25 Classic Cars to Drive Before You Die

Jaguar E-Type

Once dubbed “the most beautiful car ever made” by Enzo Ferrari the 60s Jaguar E-Type is a classic sports car that is a mainstay. “If you only choose one car from this list to drive, this is the one,” says McKeel Hagerty who is the chief executive officer of Hagerty the largest insurer of collector car insurance. This iconic piece of British motoring heritage still has the zing of a car that can go up to 150 m.p.h. and has better brakes than many automobiles from the time of its. It is a great place to visit and experience the Jaguar Heritage Driving Experience program located in Kenilworth, U.K., where you can purchase one day of driving one of the classics of Jaguar.

Chevrolet Corvette

The symbol of the Big Three muscle cars, the Chevy Corvette is the most sought-after vehicle in America. Second generation of the Corvette, which ran from 1963-67 it is “the most iconic American car ever made,” says Keith Martin, publisher of Sports Car Market. “It’s still breathtaking and fresh today.” Early Corvettes are still in high demand throughout America. U.S., so you are able to search auctions, dealer of collector cars and sites like classiccars.com for bargains.

Lamborghini Miura

Considered by some to be the sexiest car ever built, the Miura debuted in 1966 as a sleek mid-engine speedster designed to challenge Ferrari. “Piloting the Miura transcends driving experience to become a life experience,” Hagerty says. “If the sound of six carburetors feeding a thirsty, vibrating V-12 moored right behind your head isn’t enough, it’s also arguably the most beautiful car ever produced.” To buy one, contact the Lamborghini Club America or an auction house like RM Sotheby’s or Gooding & Co. They’re usually in the know about the cars before they reach the general market.

Porsche 911

Porsche 911 Porsche 911 represents vintage driving in its finest form, particularly in the golden era prior to the redesign in 1974. “There’s magic in the early 911,” Hagerty declares. “It’s an amazingly well-built machine that delivers one of the most honest driving experiences of any sports car ever built.” In spite of the modern standards First-generation 911s are a powerhouse and are capable of competing in the racetrack. You can find one in perfect condition on eBay.

Rolls-Royce Dawn Drophead

The Silver Dawn drophead was based on the first large automobile Rolls-Royce produced following during the conflict, the initial Silver Dawn drophead launched in 1949, and was retired in 1954. The name was meant to signify the beginning of a new period in the global market and Rolls Royce’s position within it. Smaller than the prewar models The Dawn was able to help the British custom carmaker to bring back motoring craftsmanship and brought it into the current time. They’re extremely scarce: just three dropheads from the initial 28 still exist on the streets of U.S., and those are kept by private collectors. The carmaker will introduce a new model following a gap of 60 years.

Mercedes SL 300 Gullwing

As one of the first sports cars from the post-war era, Mercedes SL 300 Gullwing was the most powerful production vehicle of the moment when it first came out in 1954. It was the very first fuel-injected direct production car and the first to use direct fuel injection, this SL 300 could travel at 160 miles an hour. “Nobody expected something like that from Mercedes,” says Constantin von Kageneck, an expert in marketing classic cars in the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Irvine, CA. Although about three-quarters from the original 300 SL’s are still in existence to this day, many remain to the original owners. For a look at one, head to the Classic Center or an automotive museum such as that of Petersen at Los Angeles.

Ferrari 250 GTO

Ferrari produced only 39 of these beautiful automobiles between the years 1962-64, meaning they’re extremely scarce. “The 250 GTO is probably the holy grail in terms of value and recognition, but the reality is only a handful of people in the world will ever have the chance to legitimately drive one,” Hagerty states. A model from the early days sold for the sum of $38 million during Bonhams”Quail” Lodge auction during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance two years ago. If that’s not enough be aware that every 1960s Prancing Horse with a V12 engine is worth a spot on the list.

Aston Martin DB4

The predecessor for James Bond’s getaway vehicle The Aston Martin DB4 is an iconic workhorse. “The DB4 is a thoroughbred that never gets flustered,” Hagerty states. “I wouldn’t hesitate to drive one across the country. It’s no wonder that James Bond favored the derivative DB5.” They’re scarce and if you’re looking to take a drive in one your best option could be to make friends with an avid collector.


