Classic Sports Cars

There is something thrilling and magical about driving a sports car. The low to the ground feel of the road, dynamic acceleration and power, bucket seats, and 4-speed manual gears on the floor.

Sports cars are the ultimate statement of class, wealth, and luxury. They hold universal appeal with their sexy and youthful design, speed, beauty, and power. Expensive and highly sought after by collectors, with some cars being sold for millions of dollars at auction.

Sports cars originated in Europe in the early 20th Century. They grew in popularity after World War II with the growth of auto racing, advertising, movies, and TV. The cars were popularized by Steve McQueen, Elvis Presley, James Dean, Paul Newman, Sean Connery as James Bond, and others. The classic sports cars in the 1950s and ‘60s were mostly produced in Italy, England, Germany, and the U.S.

Ford Mustang Shelby GT 350, 1965

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America fell in love with the Ford Shelby Mustang high performance sports car driven by Steve McQueen in the popular Bullitt detective movie. The Mustang is designed for racing and to compete with the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, Dodge Challenger, Chevrolet Camera, and Plymouth Barracuda. In 2020 one sold for $3.85 million.

The first generation Mustangs series GT 350 and GT 500 were produced by Shelby American from 1965 to 1967 and by Ford Motor from 1968 to 1970. It comes in three styles – 2-door fastback, hard top, or convertible, with 4-speed manual transmission. Included the 47 liter Winsor K-code V8 engine with 306 horsepower and 6,000 RPM.

Jaguar E-Type, 1961

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The Jaguar E-type is the most iconic sports car in history. Enso Ferrari called it “the most beautiful car ever made.” The British sports car model was built from 1961 to 1971. It has aerodynamic design with unitary construction, independent front and rear suspension, disc brakes, and rack and pinion steering. The 1961 model has a top speed of 150 mph able to reach 60 mph in seven seconds.

Austin Healey 100, 1953

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The British popular and luxurious Austin Healy 100 was produced from 1953 to 1956. The car is built for auto racing and held land speed records in 1953. It includes a 2.4 liter 2,880 cc engine with 3-speed or 4-speed transmission. Capable of 106 mph able to reach 60 mph in 11.3 seconds.

Ferrari 250 GTO, 1962

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The highly sought after Ferrari 250 GTO had only 36 cars produced between 1962 and 1964. Called the “greatest and hottest” sports car by Motor Trend, Sportscar International, and Popular Mechanics. In 2018 one sold for $38 million and another for $70 million.

Built for racing, it has a top speed of 174 mph with 300 horsepower and 7,500 rpm. It includes a Tipo 168/62, 2,953 cc, W12 engine and 5-speed manual transmission.

Corvette C1, 1953

1955

The most iconic American sports car produced from 1953 to 1962. Power, style, choice, luxury, high performance, distinctive styling. It has a top speed of 108 mph able to reach 60 mph in 11.2 seconds. Two door, 2-seater, convertible, 6-cylinder, 39 liter engine, 150 horsepower.

Triumph Spitfire, 1962

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The popular stylish British Triumph Spitfire 2-seater sports car produced from 1962 to 1980. Built to compete with the Austin Healey. The car won several racing championships. It has a top speed of 92 mph and can reach 60 mph in 16.4 seconds. A 1.1 liter 4-cylinder engine, rear wheel drive, unitary construction, rack and pinion steering, 4-speed manual.

MG MGB, 1962

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The popular 2-seater open sports car built by British Motor Corporation between 1962 and 1980. The MG MGB line was produced to rival Triumph and for auto racing. Capable of 60 mph in 11 seconds. Equipped with a BMC B-series engine, 4-cylinder, 1,798 cc, 5400 rpm, and 4-speed manual.

Porsche 911, 1964

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The luxurious designed German sports car is one of the most iconic cars of all time. Produced from 1964 to present. It won several racing championships. High performance, two door, rear mounted flat 6 air-cooled engine, torsion bar suspension.

Pontiac Firebird-TransAm, 1967

1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible

Built to compete with the Ford Mustang with luxurious features and high performance. Highly sought after by collectors. Streamlined design, 2-door convertible or hard top. Top speed of 116 mph able to reach 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. Ram Air III engine, rear wheel drive, 4-speed, 345 horsepower, 5,500 rpm.

Alfa Romeo Spider, 1966

Spider (1966–1993)

A popular Italian convertible roadster produced from 1966 to 1994. The 1966 model is a 2-seater, 5-speed, with front engine, rear drive, and disc brakes. The engine is 4-cylinder, 1570 cc, 125 horsepower.

Lamborghini Miura, 1966

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The first supercar and considered the sexiest car ever made. It was produced to compete with Ferrari. Only 764 models were produced between 1966 and 1973. The 2-seater has a top speed of 163 mph. A 4.0 liter V12 4-stroke engine, 3929 cc, 350 horsepower. A 2-seater with 5-speed manual, rear mid-engine, rear wheel drive.

Aston Martin DB4, 1958

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The popular James Bond movie ‘get-away’ sports car. The British Aston Martin automotive manufacturer produced DB4 series from 1958 to 1963. It is a luxurious 2-seater, convertible or hard top, with a top speed of 130 mph and capable of 60 mph in 9.3 seconds. Included a 4.0 liter 3,670 cc engine, 5,000 rpm, 240 horsepower, disc brakes, and independent front suspension, and rack and pinion steering.

References

Hot Cars

Motor Trend

Next Luxury

Road and Track

Robb Report

Sports Car International

Sports Car Market

Town and Country

Bruce J. Wood
Bruce J. Wood
Bruce J. Wood, founder of AOIDE Bruce J. Wood has worked on Wall Street in business finance and strategy, and has written hundreds of finance business plans, strategic plans, economic feasibility studies, and economic impact studies. Bruce has lectured on creativity and strategic thinking, as well as worked on the development of numerous publishing, film, television, and performing arts projects, along with downtown revitalizations, using the arts as an economic catalyst. As an aficionado of music, art, and dance, Bruce is also a writer and an outdoor enthusiast. He has written poetry, blogs, articles, and many creative project concepts. He lives in the Metro Detroit area and enjoys writing poetry, backpacking, and ballroom dancing.

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