Flashback To 1970: Classic Cars That Turned 50 Years Old

Although nowhere near as exciting as the previous year, 1971 did see a decent amount of new cars introduced on the market that year. The automobiles ranged from little Kei cars all the way to enormous land yachts.

A brand new Maserati sports car, a flashy Ferrari, or an upscale Rolls Royce were just a few of the exciting automobiles that first went on sale 50 years ago. Interestingly, 1970 was also the year of the debut of the world’s most expensive car at the time!

AMC Matador

AMC Matador
Gerry Stiles/The Enthusiast Network via Getty Images
Gerry Stiles/The Enthusiast Network via Getty Images

This vehicle was developed by American Motors Corporation to serve as a successor of the successful AMC Rebel. The original, first-generation Matador hit the market for the 1971 model year. The base model fitted with a bland flat-six motor, though a much more exciting variant was available as an extra option.

The Go Package became available for the Matador in 1971. The vehicle featured an array of upgrades, including dual exhaust, enhanced handling, and upgraded brakes. Buyers could pick from a small-block 5.9L V8 or a more powerful 6.6L V8 motor to power the Matador Machine. AMC only built around 50 of them in ’71.

Chrysler Valiant Charger

Chrysler Valiant Charger
Sicnag/Wikimedia Commons
Sicnag/Wikimedia Commons

Did you know that Dodge released an Australian version of the Charger in 1971? The muscle car craze was a worldwide phenomenon back then, and the American automaker decided to introduce variants of their muscle cars for other markets. As Dodge wasn’t a recognizable automaker in Australia back then, Chrysler decided to sell the Valiant Charger as a Chrysler instead.

Under the hood, the base model Valiant Charger packed a 140-horsepower 3.5L motor. A couple of different V8 options were available too, including a 275-horsepower engine for the car’s most powerful variant.

Ford XY Falcon GT

Ford XY Falcon GT
Sicnag/Flickr
Sicnag/Flickr

The Ford Falcon is Australia’s beloved series of sedans built from 1960 to 2016. The XY Falcon GT was a souped-up variant based on the regular XY-generation of the Falcon from the early 70s. It went on sale for the 1971 model year and was discontinued just a year later.

The performance-oriented version of the XY Falcon was fitted with a 351-cubic inch V8 engine under the hood, rated at 300 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. The GTHO Phase III is even more sought-after than the regular Falcon GT. It could reach 60mph in just 6.4 seconds.

Maserati Bora

Maserati Bora
John Lamm/The Enthusiast Network via Getty Images
John Lamm/The Enthusiast Network via Getty Images

The Bora was the top-of-the-line Maserati of the 1970s. This stylish sports car was a major advancement for the Italian automaker, too. Before releasing the Bora, Maserati was infamous for creating cars that were outdated, despite being fast. The Bora broke the cycle and proved that Maserati could create modern vehicles.

The Bora was powered by a V8 motor mounted behind the driver. Initially, Maserati offered the Bora with either a 4.7L or a more powerful 4.9L motor. In 1973, the automaker got rid of the 4.7L altogether. Today, both variants of the vehicle are desired by wealthy collectors, as only 564 of them were produced in total.

Stutz Blackhawk

1970 Stutz Blackhawk. Creator: Unknown.
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images

The Blackhawk looks like the personal vehicle of any blockbuster villain. In 1971, the spectacular Blackhawk was the most expensive vehicle you could purchase. Elvis Presley and Al Pacino are among the long list of famous owners of this land yacht.

While the Blackhawk was based on a Pontiac Grand Prix, the two vehicles barely have anything in common. Virgil Exner was responsible for the design of this vehicle. He reportedly wanted to create a modern version of classic cars from the 1930s. Under the hood, the Blackhawk packed Pontiac’s big-block 7.5L V8.

Alfa Romeo Alfasud

Alfa Romeo Alfasud
Charles01/Wikimedia Commons
Charles01/Wikimedia Commons

1971 saw the debut of one of Alfa Romeo’s most successful vehicles of all time, the Alfasud. This stylish family car was designed by Italdesign. The Italian automaker had only been founded a few years earlier, but the Alfasud continued to be built for over a decade, selling over 800,000 units in total.

Although the car features astonishing design inside and out, the performance is a lot less impressive. The Alfasud was never meant to be a high-performance machine, after all. The base model produced around 60 horsepower from its 1.2L boxer motor. Newer examples of the Alfasud built from 1978 onwards packed an 85-horsepower 1.5L under the hood.

