Many cars have come and gone over the years, no matter how luxurious they might've been, but during the 1960s, there were a few vehicles that stood out among the rest. Keep reading to discover the most iconic cars from the '60s.
When Jeeps first hit the road, they were used solely by the US Army, until the '60s, that is. These off-road vehicles became some of the most desirable cars on the market, and in 1966, the Jeepster Commando was created.
This new Jeep was unlike any other vehicle on the road; It resembled a pickup truck and a conventional Jeep, and people were dying to get their hands on one of these babies! Today, these cars are rare but quite valuable.
The '60s were certainly the age of muscle cars, and when the Ford Mustang was brought to the market in 1964, it was instantly in high demand. The first generation of this particular vehicle essentially introduced a whole new automobile class, known as the pony car.
The original models included a hardtop and a convertible and were initially considered a compact car. However, over time, the design was modified, and the car's dimensions became larger. To this day, the Ford Mustang is still quite popular, and some owners of original vehicles have given them an update to keep them looking fresh.
Aston Martin DB5
While muscle and pony cars took over the American market, England demanded an entirely different group of vehicles during the '60s. English cars were built to be slimmer and less bulky, specifically one luxurious car, known as the Aston Martin DB5, an international treasure.
This vehicle was showcased in the film Goldfinger in 1964, and it was incredibly desirable from then on. Once it was associated with James Bond's sharp appearance, this car was a dream, but not everyone could afford this luxurious automobile. The original models of these cars are truly a hidden gem.
Jaguars were first introduced during the 1930s, but some say they weren't recognized for their high value until the '60s. The company continuously released new models of this classic car, and one of the more noteworthy vehicles was the Jaguar E-Type, which was first revealed in 1961.
The car's features set it apart from the rest, with the prominent headlights and one of a kind exhaust. Ever since it hit the market, the Jaguar E-Type has been recognized worldwide as a piece of luxury. Even the Royal Family owns one of these babies, proving its timeless value.
If you've seen a Lamborghini on the road, then you probably know that these cars indeed stand out from the rest. With bright colors and sleek, vibrant features, these bad boys certainly make a statement. The Lamborgini Miura was released for purchase in 1966.
Anyone and everyone couldn't wait to get their hand son one of these magnificent Italian sports cars. This class of automobiles was only produced for seven years, and less than 800 models were ever created, making them even more valuable and quite pricey. Car fanatics worldwide are on the hunt for one of these beauties.
During the '60s, the Volkswagen Beetle was known as the car for the everyday man, as it was affordable and easy to maintain. Some of the other vehicles on this list were rather pricey, while the VW Beetle was much more realistic. Hence why so many of them were spotted on the road.
According to Forbes, the 'Bug,' as some call it, became a symbol of the '60s. However, the company stopped manufacturing this model during the late '70s. But in 1998, the New Beetle was brought back to the market. The Beetle was modified again years later, but sales are far lower than they once were.
From the moment the Chevy Chevelle hit the market, consumers were eager to take this baby for a test drive. The vehicle was frequently displayed at car shows worldwide because of its unique appearance. During the '60s, the Chevelle was intended to be the perfect balance between the small Chevy II and the full-sized models.
The Chevelle had variations for everyone, ranging from two-door sportscars to four-door sedans, making it incredibly desirable. Its practicality and sleek image caused other car companies to make competing automobiles, but still, the Chevelle stood out on the road.
Ferrari 250 GTO
There's no doubt that all Ferraris are show-stopping vehicles, especially the 250 GTO, which was produced during the early '60s. The exquisite model from 1964 included a V12 engine, increased radiator air throughout the vehicle, and other luxurious features, according to ferrari.com.
The Ferrari 250 GTO was first showcased at the annual pre-season Ferrari press conference in 1962, as the only front-engine model being shown. This car was the definition of exclusive since Enzo Ferrari, the company's founder, had to approve each buyer. Today, few models are still on the road, making it an incredibly rare gem.
When the Plymouth Barracuda was first introduced to the market during the 1960s, people were in awe at its capability. The first generation of this two-door pony car was sold from '64-'66, and a few years later, the second generation was introduced, with some modifications, of course.
After a while, the Plymouth Barracuda was discontinued, giving owners of this magnificent vehicle the upper hand in the market, as the cars became hard to come by. Therefore, there aren't too many Cudas out there today, so if you happen to see one, just know it's a rarity.
Ever since the Dodge charger hit the market in 1966, it's remained a prominent car on the road, with various modifications made along the way. The initial model helped take Dodge to the next level and has been the company's most popular vehicle for years.
The first generation Charger was designed to be a high-speed race car. Dodge decided to relaunch the car in 2006, to make it more current with modern technology and other desirable features. It stems from the original design but has clearly evolved over time. Evidently, the Charger will never go out of style.
