Best Classic Cars – Top 20 Timeless Cars

Although we can all appreciate and admire the latest supercars and sports cars with F1 and fighter jet technologies, they still have decades ahead of them before they develop the seductive character of cars that are 50 years old today. After all, classic cars wouldn’t be demanding such astronomical prices if they had nothing to offer.

Now we will list some of the best classic cars of all time, covering virtually every era, continent, and type. That includes muscle cars like the Dodge Charger, luxury cars like the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud, pre-war cars like the Bentley 8 Litre, and a whole slew of sports cars like the Mercedes-Benz 300SL.

Best Classic Cars of All Time

I love classic cars because they represent a time in history and a level of craftsmanship so admirable till date. For classic car enthusiasts, the thrill of finding and restoring vintage vehicles that have beaten time is exhilarating. It cannot be more lucrative and time saver for vintage car lovers with this run-down of 20 best classic cars that have withstood the test of time.

1. AC Cobra 427

AC Cobra 427

And based on the original AC Ace’s success, which came out in 1961, the model development continued until, in 1965, Shelby decided that the small 4.7l V8 wasn’t cutting it anymore and jammed a huge 7.0 in its place. That resulted in a car the size of the original Mini, weighing one metric ton and packing 435 horsepower. 

Unfortunately, the AC Cobra was way too expensive at the time, and out of 100 designated road-going chassis, only 55 were assembled and sold. Naturally, some of those were destroyed, and today, the remaining AC Cobras are selling for over two million dollars, and rightly so.

Brand AC
Model Cobra
First Production Year 1965
Engine 7.0L V8 – 425HP
Transmission 4-Speed Manual
Current Price $2,000,000

2. Jaguar E-Type Series 1

Jaguar E-Type Series 1

The Series 1 E-Type is arguably the best-looking classic car ever; at least, that’s how Enzo Ferrari described it, and certainly one of the best classic cars of all time. Moreover, when the E-Type first came out, it was one of the fastest cars on the market, plus it cost a third of the price of an equivalent Ferrari. That’s not to say the E-Type is slow by today’s standards, with a mid-six second 0-60 time and a top speed of over 140mph.

To make matters even better, a total of over 33,000 Series 1 E-Types were made in both convertible and coupe versions, so there are plenty of them to pick from even today. And although the later versions got a V12 engine, the series 1 with a 4.2 straight six is the one to have; plus, you can find them for under $100,000.

Brand Jaguar
Model E-Type Series 1
First Production Year 1961
Engine 3.8 I6/4.2 I6 – 265HP/265HP
Transmission 4-Speed Manual/3-Speed Automatic
Current Price $150,000

3. Aston Martin DB5

Aston Martin DB5

Aston Marting always made the most elegant cars, and the DB5 is the epitome of what the brand stands for. That being a GT car with world-class performance that isn’t shoving it in everyone’s face. And not only is the DB5 fast and beautiful, but it’s also one of the biggest automotive movie stars made famous by the intelligence agent Bond, James Bond.

Back to the technical side of things, the DB5 hides a 4-liter straight six under the hood with dual overhead cams and between 282 and 325 horsepower. All that power is good for an 8-second 0-60 run and 145 mph, which may not sound all that impressive today, but let’s not forget that this is a big grand tourer from the early sixties.

Brand Aston Martin
Model DB5
First Production Year 1963
Engine 4.0L I6 – 282HP/325HP
Transmission 5-Speed Manual/3-Speed Automatic
Current Price $600,000

4. BMW 507

BMW 507

A very small number of car models can say that they almost bankrupted the manufacturer because they didn’t sell, but somehow those models always turn out to be the most iconic once a couple of decades pass. And such is the story of the BMW 507. BMW projected they could sell 5,000 507s a year but ended up selling only 252 in the entire four-year production run.

Still, that doesn’t take anything away from the fact that the 507 is the most beautiful BMW ever made and the most expensive BMW ever sold. As a matter of fact, the small production run only adds to its exclusivity, together with the fact that the 507 got the first-ever BMW V8 engine. That V8, truth be told, isn’t too exciting with only 150hp, but not everything is measured in horsepower.

Brand BMW
Model 507
First Production Year 1956
Engine 3.2L V8 – 150HP
Transmission 4-Speed Manual
Current Price $2,000,000

5. 1967 Porsche 911S

1967 Porsche 911S

The Porsche 911 is possibly the most recognizable sports car ever made, and with an almost 100-year-long production with the same basic design, that’s not surprising. And what better way to experience the 911 if not with the original? But since the initial versions only had 110hp, the one to get is the 1967 911S with 160hp out of the 2.0 flat-six engine.