Ferrari 365 GTC/4

Ferrari 365 GTC/4
Thesupermat/Wikimedia Commons
Thesupermat/Wikimedia Commons

While 1970 was indeed an eventful year for automobile premieres, there wasn’t a single Ferrari that debuted that year. 1971, however, saw the premiere of the 365 GTC/4, one of the rarest vehicles that wore the Prancing Horse badge.

The 365 GTC/4 was a stylish grand tourer produced by the Modena-based automaker for fewer than two years. The car came powered by a 4.4L V12 under the hood, mated with a 5-speed manual transmission. Ferrari only produced 505 examples of the 365 GTC/4 before discontinuing the model in 1972.

Ligier JS3

Ligier JS3
jeffweb/Flickr
jeffweb/Flickr

The JS3 is, without a doubt, the rarest vehicle on this list. In fact, only one unit was ever made. The race car was built by Ligier Automobiles, a French automaker that used to be involved in Formula One between the 1970s and the 1990s. Today, Ligier produces tiny microcars and utility vehicles.

The JS3 was raced by Guy Ligier himself back in 1971. The legendary driver even entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the JS3 that year, though he failed to classify due to technical issues during the event. Although Ligier completed the race, he had only driven 270 laps, which was 127 fewer than the winning vehicle.

Rolls Royce Corniche

Rolls Royce Corniche
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

This was one of the classiest vehicles money could buy, at least back in the early 1970s. The Corniche is an upscale Rolls Royce that was sold as a coupe and convertible. Under the hood, the automobile packed a 6.75L V8 that produced around 240 horses. It was only offered with a three-speed automatic transmission.

The first-gen Corniche has quickly become a desirable classic. The British automaker only built around 4,000 units in total, before replacing the Corniche with its successor in 1987.

Lancia 2000

Lancia 2000
Rust/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Rust/ullstein bild via Getty Images

You simply cannot go wrong with a vehicle designed by Pininfarina, and the Lancia 2000 is a prime example. The two-door coupe variant of the car was designed by the iconic Italian marque, renowned for some of the best design in the entire automotive industry.

A quick peek at the Lancia 2000 is enough to understand that the vehicle was indeed designed by Pininfarina. The manufacturer even developed the bodyshells for the vehicle. Once you step inside this stylish coupe, you will feel as if you’ve entered a Ferrari from the same era. The interior design deeply resembles the Ferrari 330GT, which was designed by Pininfarina too.

Subaru Leone

Subaru Leone
Mark van Seeters/Wikimedia Commons
Mark van Seeters/Wikimedia Commons

At first sight, the Leone may look like any other Japanese car from the 1970s. Sure, it’s good-looking, but most petrolheads would not think much of it. Until they realize that this was the direct predecessor of the iconic Subaru Impreza, that is.

Back in 1971, the newly-unveiled Subaru Leone was only available in a 2-door coupe body style. A year later, the Japanese manufacturer added sedan and station wagon variants. Back then, the Leone was also the largest car built by Subaru. The vehicle came fitted with a variety of different flat-four motors, with both automatic and manual versions available. The car was discontinued after 1994 when it was replaced by the Impreza. The rest is history.

Fiat 127

Fiat 127
NZ Car Freak/Flickr
NZ Car Freak/Flickr

Many auto enthusiasts forgot that this vehicle ever existed, as the 127 was nowhere near as popular as its successor, the Fiat Uno. This front-wheel-drive supermini hit the market back in 1971.

Under the hood, the original 127 packed a fuel-efficient four-cylinder motor initially rated at 46 horsepower. The optional 127 Sport trim saw a larger, 1.3L flat-four which produced 74 horses in total. Different body styles were offered, buyers could pick from 6 different ones. The car was eventually replaced by the Fiat Uno after 1983.

Buick Centurion

Buick Centurion
Michael Spiller/Flickr
Michael Spiller/Flickr

The Buick Centurion is perhaps one of the most stylish cars that debuted for the 1971 model year. Despite its striking design inside and out, the Centurion was not as beloved as its predecessor- the Wildcat. Despite selling 30,000 units in the first year of production, Buick discontinued the Centurion merely two years after the car’s debut.

The Centurion was offered as a 2-door coupe, 4-door hardtop, and 2-door convertible. Initially, the vehicle was offered with a big-block 7.5L V8 under the hood, rated at 315 horsepower. An optional Stage 1 configuration mated with a manual transmission was available, too.

