The 1960s was the decade of groovy music, psychedelic cinema, liberation, world-changing youth movements and the summer of love. It was a time of flawless street style, sharp suits and the golden age of Hollywood… and the cars weren’t half bad either.
In fact, most people would agree that the 1960s brought us some of the most recognisable and lust-worthy cars in history. It was a time when beauty and masculinity in motorcar design reached something of a zenith, and many of the luxury vehicles released during this epoch-defining era have gone on to be some of the most collectible of all time. Let’s take a look through a handful of the most gorgeously iconic luxury cars of this special time in history, and take a moment to think about what made them so special.
Aston Martin DB5
Produced between 1963 and 1965, the Aston Martin DB5 is one of the first cars that springs to mind when we consider what it was that made the 60’s so damn cool. It brought together the best of both worlds; the British engineering genius of the Aston Martin house team, and the undeniable sexiness that was the calling card of Italy’s Carrozzeria Touring company.
Hitting 0-60 in 8 seconds, it was rocketed to iconic status thanks to it being a certain Mr. Bond’s motor of choice, and it came with a wealth of new gadgets and accessories, not least an in-dash record player. So much more than just a car, the DB5 became a symbol of London’s swinging scene, an icon of elegance and sophistication, and it remains exactly that to this day.
Anyone who claims that there is a more beautiful car in the world than the Jaguar E-Type probably needs their sense of taste examined. Frankly, this is the car that every man dreams of owning, and has done so since it stopped being produced in 1975 after its run through the entirety of the 1960s.
The long, elegant and oh-so-sexy body shape is something which still makes car enthusiasts and designers alike swoon to this day, and its top speed of 150 mph was blisteringly fast for its time. Powerful, sophisticated, and effortlessly cool, it was and still is an absolute icon of British motoring design.
The 911 series outlasted the 60s by a considerable distance, but the original is – for many – still considered the absolute best of them all. When this car was released, it was a real breath of fresh air, and a vehicle which redefined what luxury cars were supposed to look, feel and perform like in the new era it helped to launch. The 911 gave a new lease of life to Porsche, and firmly established the brand as a true luxury icon for the modern man seeking speed, elegance and some serious pulling power.
There are few 60’s movies quite so iconic or enjoyable as The Italian Job, but the opening scenes – which show a Lamborghini Miura being wrecked by mafia henchmen – still makes luxury car fans wince to this day. Make no mistake, this was the first and most widely loved dream machine to come out of the Lamborghini factory, and it set up the brand for decades to come.
Thrillingly low-slung, elongated and powerful-looking, the Miura packed a serious punch when it came to engine capability. The 4L V12 under the hood was a masterpiece of engineering, and allowed this vehicle to hit unheard-of top speeds around 170 mph.
The Ford Mustang was, for many people, the ultimate muscle car, and the sign that the Americans were well on board when it came to combining amazing looks with real power. The look of this vehicle was everything a man could wish for in the 60s – it was poised for a fight, muscular, aggressively masculine… and it proved its worth and gained fans around the globe, thanks to appearances in era-defining car movies like Bullit.
With the Mustang, speed and raw power was everything. It could hit 0-60 in 5.5 seconds, making it one of the fastest cars of its era, and driving one of these would immediately make you a king of the road, ready for whatever the world had to throw at you.