Still, if 160 horsepower doesn’t sound like much either, there are plenty of engines to choose from, going from the 2.2l all the way up to the 2.7 RS with 210hp. Furthermore, you can pick between coupes and Targa convertibles. Unfortunately, the production numbers are a little disappointing at just over 2,000, with many of them converted to competition cars.

Brand Porsche
Model 911S
First Production Year 1967
Engine 2L Flat-6 – 160HP
Transmission 5-Speed Manual
Current Price $260,000

6. Ferrari Testarossa

Ferrari Testarossa

The Ferrari Testarossa is the epitome of 80s excess in terms of both design and power. It’s also the last Ferrari GT with a mid-mounted engine, and what an engine it is. The Testarossa gets a 4.9l flat 12 engine with 390 horsepower. All that power will push you to 62 mph in just over 5 seconds, and keep pushing until you reach 180 mph.

Those performance figures are still impressive today, and with almost 10,000 units built, the prices are still fairly reasonable. The average price today is roughly $150,000, but only ten years ago, there were plenty of examples selling for a third of that amount. That means the Testarossa is not only a classic but that its time is yet to come making it an investment as much as a fire-breathing supercar.

Brand Ferrari
Model Testarossa
First Production Year 1984
Engine 4.9L Flat-12 – 390HP
Transmission 5-Speed Manual
Current Price $200,000

7. Lotus Elan MK1

Lotus Elan MK1

“Simplify and add lightness” is the famous quote and motto of Colin Chapman, the Lotus founder. That motto is reflected in every Lotus car ever made, and the resulting lightness combined with small but powerful engines is what makes Lotus cars so special, including one of the greatest ever, the Elan.

The Lotus Elan was available as both a convertible and a coupe plus a 1.5 and, later, a 1.6 twin-cam engine. There is also a plethora of special performance editions like the S2 and S3, all of which are extremely popular entries in vintage rallies. While it might sound weird that a car with 105 hp competes in rallies, it’s not so much once we mention that the Elan sprints to 62 mph in just 7.4 seconds which is faster than the 325 horsepower Aston Martin DB5 we mentioned earlier.

Brand Lotus
Model Elan MK1
First Production Year 1962
Engine 1.5 I4/1.6 I4 – 100HP/105HP
Transmission 4-Speed Manual
Current Price $30,000

8. Lamborghini Miura

Lamborghini Miura

Performance, historical significance, and scarcity are not the only things that make a car classic; although the Miura isn’t lacking in any of those aspects, it’s also an interesting story. And the story is that the Miura was never supposed to exist since Ferruccio Lamborghini never approved it, but that didn’t stop a group of Lamborghini engineers from building it in secret.

And the fact they did gave us the first ever mid-engine supercar as we know it today, it gave us the fastest production car of its time with a top speed of 174 mph, and it gave Lamborghini the foundation on which all future cars were built. Everything about the Miura was bespoke, from the transverse V12 engine to the steel chassis, and with only 764 built, its average price today is $1.5MM.

Brand Lamborghini
Model Miura
First Production Year 1966
Engine 3.9L V12 – 350HP
Transmission 5-Speed Manual
Current Price $1,200,000

9. Mercedes-Benz 300SL Coupe

Mercedes-Benz 300SL Coupe

Although the Mercedes 300SL is most recognizable for its gullwing doors, it’s got a lot more interesting components under the skin. For example, mechanical direct fuel injection, a tubular chassis, a 240 horsepower straight six in 1954, a world record top speed for production cars of 163 mph, and a folding steering wheel.

The 300SL was also offered as a convertible but not alongside the coupe, and the convertible was nowhere near as impressive as the coupe. And even though 1,400 coupes were built, a number much higher than some we have seen so far, it’s not uncommon to come across examples selling for over $5MM, which is another testament to the 300SL’s greatness.

Brand Mercedes-Benz
Model 300SL
First Production Year 1954
Engine 3L I6 – 240HP
Transmission 4-Speed Manual
Current Price $1,400,000

10. Rolls Royce Silver Cloud MK2

Rolls Royce Silver Cloud MK2

After so many cars where the main focus was horsepower, we come to one where the power figures were never disclosed and were advertised as nothing more than “adequate.” Of course, the only manufacturer who could get away with something like that is Rolls Royce, which puts comfort and utmost luxury as the number one priority, and horsepower figures are considered, well, vulgar.

