some of the newer cars on the road, but its charm is a timeless addition to the streets.
A Foxbody Mustang
In the 1980s, our cars became a lot boxier and their frames were more defined than previous decades. Well, this Mustang is clearly no exception to the design rule. While many of the cars from the ‘80s have lost their style, this one is still going strong today.
In general, car lovers are still fond of the Foxbody Mustang. The cars ooze a masculine and confident aura that appeals to young drivers today. Did you drive one of these?
A Toyota MR2
Take your mind back to 1984: it was the year when Toyota first released its MR2 and became an instant classic. Overall, it had three different generations until it was finally put to rest in 2007. However, let’s take a look at the first one.
If we take a look underneath the hood, then we can see the same engine as the Corolla AE86. Aside from that, these two couldn’t be more different: leather insides and feisty handles made it its own.
A BMW 2002
Even though it’s called the BMW 2002, this model actually dates back to the 1960s. Its full time in production spanned from 1966-1977, making it a car of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Today, it’s body is one of the most recognizable designs out there.
If you want to get your hands on one of these cars, then you’re in luck: drivers can buy one for just $14,000. If you ask us, it’s a much cooler investment than spending $40,000 on a brand new one!
A BMW E30
If you’re in the mood to buy one of these vintage cars, then you might want to consider the BMW E30. It has a more modern design than the 2002 model, but its increased popularity has led to an increase in price.
You can buy a BMW E30 for around $20,000-30,000. While it may sound a lot more than some of the other cars on this list, it’s the perfect model to get you back in the vintage vehicle game.
A Saab 900
Ok, so this may not look like much, but the Saab 900 drives like a beauty. While they may not be the prettiest cars on the street, you won’t find a Saab lover who cares about that. What it lacks in design it makes up for in quality.
The Saab 900 comes with a hardtop or convertible version and can go for as low as a few thousand dollars on the market. These are incredibly reliable and won’t need must car going forward.
These cars made the list for one very particular reason: their unique shape. The Pontiac Firebird is still popular today, despite being considered a vintage vehicle. One of its most defining features was the flipping headlights that came out at the flick of a switch.
The Pontiac Firebird actually uses the same body as the Chevy Camaro but is considered more reliable and cheaper among car enthusiasts. Even though Pontiac is long gone, you can still track down these cars.
A Geo Prizm
Sadly, the Geo Prizm has somewhat of a troubled reputation. Even though they are incredibly reliable cars, not everyone is sold on their specific design. Drivers may not all like the Prizm design, and they may not even recognize it at first.
When all is said and done, the Geo Prizm is basically the same as the Toyota Corolla. Whereas you’ll recognize the Corolla, the Prizm is a lot more forgettable. For drivers who seek a little discretion, then this is the car for you.
A Mazda Miata
For drivers who prefer to drive solo, the Mazda Miata is the perfect car. It’s just big enough for one and is the perfect vehicle to assist you in your adventure down the country roads. If you seek some company, then it might be a bit of a squeeze.
Drivers can get a 1990 Mazda Miata for a few thousand dollars with less than 100,000 miles on the tank. If you were planning a solo road trip, then this is the perfect car for you.
A Jeep Cherokee XJ
For those who are seeking a car to keep up with offroad adventures, this Jeep is for you. With features like four-wheel drive and total waterproofing, this Cherokee XJ is still an ideal candidate for those who live in cold and snowy climates.
Drivers can pick up a 1995 model for under $5,000 if they look in the right place. All you need to do is make sure you’re not damaging too much of the environment by guzzling down the gas with these tanks.
A Datsun 510
Back to the Datsuns for a classic commuting vehicle. It’s a comfortable and reliable car that can host a whole family – making it the perfect investment for years after your initial purchase.
Dating back to 1968, the Datsun 510 first drove on American roads towards the end of the decade until 1973. Even though Autoweek called it ‘the poor man’s BMW’, it is still something of a classic car today. The Datsun 510 is particularly popular among car collectors and enthusiasts.
A Volvo 240
This is probably one of the most iconic Volvos ever designed. Even though they technically ceased production on the 240 more than 20 years ago, car lovers are still hunting down these reliable cars.
Its reliability isn’t the only part of its appeal. The 240 is also capable to handle most needs from its drivers. It has plenty of space and doesn’t require much additional maintenance. In fact, most of its repairs can be done without leaving the garage at home.
A Toyota Land Cruiser
As far as offroad cars go, the Toyota Land Cruiser is an absolute classic. It is one of the most famous large cars for good reason: it can handle almost any situation on any terrain. The ability to keep you on track and safe is a selling point for most adventurers.