The British Motor Corporation's MGB became popular in England during the early '60s. The vibrant two-seater sports car was one of the first vehicles to include a crumple zone, a feature designed to protect the driver and passenger in case of an accident.
It eventually made its way to America as well and was known to be relatively affordable and easy to drive. The photo above features English model Kate Moss cruisin' through the streets in her royal blue MGB, proving that it's an absolutely timeless automobile.
Alfa Romeo Giulia
The Italian car company Alfa Romeo Giulia was all about taking automobiles to the next level, with all kinds of bells and whistles. One of their most noteworthy vehicles, the Alfa Romeo Giulia, rose to popularity during the 1960s and showed the world that cars could be practical and beautiful.
Alfa Romeo was one of the first car manufacturers to create a light-weight yet powerful engine, essentially changing the automotive industry. Therefore, these babies were pleasant to look at, but they were also used as race cars with their impeccable speed.
The Lotus Elan was known for introducing a potent, lightweight sportscar to the 1960s, used for racing and pleasure. The 1962 model was the first of Lotus' vehicles to have a steel backbone chassis and a fiberglass body, ultimately modifying the automobile industry overall.
Less than 15,000 of these vehicles were manufactured, making them even more valuable, so anyone who had the privilege of driving one of these bad boys was one of the lucky ones. The Lotus Elan's build allowed it to take on all sorts of twists and turns on the road, making it quite versatile.
Volkswagen Microbus Type 2
From road-tripping across the country to rock bands' world tours, the Volkswagen Microbus Type 2 was an iconic vehicle during the '60s. It served an entirely different purpose than the VW Beetle, as this baby was built to travel far distances and provide a home to those who rode in it.
"It became popular with people who were rejecting mainstream American culture," revealed Roger White, a land transportation historian. These vans were even replicated as toys for kids, as they made such a significant statement worldwide. These babies may not be as popular today, but they sure do hold a lot of meaning.
The Lincoln Continental held some substantial meaning during the '60s, as many celebrities and politicians rode in these vehicles. Therefore, it was incredibly classy, with beautifully crafted rear-hinged suicide doors, making this one of the more expensive cars on the market.
Various generations of the vehicle were made, but the ones showcased during the '60s were the talk of the town. James Brown was frequently seen cruising in his Lincoln Continental Mark III, and unfortunately, the Continental was also the car that John F. Kennedy was in when he was assassinated.
There was something about the '60s that caused an increase in demand for sports cars, including the Shelby Cobra. The inspiration for this model came from the famous race car driver Carrol Shelby. He was drawn to Ferraris, Maserati's, and some other expensive sports cars for their speed, but he felt something was missing.
Shelby demanded a car with a more reliable engine, so he started manufacturing a new line of automobiles, with Ford Motor Company's help. The Shelby Cobra dominated the race track, and Carrol was able to further his career with this new and improved vehicle.
One of Ford's many popular cars during the '60s was the GT40, a two-seater speed-racer. Henry Ford II was determined to produce a vehicle that would beat Enzo Ferrari's car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, an endurance race that Ferrari won multiple years in a row, and he succeeded.
Chief engineer Roy Lunn designed the car to have a V-8 engine and sleek body, ready to show off some speed. The GT40 amazed the audience, as it indeed dominated the track and continued to win that very race for years to come. These cars are still on the market today, looking as sharp as ever.
Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale
The Alfa Romeo Giulia wasn't the only car from this company to thrive during the '60s; The 33 Stradale was also an incredibly desirable vehicle. However, only 18 of them were made, so those who had the privilege of driving one were among the lucky ones.
The futuristic-looking car was featured in the Italian film Un Bellissimo Novembre and was considered one of the most stunning vehicles during the time of its release. Most people have never even seen an Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale on the road, but true car lovers know its value.
Some say bigger is better, but when it comes to the Mini Cooper, well, that's a whole other ball game. This tiny vehicle was introduced during the '60s as a fuel-efficient car that could still comfortably seat four people and fit into small parking spaces, of course.
The Mini Cooper was even considered an icon of '60s British pop culture. People of all backgrounds wanted to get their hands on one of these babies, and given its size, the car could drive much faster than other vehicles on the road. Minis are still somewhat prevalent today but look quite different than they once did.
The Nissan Datsun 240Z was released in 1969, ultimately ending the 1960s with a bang. It closely resembled many of the other automobiles from the '60s but had many modifications that would more frequently be seen during the '70s. The Datsun 240Z even had features that couldn't be found in a Porsche or any other luxury car.
"It was a real sports car that real, American-size people could fit in," said comedian Jay Leno. "It was comfortable, and it was durable, and it was quite good." The Datsun 240Z proved to be classy and timeless, as the vehicle's popularity never seemed to die down.
