Home Cars 20 Most Beautiful Classic GT Coupes for the Whole Family

20 Most Beautiful Classic GT Coupes for the Whole Family

Vukasin Herbez February 11, 2019

Classic sports cars are the fodder of dreams. Legendary sports car companies have produced them with the style of some of the greatest names in the history of car design. With their big, powerful engines, they are the pinnacle of automotive lust. However, almost all of them are ludicrously expensive, small and riddled with mechanical problems or brutal maintenance.

So, what to do if you have an irresistible urge for those classic lines, but you want something a bit more reliable with more space for your family and luggage? The answer is those classic GT coupes. Those cars come with four seats, decent legroom and a nice trunk, with the same looks, as well as the same driving dynamics as their more expensive counterparts. However, they provide more durability and nicer road manners.

In the ‘60s many luxury manufacturers in Europe started producing fast coupes. They made them with enough space for four adults that could transport their occupants in comfort and speed. They were often less expensive than the similar, two-seater models from the same brands and they produced them in larger numbers, too.

In fact, those classic GT coupes were the perfect solution for drivers who wanted a luxury car with the comfort of a limousine, but the performance of a sports car. Today, all those cars are well-respected classic cars, yet some of them are inexpensive enough to get you thinking. Imagine getting a classic GT car for the price of mid-size SUV to travel with your family in style. So, if you are in the market for such a car, here are 20 of the most beautiful classic GT cars for the whole family.

  1. Porsche 928

The 928 is one of the best Porsche road cars, despite the fact it was, and it still is a controversial model. Back in the mid-70s, Porsche decided the 911 was outdated and it wasn’t profitable enough to keep the company afloat. So the board approved the development of a new model with a water-cooled V8 engine in the front and different design, technology and appearance. And in 1977, Porsche introduced the 928 but kept the 911 in production.

The 928 was a Gran Turismo coupe with a powerful V8 engine in the front and a transaxle gearbox. Also, it came with an ideal weight distribution, intelligent suspension and space-age design. In contrast to the 911, which still had some VW Beetle cues, the 928 looked like it came from another planet. Despite the fact that early 928s delivered below 300 HP, the car was fast. Porsche made it for effortless cruising and driving over the continents in comfort, speed, and luxury.

Porsche kept improving the 928, and in 1987 introduced the S4 version. It featured a 5.0-liter V8 engine producing 320 HP and a host of other modifications that improved the performance. The 928 S4 could reach 60 mph in just 5.6 seconds while topping 160 mph. This result was fast for the day and placed the 928 among the fastest cars of the era. Today, the 928 is still a fast and capable GT car. Best of all, the prices are still affordable, but you’d better hurry up before they rise.

  1. BMW 6-Series E24

BMW presented the new 6-Series in 1976 as their offering in the Gran Turismo market. It was one of the most elegant coupes of the period with its recognizable design, four headlights and big BMW grille. BMW built the 6 Series on the 5 Series base, but it featured nothing but the most powerful six-cylinder engines.

The 6 Series proved to be popular, spending over 13 years on the market. BMW managed to produce over 100,000 copies that are still highly sought-after models on the classic car market. Interestingly, more than half of the E24s they produced they sold in the USA.

  1. Lamborghini Espada

Although the Espada wasn’t the first Lamborghini GT car, it was by far the most successful and controversial. They introduced it in 1968 as a successor to the 400 GT. And it served for 10 years as the biggest, most luxurious Lamborghini you could buy. But when they first presented it, the Espada caused a lot of attention and even criticism for its unusual styling.

It had an almost flat roofline and “wagonesque” profile. However, these features allowed for substantial room inside the car, so four adults with their luggage could easily travel long distances. And that is exactly what Ferruccio Lamborghini wanted.

The Espada got its power from the legendary Lamborghini 4.0-liter V12 engine. It was a piece of mechanical art with four camshafts and eight Weber carburetors to pump out up to 350 HP. Lamborghini made over 1,200 of these cool four-seat coupes so the prices are still somewhat affordable considering the heritage, exotic nature and rarity of the car.