Holden HQ

Holden HQ
Frederick Thomas Murray/Fairfax Media via Getty Images
Frederick Thomas Murray/Fairfax Media via Getty Images

1971 was a major year for Holden, an automaker based in Australia. It saw the debut of the HQ Line, the first major redesigned Holden line since its initial release in the late ’40s. The all-new line consisted of an array of different models, such as the Holden Kingswood or the Premier.

Holdens from the new HQ Line came with one of two different flat-six motors under the hood, or one of three optional V8 engines. The base models made 112 horsepower from their 2.8L powerplants, while the most powerful variants peaked at 275hp.

Austin Apache

Austin Apache
Vauxford/Wikimedia Commons
Vauxford/Wikimedia Commons

There is a great chance that you have never heard of the Apache. This small family car hit the South African market in ’71. The stylish vehicle was designed by Giovanni Michelotti, who was one of the best Italian automobile designers of the 20th century. Some of his most notable work included designing the BMW 02 Series, as well as countless vehicles for Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, and Maserati.

The Apache was far from the most exciting vehicle of the 1970s. The base model was powered by a 63-horsepower flat-four engine, while the “sporty” package increased the power output to 75 horses coming from the same motor.

Renault 15

Renault 15
Jeremy/Flickr
Jeremy/Flickr

The Renault 15 is a stylish coupe that was launched by the French automaker in 1971, alongside the Renault 17. Both vehicles were essentially two-door coupe variants of the Renault 12 sedan. While the vehicle shared many components with the Renault 12, both the Renault 15 and the 17 received a brand new engine.

The most powerful variant of the sports car was powered by a 1.5L flat-four that made 107 horsepower in total, while the base model only made 59 horses from its 1.3L motor.

Mercedes Benz R107

Mercedes Benz R107
Remy Steiner/Getty Images for IWC
Remy Steiner/Getty Images for IWC

This iconic sports car line is the second-oldest series of Mercedes-Benz vehicles that are still in production today. The R107/C107 generation itself was sold for nearly 20 decades, starting in 1971. The car acted as a status symbol and was immensely popular among buyers, the German automaker sold over 300,000 units in total.

The 2.8L flat-six motor was shared between the entry-level SL and SLC trim levels of the car. The largest engine option for the SLC was a 5.0L V8, while the SL received a more powerful 5.6L V8 as well.

Clan Crusader

1971 Clan Crusader. Creator: Unknown.
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images

You have probably never heard of the Crusader, a small British sports car built by Clan between 1971 and 1974. It was developed by a team of ex-Lotus engineers who aimed to create an ultra-lightweight sports car with exceptional performance.

The Crusader is actually made of fiberglass instead of a heavy metal body, much like the Chevrolet Corvette. Unlike the Corvette, the Clan had a tiny flat-four motor that peaked at only 51 horsepower. The vehicle was rather expensive compared to other kit cars. The debatable exterior styling did not boost the Crusader’s sales figures, either. Only 315 units were built.

Pontiac Grand Safari

Pontiac Grand Safari
Josephew/Wikimedia Commons
Josephew/Wikimedia Commons

At the time of its release, the Pontiac Grand Safari was the largest Pontiac ever built. The station wagon featured over 60 inches of shoulder room, both front and rear, which had never been done before. The Grand Safari set the record for the widest interior in a production vehicle, it wasn’t dethroned until the 1990s.

Pontiac powered the Grand Safari with an engine that matched the enormous size of the car. All units were fitted with either 400-cubic inch V8 motors, or an even larger 455-cubic inch big-block.

Morris Marina

Morris Marina
Len Trievnor/Daily Express/Getty Images
Len Trievnor/Daily Express/Getty Images

The Morris Marina was a small family car developed by Austin-Morris as a rival to the successful Ford Escort. Two years after the car’s debut in 1971, UK sales of the Marina surpassed those of the Escort. For the first time ever, the Austin-Morris subsidiary of British Leyland dethroned Ford. The Marina remained one of the best-selling cars in the UK within the following years.

While the United Kingdom only received the four-cylinder version of the Morris Marina, British Leyland sold a flat-six variant in Australia and South Africa. The car was eventually discontinued after 1980.

Alpine A310

Alpine A310
Pierre MICHAUD/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Pierre MICHAUD/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Expectations were high at the Geneva International Motor Show in early 1971. Renault teased to unveil a brand new sports car, which would be the direct successor of the legendary Alpine A110.

The A310 was built in a similar way to its predecessor- the vehicle featured a steel frame and a lightweight fiberglass body. Renault even fitted the new A310 with the same 125-horsepower motor found in the A110. The styling, however, was completely different. In ’76, the French automaker replaced the flat-four powerplant with a more powerful V6 engine.

