The Best Sports Cars From the 1960s

The '60s produced some of the greatest cars of all time. These are some of your favorites.

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R&T Archives

The 1960s was a golden age for car performance and design. New, modernized tech from racing was making its way into road-going vehicles, while design houses were churning out some of the most magnificent products of the century. Here are some of the best 1960s sports cars ever made, according to you.

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Photos by John Lamm
John Lamm
Lotus Elan

Many enthusiasts regard the original Lotus Elan as one of the best-handling sports cars ever made. Its small footprint and lightweight construction make it incredibly nimble and fun in the corners.

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Toyota
Toyota 2000GT

The 2000GT was the first Japanese car to break $1 million at auction, and it's easy to see why. It has the looks to match anything from Europe of the time.

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Jaguar
Jaguar E-Type

If we're talking about car design, it's hard not to mention the E-Type. A streamlined, rounded body matched with a stellar straight-six soundtrack made for one of Britain's most sought-after cars ever.

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Pontiac
Pontiac GTO

The muscular lines and V8 roar of the late '60s GTO make it hard not to include it on this list. Plus, who wouldn't want a decal like "The Judge" on their car?

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Sold for: $38.1 million in 2014

  Talk about pedigree: This particular 250 GTO Berlinetta made a name for itself as a competitor and a winner, before ever falling into the loving hands of collectors. With under 40 ever produced, it's no wonder that the 250s top this list—and it holds the record for the most expensive car to ever be sold at an auction, in Monterey or otherwise.
Courtesy of Bonhams
Ferrari 250 GTO

Some of Ferrari's greatest creations were built during the 1960s, and the 250 GTO may be the best of the best. It's broken records at auctions, and remains extremely desirable among collectors.

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Keno Brothers
Datsun 240Z

The original Datsun Z car is sometimes mistaken for cars worth ten times as much, which shows you just how good it looks. Pair that with a wonderful vintage driving experience and you get an affordable, enjoyable classic.

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R&T
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

The second-generation Corvette was a stunner—and not just in terms of American cars. It could compete with the best of what Europe had to offer. And it still has a wonderful American V8 grumble.

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Mazda
Mazda Cosmo

The Cosmo was the first mass-production car to use a rotary engine, kickstarting half a century of Wankel-powered Mazda sports cars.

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Despite there being no public pre-auction estimate, expectations were running high for this Cobra. Why so much hubbub? Because, as the first prototype Cobra built by Carroll Shelby himself back in 1962, this Cobra is perhaps the most original example of all.

 It started out in life as an A.C. Ace sports car in the U.K. before Shelby took delivery of the car in the United States and stuffed a 260-cubic-inch Ford V-8 into the engine bay, creating chassis number CSX2000 and laying the groundwork for Shelby American's sports-car legacy. CSX2000 delivered on the hype in Monterey this year, bringing in $13.75 million and setting a new record for an American car sold at auction. —Joseph Capparella

 This article originally appeared on Car and Driver.
RM Sotheby's
Shelby Cobra

Carroll Shelby used the simple formula of using less weight and more power to create the original Cobra. It utilizes the body of an AC Ace with a Ford Windsor V8 under the hood, making for a giant-killer on track.

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Every time the exotic silhouette of a mid-engined car catches your eye, the Lamborghini Miura's influence is there. It was the first serious production mid-engined supercar, and had a transversely mounted V12 tucked behind the passenger compartment. It delighted in being driven fast, and is still very expensive today.
Robin Adams/RM Sotheby's
Lamborghini Miura

Many call the Miura the world's first supercar. It uses a mid-mounted V12 placed transverse to the body, and looks unlike anything else on the road.

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There are a lot of newer 911s on this list, but this very early car is just lovely. It's one of only 42 1965-model-year examples equipped with a sunroof, and it looks splendid in white.
Porsche
Porsche 911

The 911 has been on sale since 1963, and uses the same formula as it did back when it was new. Sure, it uses a water-cooled, turbocharged engine nowadays, but the main points, like the profile line and rear-engine layout, remain.

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You won't be protecting a valuable target or shooting down enemy bombers in the Jensen, but it's still an awesome name for a car.
R&T
Jensen Interceptor

It's hard to beat the cool-factor of a Jensen Interceptor. The V8-powered two-door fastback has a cult-following devoted to keeping the few running Interceptors out there alive and kicking.

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Ford
Ford Mustang

The original Mustang was a huge hit for the American market, cementing its place in the car world as the everyman's sports car. Because Ford made so many, prices stay low, even today.

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