  1. Volvo 780 Coupe

One of the most elegant Volvos they ever produced is the 780 Coupe from 1986. They built on the Volvo 760 base and it featured same mechanics. Also, it had a bespoke body crafted by the famous Bertone styling house. Volvo equipped it with a four-cylinder turbo engine or a 2.8-liter V6.

You could consider the 780 Coupe to be a bit underpowered, but its performance was par with its competitors. Since Volvo built it on the 760 chassis, 780 Coupe had more than enough space in the interior, as well as comfortable seats and a big trunk.

  1. Citroen SM

One of the coolest looking, most exclusive Citroen cars they ever produced was the gorgeous SM. Citroen presented it in 1970, and this elegant coupe had some interesting features. In fact, when Citroen introduced it to the public, it made the competition look and feel outdated. In the late ‘60s, Citroen was flushed with cash. Through various stock market transactions, the company became the owner of the famous Italian sports car manufacturer, Maserati.

Citroen`s management thought it would be great if they could use Maserati’s powerful engines and sports car know-how to produce a luxurious, fast coupe with Citroen’s signature design and style. Ant that is exactly how the Citroen SM was born. The aesthetics were clearly French with a hydro-pneumatic self-leveling suspension and front-wheel drive. But instead of an underpowered four-cylinder engine, it had a 2.7-liter V6 by Maserati, which provided enough power for a lively performance.

Citroen marketed the SM in the U.S, and in fact, they sold more of them in America than in Europe. In the USA, the SM competed with the Mercedes SLC or Cadillac Eldorado in the personal luxury segment. Soon, American car buyers praised its ride quality, smooth engine, and style. Unfortunately, the oil crisis and economic recession killed the model. Citroen ceased production in 1974 after they made more than 12,000 of them.

  1. Lancia Gamma Coupe

A list of affordable, beautiful and rare Gran Turismo coupes that can accommodate four people wouldn’t be complete without at least one Lancia model. And one great example is the elegant Gamma Coupe that Lancia produced between 1977 and 1984. Pininfarina styled the Coupe while Lancia built it on a Gamma four-door platform, selling it in fewer numbers.

Although it featured a spacious interior and lots of equipment, it had a quirky engine, the 2.0 or 2.5-liter flat four engine. Although it provided the Coupe with interesting handling and driving dynamics, it was a nightmare for maintaining. Lancia made over 6,500 Coupes during the production run. But today, the Gamma Coupe is a rare sight, even in Italy.

  1. Jaguar XJS

The XJS succeeded the Jaguar E-Type in 1975 and it belongs on this list for several important reasons. First, the E Type was more of a sports car than a GT despite becoming one in later iterations. Secondly, E Types were always cramped with small trunks and uncomfortable to drive. The XJS, on the other hand, was a better Gran Touring machine.

It was more usable in everyday life and far more pleasant to drive long distance. And best of all, it was more modern and had better equipment. Jaguar introduced it in the mid-70s and it was a big step for the company. Under the long hood, there was a well-known 3.6-liter six-cylinder. However, if you wanted the full GT experience, the 5.3-liter V12 engine was a better choice.

The XJS was an extremely popular car, especially in America where Jaguar sold the majority of the 115,000 cars they made. Due to its elegance, power and speed, the XJS remained in production for an incredible 21 years. In fact, it is still is a respectable car in every way. The prices are not high for those perfectly preserved examples but you should look for later models with V12 engines.

  1. Mercedes 450 SLC

When Mercedes introduced their R107 SL roadster in 1971, it stunned the car industry. They started dominating the luxury convertible segment, which lasts to this day. But in the early ‘70s, Mercedes didn’t have a luxury GT coupe, so this marketing segment was left to their competitors. However, the company didn’t have enough time to design and build a whole new model for the GT niche. They decided to use the SL platform, stretching it a bit and giving it a hardtop to create the SLC.

