The Mini Cooper is perhaps one of the most iconic cars on the road, which is notable since it is also one of the smallest. But while the original Mini Cooper had an iconic look to it, the performance was almost nonexistent. This has much to do with the minuscule powertrain. In addition to the lack of power the Mini was also low on features. The car was about as barebones as you could get, so why include it in a list of sports cars?
Well, the Mini had a few special editions that added to the car’s performance. These special-edition cars are notable and rare, but turned the Mini Cooper into one of the original “hot hatches” of its era. There is a lot about the Mini Cooper that’s worth noting, but the car just fell short in a lot of aspects.
Although the Nissan Z car gets all of the credit when it comes to the original Japanese sports car, Toyota also had one. The 2000GT was sleek, sexy, and performed admirably. Why the car didn’t make it to American shores is beyond us, but the car had a lot of potential. This was one of the first cars to break the $1 million mark at an auction, and to this day these cars are quite rare. You could say this was the precursor to the Supra that we know and love.
But the 2000GT also had some shortcomings worth noting. The first of which was the hanging design of the doors. It was incredibly difficult for a tall driver to get in and out of this thing, and that was a problem. Another issue is visibility, which is very difficult in the rear of the car where there are blind spots.
It wasn’t the first electric car, but the E-Type was incredibly fun to drive. When you took the E-Type out on the road you knew that you were driving something special. But the E-Type had some design flaws which aggravated consumers. Visibility was almost nonexistent in this car, and the convertible top was cheap. In addition to that, the engine required constant maintenance.
The E-Type is highly sought after as a collector’s item overseas. Yet let’s face the facts – it wasn’t that great. The design could have been a lot more fluid and the reliability of the car makes it a pain to work on. Classic cars should be fun to drive and not a headache to own, which the E-Type is.
The GTO had a lot that made it stand out, from the powerful engine to the styling. But the GTO in a lot of aspects was more hype than performance, and this was a letdown. The GTO had a lot of performance advances at the time, but these fell in comparison to the other cars that were on the market at the time. The resale value of the GTO is tremendous, but when you look at it the car is lacking in a lot of places.
There was room for improvement both in terms of interior quality and features, and that made the GTO a notable exception. The car has had a long track record for being one of the most iconic muscle cars on the road, but every car has some shortcomings. The GTO wasn’t exempt from this either.
Another “GTO” that had some shortcomings was the Ferrari 250, which lacked the fundamentals that make a Ferrari stand out. The 250 GTO didn’t have the performance that traditional Ferrari enthusiasts had hoped for, and thus it didn’t stand out as much from the crowd. Although the styling was modern, driving characteristics were slim. The car was more popular overseas than it was in America, which had benefits and drawbacks.
The 250 GTO will go down in history as one of the failures of the Ferrari brand. While other models came after it the GTO was just lackluster at best. You still see these come across the auction block from time to time, but they’re few and far between. The car just didn’t have that special touch consumers were looking for.
Few cars have the distinction of being powered by a V-12 engine and the Ferrari 275 GTB is one of them. At the time, these engines were still being perfected and as such, the Ferrari 275 GTB was not at all a hit like you’d expect. The 275 GTB had a striking design, which was well noted by the automotive press at the time. Likewise, there were high hopes the 275 would perform much better than its predecessor did.
Sadly, the car fell short in a lot of aspects, and this caused frustration in the enthusiast community. The 275 GTB was incredibly fun to drive when it was running right, but repair costs were just too much to live with. The 275 GTB fell short in a lot of aspects and thus the market for these has gone away.
Along with other Japanese cars at the time, the 240Z was carving a niche in the marketplace for itself. Although highly regarded as one of the best sports cars to ever hit the road, the 240Z had a lot of shortcomings as well. For starters, the car was prone to rust and a lot of it. This set buyers off early on because they would have to pay to get the rust repaired, oftentimes being too late.
The small dealer network of Datsun was also a problem when it came to getting repairs. Still, the Nissan 240 Z managed to become one of the most iconic sports cars on the road. There was a lot to love about the car and shoppers were willing to put up with the shortcomings.
