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Best Classic Sports Cars


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Best Classic Sports Cars

The Ten Best Classic British Sports Cars: Lotus Elan Truth be told, a number of Lotus models qualify to be on this list. Most notably among them is the Lotus 7, one of the most beloved elemental sports cars ever made. However, we chose the Elan because it was the first Lotus road car to employ a steel backbone chassis design with a fiberglass body. This made the car both extremely rigid and remarkably lightweight—both of which are the hallmarks of Lotus founder’s Colin Chapman’s philosophy of automotive design. Chapman felt power wasn’t as important as agility when it came to the design of sports cars. Technologically, the Lotus Elan was extremely advanced when it was introduced in 1962. It used a double overhead cam engine, four-wheel disc brakes, rack and pinion steering, and an all-independent suspension system. With a curb weight of a mere 1500 pounds, the Lotus Elan was one of the most spirited small sports cars of its time. A 2+2 version of the Elan was introduced in 1967, in an attempt to broaden the market for the car. Anyone who recalls the 1960’s British television series “The Avengers” will recall the Lotus Elan as the car the sexy “Emma Peel” (played by the stunningly attractive Diana Rigg), drove. The original two-seat Lotus Elan was in production until 1973, the Elan 2+2 remained in production until 1975. An interesting bit of trivia, when Mazda’s design team was working on the original MX-5 Miata, they reversed engineered the Lotus Elan as part of their research.
best classic sports cars 1

Best Classic Sports Cars

Truth be told, a number of Lotus models qualify to be on this list. Most notably among them is the Lotus 7, one of the most beloved elemental sports cars ever made. However, we chose the Elan because it was the first Lotus road car to employ a steel backbone chassis design with a fiberglass body. This made the car both extremely rigid and remarkably lightweight—both of which are the hallmarks of Lotus founder’s Colin Chapman’s philosophy of automotive design. Chapman felt power wasn’t as important as agility when it came to the design of sports cars. Technologically, the Lotus Elan was extremely advanced when it was introduced in 1962. It used a double overhead cam engine, four-wheel disc brakes, rack and pinion steering, and an all-independent suspension system. With a curb weight of a mere 1500 pounds, the Lotus Elan was one of the most spirited small sports cars of its time. A 2+2 version of the Elan was introduced in 1967, in an attempt to broaden the market for the car. Anyone who recalls the 1960’s British television series “The Avengers” will recall the Lotus Elan as the car the sexy “Emma Peel” (played by the stunningly attractive Diana Rigg), drove. The original two-seat Lotus Elan was in production until 1973, the Elan 2+2 remained in production until 1975. An interesting bit of trivia, when Mazda’s design team was working on the original MX-5 Miata, they reversed engineered the Lotus Elan as part of their research.
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Best Classic Sports Cars

Most automotive historians will agree these are among, if not the 10 best classic British sports cars. Further, it is almost universally agreed British sports cars are largely responsible for spreading sports car fever here in the United States. As the legend goes, many of the GIs returning from World War II had become particularly enamored with the agility of the small open roadsters to which they were introduced during their time on the European continent.
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Best Classic Sports Cars

The Ten Best Classic British Sports Cars: Morris Garages (MG) MGA While the design of the MGA goes back to 1951, the car didn’t go into production until 1955. Ushering in a new era of design, the look of the MGA was radically different from the T-series MG sports car models it replaced. Built primarily to slake overseas demand, of the 101,081 MGAs built, only 5,869 cars were sold in England. In its advertising for the MGA, MG called the car “the first of a new line”, and in fact it was. Lower, wider and more advanced, many consider the MGA the archetype of the modern sports car. The body on frame design employed a 68-horsepower, 1.5-liter engine to move a curb weight of 1,988 pounds. Ultimately offered in both two-seat convertible and two-seat coupe body styles, the MGA used a wishbone type independent front suspension, and a rigid rear axle with semi-elliptic springs. Hydraulic drum brakes, a four-speed manual transmission and rack and pinion steering was employed. The car was also offered with a choice of wire spoke wheels, or steel wheels. The MGA remained in production until 1962. Fun to drive for its time, though not terribly fast, the car was clocked from zero to 60 in 16 seconds and its top speed was quoted at just under 98 miles per hour. The MGA remained in production until 1962, when it was replaced by the MGB
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Best Classic Sports Cars

The Ten Best Classic British Sports Cars: Austin Healey 3000 At the other end of the Austin-Healey sports car spectrum was the Austin-Healey 3000. Introduced in 1959, the Austin-Healey 3000 took its nomenclature from the fact it was powered by a 2912 cc (rounds up to 3-liter) inline six-cylinder engine. The car boasted a top speed of 115 miles per hour. It featured dual carburetors and front disc brakes as standard equipment. An evolution of the Austin-Healey 100 introduced in 1953, the model was one of the cars eventually known as “The Big Healeys” to differentiate them from the Austin-Healey Sprite. One of the company’s namesakes, Donald Healey was responsible for the design of the car. Originally intended to be produced by Healey’s company alone, the managing director of Austin was so impressed by the roadster he struck a deal with Healey and so it came to be known as an Austin-Healey. This also cemented the relationship that would eventually lead to the Sprite. The evolution of the Austin-Healey 100, the Austin Healey 3000 became the most popular variant of the model. The 3000 was produced from 1959 to 1967.
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Best Classic Sports Cars