Mercedes introduced the SLC a year after the SL roadster. The SLC was a good GT car that shared most of the engines, design, and interior with the SL. But it provided much more comfort, a better ride quality and driving refinement. It came with smaller engines, but the best choice is the 450 SLC or 500 SLC. They come with a 4.5-liter V8 delivering 225 or a 5.0-liter V8 producing 245 HP with more than a solid performance.

Mercedes built those SLC coupes for 10 years, from 1971 to 1981 in over 62,000 examples. Currently, the SL roadster prices are on the rise, but the SLC prices are affordable and steady. That means you can find perfectly preserved examples for the price of some of the most inexpensive new subcompact cars. The SLC is a better choice since classic German-built quality is still unbeatable.

  1. BMW E9

After the success of their new class models in the ‘60s, BMW decided to return to the luxury coupe market. And they did that with their newly designed E9 model they based on their big E3 sedan. The E9 was a beautiful coupe, powered by six-cylinder engines, which featured all the classic BMW styling cues. And better yet, the hardtop body style emphasized its elegant lines.

BMW presented the car in 1968, starting with 2.8 and 3.0-liter engines providing 170 and 180 HP. That wasn’t that much, but in a lightweight body, it resulted in a satisfying performance. However, with the introduction of the CS model featuring a 3.0-liter engine with fuel injection, the E9 produced over 200 HP, delivering a respectable performance by the standards of the day. Due to its lightness, powerful engine and good balance, the E9 was a competent race car.

In fact, the homologation versions like the 3.0 CSL proved to be real performers in the GT class. In those days, GT cars started to become heavy and comfy cruisers, while the E9 retained its sports car sharpness while still being comfortable for longer runs. BMW ended production in 1975, but another Munich legend, the 6-Series succeeded the E9. Over the course of seven years, BMW made over 40,000 of those beautiful E9 coupes.

  1. Maserati Mexico

Because they produced it in less than 500 examples from 1966 to 1972, the Mexico was a forgotten Maserati. It wasn’t as flashy or sporty as their other models, but it offered an unbeatable combination of driving dynamics, looks and comfort for four passengers. The Vignale design house styled the Mexico. It featured a V8 engine and a choice of an automatic transmission. In those days, automatics in thoroughbred coupes were unimaginable, but Maserati wanted to offer ultimate comfort to its customers.

  1. Ferrari 400/412i

Ferrari presented the 400/412i series in 1976 to replace the almost identical 365 GT4 2+2 model. The difference was the bigger engine and a few external details. The 400i was Ferrari`s Gran Turismo model with space for four occupants and a big trunk. They designed the car to be a comfy, fast cruiser. And better yet, it was the first Ferrari they offered with an optional automatic transmission.

Interestingly, they never homologated the 400i for the American market, so they never officially sold it there. However, through the magic of the grey import scene, lots of European-spec 400s ended up in the USA, so this model is relatively common on this side of the ocean. In 1985, they introduced an upgraded 412i with a bigger engine and a few improvements. But in 1989, they stopped producing it after building approximately 3,000 versions.

  1. Maserati Indy

Maserati unveiled the Indy in 1969. They aimed it at the customers who wanted the ultimate comfort and space. Also, they designed it to have more room and better equipment than the Ghibli. Under the hood was a V8 engine ranging from 4.2 to 4.9-liter in size.

Maserati’s desire to have a luxury car with space for four occupants resulted in a hefty weight compared to other models. However, the Indy was still capable of cruising at high speeds and providing its passengers with remarkable comfort and stability. The prices for nice examples are high, but not astronomical.

  1. Jaguar E-Type Series III

The iconic E-Type started its life as a true sports car with a high revving six-cylinder engine. But by 1971, it turned into a sleek, comfortable Gran Turismo. Jaguar installed the new 5.3-liter V12, gave it more features and a roomier interior, which transformed this sports car into a highway cruiser of the highest order. Some enthusiasts don’t like those later models, but the general market loved the extra power and smoothness.

  1. Triumph Stag

Triumph presented the Stag in 1970 and produced it until 1978. The market was impressed by the new model featuring cool styling, open-top driving with a hard top. Yet it still had enough room for four adults and their luggage. The Stag got its power from a 3.0-liter V8 engine that produced 145 HP, which was enough for a decent performance.