Dodge Ram Van

Dodge Ram Van
Jason Lawrence/Flickr
Jason Lawrence/Flickr

The first-ever Dodge Ram Van went on sale for the 1971 model year. While it was meant to be a workhorse back then, automobile enthusiasts begin to appreciate the original Ram Van as a classic.

Although the van was available with a variety of different powerplant options starting from a 3.7L slant-six, the 5.9L 360-cubic inch V8 wasn’t available until 1972. In the late 70s, the Ram Van was marketed in Dodge campaigns alongside the Lil’ Red Express Truck and the Dodge Macho Power Wagon.

Mazda Grand Familia

Mazda Grand Familia
Taisyo/Wikimedia Commons
Taisyo/Wikimedia Commons

The Grand Familia was developed by Mazda to compete with other fuel-efficient Japanese cars at the time, such as the Mitsubishi Colt or the Toyota Corolla. Toyota chose to equip the Grand Familia with several different flat-four powerplants, to ensure that the vehicle would have a good fuel economy. The energy crisis of the ’70s positively boosted the sales of the new Grand Familia.

Mazda offered three different body styles of the car: A 2-door coupe, a 4-door sedan, and a 5-door station wagon. Although the Grand Familia was successful at the time, it is nowhere near as famous as its successor, the Mazda RX7.

Mazda Savanna/RX3

Mazda Savanna/RX3
Blick/RDB/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Blick/RDB/ullstein bild via Getty Images

The original Mazda Savanna, also known as the Mazda RX3 on some markets, was actually a Wankel-powered variant of the previously mentioned Mazda Grand Familia. The Savanna was born by simply replacing the Grand Familia’s motor with a rotary engine. In effect, motorists in Japan were able to avoid a higher annual tax bracket while getting a motor that was more powerful than the one from the regular Grand Familia.

The car hit the US market a year after its initial debut in 1971. The Savanna was rebadged as the Mazda RX3 and proved to be very successful among buyers in North America.

Mitsubishi Galant FTO

Mitsubishi Galant FTO
Mitsupicture/Wikimedia Commons
Mitsupicture/Wikimedia Commons

Few people are aware that FTO is an abbreviation for Fresco Turismo Omologato in Italian or Fresh Touring Origination in English. The sports car debuted for the 1971 model year and was replaced by the Mitsubishi Lancer after 1975.

Initially, the Galant FTO was offered with a 1.4L flat-four under the hood, which peaked at 86 horsepower. While that may not sound too impressive by today’s standards, the car only weighed around 1,800 pounds. The max speed of the Galant FTO was 99 miles per hour.

Honda Life

Honda Life
Rainmaker47/Wikimedia Commons
Rainmaker47/Wikimedia Commons

If you’re looking for a quirky Kei car, the original Honda Life may be the perfect pick. This tiny Japanese automobile hit the market for the 1971 model year. Honda even produced a pickup variant of the Life for a couple of years, though those are fairly difficult to find these days.

Don’t expect exceptional performance from this tiny city car. The Life’s tiny 356cc engine only makes 30 horsepower. The sprint to 60 miles per hour takes it over half a minute, and the top speed is only 65mph. However, this tiny city car only weighs between 1000 and 1200 pounds, depending on the configuration.

Murat 124

Murat 124
Manfred Schmid/Getty Images
Manfred Schmid/Getty Images

The Murat 124 is a Turkish variant of the Fiat 124, and the only Turkish vehicle that debuted in 1971. At the time of the Murat’s debut, the Fiat 124 had already been around for five years in other markets. The rebadged Fiat 124 was not built in Fiat’s plant in Turin. Instead, the cars were built by Tofas in the Turkish city of Bursa.

Other than the badging, the Murat 124 was identical to the regular Fiat 124. It came powered by a fuel-efficient flat-four motor.

Opel Rekord D

Opel Rekord D
Roland Weihrauch/picture alliance via Getty Images
Roland Weihrauch/picture alliance via Getty Images

The Opel Rekord D was a replacement of the Rekord C Series, the first units rolled off the assembly line in 1971. Despite a drastic change in terms of styling, the powertrain of the Rekord D was nearly identical to its predecessor’s. In fact, the automaker used the same flat-fours that could be found in the B-Series Rekord from the mid-60s.

In 1972, Opel introduced a diesel-powered version of the Rekord. This was the slowest variant of the Rekord. It could take over half a minute to reach 60 miles per hour, though high performance was the last thing Opel focused on. The car was eventually replaced by the E Series in 1977.