If you’re one of the people who has a racing-track fantasies This is the vehicle to find. When BMW arrived in America in 1975 and brought a variety of models, among them the 3.0 CSL coupe. It was driven by racing legends Brian Redman, Sam Posey along with Hans Stuck, the car won the 12 Hours of Sebring race in 1975 and then took home Daytona the next year. These two wins established BMW’s ability to perform in the US market. Alongside its performance and engineering legacy The 3.0 CSL pioneered a host of innovations later found in BMW models including its first six-cylinder engine that had four valves, to its anti-lock braking system. BMW gives you a chance to take a spin at the wheel in their BMW Classic Center in Munich.

Acura NSX

Acura’s halo vehicle from 1990 until 2005 from 1990 to 2005, the NSX is still young, but it’s mighty. “While it’s not as sexy as its European rivals, the Acura NSX showed the rest of the world that supercar specs and daily-driver manners could co-exist,” Hagerty states. “It inspires confidence and begs you to keep pushing, braking later, and turning harder. It may be the most underrated car on this list.” The successor, called the Acura NSX, reaches customers this year and is set to rekindle curiosity in the original. The good news is that Acura produced 9,000 NSX first-generation automobiles, so locating one online is a breeze.

Shelby GT350

Also known as the Cobra, this high-performance descendant of the Ford Mustang was a darling of the late 1960s. With Ford’s V8 engine, the Shelby GT350 was a legitimate racecar for the street. “When you get into it and turn the key, the car doesn’t only rumble audibly, it also actually shimmies side-to-side and up-and-down, just a bit,” Hagerty says. “And that’s while it’s still parked. When you get on the gas it leaps and roars.” You will quickly see why designer Carroll Shelby is lauded as a 20th-century motoring genius. To drive a vintage Cobra, visit a high-end classic car auction house, dealer, or specialized broker.

Ford Model T

Produced from 1908 to 1927, this is the car that birthed the American automotive industry. Affordable by mass market standards, the Model T begat car culture and road trips. “Everyone needs to know where they came from,” Hagerty says. “When it comes to American motoring, that starting place is the Model T.” With a volatile hand-crank engine and two-speed transmission (not including the reverse gear), the Model T isn’t easy to drive, even if you can get your hands on one. But rest assured–27 mph will never feel so thrilling.

VW Beetle

Mahesh Kumar Thakor

A counter-culture classic, the vintage VW Beetle represents simplicity and fun–in other words, motoring at its best. “Besides the easy driving experience, the Beetle’s friendly exterior attracts people no matter where you’re driving, and it seems everyone has their own Beetle story to share,” Hagerty says. “This is not the car to buy if you’re shy.” If you’d like to get behind the wheel, old Beetles can easily be sourced from eBay and classified ads.

Volvo P1800

Mahesh Kumar Thakor

The eccentric Volvo P1800 was stylish enough to allow Roger Moore to drive one in the spy thriller television show The Saint. The two-seater sports vehicle is a reliable vehicle: one remaining model has driven more than 3 million miles. The car’s siblings are private owners, but you can check through Volvo Owners Clubs for details. Volvo Owners Clubs if you’d like to locate one to sell or offer an offer to the owner.

Dodge Viper GTS

It’s a shame that the V10 Dodge Viper GTS of the 1990s wasn’t manufactured today. With 450 horsepower, it’s just as unrefined as its predecessor which was that of the Shelby Cobra, without anti-lock brakes or traction control to fix errors made by drivers. “It’s the automotive equivalent of whiskey, neat-no pretense, just one hell of an experience,” Hagerty states. It is available online or at a collector vehicle auction house, such as Auctions America and Mecum.

DeTomaso Pantera

With Italian style and a dependable Ford V8 engine, the DeTomaso Pantera represents the best of both worlds. It’s an excellent alternative to Lamborghinis and Ferraris of the same time. “You’d expect an early ’70s Italian car to be garish, loud, and hard to drive,” Hagerty states. “While it is garish and loud, the Italian-bodied and American-powered Pantera is actually rather easy to drive.” You can find one at a prestigious classic car auction house like Barrett-Jackson and Bonhams.

