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Were the most beautiful cars made in the Sixties?

By raccars Published

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Classic car ownership can be a sound investment. So what 1960s cars truly stand out?

Classic status is granted to cars of many eras but the Sixties remains the most popular decade among vintage metal fans. It was an era packed with awesomely beautiful cars, many of which are still very enjoyable to drive. The swing that characterised the Sixties was born out of the destruction left by WWII. The resulting cultural void was filled by design ideas influenced by psychedelic experiences and the new, liberated attitude provided by the advent of the contraceptive pill.

The start of really beautiful cars

Cars were among many items which began to take on more artistic forms, while at the same time becoming more technologically advanced, faster and more refined to drive. The Jaguar E-Type is ubiquitous in lists of this kind and various models from Alfa Romeo and Aston Martin come highly commended but, looking back, other cars of this era represent a pinnacle of design.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

This Corvette combines sleek styling with a muscular and masculine silhouette, and must be one of the sexiest cars ever built. It demonstrated a new awareness as to the effect of aerodynamics on driving performance and was designed in coupe and convertible formats. 1963 coupe models feature a unique - but not particularly practical - split rear windscreen, not found from 1964 onwards, which makes them the most desirable variants from a collector's point of view. Not only was the Corvette Stingray stylish, it was also fast and even comfortable, with fine leather upholstery and advanced features including power brakes, powered steering and air conditioning. Not many cars of this era were quite so accommodating.

1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/4

There's nothing original about the concept of a beautiful Ferrari - most of them are! The 275 GTB/4 was, as usual, designed by Italian coachbuilders Pininfarina and is almost obscenely gorgeous. It's a symphony of Italianate curves with the classic Sixties long bonnet and sloping rear end. A front grille resembling a smiling shark offsets the hint of menace, and there's plenty of substance to match the style.

In fact the whole design can be attributed to aerodynamic efficiency, and that stretched out bonnet hides a 300bhp 3.3 litre V12, the combination of which got the 275 GTB/4 to reach 159mph. Famous petrol head Steve McQueen thought it was cool enough to add one of these to his garage during the filing of 'Bullitt', one of only 280 lucky buyers as this is a furiously exclusive model and potentially worth millions today.

1966 Lamborghini Miura

The opening of 'The Italian Job' is full of glorious scenery - which is hard to notice behind the spectacular Lamborghini driving through it. This was a serious sports car which spawned a raft of imitators, none of which could match its gladiatorial attitude. Its style is glamorous rather than aggressive, belying the V12 firepower under the bonnet and its status as the fastest production car in the world at the time, capable of reaching 171mph.

Even by today's standards it's no slouch, going from 0-60mph in 6.7 seconds. This is the blueprint for a lightweight two seater sports car with a mid mounted engine and has since been much copied, although the idea of building a car designed purely to go fast was novel at the time. With no commercial case for building a model based upon this premise, the Miura was something the firm's engineers came up with while off duty, a genuine passion project.

Initially expecting to sell only 50 models, Lamborghini ended up making 764 of them, which were driven by high flyers of the time from the French Riviera to Hollywood, including Frank Sinatra.

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