Subaru G

Subaru G
Tennen-Gas/Wikimedia Commons
Tennen-Gas/Wikimedia Commons

This tiny subcompact was only produced for two model years, starting in 1971. The Subaru G was a direct predecessor of the Subaru Leone. Under the hood, the G packed either a 1.1L or a 1.3L motor. Both engine variants were incredibly good on gas.

The car quickly became a hit among US buyers. After all, a brand new Subaru G would only cost around $2,000. This cute vehicle was renowned for its excellent fuel economy, it easily achieved up to 29 miles per gallon.

Toyota Celica

Orange County Register Archive
Jeff Gritchen/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images
Jeff Gritchen/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images

There is no doubt that 1970 was indeed more eventful than 1971, at least in terms of automobile premieres and debuts. A prime example would be the popular Toyota Celica, an affordable Japanese sports car that dates back to ’70 when it first hit the market. Back then, it was a completely different car than you might expect.

Although the Celica is purely a Japanese car, the exterior design resembles a muscle car. Unlike American muscle cars, the Celica never came with a V8 motor. Instead, Toyota decided to fit the sports car with a range of different four-cylinder motors.

Lamborghini Jarama

Lamborghini Jarama
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images

The Jarama is the classic Lamborghini you have never heard of. That’s because this creation was overshadowed by some of the finest automobiles that have ever left the Sant’Agata Bolognese factory, such as the Countach or the legendary Miura. In fact, Lamborghini only managed to sell 328 units of the Jarama during the car’s 6-year long production run.

Naturally, the Jarama came powered by a screaming V12 motor rated at 350 horsepower. The Italian automaker introduced the enhanced Jarama S in 1972, which received a small power bump up to 365hp.

Opel Manta

Opel Manta
Blick/RDB/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Blick/RDB/ullstein bild via Getty Images

The Manta is yet another sports car that resembles an American muscle car, or at least its front fascia. This mean-looking sports car was introduced by Opel for the 1970 model year. Much like the previously mentioned Toyota Celica, the Opel Manta never came with a V8 engine. The German automaker opted for a toned-down flat-four instead.

Despite the aggressive exterior design, the Manta was not particularly powerful. In fact, the initial version of the sports car only made 60 horses from its little 1.2L powerplant. The car did handle rather well, thanks to its low center gravity and lightweight body.

Alfa Romeo Montreal

Alfa Romeo Montreal
Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

1970 saw the long-awaited Alfa Romeo Montreal, a jaw-dropping sports car that was first shown as a concept back in 1967. It was designed by Marcello Gandini, who also designed the Lamborghini Miura just a few years prior.

The Montreal peaked at 197 horsepower generated from the car’s V8 motor. It can sprint to 60 miles per hour in around 7.5 seconds, which was nothing short of impressive back in the ’70s. The vehicle was eventually discontinued after 1977.

Dodge Challenger

1970 Dodge Challenger RT 440 6 Pack
Barrett-Jackson via Getty Images
Barrett-Jackson via Getty Images

One of the greatest muscle cars of all time, the Dodge Challenger first went on sale for the 1970 model year. Dodge developed the Challenger to compete with the Pontiac Firebird and the Mercury Cougar. It was the second vehicle built on the Chrysler E-Body platform, the first being the Plymouth Barracuda that debuted in 1964.

At the time of its debut, the R/T was the ultimate trim of the Challenger. The muscle car packed a 425-horsepower Hemi under the hood in its most powerful variant. The Challenger saw great initial success, with over 76,000 units sold in the first year.

De Tomaso Pantera

De Tomaso Pantera
Bob D’Olivo/The Enthusiast Network via Getty Images
Bob D’Olivo/The Enthusiast Network via Getty Images

De Tomaso Pantera is yet another iconic classic car that turned 50 years old in 2020. Believe it or not, this gorgeous sports car quickly became forgotten. Luckily, it rose back to fame in the 21st century. Today, the De Tomaso Pantera is highly sought-after by wealthy collectors around the world.

The heart of the Pantera was a V8 motor sourced from Ford, which was mounted in the rear of the vehicle. De Tomaso offered coupe and Targa body styles. Over 7,000 units of the Pantera were built during its 21-year long production run.

Range Rover Classic

1971 Range Rover
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images

The original Range Rover, now referred to as the Range Rover Classic, first hit the market for the 1970 model year. The car was initially built by the Rover division of British Leyland. By 1978, Rover Group became an independent automaker.