And the Silver Cloud of all models is possibly the most beautiful one, with a sweeping tail resembling the original British tailcoats. Inside, the Silver Cloud gets wood everywhere and bench seats that are covered in leather. If all that don’t sound enough for an $800,000 car, just know that it was enough for Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and John Lennon.

Brand Rolls Royce
Model Silver Cloud MK2
First Production Year 1965
Engine 6.2 V8 – 177HP
Transmission 4-Speed Automatic
Current Price $75,000

11. Bentley 8 Litre

Bentley 8 Litre

The Bentley 8 Litre has to be one of the greatest pre-war cars ever, and it certainly is one of the greatest Bentleys. The 8 Litre is Bentley’s first grand tourer, so in a way, it could be considered the earliest predecessor to the modern Continental GT. Originally the 8 Litre was offered as a rolling chassis, much like all luxury cars were at the time, with the factory builds coming from the Mulliner coach builder, a name still present on modern Bentleys.

The engine in the 8 Litre is just that, 8 liters of displacement from a straight six engine with dual spark plugs per cylinder and overhead camshafts, and four valves per cylinder. The top speed of this two-and-a-half-ton behemoth was 125 mph which is impressive for 1930, to say the least.

Brand Bentley
Model 8 Litre
First Production Year 1930
Engine 8L I6 – 230HP
Transmission 4-Speed Manual
Current Price $825,000

12. 1968 Dodge Charger R/T

1968 Dodge Charger R/T

The Dodge Charger is yet another movie star made famous by one of the greatest car chase scenes ever in the movie Bullitt and later on in the TV series The Dukes of Hazard. But that’s not to say the Charger is nothing more than a movie prop; on the contrary. If nothing else, the Dodge charger is the first car to break 200 mph in NASCAR.

And although it was available with the slant six engines, the one that everyone wants is the second generation R/T (Road/Track) that came with the 440 Magnum or the 426 Hemi engine. For our European readers, that’s 7.2 and 7.0 liters, respectively. Both engines made plenty of power to justify the mean looks and the villainous hidden headlights.

Brand Dodge
Model Charger R/T
First Production Year 1968
Engine 7.2L V8 – 365HP
Transmission 3-Speed Manual/3-Speed Automatic
Current Price $100,000

13. Alfa Romeo GTA

Alfa Romeo GTA

The Alfa Romeo GTA is the polar opposite of the previous car on this list, with only 1.3 or 1.6-liter engines and no more than 115 horsepower. However, that fact also means the GTA is lightweight at 750 kilograms (about 1653.46 lbs). That means the GTA has 225 horsepower per ton, which is more than a modern Porsche Panamera GTS, the latest Toyota Supra GR, and even the Porsche 993 Turbo.

Still, the aspects in which the GTA shines the most cannot be described with words and numbers. But the average price tag of $220,000 for this tiny sports car from the sixties will convince you enough to at least avoid judging it until you get the chance to try one out.

Brand Alfa Romeo
Model GTA
First Production Year 1965
Engine 1.3L I4/1.6L I4 – 96HP/115HP
Transmission 5-Speed Manual
Current Price $300,000

14. Lancia Stratos

Lancia Stratos

Typically when you think of a purpose-built mid-engined race car, you imagine it going down the Mulsanne straight or around Imola, but in this case, you would be wrong. The Stratos is a Group B homologation special with a designated chassis that looks like it came out of a sci-fi movie even today with its curved windshield, but it didn’t; it came out all the way back in 1973.

The Stratos is a short-wheelbase, rear-wheel drive monster that gets its power from a 2.4l Ferrari V6 with 200 horsepower in the road-going version. That same car weighs less than one ton or just over 2,000 lbs. Unfortunately, there were only 492 built as per Group B homologation regulations, and today they are going for $500.000.

Brand Lancia
Model Stratos
First Production Year 1973
Engine 2.4 V6 – 190HP
Transmission 5-Speed Manual
Current Price $500,000

15. Lamborghini Countach

Lamborghini Countach

After Lamborghini Miura’s success, the next V12 Lambo had big shoes to fill, to say the least, and somehow, it didn’t disappoint. The Countach graced the kid’s walls all over the world as soon as it came out and continues to this day more than 30 years after the last one was built.

And sure, the V12 in the Countach is impressive with 375 to 445 horsepower, and so is the 190 mph top speed with a 5-second 0-60 time, but nobody even remembers to ask those questions once they lay eyes on one. That’s because the Countach is one of the most striking automotive designs ever and makes up 90% of its appeal.