With its muscular appearance and V8 rumble, the Stag looked like a luxury muscle car, attracting some buyers. But unfortunately, it wasn’t long before some owners experienced the Stag’s notorious unreliability. However, its higher price sealed its chances on the American and global markets. When they ended production in 1978, they had only produced 25,000 of them.

  1. Fiat 130 Coupe

Fiat was always known for its small car offerings, but the company also offered some interesting luxury coupes during the ‘60s and ‘70s. And one of those models was the gorgeous 130 Coupe. Fiat introduced the 130 Coupe in 1971, building it on the 130 Sedan chassis. The 130 Coupe featured a totally different body and interior.

It came with the choice of a 2.7 or 3.2-liter V6 engine. And because Pininfarina designed the 130, it won many prizes for its styling. Also, the interior was roomy and comfortable with a big trunk. However, the 130 Coupe was expensive, so they stopped production in 1977 after building only 4,500 of them.

  1. Mercedes 500 SEC C126

Once quite expensive, the elegant C126 coupe Mercedes based on the classic S-Class is now an affordable car. The SEC models of the ‘80s were famous for their ultimate driving dynamics, performance, quality and style. And with its V8 power, top of the range comfort and speed, that was the car for the successful businessman.

Today, more than 30 years later, those cars still captivate the imagination since they built them like vaults. With its generous space and modern equipment, the C126 will make your life easier. Of course, they can be expensive to maintain, but their prices are still affordable, so they are well worth the investment.

  1. Peugeot 504 Coupe

With a Pininfarina design and regular Peugeot 504 platform, the 504 Coupe is one of the best examples of an affordable yet classic GT car. It has the perfect style and proportions, with unmistakable elegance. Yet, it still can carry four people in comfort and style.

Peugeot presented the 504 Coupe in the late ‘60s and sold it until 1983, making over 20,000 in various forms and versions. Most of the cars they made came with four-cylinder engines, but the more powerful 2.7-liter V8 was also available. The prices are still low, but you should hurry up and snatch this irresistible piece of a French-Italian Gran Turismo collaboration.

  1. Jensen Interceptor

One of the best British Gran Turismo cars was Jensen Interceptor. With its Italian styling by Vignale, massive size, great comfort and powerful Chrysler 383 or 440 V8 engine in the front, this four-seater coupe was one of the fastest and most comfortable cars for crossing continents in the late `60s and early `70s.

Interceptors in coupe and convertible proved to be solid successful and over 6400 were made until 1976. Jensen was pretty popular in America back in the `70s so you can find relatively cheap Interceptors here but be beware of rust issues with early cars.

  1. Opel Monza

You have probably never heard of this car but it could be a great conversation starter, making you the star of the next Cars and Coffee meet. In the late ’70s, Germany’s GM subsidiary, Opel produced the Monza. It was a modern looking fastback, hatchback GT coupe. The Monza came with six-cylinder engines, aerodynamic styling, and a decent performance.

Opel aimed it at people looking for an alternative to those much more expensive GT cars. The top of the line model had a 3.0-liter six-cylinder delivering 180 HP. That was considered more than a decent figure in the late ’70s and provided the Monza with a lively performance.

  1. MGB GT V8

Introduced in 1973, the MGB GT V8 came with a 3.5-liter engine pumping out 175 HP, which was a good figure by early ’70s standards. The car immediately became a strong seller because it combined the practicality of a bigger cabin and trunk with the performance of a V8 engine. It achieved a 0 to 60 mph time of just 7.7 seconds.

Although it didn’t have the same amount of space you would get in something like a Jaguar XJS, the MGB is still more practical than a regular roadster. American buyers loved the GT V8 since it offered compact dimensions and improved practicality with more power and performance. And that was a winning combination in anyone’s book.

These are the 20 most beautiful classic GT coupes for the whole family. While some are plentiful, others are quite rare and expensive. But no matter which one you happen to drive, you are cruising the roads in the perfect mix of style, performance and practicality.

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