The Range Rover quickly gained a reputation as one of the most capable SUVs on the market. Its success was also reflected in booming sales figures. The car had been in production for a whopping 26 years. It was still on sale two years after its successor had arrived on the market!

Plymouth Superbird

1970 Plymouth Superbird 440 6 pack
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

For some reason, Dodge decided that the 1969 Charger Daytona was not quite extravagant enough. The souped-up muscle car obviously needed a wing that was even taller than the one on the Daytona, as well as a longer front-end. Hence, the Plymouth Superbird was born in 1970.

The Plymouth Superbird was a performance-oriented muscle car built primarily for motorsport use. It was based on the regular Road Runner. Despite massive success at NASCAR in 1970, the roadgoing units were not a hit among buyers. Today, the Superbird is one of the most desired muscle cars of all time.

Ford Pinto

GettyImages-837395478
Denver Post via Getty Images
Denver Post via Getty Images

The Pinto became famous for all the wrong reasons. Instead of being renowned for its exceptional performance, affordable fuel economy, or reliability, the Pinto got popular because of a life-threatening safety hazard.

The Ford Pinto was notorious for going up in flames as soon as it was hit from behind. Despite some positive reviews right when the subcompact debuted, the car’s reputation went down in flames as soon as the controversy surrounding the car had emerged. The tendency to burst into flames was caused by the poor placement of the car’s fuel tank.

Citroen SM

Citroen SM
SG2012/Flickr
SG2012/Flickr

Citroen unveiled the SM coupe back in 1970, which was unarguably one of the most futuristic-looking cars at the time. Despite being manufactured by the French automaker, the SM was Italian at heart.

A V6 powerplant sourced from Maserati powered this gorgeous vehicle. The SM was fitted with all kinds of modern features, such as a self-leveling suspension system or a power steering system that adapted based on the car’s speed. We can only imagine how crazy it must have looked out on the streets back in the 1970s.

Citroen GS

Citroen GS
Order_242/Wikimedia Commons
Order_242/Wikimedia Commons

1970 was also a great year for Citroen, an automaker from France. Apart from the previously mentioned SM, the manufacturer also released the GS that same year. While both of the cars quickly became industry leaders, the GS was arguably even more significant.

Without a doubt, the most notable feature of the Citroen GS is the car’s hydraulic suspension system. The GS was awarded as the Car Of The Year in 1971. It was one of the most technologically advanced automobiles of its time.

1969 Chevrolet Camaro

GettyImages-615559356-65956
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

The ’60 Camaro is known for not only being fast, but also being overwhelmingly powerful. Conceived by drag racer Dick Harrell, it was made specifically for drag racing. Plus, it came with a 427 cu in a big-block V8 engine called the ZL1.

That particular powertrain gave the Camaro all the performance output it needed to make it one America’s most popular muscle cars. With that being said, only 69 of these cars were built, making this one of the rarest and most important muscle cars to America.

1961 Lincoln Continental Convertible

fl0117-275078_1-84296
Pinterest
Pinterest

The ’61 Lincoln Continental Convertible featured its trademark suicide doors to go with a convertible top, making it one of the most distinctive cars on the market.

While designing the car, engineers came across a big problem. When they were examining the back seats, they consistently kicked the rear doors. To solve this, they would hinge the doors from the rear, elevating the Continental to icon status. The car was the first American vehicle to offer a two-year, 24,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.

1963 Buick Electra 225

1f469f47bc46895ee5e3f40bb3b92d73-90474
Pinterest
Pinterest

The Buick Electra received a major restyling in 1962. Just about the only thing that stayed the same was the company’s signature “ventiports.” Under the hood, Buick equipped the car with a 401 cubic-inch V8 that provided a major power upgrade. And with gas costing about 31 cents a gallon, no one seemed to mind the decreased MPG.

The Electra was offered by Buick for more than three decades with several body styles; convertible, station wagon, sedan, and coupe. The Electra would be replaced by the Buick Park Avenue in 1991.

1968 Plymouth Roadrunner Hemi

1968-Plymouth-Road-Runner-426-Hemi-Coupe-V2-1080-71347
Pinterest
Pinterest

It may have a name that’s inspired by the Looney Tunes character, but the Road Hemi is all business. The ’68 Plymouth became a popular choice for a muscle car in the late sixties since it offered customers a back-to-basics package that provided everything people wanted in a muscle car.

Plymouth put emphasis on the car’s performance, leaving all the styling intricacies behind, including the interior where “added options” became a foreign concept. On a side note, Plymouth actually paid Warner Bros. $50,000 for the rights to use the name.