Brand Lamborghini
Model Countach
First Production Year 1974
Engine 3.9L/4.8L/5.2 V12 – 375HP/375HP/420HP
Transmission 5-Speed Manual
Current Price $500,000

16. Ferrari F40

Ferrari F40

Until now, I am yet to see a reputable and experienced automotive journalist drive a Ferrari F40 and say that it’s not the best car he/she has ever driven. And if that doesn’t speak volumes, maybe the fact the F40 was the fastest production car at the time, or the fact it was essentially a carbon fiber monocoque race car with paint so thin in an effort to save weight you could see the carbon fiber weave under it.

To make the F40 even more special, it was the last Ferrari Enzo himself approved, and it still is one of the few Ferraris with a turbocharger, or two turbocharges, to be precise. Those two turbochargers and a 2.9l V8 engine strapped to them were good for 480 horsepower and a top speed of 201 mph. Interestingly, that one mph is what made it the fastest production car at the time.

Brand Ferrari
Model F40
First Production Year 1987
Engine 2.9L V8 – 480HP
Transmission 5-Speed Manual
Current Price $1,500,000

17. Chevrolet Corvette C3

Chevrolet Corvette C3

We just mentioned how 480 horsepower made the F40 the fastest production car in 1987, but the Corvette Stingray came out in 1969 with just 20 hp less from a 427 big block V8. And despite the huge muscle car engine, the Corvette handled like a true sports car, much like the modern ones do.

However, the 427 big-block Corvettes are often going for over $200,000, and if all-out performance isn’t your thing, you can get ones with the small-block V8 for around $30,000, making this one of the best classic cars under 50k. That makes this an unassuming bargain classic, and you can get it as a convertible too.

Brand Chevrolet
Model Corvette C3
First Production Year 1968
Engine 5.4 V8 – 300HP
Transmission 3-Speed Manual/4-Speed Manual/3-Speed Automatic
Current Price $30,000

18. 1965 Ford Mustang

1965 Ford Mustang

Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any other car that made such a huge impact after the first public showing, and very few that triggered an entire sub-class of cars. When the public first saw the 1965 Mustang, it appeared in over 2,600 news articles the following day. The sales figures were surprising even for Ford itself because the projected 100,000 sales in the first year were crushed.

Instead, the Mustang sold 100,000 units in the first three months and over 300,000 in the first year. And that’s all thanks to its stunning looks, affordable price, reliable engines, and impressive performance. Because of the high production numbers, you can find the original Mustang in any body shape or engine-transmission configuration for $10,000 to $40,000, meaning the Mustang is one of the best classic cars under 30k you can buy.

Brand Ford
Model Mustang
First Production Year 1965
Engine 4.7L V8 – 225HP
Transmission 3-Speed Manual/4-Speed Manual/3-Speed Automatic
Current Price $30,000

19. Toyota 2000GT

Toyota 2000GT

When the 2000GT first came out, the Japanese automotive industry was still in its infancy. The cars that came out of Japan were virtually all just small econoboxes like Kias, and Hyundais were in the nineties. Albeit, the Japanese cars were the most reliable cars at the time, the same way they are today.

Still, you can only imagine how big of a surprise the 2000GT was in 1967 with pop up headlights and a body style even Aston Martin were jealous of. Unfortunately, because of the brand image Toyota had at the time and a relatively high price, there were only 351 2000GTs produced. But nevertheless, the 2000GT is the first ever Japanese car to cross $1MM in an auction, and the prices are not going down any time soon.

Brand Toyota
Model 2000GT
First Production Year 1967
Engine 2L I6 – 150HP
Transmission 5-Speed Manual/3-Speed Automatic
Current Price $1,000,000

20. Nissan 240Z

Nissan 240Z

Unlike the previous 2000GT, the Nissan 240Z was built for the average person in the same way modern Z cars are. That means an affordable price, a big engine in the front, and stunning looks. And while the affordable price was a positive thing back then, that also means a lot of these cars were scrapped instead of preserved.

Still, with 135,000 sold, you will manage to find one in good condition after a little digging, and once you do, the asking price will likely be around $30,000 if it’s pristine. However, there are plenty of 240Z examples for under $15,000, which makes it one of the best classic cars under 20k. Also, keep in mind that 240Z prices will only continue rising as the years go by, making this a great affordable investment classic.

Brand Nissan
Model 240Z
First Production Year 1969
Engine 2.4 I6 – 153HP
Transmission 5-Speed Manual/4-Speed Manual/3-Speed Automatic
Current Price $30,000

Things You Should Consider Before Buying Classic Cars

Classic cars can be an investment opportunity, a collector’s item, or the perfect way to show off your unique style. Before making your purchase, however, there are several important considerations to take into account. Below you find them briefly covered.


