Beautiful craftsmanship, undeniable charm and a sense of freedom with a hint of nostalgia: the best old-school cars have an all-encompassing magic that’s hard to put into words.

As any vintage car fan will tell you, there’s nothing like the purr of the engine or the smell of leather when you’re lucky enough to get up close to one of your favorite vintage cars. And that feeling when you spot a perfectly restored, rarely seen model? Unbeatable.

A history lesson in a vehicle, these cool vintage cars tell a story before you’ve even sat down on the faded leather or run your finger approvingly over their pristine paintwork.

While part of the fun of these retro cars comes from driving them, the rest comes from simple admiration. It doesn’t matter if you’re an avid car collector or a window shopper with a keen interest in the most expensive cars, you can still appreciate these types of older cars and old-school mechanics.

Read on for our roundup of the best classic cars— including the most beautiful classic car, the most affordable classic car, and the most reliable classic car. Because, of course, this amazing vintage car might not look so amazing if it breaks down in the middle of the road.

The 21 Best Classic Cars of All Time

Aston Martin DB5 1964

The Aston Martin DB5 was designed to be a talking point and that’s something that’s never really changed. Not only is it one of the most impressive classic cars, it’s also one of the rarest and most iconic.

A name abandoned in the James Bond franchise as well as elsewhere in popular culture, its exorbitant price has increased an estimated 790 times since hitting the market. Conceptualized by Italian designer Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera in Milan, this cool old car was always meant to make an entrance. The more time passes, the bigger the entrance promises to be.

Brand: Aston Martin Model: DB5 First release year: 1964 Current sale value: $990,000

Ferrari 250 GTO 1962

best vintage classic cars Ferrari 250 GTO 1962 old - It's Luxe Time

The sleek and stylish Ferrari 250 GTO is one of the most famous classic cars of all time and for very good reason. This one-of-a-kind model stands out from the rest, both in its modernized design and its high price (just like the most expensive cars in the world).

When it first appeared, this car didn’t even have a name. Before it was officially baptized, it was known internally as “Il Mostro” – the monster – due to its odd design. From its launch in the 1960s through to modern times, it’s been a car that’s pushed through the roof, with a current value that even most millionaires wouldn’t be able to justify.

Brand: Ferrari Model: 250 GTO First release year: 1962 Current sale value: Upwards of $48 million

Jaguar E-Type 1961

best vintage classic cars Jaguar E-Type 1961 old - It's Luxe Time

No self-respecting classic car list could begin without mentioning the Jaguar E-Type. This iconic car has a story of its own that would still break a few records today, with impressive top speeds of 150mph and a sleek design to match.

Enzo Ferrari has described the Jaguar as the most beautiful car in the world and we would be hard pressed to disagree. Many future Jaguar designs were inspired by the E-Type, from body shape to internal mechanics and everything in between. It’s a classic car with a heritage that has arguably lived longer than any existing Jaguar.

Brand: Jaguar Model: E-Type First release year: 1961 Current sale value: $125,000

Porsche 911 1963

best vintage classic cars Porsche 911 1963 old - It's Luxe Time

The Porsche 911 is described as an almost perfect classic sports car, because there is always room for improvement. A longtime staple of the classic car community, this universally beloved vehicle takes a lot of the prize when it comes to impressive stats.

The design of this luxury supercar actually comes from the Volkswagen Beetle, as both were designed by the same person: Ferdinand Porsche. And, even today, the 911 continues to take the record for being the most popular classic sports car in the world. All of these cars were all produced at the same factory in Stuttgart, Germany.

Brand: Porsche Model: 911 First release year: 1963 Current sale value: Starts at $101,000

1970 Chevrolet El Camino SS

best vintage classic cars Chevrolet El Camino SS 1970 old - It's Luxe Time

Think of old American movies and you’ll probably find a vague image of a 1970 Chevrolet El Camino SS springing to mind. This American classic was a national and international icon even before the years passed and it transformed into a classic car rather than an everyday vehicle.