With the popularity of sports cars and muscle cars at an all-time high during the '60s, people wanted something in the middle. And that's where the Jensen Interceptor came in; a more elegant and less-intimidating vehicle, which was first manufactured in 1966.
Often referred to as the 'Gentleman's Express,' the car combined English leather interior, wood, Smith's gauges, low-maintenance drivability, and high-performance. According to hagerty.com, a Jensen Interceptor was sold for approximately 1967, which is nearly $60,000 today.
BMW 02 Series
This particular company's logo is incredibly recognizable worldwide, and it all started back in the '60s with the BMW 02 Series. During the early '60s, BMW began looking for ways to create a smaller car, which would resemble their iconic sports cars during the 1930s, with two doors instead of four.
The vehicle's overall make was redesigned, as well as many cosmetic features, to attract more drivers to this luxurious car. The 02 Series continued to be manufactured for nearly a decade, as it was incredibly popular. Eventually, the BMW 03 Series was released, and the company continued to thrive.
The Chevrolet Corvette's first generation was first released in the early '50s, but it didn't reach its peak just yet. The horsepower was still lower than most sports cars, so the company made some adjustments. Come the '60s, Corvette was a much more iconic name, as the second generation was quite an impressive automobile.
According to cnet.com, the 1963 model was the only Corvette to offer a split-rear window, which car fanatics couldn't get enough of. Over time, the car became more and more popular, and Corvette gained its reputation as a beautiful, high-quality car.
When the Porsche 911 first hit the market during the 1960s, it was meant to replace the 356, which had already been a success for years, and the company wanted to give consumers something new. Ferdinand "Butzi" Porsche, the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, the original founder, wanted to put a whole new spin on the brand.
He aimed for something larger, more comfortable, and more powerful, to ultimately take Porsche to the next level of luxury. The car's initial name was the 901, but this was eventually changed to 911, and it truly put Porsche on the map internationally. These gems will forever be in style.
The 1960s certainly had its fair share of luxurious sports cars, so when the Hillman Imp first hit the market, it stood out among the rest. This particular vehicle was more practical and affordable for the working class and was released after the fuel shortage caused by the Suez Crisis during the '50s.
Hillman Imp was a popular car for years, but when Chrysler began manufacturing similar vehicles during the late '60s, Hillman Imp started to suffer. Chrysler targeted the same audience and released similar models, and Hillman Imp eventually stopped production, so today, there are few of them left on the road.
After the Chevrolet Corvette became incredibly popular during the '60s, the Stingray was created and was even more unbelievable than the first Corvette model. This particular vehicle was designed to combine elegance and high-quality engineering, with many advanced features.
I mean, can you imagine driving down the street in one of these bad boys?! Now that must be what luxury feels like! This second-generation Corvette was mesmerizing on the road and certainly helped improve Corvette's already impressive reputation. To this day, the Stingray is still a sought after car.
From convertibles to SUVs, Ford dominated the market, and consumers were in awe when the Thunderbird was released in 1955. Supposedly, Ford rushed this particular vehicle to the market after their competitor, Chevrolet, released the Corvette and received lots of positive feedback.
The Thunderbird shot to popularity during the late '50s and early '60s, as people were dying to get their hands on one of these stunning convertibles. Ford continued to improve the vehicle over the years, adding two more seats in the back, and the Thunderbird remained in high demand.
Similar to Ford, Toyota's also manufactured cars for people of all different backgrounds over the years. One of its most memorable models was the Toyota 2000GT, which was released during the 1960s. It was first displayed at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1965, and people couldn't believe its stunning and sleek body.
While it was under the Toyota name, the car was designed by Yamaha Motor Company and considered one of Japan's first supercars. The vehicle essentially had it all; Visually appealing, luxurious, and speed. Toyota continued to modify the car for years to make it fit the time.
You may not have heard of the motor company Studebaker, as it took a major hit in the late '60s and eventually went off the grid; However, the Studebaker Avanti was once incredibly desirable. The Avanti hit the market in 1962 and was known as a high-performance four-person car, which was rare back then.
Unfortunately, though, not many of them were manufactured, as the company had to shut down one of its main factories shortly after production. The Avanti was essentially Studebaker's last hurrah and helped the company go out with a bang. There aren't many of these babies left today.
As soon as Ford started selling the Mustang, Chevrolet knew they needed to create a comparable product, so they got to work and came out with the Camaro. This instantly became a significant competitor of the Mustang during the late '60s, available in a convertible or a hardtop.
The Camaro remained in production for decades, as it was incredibly desirable and frequently spotted on the road. Without a doubt, Chevrolet succeeded with the Camaro, as it's still being made today, with some current modifications, of course. And the classic models are highly valued to this day.
Matra might be gone, but it's certainly not forgotten. Back in the day, the French manufacturing company was responsible for one of the most popular sports cars: the M530. Built with the youth in mind, the tiny vehicle soon became one of the most sought-after cars of the early '70s.