1966 Ford Thunderbird Convertible

fully-restored-1966-ford-thunderbird-convertible-with-roadster-kit-must-be-seen-1.jpg-56542
topclassiccarsforsale
topclassiccarsforsale

The Thunderbird was first introduced in 1955. But to any car lover’s eye, the best they ever made is the ’66 version. The rear turn signals were incorporated with the rear lighting scheme, which all worked to compliment the car’s “low-slung styling.”

The Thunderbird was never marketed as a sporty car. Instead, the car was one of the first personal luxury cars. The car was so luxurious that the convertible was featured in the 1991 Ridley Scott film Thelma & Louise.

1967 Chevy Chevelle

Chevy-Chevelle-16139
Pinterest/trhine67
Pinterest/trhine67

Hardcore Chevy enthusiasts typically prefer two model years of the Chevelle, 1967 and 1970 (pictured). The car got a revamped look in 1967, with its sales brochure boasting: “What you’ll see inside will probably bring on a severe compulsion to go driving.”

The year a new dual master cylinder brake system, with front disc brakes available on all models. 14″ wheels and a redesigned rear completed the look. The epitome of a muscle car, the 1967 Chevelle is the kind of car that will stop traffic with its good looks.

1969 Ford Mustang 428 Cobra Jet

1969-ford-mustang-428-cobra-jet-r-code-15115
GT Motor Cars, LLC
GT Motor Cars, LLC

In 1969, Ford introduced a new, more powerful version of the Mustang; the Mustang Cobra Jet. It’s regarded as the model that took the fight to the big-block Camaros and Firebirds of the time. With a 428-CID V8 engine, it featured larger valve heads than the standard Mustang.

The Mustang Cobra Jet was capable of reaching 410 horsepower. This figure was notable since it brought in a new wave of interest for the Ford Mustang. With the release of the 428 Cobra Jet, the tables finally turned for the company.

1965 Shelby GT350

GettyImages-657493102-65310
Michael Cole/Corbis via Getty Images
Michael Cole/Corbis via Getty Images

All 1965 GT350s were painted Wimbledon White with Guardsman Blue rocker stripes. Initially, the battery for this car was placed in the trunk. When consumers began to complain about disconcerting smells of fumes, it was moved.

There was only one transmission available, which was a four-speed Borg-Warner T10 manual. The exhaust system in the 65 GT350 was a side-exit dual exhaust with glass pack mufflers. It is rare today to find a fully equipped GT350 on the market or on the road.

1960 Ferrari 250 PF Cabriolet

52b57d2b97e44a58f90b16d425b643618e975289-61673
RM Sotheby’s
RM Sotheby’s

With the release of the Ferarri 250 PF Cabriolet in 1960, the luxury automaker continued its mission to offer something special to consumers that they couldn’t buy from another brand.

It served as the perfect car for touring and emerged as a car for those who wanted to go on a road trip. The 250 series cars are characterized by their use of 3.0 liters with a Colombo V12 engine, designed by Gioacchino Colombo. When the car was discontinued, the 275 and 330 series replaced it.

1965 GT K-code Fastback

sc0513-152313_1@2x-17208
CJ Pony Parts
CJ Pony Parts

This was the car everyone would want to have in their garage. It came with a high-performance engine that left other autos in the dust, so it was no surprise why people wanted this car.

Interestingly enough, Ford did a deal for buyers to remove nine months off the warranty. The company must have known that whoever got behind the wheel of this car was going to drive fast and hard for good measure. On the Mustang order form, the K-code was a $276 option package.

1967 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

1967-chevrolet-camaro-z28_7080-86934
American Muscle Car Museum
American Muscle Car Museum

The first pony car in GM’s stock was introduced in 1966. Almost as fast as it became a hit, GM was offered to qualify the Camaro for the sports car Club of America’s TransAm racing series.

All GM and Chevy need to do was adjust their engine to the limited 305 cubic-inches, which they were more than happy to do. For those buying it from the showroom floor, it was available as a two-door or two-plus-two seat, with the choice of either a straight-6 or V8 engine.

1967 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake

iUl9bRv-58606
sacrifade/Reddit
sacrifade/Reddit

Despite its sports-looks, the Super Snake had the pulse of American muscle coursing through its veins. Essentially, it was a racecar that was modified to be driven on the street as it holds acclaim as the most popular cars Cobra has ever made.

Not only was it powered by the V8 Shelby engine, but it has a pair of Paxton superchargers to the mix, doubling its output from 427 to 800 horsepower. It shouldn’t be surprising that this is the most powerful Shelby to ever but built, as it has the title of being one of the rarest American muscle cars ever.