A 1987 model of the Land Cruiser will set you back a few thousand dollars but will still be cheaper than some of the more modern ones on the street today. Just be mindful of effects these cars have on the environment!
A Porsche 911
If you turned 40 and had a midlife crisis, there’s a strong chance you bought one of these classic sports cars. The Porsche 911 is a classic car to ride the streets feeling like you’re on top of the world. After all, who hasn’t dreamed of owning a Porsche?
The best thing about Porsche is that it doesn’t matter how old your model is: you can always take it for repairs. When you invest in one of the most luxurious cars on the market, what else would you expect?
A Honda CRX
This is the first Honda on our list, and it’s also the most iconic. The CRX was the first time Honda tried to make a ‘trendy’ car – and they made a classic car in the process! At the time, the design was considered modern and was pretty successful.
Today, the Honda CRX is one of those cars that will always be a reliable drive. The engine is easy to look after and the interior is still as comfortable as when the car first hit the roads.
A Mercedes-Benz W123
It may look a little boxy and outdated today, but in the 1970s it was one of the best cars on the market! If you want to invest in the W123, you should be mindful how they lack some of the comfortable features that new cars boast today.
Nonetheless, these are great cars if you want to spend time driving down the road in one. They are reliable and generally well-engineered. At the time, it was the best-selling Mercedes – and for good reason! It had power steering, air conditioner, ad a sunroof – all luxuries at the time.
A Fiat X19
This vehicle, from 1977, received incredible reviews once it was released. This sports car could fit two people comfortably as they drove down some winding roads. Even today, you can reach an impressive 33 miles per gallon on long-distance driving.
In general, the Fiat X19 has a mid-engine sports car that includes modern finishes. That doesn’t mean it isn’t comfortable: simply have a seat in one of its chairs and watch yourself sink in. Best of all: it hits the safety regulations put in place at the end of the 1960s!
A Chevrolet Corvette
Ah, what can we say about America’s Sports Car? People wanted them back then and people still want one today. Today, it remains one of the most iconic cars in history. All in all, corvettes have been in production for more than 60 years.
We’re looking at the second generation of the Corvette – built between 1963-1967. If you’re looking for a safe vintage car then this is the one for you. The Sting Ray generation has rear suspension and can solve handling problems.
A Ford Thunderbird
For those who want to experience the ultimate nostalgia, then we recommend the Ford Thunderbird. Just one look at one of these will take you straight back the swinging ‘60s era. There’s something quintessentially American about this third-generation car.
The Thunderbird offers lots of power due to its V8 engine and 300 horsepower. There are variations of this car depending on the year and generation, but many can agree that all of them are winners in their own way.
A Chrysler 300F
Here’s another beauty from the swinging 1960s! Can’t you just imagine James Bond driving around in one of these? Sean Connery, not Daniel Craig! This Chrysler was one of the first cars to use a unibody construction – making it more rigid and lighter than previous cars.
One special feature includes the doors being built on rotating anchors means that drivers and passengers can ‘swivel’ the seat to make it easier to enter and exit the car. Great for when you buy one of these in your old age!
A Bugatti Type 57
Dating all the way back to 1934, this is the perfect car to represent wartime. The French maker, Bugatti, had the 57 in production from 1934-1940 before it stopped when war broke out across the road.
To date, only 710 were ever produced, meaning it’ll be quite tough to track one of these down. You might see them at a museum on display, but buying one for yourself could set you back thousands of dollars.
A Jaguar E-Type
According to Enzo Ferrari, the Jaguar E-Type is the most beautiful car ever made. That’s certainly an impressive endorsement, but how did he come to that conclusion? Well, there are a few reasons…
First, it’s one of only six cars on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Second, it’s 268 horsepower engine and 3.8-liter engine has a massive six cylinders. It can go as much as 150 mph – an impressive speed at the time.
Alfa Romeo Spider Duetto
Who doesn’t absolutely love this 1966 Spider Duetto from Alfa Romeo? It’s one of the most attractive and driver-friendly vehicles ever made and was certainly praised when it was released.
Even though the last Spider was made in 1993, you can still find these riding along the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Just make sure to get them updated: they don’t have any indicators or seatbelts as standard!
A Morris Garages (MG) MGB
Why hasn’t had a midlife crisis and bought a red MG? Well, it might be because the buyer wants to tap into some nostalgia from 1962. Here we can see the follow-up model from the MGA, and what a beauty it is! It was affordable, light, and comfortable – meaning everyone wanted one at the time.