Released as a high-performance version of the standard El Camino, this American coupe was famous for its surprisingly powerful engines and unique design. After the success of the first version, the Chevrolet El Camino SS was reissued in different new generations, all with a little more power but the same bespoke bodywork.

Brand: Chevrolet Model:   El Camino SS First release year: 1970 Current sale value: $33,000

1962 Oldsmobile Starfire Convertible

best vintage classic cars Oldsmobile Starfire Cabriolet 1962 old - It's Luxe Time

The 1962 Oldsmobile Starfire Convertible was the pride and joy of General Motors when it was first released in 1960. It quickly rose to fame as one of the marque’s best-selling models, with its ubiquitous open top and sleek design. elegant and stylish.

Its unique trim and luxurious interiors also helped set it apart from many other General Motors vehicles, something any proud owner would show at the time. Production ceased in 1980, paving the way for new models to take over the market. But show any self-respecting car fanatic the Oldsmobile Starfire Convertible and they’ll still be as impressed as people were in the ’60s.

Brand: Oldsmobile Model: Starfire Convertible First release year: 1962 Current sale value: $26,400

British Motor Corporation Mini 1959

best vintage classic cars British Motor Corporation Mini 1959 old - It's Luxe Time

There is no classic car like the classic Mini. Modernized time and time again with new colors and features, it’s the classic car you’re most likely to see still in action in the 21st century. Shortly after its initial release, the Mini quickly became one of the most popular classic cars of all time.

Originally it was known as the “Austin Seven and Morris Mini-Minor”. Fortunately, the much more appetizing name “Mini” gained momentum after the merger of its two creators. And, while new Minis fight for speed and attention, the original Mini was considered too fast, with the engine scaled down to 850cc, taking 26.5 seconds to hit 60mph.

Brand: British Motor Corporation Model: Mini First release year: 1959 Current sale value: $31,000

1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

best vintage classic cars Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 1965 old - It's Luxe Time

The Shelby Mustang was designed to look good and to drive fast. It wasn’t specifically designed for comfort, and it certainly wasn’t designed for family days out. But at least he excelled in the field he had originally chosen. This sleek, high-performance classic car has come in many different variations, with modifications made over the years to encourage faster speeds (well, but not quite like the world’s fastest cars), cooler designs and all the rest.

Its name comes from its collaboration between the well-known and beloved Ford Motor Company and Shelby American, the manufacturer of high-performance vehicles founded by former race car driver Carroll Shelby. You’ll spot a cobra symbol on many of these vehicles: a nickname given to it early in its day.

Brand: Ford Model: Mustang Shelby GT350 First release year: 1965 Current sale value: $575,000

Mercedes 300SL Gullwing 1954

best vintage classic cars Mercedes 300SL Gullwing 1954 old - It's Luxe Time

Mention the 1954 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing and your ears will no doubt be pricked, especially if you’re in a circle of classic car fans. One of the most elegant and iconic classic cars in the world, the Gullwing firmly cemented its place as a premium offering from its launch.

Capable of reaching a top speed of 163 mph, it was the fastest production car in the world at the time. The “SL” in its name translates into German as super-leicht, or “super light”. This race-ready body was designed to be as light as possible for top speeds.

Brand: Mercedes Model: 300SL Gullwing First release year: 1954 Current sale value: $1.9 million

Chevrolet Corvette 1963

best vintage classic cars Chevrolet Corvette 1963 old - It's Luxe Time

The 1963 Chevrolet Corvette was a rare car even when it was first released, which means finding a trip in one these days – let alone trying to buy one – is an adventure in itself. . This famous American muscle car was best known for its ‘split-window coupe’, offering a unique perspective from both the interior and exterior.

It was considered one of the most powerful cars of its time, with powerful engines and buttery soft leather inside. A time capsule dating back to the 1960s, it’s worth the hunt if you can secure yourself access to one of these cars, even just for a quick glimpse.

Brand: Chevrolet Model: Corvette First release year: 1963 Current sale value: $80,000

Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic 1938

best vintage classic cars Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic 1938 old - It's Luxe Time

Thought an older Bugatti might be more economical than a recent model? Think again. You don’t need better proof that the 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic will ever go out of style than knowing that Ralph Lauren has the very last one to ever be produced. First created as an entirely new design by Jean Bugatti, there were only ever 710 of these models produced.

