The 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona broke the 200-mph mark, and it was the first to do so in NASCAR history. Besides its speed, what defines this car is a two-foot-tall spoiler that lords over the rear. Completely functional, the massive wing lowers drag and maintains the power of traction. The engineers at Dodge worked to design a car that would hug the track tighter than any other.
Under the hood was a 440 Mopar big-block or the 426 HEMI. Yes. They were fast. In fact, they were so fast NASCAR effectively banned them from the track by changing the rule book—aerodynamic specs were no longer allowed. Daytona Chargers are highly collectible these days, fetching six figures. If the model houses a HEMI, you’re looking at up to $900,000!
1968 Plymouth RoadRunner HEMI
Plymouth paid Warner Bros. $50,000 for name and likeness rights to the popular Road Runner cartoon image. And they paid an additional $10,000 for the beloved “Beep! Beep!” sound. A custom horn—gotta have it! It sounds gimmicky, but it worked - sales walloped expectations. Yet, it wasn’t just about a speedy little cartoon character; this machine was loaded with power, and it was fast as lightning.
The 1968 Plymouth Roadrunner revised the body of the Belvedere into a formidable muscle car with the stuff to prove it rumbling under the hood. The standard model hosted a 440 cu. in. V-8, known as the 440 Six Pack. But a $714 upgrade delivered a 426 HEMI with a stampeding 425 horsepower. Motor Trend called it “the most brazenly pure, noncompromising super car in history.”
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray Coupe
The Corvette is an all-American classic sportscar, and it all started in the late fifties and early sixties with this brilliant beast. Racing nationally at the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and showing off its stuff internationally at Le Mans, the Corvette could match anything the Europeans offered up. The split-window 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray Coupe is perhaps the most recognizable and most elegant body on wheels.
The Sting Ray came with a 3- or 4-speed transmission and an overhead-valve V-8. With much of its weight setting on the back, and with rear-wheel drive, handling was quick and maneuverable, providing solid traction into turns and around corners. Sleek and elegant lines and wrap-around bumpers help give the Sting Ray its classic style. Today it’s a collector’s dream car.
1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
There’s no doubt that the Ford Mustang is an epic American car, but the Shelby is the crème de la crème of all classic Mustangs. In 1965, Carroll Shelby International, Inc., an automotive company based on the designer and racecar driver Carrol Shelby, modified the Ford Mustang by introducing the high-performance GT350. The 1965 Shelby GT350 came wrapped in a striking white and blue striped body. No other color scheme options were available, and the conspicuous muscle car became instantly recognizable—as was its sound.
A 289-CID K-Code engine with 306 horsepower was more than enough power to make one quick and powerful pony of the lightweight GT350 frame. The original model was somewhat pricey. But $4,547 was a steal if you could know that they now sell for more than ten times that amount. A rare GT350R (“R” for Race specification), with only 35 ever produced, is an especially precious collectors’ item.
1960 BMC Mini Cooper
Back in the 1960s, the famous British Motor Corporation designed one of the first tiny cars to ever be produced: the BMC Mini. This cute little car quickly became a British pop culture icon. This small economy car was a unique, two-door car with a front-wheel layout and a transverse engine that allowed more space for the car interior, making it more comfortable for passengers and luggage.
The designer, Sir Alec Issigonis, created a car that would be in production from 1959 to 2000. And by 1965, a million Minis had been produced. In 2000, when production ended, over 5 million Minis had been sold worldwide. The car was fun, had a reasonable price tag, and was perfect for the narrow British roadways back in the day.