It has a four-speed manual gearbox and is one of the most popular sports cars ever made. We guess that’s what makes it so comfortable in our list of some of the world’s best vintage cars.
A Pontiac GTO
There are plenty of Pontiac GTO’s still on the road today, which proves that they were truly remarkable at the time. The original generation of this car was manufactured from 1964-1974, and even won the Motor Trend Car of the Year in 1968.
But why? Well, the Pontiac GTO came with added features like rally wheels, metallic brakes, and power steering. Suddenly, anyone who was anyone wanted their own. In 1965 alone, they sold more than 75,000 cars.
An Austin Mini
Today, city folks all over the world would be interested in investing in one of these cars. Originally from 1959-1967, the Austin Mini was one of the first small cars for people to squeeze into small places.
It might not be the most comfortable car, but drivers can reach 30 miles per gallon on these when hitting the open road. And what’s more convenient than a tiny car to fit in all the tight spots of the city center?
A Chevrolet Bel Air
These beauties were produced from 1950-1981, making them an all-American staple of the classic Americana times. Here, we can see how Chevrolet pulled off the non-detachable hardtop convertible. At the time, it was one of the most stylish attempts at the design.
This full-sized car was perfectly practical for families. For those who wanted a little more power to their engine, the 1955 model had a V8 engine. This meant you could zoom along the highway at top speed and full force!
A Dodge Dart
These Dodge Darts were designed to compete against the Chrysler Plymouth. In 1960, they first hit the market against the Plymouth which had been cruising along the marketplace since the 1930s.
In total, there were three different trim levels: the Seneca, the Pioneer, and the Phoenix. The Dart ended up being a serious contender against the Dodge and even caused some of Chrysler’s other brands to get discontinued. For those who are seeking a return to this classic vehicle, check out prices online.
A Maserati Ghibli
Maserati’s have always been gorgeous, and no year rings more true for this than 1969. The model technically fell into a category of AM115 – a V8 engine from 1966 to 1973. This two-door car was a real beauty.
Sports Car International ranked it number nine in their Top Sports Cars of the entire 1960s. Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, it was first revealed at the 1966 Turin Motor Show. Even today, more than 50 years later, it is considered one of the best cars to drive.
A Ford Falcon
If only there were more of these on the road today! The 1960 generation of the Ford Falcon is a front-engine and six-passenger vehicle that was made for all 10 years of the 1960s. There were many different models, but we’re looking at the four-door sedan.
All versions came with three-speed manual as standard or even a two-speed automatic transition if the driver wanted it. All in all, the car was produced in countries like Canada, Mexico, Argentina, and Chile.
A Dodge Charger R/T
This 1968 model of the Dodge Charger is one of those cars that has stood the test of time – nearly 60 years after it first hit the road. It’s such a classic vehicle that it’s hard to look at it without thinking of the vintage days from the 1960s and 1970s.
It looks as though it’s something from an episode of Starsky & Hutch or another classic TV show. We love the subtle use of chrome along the edges for the design.
A Lotus Esprit
Although it was in production in the 21st century, the Lotus Esprit gives off the vibe of a vintage car. Production ran from 1993-2004 and definitely looks more nineties than noughties. The twin-turbo V8 generation car is still on roads today.
Fans of the Esprit can sit and ride in this car that can take them down the country roads. You might want to be careful: it isn’t so easy to get spare parts for a Lotus these days, so be sure not to break down!
A Hudson Hornet
Here’s another car that looks as though she should be parked outside a drive-in theater from the ‘50s. The Hudson Hornet was only produced for three years (1951-1954), but it was long enough to leave a lasting impression for generations after.
Even though Hudson is one of Detroit’s lesser-known car producers, this particular model highlights the bathtub design of the decade. Today, these are known for their participation in stock-car racing. Would you like to see these back on the road?
An SS Cars SS100
Is there any other car that can sum up a decade like the SS100? Produced by SS Cars from 1936-1940, this automotive design epitomized the style and progress of a pre-war nation.
In time, SS Cars would take on a new name: Jaguar. Until then, the manufacturers garnered a reputation as some of the most impressive and elegant vehicles in Europe. While many cars no longer adopt this shape, it’s a great example of powerful nostalgia to look at these.
A Volkswagen VW Van
Is there anything more iconic and nostalgic than the VW van? It is responsible for defining the entire swinging ‘60s era and housed millions of homeless hippies until they grew up and got jobs.
Today, we don’t see them nearly as much as we used to, but that doesn’t mean they’re not well-loved. You won’t go far without hearing someone’s story about the times they spent in this thing. Truly a classic! What’s your favorite VW van story?
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