Also known as a style icon and known to be one of the most valuable cars in the world, the Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic still exists and works today, more than 80 years after its creation.

Brand: Bugatti Model: Type 57 Atlantic First release year: 1938 Current sale value: Up to $1.4 million

Rolls-Royce Dawn Drophead 1949

best vintage classic cars Rolls-Royce Dawn Drophead 1949 old - It's Luxe Time

The 1949 Rolls-Royce Dawn Drophead was originally sold after the war, with the aim of redefining luxury and bringing back the increased comfort levels of before. Although it quickly grew in popularity, it was noted for a few peculiar features, including a lack of seat belts and an engine that didn’t actually pull.

Then there were the buttons, which had subtle markings that made early readers a challenge to make your own adventure. These cars could be customized from the design stage and were first introduced as affordable luxury vehicles. The most famous color was the Silver Dawn variant, of which 760 were produced.

Brand: Rolls-Royce Model: Dawn Drophead First release year: 1949 Current sale value: $400,000

1971 Ford Thunderbird

best vintage classic cars Ford Thunderbird 1971 old - It's Luxe Time

The 1971 Ford Thunderbird is one of those classic cars that comes with endless conversations and bursts of nostalgia. It’s an old car that you can’t help but smile at as soon as its oversized bodywork and unique charm find their way into the topic of conversation.

A car that underwent multiple personality changes throughout the main period of its life, the Thunderbird took all the classic Ford features and combined them with something a little more luxurious. In General Motors’ view, the bigger the better the way to go when it came to cars. Known for consistently outperforming the Buick Riviera, Oldsmobile Toronado and Cadillac Eldorado, it has held itself firmly in the limelight for years.

Brand: Ford Model: Thunderbird First release year: 1971 Current sale value: $50,000

Jaguar XJS 1989

best vintage classic cars Jaguar XJS 1989 old - It's Luxe Time

An unwavering passion for adventure is what you’ll be reminded of as soon as you get comfortable behind the wheel of a 1989 Jaguar XJS. A classic car made for fun days and spontaneous decisions, this car is a car that held together remarkably well and refused to break down.

When first released the XJS was pitied for its trailing rear buttresses but over time that general opinion has taken a total of 180. Although you can still find one these days it hasn’t always been the case: the XJS was almost dropped from Jaguar’s lineup early in its life.

Brand: Jaguar Model: XJS First release year: 1989 Current sale value: $20,000

Dodge Viper 1991

best vintage classic cars Dodge Viper 1991 old - It's Luxe Time

The Dodge Viper goes a step further than your standard classic car in nearly every way, from speed to sleek design to almost every other capability. This new classic car comes with a love/hate relationship, with some adoring it for its toughness and others dismissing it as a loose cannon.

A shining example that falls somewhere in the middle comes from its initial design, which took Chrysler CEO Lee Lacocca just 30 minutes to sign off. That’s compared to the long, long process it took to sign virtually every other car in the world.

Brand: Dodge Model: Viper First release year: 1991 Current sale value: $60,000

1972 BMW CSL

best vintage classic cars BMW CSL 1972 old - It's Luxe Time

Take a look at the BMW 3.0 CSL and you might remember another famous vehicle: the Batmobile. Designed to be equally happy driving on the track or on the road, this beast of a car came in limited numbers and only 1,265 were produced.

Lighter than not only its BMW siblings, but also many other cars of a similar nature, the CSL had all the specs to promise an incredible ride. It’s the one that has taken the crown on numerous occasions, winning three rounds of the 1976 World Championship for Makes and rivaling models like the Porsche 911 and the Ford Capri.

Brand: BMW Model: CSL First release year: 1972 Current sale value: $216,000

From Tomaso Pantera 1970

best vintage classic cars De Tomaso Pantera 1970 old - It's Luxe Time

The DeTomaso Pantera fused two of the best parts of the automotive industry: that sleek, ubiquitous Italian design and tough, unbreakable mechanics from the USA. Marry the two, and you’ll end up with a Pantera, or “Panther.”

