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.
1969 Dodge Charger Daytona
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!
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 Volkswagen Beetle
Everybody knows the famous Volkswagen Beetle. First produced in 1938, before WWII, the Beetle has gone on to become one of the most popular cars in history. But undoubtedly, the most famous is the Type 1 Beetle, which has sold over 21 million units. What many people don't know is that the original Beetle had an unimpressive, 25 hp engine and could only reach a speed of 62 mph.
However, the Beetle's speed and motor was largely improved. What made this car so beloved by the masses was the fact that it was an air-cooled, small, affordable and reliable little car that stood the test of time.
1967 Volkswagen Type 2
Another Volkswagen that became wildly popular in the 60s was the Microbus, or Type 2, which looks like a very big van or a very tiny bus, depending on who you ask. Even though the car was introduced in 1950, it wasn't until the 1960s that it spread across the U.S. like wildfire. The Volkswagen Microbus is the technical name for what became the 'hippie van', the beloved iconic vehicle for the counterculture movement of the decade.
The amazing thing is that, this "van" has outlasted all of its competitors, since it is still being produced today, 70 years later. And it's no wonder why, considering it is truly a fine piece of machinery, complete with a rear-wheel drive and a rear-mounted air-cooled engine. Not to mention it just looks incredibly cool.