And with good reason. From the favorable price to the facelift it received in 1971, the M530 was both easy on the eye and consumers' wallets. Unfortunately, it went out of production by 1973 but will always be remembered as one of the most beloved vehicles of the era.
Back in 1967, as Mazda unveiled their latest model, they never could've imagined the madness that'd ensue. Not only did the Cosmo quickly morph into one of their most beloved vehicles, but those lucky enough to get behind its wheel felt "More like [they were] flying than driving," as Mazda put it.
With a sleek, lightweight design and state-of-the-art technology, it's no surprise the swanky car sold for about $13,522 (roughly $133,000 today). And given the fact that it was the first mass-produced model with a rotary engine, it didn't only make for good eye candy.
Plymouth Road Runner Hemi
One glance at that car below, and it might not seem like much. But where the Road Runner Hemi lacked in style, it certainly made up elsewhere. Of course, we're talking about this Plymouth model's impressive features, which included a 383-CID and 425 horsepower.
Safe to say, those lucky enough to have taken this car out for a joy ride already know why it shared the same name as our favorite Looney Tunes character. Not only did it boast monster power, but the speedy car was ahead of its time - even landing a feature in 2006's Fast and the Furious. Talk about living life in the fast lane...
De Tomaso Mangusta
Long before Elon Musk came into play, De Tomaso was busy giving us a glimpse at the future. The car company's 1967 model, the Mangusta, was as sleek and futuristic as it got. And with a name like Mangusta (Italian for "mongoose")? You can bet the impressive vehicle left its enemies - well, competitors - feeling uneasy.
Not only was the flashy model meant to destroy its rival, the Shelby Cobra, but we'd say it did exactly that. Featuring an 8-cylinder engine, 306 horsepower, and cutting edge design, the sleek sports car was the vehicle to have during its 4 years of production.
When General Motors released the Pontiac Tempest back in 1960, they knew they were taking a massive leap of faith. After all, smaller vehicles were practically unheard of at the time. Safe to say, a whole lot has changed since then. As for what made it so great?
"The four-cylinder Tempest was a smooth-driving car," retired Pontiac engineer Malcolm R. "Mac" McKellar proudly recalled. Featuring high-quality innovation and low prices, the revolutionary vehicle boasted sports car stability without the hefty price tag. What's not to love?
Buick Electra 225
When Buick unveiled their Electra 225 in the '60s, it instantly got people talking. Not only did the car span a massive 225 inches in length (hence the name), but the redesigned model also had lots of other upgrades to show for itself. What, exactly?
From power brakes to power steering, the 225 was as impressive as the flashy "Electra 225" badge plastered on the front of its fender. Perhaps that's why it's no surprise the model - dubbed the "Deuce and a Quarter" - ruled the roads. It was simply the epitome of Buick luxury.
While it might not have been as flashy as an Electra 225, our next classic car actually was eight years in the making; an affordable alternative for those who didn't want to shell out the big bucks on a Ford Thunderbird or other luxury models of the time.
When Oldsmobile showcased the 1966 model, it was like nothing we'd ever seen before. Boasting front-wheel drive, a first for General Motors, the stylish car soon morphed into a fan favorite; "symbolic of a resurgence of imaginative engineering and tasteful styling in the U.S. auto industry," as Motor Trend proudly put it.
Chrysler 300F Convertible
With a lighter, more rigid design than its predecessors, the Chrysler 300F was as dynamic as it was stylish. And we're not just talking about the car's front seats that swiveled outwards for easier access. As for why the impressive model found its way onto our list?
The 1960's classic had it all: Style, performance, and smarts. From its luxurious leather interior to its foldable fabric roof, the 300F was as sporty as it was swanky. And with a large front engine and rear-wheel drive, it's no surprise the innovative design made it one of the most sought-after models of its time.
Cadillac Coupe De Ville
From the radio to the ac to the dimmed headlights, the Coupe De Ville's modern features may not seem like much. But back in the day? Cadillac was ahead of its time. So much so, that the famed 1960's model was a must-have when it came to luxurious rides.
Not only was the vehicle decked out with impressive features, but its bulky design also made sure it stood out from the crowd. Perhaps that's why several of our favorite mafia members opted to get behind the wheel of this luxe model in The Sopranos.
"You're not like everyone else:" that's exactly what Maserati promised those lucky enough to get behind the wheel of this vintage model. And from the looks of it? They weren't lying. Ever since unveiling the design back in 1966, the Ghibli has taken the automotive world by storm.
Not only did it land a spot on Sports Car International 's roundup of Top Sports Cars of the '60s, but the luxury ride continues to turn heads to this very day. That's right, the Maserati classic is still in production today. And with a sleek design and speedy acceleration, it's no surprise it's going to cost you a pretty penny.