The tricky part of coming up with any kind of list of ‘greatest’ classic cars is that we all have different criteria. What defines a great classic? Beauty? Rarity? Value? Or just the ‘x factor’ – that indefinable something that sets some classic cars apart from others?
Well, we’ll leave that debate up to you – but in the meantime here’s our list of the greatest classic cars ever. Discuss!
4.5 Litre Bentley
This beautiful car is actually a complete beast – one of the pre-war racing cars that were used to set a number of land speed records in the early days of motor sport. As you would expect from a name as prestigious as Bentley’s, it is also incredibly well put together – this is a car with the high build quality that you get with a perfectly designed piece of furniture, or a Savile Row suit. It is the kind of quality that comes from experience and craftsmanship – and, as you’d expect it makes these pre-war Bentleys incredibly rare and highly sought after. A great British classic.
Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale
We don’t care what this car drives like – it could handle like an angry mule and we would still love it. The Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale is a product of the incredible mind of designer Franco Scaglione, and it is, we think, one of the most beautiful cars ever made. The great news is it drives almost as well as it looks good, powered by a responsive V8 engine. The bad news is that only eighteen of these cars were ever made.
While we are on the subject of beautiful cars, the next classic on our list is arguably even more lovely to look at than the Stradale – the iconic Jaguar E-Type. Considerably more of these were made than the Alfa too, making it a little easier to get your hands on a car that is widely considered to be a design classic. It is pretty much the design gold standard for sixties car design, and it is always a treat to see one out on the road.
If the E-Type summed up the style and glamour of the sixties, it is hard to think of a more 1970s-looking car than the Lamborghini Countach. It is the car that was probably up on the wall of more teenage petrol heads in that era than any other, and its classic wedge shape has been hugely influential, right though into the eighties. A gorgeous slab of classic supercar design that some will argue hasn’t been bettered since.
Ferrari 250 GTO
If you find one of these hidden under a dust cover in an old barn somewhere, you are made for life – one was sold for $38 million dollars a few years ago. Generally agreed to be the high water mark of Ferraris (which is remarkable in itself, considering the competition) the GTO is one of the best loved cars of many of the sixties most iconic racing drivers. There is a monstrous V12 engine hidden under the bonnet and it drives like a dream – although at that price you might think twice about taking it on the school run.