1971 AMC Javelin

1971_AMC_Javelin_SST_red_Kenosha_street.jpg-69805
Wikipedia
Wikipedia

Javelins were one of the more unusual muscle cars. There were two generations of the Javelin. On was introduced in 1968, while the other replaced it in 1971.

The biggest engine option was the 390 cu inch, 6.4 liter with four-speed manual transmission. This made the 315 horsepower go from zero to 60 miles per hour at 6.6 seconds, and reach at a top speed of 122 miles per hours. The total production for the 1968 AMC was a healthy 6725 cars.

1968 BMW 2002

BMW-2002-Coupe-front-50722
BMWGalleryOfNorwood / Facebook
BMWGalleryOfNorwood / Facebook

The BMW 2002 laid the company’s groundwork as a builder of compact sporting sedans. It paved the way for the contemporary BMW 3 and 4 Series cars. To this very day, anytime BMW offers a new small two-door coupe, it resurrects the memory of the 2002 vehicle.

Since the car was introduced in 1962, it wasn’t until 1966 that BMW finally applied the formula to a two-door coupe, with the result being the two-door sedan becoming the basis of the sporting 02 Series.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray Coupe

f7512056d503a97992215a52e5d792a2d81feedd-28372
RM Sotheby’s
RM Sotheby’s

The ’63 Sting Ray was the first production Corvette coupe ever offered. The split rear window ensures its instant icon status as it marked the first time hideaway headlights were applied to the Corvette.

The Sting Ray, with its acceleration horsepower, acted like a lighter version of a Corvette. Over 20,000 units were built for the 1963, which doubled how many were produced for the year prior. The second generation of the Chevy Corvette sports car was produced for the 1963-1967 model years.

1960 Chrysler 300F Convertible

chrysler-00013-1-40021
Barrett-Jackson Auction Company
Barrett-Jackson Auction Company

The ’60 300F was perhaps the most dynamic iteration of Chrysler’s “Letter Series.” As the first of the 300 models to use unibody construction, it was both lighter and more rigid than its predecessors. Additionally, the car also featured a four-place seating with a full-length center console, which contained the switches for the power window.

What’s more interesting is that the front seats swiveled outwards when the doors were opened to make it easier to get in and out.

1969 Dodge Charger Daytona

3668_WH_170811_Classic_dodge_charger_daytona_17-3 Read-Only_-large-69445
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images
National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

The ’69 Dodge was the first car to break the 200MPH mark in NASCAR history. Thanks to its popularity, the car was available to be sold to the public, but it was only produced for a year.

The reason is because of its successor, the 1970 Plymouth Superbird, was even more notorious. In reality, the Superbird was just Daytona Charger in a not so clever disguise. The cars were so fast that NASCAR eventually banned them from competition.

1961 Jaguar E-Type

GettyImages-849773380-12181
Michael Cole/Corbis via Getty Images
Michael Cole/Corbis via Getty Images

Enzo Ferrari proclaimed this to be the most beautiful car ever made. This car is so special, that it’s one of only six vehicle models on display at the New York City Museum of Modern Art.

Production on this particular car lasted as long as 14 years, a span which lasted from 1961-1975. When the car was first introduced, the E-Type Jaguar was powered by a 268 horsepower 3.8-liter with a six-cylinder engine. That gave the car a top speed of 150 miles per hour.

1967 Lamborghini Miura

GettyImages-619038036-44703
Michael Cole – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images
Michael Cole – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Historians will agree that the car that put Lambo on the map was the ’67 Miura. The world’s first mid-engine exotic sports car was also the first Lambo to feature the fighting bull logo.

Built by Lambo engineers in their free time, the Miura was first shown to the world at the 1966 Geneva Auto Show. It was given a powerful 3.9 liter, 350-horsepower V12 engine. Although impressive, the car had a short run, and was only manufactured between 1966 and 1973.

1962 Morris Garages (MG) MGB

14343183-1962-mg-mgb-std-84171
The Collector Car Network
The Collector Car Network

The MG was released in 1962 as the follow up model to the MGA. It was light, fast, and, and affordable, making it very desirable at the time. Although seemingly under powered being rated at 95-horsepower, the 1.8-liter, four cylinder engine provided plenty of torque.

The four-speed manual transmission came with an optical electric overdrive feeding the rear wheels. This is easily one of the most popular sports cars ever made, and it’s no surprise why the MGB is a certified icon to this day.