A classic automobile is one of those rare human feats that combines engineering, art, and adrenaline. More than 128 years of automotive history have produced many majestic examples of human ingenuity that still linger in our collective cultural memory. Whether they made a name for themselves on the track or in the movies, these four classics have aged like fine wine, and remind us why we love cars.
The Lamborghini Miura
Produced between 1966 and 1973, the Lamborghini Miura was wildly popular among car enthusiasts in its heyday. Sleek and stylish design aside, the Miura was the fastest production car in the world when it began appearing in car shows, capable of reaching roughly 174 miles per hour and doing 0-60 in 6.7 seconds, thanks to its V12 engine. The car drew inspiration from a prized line of fighting bulls raised on the Miura Cattle Ranch of Seville, Spain — an apt comparison, considering the 360-380 horses under the hood.
The Shelby Cobra
With a British chassis and an American V8 engine, the Shelby Cobra (formally titled the AC Cobra) is one of the most iconic and instantly recognizable line of cars ever produced. Carroll Shelby, the mastermind behind the Cobra, wanted his vehicle to be a “Corvette-beater” — and sure enough the CSX2026 model did just that, besting Corvettes, Jaguars, Maseratis, Porsches, and more on California’s Riverside International Raceway in 1963. Decades later, the Shelby bloodline lives on as a special option for modern-day Ford Mustangs.
The Corvette Stingray
Although the original 1953-1962 line of Corvette C1s was popular, Chevrolet realized even the best models appear dated after a decade and soon released the Corvette C2, more commonly known as the Stingray. Its smooth fastback profile and split back window wowed consumers in the 60s. Drivers who opted for the big-block V8 had a car that could reach 60 miles per hour in 5.6 seconds or blow through a quarter-mile at a breakneck 14.5 seconds. Off the lot, the original Sting Rays carried around 360 horsepower, but drivers with a little mechanical know-how could tweak it upwards of 425 or more.
The Aston Martin DB5
The Aston Martin DB5′s claim to fame is its numerous film appearances as secret agent James Bond’s car of choice. First appearing in 1964′s “Goldfinger,” the DB5 was usually tricked out with hidden gadgets like rocket launchers, oil slicks, and more. While not the most powerful car on this list, the DB5 had a respectable top speed of 143 miles per hour and completed 0-60 in eight seconds. The DB5 also appeared in the films “Thunderball,” “GoldenEye,” “Tomorrow Never Dies,” “Casino Royale,” and “Skyfall.” Only 1,023 DB5s were produced between ’63 and ’65, making it a coveted collector’s item to this day.
Although these four cars are only a sample of the hundreds of iconic models produced through history, they’re sure to turn heads.