The condition of the vehicle you are looking to buy is the most important factor when it comes to classics. Yes, people love classic cars and are willing to pay exorbitant amounts of money for them, but only if they are in perfect condition.

Even the tiniest imperfections will drive the price down significantly, or at least much more than they would on a newer car. Still, that’s not to say those cars are not worth it; remember that fixing them and finding parts will be extremely difficult and expensive. 


A classic car with a fully documented history can bump its price by 10 to 20 percent. And by complete history, we mean ownership changes, services, color changes, the origin documents, the vehicle’s whereabouts, etc. Also, restorations need to be documented because a restored car in good condition is worth much less than an original. Furthermore, low mileage backed by documents will bump the price too.

Maintenance Costs

If it’s your first time buying a classic car, it’s worth asking around how much it costs to maintain the particular model you are looking to buy. We already mentioned how expensive these cars are when repairing. On its top, if you want to maintain a clean record for a good resale price, you want to have the repairs done at a reputable classic car shop, which, again, increases the maintenance price.

Parts Availability

Finding a certain part for an 80s or 90s Mercedes can be extremely difficult. Now imagine trying to find one for a car from the fifties with only 500 examples ever built. Not to mention that once you find them, it will probably be cheaper to manufacture them or CNC machine them if it’s metal. But even if it is cheaper, you don’t want to do that because unoriginal parts will drive the price down.


Q: What is the most beautiful vintage car?

Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it’s impossible to say what vintage car is the most beautiful because the answer is subjective. Still, some worthy contenders include the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, Jaguar E-Type, the Ferrari 330 P3/4, Delage D8-120 S Aerosport, and the Alfa Romeo Canguro, to name a few.

Q: What is the most reliable vintage car?

The most reliable vintage car has to be the Mercedes-Benz W123 series which can still be seen running around Africa with minimal to no maintenance. Other highly reliable cars include virtually every Porsche 911, the Volvo P1800, the Nissan Z series, and the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro are not that bad either.

Q: What is the most affordable vintage car?

According to MotorTrend, some of the most affordable vintage cars that cost less than $5,000 include the Opel GT, Nissan 280Z, and the Jaguar XJ. You can also find a lot of domestic classics for that kind of money, like the AMC Rambler Marlin, Chrysler Windsor, and Pontiac Star Chief.

Q: Are classic cars a good investment?

Yes, classic cars are a good investment as long as you have a good general sense of what cars are likely to increase in value. To help you with that, you can use websites like, where they represent the price history of certain models using a graph much like you would see in the stock market.

Q: What cars will be classics in 20 years?

Figuring out which cars will be classics in 20 years is difficult, but the cars that everyone can agree on include the E92 M3 and E60 M5 because the E92 is the only M3 with a V8 engine while the E60 is the only M5 with a V10. The Honda S2000 is another one because it’s the only Honda of its name with a bespoke chassis and engine.

Q: Will classic cars be banned in 2040?

No, classic cars will not be banned in 2040 or at any other time in the future. However, as new vehicles start moving away from fossil fuels driving a classic car will become increasingly more challenging because fuel prices will rise as well as classic car prices. Also, we may see new fees or taxes for vehicles with internal combustion engines, again making it more difficult to keep classic cars on the road.

Q: Is it okay to daily a classic car?

Yes, it’s okay to daily a classic car. However, if your car is registered as a classic, the laws may limit the yearly mileage you can cover if you want to keep the classic plates. Furthermore, putting a lot of miles on a classic car will have a significant impact on its resale price, so that’s something to keep in mind.

Q: Are classic car prices dropping?

No, classic car prices are not dropping, and they haven’t been since the 2007 global financial crisis. However, there was some speculation that prices may start declining and that the classic car market is in a bubble, but that still hasn’t happened.

Final Words

Considering how much character and individuality each classic car carries and the number of different interesting models, you should always do your own research to find what type of classic car speaks to you the most. And whatever that turns out to be, we hope that we have at least given you some inspiration with this classic car list to aid you in your search for your best classic car. 

Ibro Cehic

Ever since I was bitten by the automotive bug during early childhood I was obsessed with cars. My first driving experience came when I was ten and I already started tinkering with cars and motorcycles at thirteen. So, right from the beginning, I knew my life would revolve around cars, even if I wasn’t sure how that would happen. And today, thanks to my second passion, writing, I get to share my love for automobiles with other enthusiasts through my articles.

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