The 1960s is the era filled with monumental social, political and cultural changes and upheavals. It is also the decade where some of the greatest and most influential music, movies, art and fashion came together. Of course, you cannot recall the 1960s without remembering some of the world’s best-looking and most iconic automobiles, some of which we’ll explore below:
1. Mini Cooper
The Mini Cooper is one of the most quintessential cars of the decade, just like many other cars on this list. It is also one of the world’s most beloved cars, most especially in the United Kingdom where the car became an intrinsic part of the 1960s British pop culture. It was most famously featured in the caper film The Italian Job (1969), where the little car even managed to steal the Lambhorgini Miura’s spotlight.
Despite its small size, the Mini Cooper was also used as a race and rally car — in fact, it upset other race cars in the Monte Carlo Rally where it won three times during that decade.
2. Aston Martin DB5
The Aston Martin DB5 is another iconic British car in the 1960s, making its legendary appearances as the spy James Bond’s first car in the films Dr. No and Goldfinger. It is quite a fancy car it but packs a mean speed, thanks to its engine that produces 282 horsepower as well as its robust ZF five-speed transmission and three carburetors.
3. Lambhorgini Miura
Also featured in the 1969 movie The Italian Job, this sportscar boasts a 3.9 liter V12 which produces an amazing 350 hp. Its aerodynamic body has made the Miura one of the most popular and most attractively-designed automobiles yet. One of Lambhorgini’s top engineers, Gian Paolo Dallara, was responsible for designing the chassis. He eventually went on to establish his own company that currently makes Indycars.
4. Porsche 911
The late American actor Steve McQueen is probably the most famous owner of the Porsche 911. It boasts a 2-L V6 engine that produces about 158hp, which is a significant improvement from the earlier 128hp. Its other prominent feature is the fog lights, which were seen as quite high-tech during the 1960s.
5. Toyota 2000GT
When the Toyota 2000GT was first unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1965, it changed the automotive world’s perception of Toyota’s cars — or Japanese cars in general — in a 360-degree way. It was Toyota’s first true supercar, as well as as the first collectible Japanese car, that could compete with the elite European and American automobiles. The model reaped critical raves, and its manufacturing started in 1967.
The rear-wheel drive, two-seater coupe has a Yamaha-built 2.0 liter inline six and is equipped with a five-speed manual transmission. Only 351 Toyota units were rolled out for the worldwide market. If this car looks familiar to you, the Toyota 2000GT was featured in the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice, starring Sean Connery.
6. Shelby Cobra
This car, undoubtedly, has a striking appearance. First coming out in 1963, the Shelby Cobra is a British-American sports car. It has a sleek, lightweight body designed by AC and is fitted with a Ford 427 V8 engine, providing a top speed of 0-60 run in only 4.5 seconds. Production of the car continued until 1967.
7. Pontiac GTO
The 1960s (as well as the 1970s) is considered the golden age for the so-called “muscle cars.” Although there had been some muscle cars before, the 1964 Pontiac GTO is generally considered as the pioneer of this trend. Since this is a homologation car (the “GTO” means gran turismo omologato in Italian), the Pontiac GTO was also suitable for the “grand tourer” racing. It was capable of reaching speeds of up to 170 mph.
8. Dodge Charger
Another legendary muscle car is the Dodge Charger, which was first released in the mid-1960s. This model has obviously stood the test of time, and several generations of the Charger have been featured in films (Fast and the Furious movies) and on television (The Dukes of Hazzard).