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10 of the best 60s cars

June 27, 2022 by

Hankering for nostalgic motoring? We pick of 10 of the best cars from the 1960s to take you back

The swinging Sixties were an era of free love, social change and affordable electricity bills. It was also a revolutionary era for the car industry, with some of the most innovative and best-loved cars of all-time filling our roads. For very different reasons each, here are our top 10 cars of the 1960s.

With the money you save buying your new car via carwow – or the windfall you might get through selling your unwanted one, why not seize the opportunity to live the sixties dream? Below is out pick of 10 of the best cars from the 1960s.

  1. BMC/Austin Mini
  2. Volkswagen Beetle
  3. Ford Mustang
  4. Jaguar E-Type
  5. Citroen DS
  6. Rover P6
  7. MGB
  8. Triumph TR4
  9. Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow
  10. Ford Cortina

1. BMC/Austin Mini

  • Built: 1959-2000
  • Engine: 848cc 4-cyl
  • Top speed: 80mph
  • Price new: £592
  • Value now: £10,000

If ever there were a car that defined the Swinging Sixties, the Mini was it. Fashion icon or simply basic, functional transport, the front-wheel-drive Mini was a masterpiece of packaging, styling and driver entertainment.

It was also an iconic racing car and a giant-killing rally car, winning the Monte Carlo rally no less than three times.

2. Volkswagen Beetle

  • Built: 1937-2009
  • Engine: 1200cc 4-cyl
  • Top speed: 78mph
  • Price new: £603
  • Value now: £12,000

The Beetle was around well before the 1960s, and also well after. Over six million were sold between 1937 and 2009, when the last Mexican-made Beetle was built. But the Sixties saw the Beetle’s heyday as it became an icon of surfer culture, while today its iconic status is more universal. It remains one today.

Earlier “oval window” cars are the most desirable, but any traditionally-shaped Beetle has a strong collector following.

3. Ford Mustang

  • Built: 1964-1970
  • Engine: 5.0-litre V8
  • Top speed: 120mph
  • Price new: £1,100
  • Value now: £25,000

When it debuted in 1964, the Ford Mustang sent shockwaves through the British car industry, which had enjoyed years of sales success exporting sports cars to the States. The ‘Pony Car’ was America’s own performance icon and the precursor to an amazing muscle car era.

The original model was sold for six years but the model name has been in continuous use for over six decades, with today’s alternative being the new Mustang Mach-E.

4. Jaguar E-Type

  • Built: 1961-1975
  • Engine: 3.8-litre 6cyl
  • Top speed: 150mph
  • Price new: £1,692
  • Value now: £100,000

Introduced at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show, the Jaguar E-Type was like nothing else before it. A beautifully styled aerodynamic roadster or coupe, it had drop-dead gorgeous styling and 150mph performance. It instantly became the most desirable car of its era, and for a good reason.

The original roadster and coupé were followed up by a 2+2 and then a flagship V12, with the latter featuring a massive 5.3-litre engine.

5. Citroen DS

  • Built: 1955-1976
  • Engine: 1.9-litre 4-cyl
  • Top speed: 90mph
  • Price new: £748
  • Value now: £20,000

The Citroën DS was a French revolution – a car like no other. Front-wheel-drive, equipped with fluid-filled suspension and with headlights that turned around corners, it was a truly amazing thing and a technological tour-de-force.

It was also a successful rally car and, at one stage, the world’s biggest estate car in seven-seat ‘Familiale’ format.

6. Rover P6

  • Built: 1963-1976
  • Engine: 3.5-litre V8
  • Top speed: 124mph
  • Price new: £1,038
  • Value now: £11,000

The Rover P6 – or 2000/2200/3500 as it was officially known – was an incredibly advanced car for the British motor industry. Introduced in 1965, it featured bolt-on panels over a steel monocoque, with in-board disc brakes and complex multi-link suspension. It was amazing to drive, especially when equipped with a 3.5-litre V8.

The Rover 3500 was a great luxury cruiser, and also the preferred transport for Britain’s motorway police.

7. MGB

  • Built: 1962-1980
  • Engine: 1.8-litre 4-cyl
  • Top speed: 101mph
  • Price new: £859
  • Value now: £12,000

Launched in 1962, the MGB very quickly became the world’s best-selling sports car despite being based on the floorpan of a Morris J4 van. Today, it’s the most popular classic car in the UK with over 20,000 known to survive in the UK alone.

Early ones in particular are getting quite collectable, as are the rare V8-powered variants, while the later rubber-bumper models are an affordable way into classic car ownership.

8. Triumph TR4

  • Built: 1961-1966
  • Engine: 2.1-litre 4-cyl
  • Top speed: 115mph
  • Price new: £996
  • Value now: £26,000

Triumph had enjoyed massive export success with the traditional TR2 and TR3 models, but by 1964 they were long-in-the-tooth. A tie-in with Italian styling house Michelotti changed all that, and the resultant TR4 was a beautiful machine that reinvigorated Triumph’s export sales.

The TR4 was replaced by the near-identical-looking TR5 in 1964, which introduced a brand-new six-cylinder engine and was even more of a muscle car.

9. Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow

  • Built: 1966-1981
  • Engine: 6.75-litre V8
  • Top speed: 130mph
  • Price new: £4,334
  • Value now: £15,000

When it debuted in 1966, the original Silver Shadow was billed as the ‘Best Car in the World’ and in many ways it was. It had a magic carpet ride thanks to Citroën-derived suspension, was supremely comfortable and also pretty quick. The 6.75-litre V8 engine’s power output was never disclosed, simply described as “adequate” by Rolls-Royce.

It enjoyed a 16-year production run, eventually being replaced by the Silver Spirit, which was based on the same set of parts but had a squared-off look for the 1980s.

10. Ford Cortina

  • Built: 1962-1981
  • Engine: 1.5-litre 4-cyl
  • Top speed: 84mph
  • Price new: £692
  • Value now: £7,000

Ford’s best-seller made its debut in 1962 and practically invented the fleet car market overnight. But more than that, it also became an iconic competition car thanks to the input of Lotus. The Lotus Cortina is a huge collectors’ item today.

But every Cortina tells a story, and with a 20-year lifespan the Ford family favourite found a place in many people’s hearts – even the ordinary models.

Change cars with carwow

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