McLaren F1

McLaren F1 McLaren F1 announced the British car maker’s first foray into racing technology when it debuted in 1992. It was six years after its debut, the McLaren F1 smashed an all-time record as the fastest production car, clocking 242 miles per hour. “The McLaren F1 was Formula One legend Gordon Murray’s high-tech supercar answer to Porsche and Ferrari,” Hagerty declares. “And it didn’t just exceed the standards they established, it obliterated them. Driving an F1 is a sublime ballet of shocking power, braking, and control.” McLaren made only 64 of these cars, but the good news is that it has listed the chassis #69, which was the 60th version produced. If you have eight figures to spend

Cizeta-Moroder V16T

The car was built from 1991 to in Italy, this V16 supercar was initially designed to be it was originally called the Lamborghini Diablo. However, after Chrysler bought the stake of Lamborghini while the Diablo’s design team changed the plans, the genius Marcelo Gandini took his original designs to engineering expert Claudio Zampolli, who built it under the name of Cizeta. Cizeta produced only a handful in the initial production, but they do come back in the marketplace.

Porsche 356

The first production Porsche that was a rear-engined, rear-wheel drive Porsche 356 endured four high-flying generations until it was put to rest in the late 1960s. It is regarded as the most developed among the 4-cylinder Porsches The 356 is also considered by experts in vintage cars as being the most enjoyable car to drive. It’s not difficult to find one: around one-third of the 76,000 cars that were originally built remain in existence.

Datsun 240Z

Datsun’s 240Z launched the Japanese sport car craze after it was introduced to America in the 1970s. It was a powerful car with an appealing interior for very little and the Datsun set the stage for Toyota, Honda and Nissan to gain acclaim from U.S. consumers in the years to come. Classified advertisements by Hemmings along with AutoTrader Classics have many Datsun 240Zs for sale.

Ferrari 308 GTS

If you watched television during the 1980s, you’ll likely recall Thomas Magnum, played by Tom Selleck, tooling around Hawaii in one of these targa tops from Magnum P.I. The show ran from 1975 to 1985 The 2 seater V8 Ferrari 308 GTS represented the best of both worlds: elegance and adventure. The first cars used on the set were sold off when the series ended. However, you may be able to see one at places like the Cars of the Stars Motor Museum located in Cumbria, England, or Universal Studios Hollywood.

Chevrolet Camaro

The first Camaro was Chevrolet’s answer for the Mustang but with more power and style. General Motors introduced the Camaro in 1967, which sparked an eight-cylinder ponies battle of American muscle power that continues to this day. There are a lot of first-generation Camaros on the internet. If you’re interested in purchasing one, look up sites like eBay as well as AutoTrader Classics.

Fiat 124 Spider

Its Pininfarina design Fiat 124 Spider debuted in the U.S. in 1968 to an enthusiastic crowd. With plenty of trunk space and enough space for two passengers to not cross shoulder-to-shoulder, this roadster swiftly became a classic on the road. “It doesn’t have much power, but it’s cute,” Martin states. “It’s a great summertime car.” If you’re unable to find an original model on the internet be aware that Fiat has announced an updated version of the 124 Spider for 2017.

Austin-Healey 3000

It was first introduced in 1959. The large British roadster was the final one of the “big Healeys” when it stopped production in 1967. The curvaceous and shiny Austin-Healey 3000 was an automotive iconic vehicle from the Swinging Sixties. “This was the final version of the ‘Big Healey,’ with its powerful six-cylinder engine and overdrive,” Martin adds. “It will cruise easily at 75 mph on today’s freeways.” It is possible to come across a vintage Austin-Healey 3000 through Hemmings and other classic car buying websites.

Vintage Jeep

Jeep became famous as it was a GP which is a “general purpose” vehicle driven by the U.S. military during World War II. In 1945 the 4×4 was marketed commercially under the name of”the Civilian Jeep, considered by many to be the first mass-produced SUV. “It’s neither quick nor comfortable, but it’s the automotive embodiment of democracy,” Hagerty states. “And if you’re planning on going off-road, you could do far worse than the Jeep’s simplicity and ruggedness.” A significant aspect of American culture The Jeep can be seen both in museums as well as online classified advertisements.