9 Oddball Cars These are design mistakes, cars that were unloved or misunderstood for most of history, so out of place they’re underrated as classic cars. Good examples include the 1975 AMC Pacer X Levi’s Edition with denim seats, a 1973–1974 VW Thing, or even a 1985–1991 Yugo. Because many of these cars started out as cheap, mass-market transportation, good examples are rare. Be certain you buy a car in top condition, and know that the value may never increase. Dennis Jarvis/Flickr
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Best Classic Sports Cars

The insurance provider has picked fun cars that are poised to increase in value. Interestingly, cars from the 1980s are going to be strong, and even cars from the early 2000s are starting to show value as future classic cars.
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Best Classic Sports Cars

The Ten Best Classic British Sports Cars: Triumph Spitfire Introduced at the London Auto Show in 1962, the Triumph Spitfire’s styling was based on a 1957 model done by Giovanni Michelotti, one of the most prolific sports car designers of the 20th century. He also did work for BMW, Lancia, and Maserati. The Spitfire’s running gear came from a Triumph sedan known as the Herald. The Triumph sports car owes its existence to the success of the Austin-Healey Sprite. When the Triumph management team saw the demand for the Austin-Healey, they decided to do something similar, but with a bit more sophistication. Thus the Spitfire boasted wind-up windows and a single piece front end to make servicing the engine easier to accomplish. It took five years for the model to go into production because Triumph was experiencing financial problems when Michelotti completed the design. When British Leyland took over Triumph, the company found the Spitfire prototype sequestered beneath a drop cloth in a corner of the factory and hurried it into production. Between 1962 and 1980 some 314,000 copies of the Spitfire were built. Talk about your good “barn finds’…
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Between the uncertainty of what would make a good investment, fluctuations in pricing, and the inevitable wrenching and frustration, buying a classic car can be very intimidating. Thankfully, Hagerty is an expert in classic cars and has come out with its list of best classic cars to buy for 2017.

1 Of 10 Chevrolet El CaminoWe were supposed to see an El Camino revival with the Pontiac G8 ST, but thanks to the economic meltdown, that didn’t happen. Still, a classic El Camino is always going to be cool, and you can easily find them for decent prices. 2 Of 10 Datsun 510It may have borrowed a bit from some of the European sedans at the time, but the Datsun 510 is more than a knockoff BMW. It’s a fun little car in its own right. And let’s not forget about those amazing side mirrors mounted on the front fenders.Advertisement – Continue Reading Below 3 Of 10 Fiat 124 SpiderYeah, you could buy a new 124 Spider, but spending your money on a classic is more of an adventure. Besides, the old 124s have far more style and class than the newer versions. An added bonus: You”ll have something to work on every Saturday for the rest of their life. 4 Of 10 Ford F-100Everybody loves seeing a classic truck on the road, even if they aren’t necessarily “truck people.” If you can find an old Ford F-100 that you can pick up (pun intended), you absolutely should. Just look at those fenders.Advertisement – Continue Reading Below 5 Of 10 Jeep JeepsterCJs are always great, but if you’re going to buy a classic Jeep, why not get something a little different? Skip the go-to CJ and get yourself a two-tone Jeepster to standout from the crowd. 6 Of 10 Mercedes-Benz W115There’s an inherent coolness that comes with driving an old Mercedes, but if you don’t want to look like you bought one because it was cheap, you have to reach back a little further than the W124. That’s where something like a 220D comes in. Such a classic look.Advertisement – Continue Reading Below 7 Of 10 MGB GTThe BMW Clown Shoe is a collector’s dream, but those cars have gotten incredibly pricey lately. For a shooting brake on a budget, look to the MGB GT instead. We wouldn’t blame you for picking the drop-top version of the MGB, but the GT is the one for us. 8 Of 10 Plymouth ValiantThe first-generation Valiant had a design only a mother could love, but by the mid-1960s, it was looking pretty good. It was sold in several different body styles, including a convertible, and the engines are famous for lasting forever. On a budget, you can’t go wrong here.Advertisement – Continue Reading Below 9 Of 10 Pontiac FirebirdYou can spend a lot of money on one of these if you really want to, but late-1970s Firebirds can also be pretty good deals if you keep an eye out for them. And even if it’s not black, you’ll still be able to live out your Smokey and the Bandit fantasies. Just make sure you have some Jerry Reed ready to go. 10 Of 10 Volvo 122Volvo has quite a few lust-worthy classics out there, but if you’re trying to keep it affordable, you’ll have a hard time finding a better deal than a Volvo 122. It’s not quite a P1800, but you still get plenty of style. And if you’re concerned about safety, the 122 was the first car to offer a three-point seatbelt as standard back in 1959.

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