The Pantera was designed by American designer Tom Tjaarda of Italian design firm Carrozzeria Ghia and quickly became one of the coolest mass-produced cars of its time. Its 20-year production ensured many Panteras on the streets after its first reveal at the 1970 New York Auto Show. Ford asked to buy the rights to the vehicle, which ensured even greater production than previously.

Brand: De Tomaso Automobili Model: Pantera First release year: 1970 Current sale value: $125,000

Lamborghini Miura 1966

best vintage classic cars Lamborghini Miura 1966 old - It's Luxe Time

Sure, the Lamborghini Miura might look a little different from today’s interpretation, but, for its time, this beautiful classic car was truly ahead of the game. Often considered the world’s first supercar, thanks to its advanced designs and powerful performance, the Miura retained its legendary status long after production dried up.

Its name comes from that of a particularly ferocious Spanish fighting bull, believed to represent the tenacity and speed of the car. This cool old car is one that’s had more than a few tweaks over the years, all released in a range of vibrant, personality-filled colors.

Brand: Lamborghini Model: Miura First release year: 1966 Current sale value: Upwards of $2 million

Landrover 1948

best vintage classic cars Land Rover 1948 old - It's Luxe Time

You’ll see plenty of Land Rovers on the roads these days, but none quite as eye-catching as the original 1948 Land Rover. has not changed drastically over the years. With its boxy, utilitarian design, the Land Rover was originally designed by brothers Maurice and Spencer Wilks, who took inspiration from the Willys WW2 Jeep.

As steel was in short supply when it was designed, the Land Rover’s body was made from aluminium. A few things have changed over time, including the steering wheel, which was initially in the middle.

If you prefer a contemporary alternative, check out our roundup of the best luxury SUVs of the year.

Brand: Jaguar Land Rover Model: Land Rover First release year: 1948 Current sale value: $169,000

Volkswagen Beetle 1938

best vintage classic cars Volkswagen Beetle 1938 old - It's Luxe Time

Perhaps Volkswagen’s most iconic car is the Beetle, first designed in 1925 by a Hungarian student and acclaimed for its lightweight design. While most competing cars at the time were notorious for being heavy and difficult to drive, the Beetle was light and free, a joy to drive for anyone who sat behind the wheel.

It is also one of the few classic cars with an original design still in production. If you head to Mexico, you’ll still see plenty of original Volkswagen Beetle being driven in near-perfect condition. As well as the millions of them across the rest of the world, of course.

Brand: Volkswagen Model: Beetle First release year: 1938 Current  sale value: $18,000

Ford Model T 1908

best vintage classic cars Ford Model T 1908 old - It's Luxe Time

The 1908 Ford Model T is such a classic car that it not only has its own car-focused pages of history, but it also rightfully has a place in more generalized historical characteristics. Sold by the Ford Motor Company from 1908 to 1927, the Ford Model T was the first car available to the public for purchase, in the famous “any color as long as it’s black” design.

Known as the first affordable car, it quickly became a staple of American households, with an original retail price of $850. Besides being known for his low price, he was also a regular topic of conversation for his unusual publicity stunts.

Brand: Ford Model: Model T First release year: 1908 Current sale value: $21,000

Frequently asked questions about the best classic cars

What is the best classic car in the world?

The Jaguar E-Type is the best classic car in the world, followed closely by the 1966 Porsche 911, Mini and Lamborghini Miura. Read our complete guide to all the best classic cars to see the full list.

What is the most reliable classic car?

The Chevrolet Impala SS, Datsun Z and Mercedes-Benz E-Class W123 are considered the most reliable classic cars. Our comprehensive guide details all the best vintage cars.

What is the most affordable classic car?

Some of the most affordable classic cars include the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet El Camino, and Jeep Cherokee. Read our complete guide to all the coolest classic cars to find out more.

What is the most beautiful collectible car?

The Jaguar E-type or the Mercedes 300SL Gullwing are two of the most beautiful classic cars, in our opinion. Read our comprehensive guide to see all the best vintage cars of the year.

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