The Corvette has always managed to be a piece of American history, constantly innovating the sports car market during its tenure. The Stingray took things one step further with a sweeping redesign and top-notch performance. The Stingray had a lot of aspects that made it great, such as its curvy lines and the modern interior. However, performance was a bit of a let down when you considered how lightweight the car was.
Chevrolet managed to add a lot of upgrades to the car that you could get from the factory. Sadly, this wasn’t enough to increase the performance to a great degree. Maintenance was also a pain to take care of on these things. Nevertheless, the Corvette Stingray is one of the most highly regarded sports cars mainly because of its appearance.
You’ve heard of the RX-7. But have you driven a Cosmo? This was the original Rotary-powered Mazda sports car and there was a lot to like about it. The Rotary engine of course was one of the best powerplants around, but there was also the design of the car, which was ahead of its time. Sadly, many of the downfalls of the Cosmo were because of rust issues and a lack of quality.
Mazda attempted to reinvigorate the Cosmo to no avail as the car just couldn’t connect with consumers on a meaningful level. The Cosmo will be remembered for being the first mass-produced rotary sports car on the market.
When drivers think of overhyped dream cars that have been played out, the Cobra always comes to mind. You always hear about how great it is and one of the top dreams cars to this day, but there are other options on the market. For starters, you can get a Cobra kit car for a lot less than the original and no one can tell the difference. Then you have the fact that parts for them are also quite expensive, a drawback to owning one.
Yes, the Cobra is a highly-regarded classic and one of the most desired dream cars of the ’60s, but the drawbacks of the car just make it worth avoiding for the most part. You can find better cars than this one on the market and you’ll have a lot more fun with them.
Lambo is not to be left out of the failed sports car race, and the Miura was a miserable failure. The styling of the car was obscene and elongated, which didn’t work with what the company was trying to go for. Of course, all Lambos are overly stretched and look kind of weird so this wasn’t a surprise. But the Miura had a lot of unique features to it, such as a transversely mounted V-12 engine.
Still, all the technological advancements in the world weren’t enough to make the car a hit. The high price tag and polarizing looks turned most buyers off. This was at a time when the automotive industry was shifting in design, and this specific Lambo just didn’t add up in terms of desired dream cars.
Chrysler was throwing anything at the wall and trying to get it to stick around this time period. The Charger was a lot heavier than its competition and performance wasn’t as good but it managed to gain popularity. The rise of the Hemi V8 was instrumental in the marketing of this car and it worked.
People flocked to the high-performance Dodge and its stablemates at a time when the Mustang was still new. The Charger definitely helped to define the muscle car era. There were a lot of quality shortcomings with the Charger as well as reliability issues. These contributed to negative press for the car in the long run. Overall, it found it difficult to maintain status as one of the most desired dream cars.
It’s hard to believe that the 911 has maintained the same exterior styling since the 1960s, but it has. It has remained one of the most desired dream cars, but not all is perfect. The original design of the car was not to be mocked, although its performance fell flat in a lot of aspects. The 911 was a superb sports car when you took it on twists and turns, but its drawbacks were a cramped interior and a rough ride. It was only recently that Porsche began to change the way their cars ride.
The handling was strong though and this is what many enthusiasts were looking for. The sharp handling and quick driving of the 911 made it fun to drive, even if a lot of aspects were left behind in the design of the car.
A unique car that failed to catch on was the Interceptor. The car had a V8 powerplant but that wasn’t enough to justify the price. There was a lot of hype that surrounded this car, and that was a good thing for the company. You’ll note that a lot of the design cues were very similar to other muscle cars that were on the market. The noteworthy design of the interior stood out for sure.
But the Interceptor only ever managed to captivate a very limited audience, sadly these cars just didn’t catch on. Still, for what it, was the Interceptor was a pretty unique car with a lot of potential for upgrades and personalization. It failed to become one of the top dreams cars of the ’60s, however.
Few cars have changed an industry as the Ford Mustang did. The car was compact and fun to drive at a time when cars were waterlogged land yachts. The Mustang had a lot of hype behind it and it became the king among 1960s dream cars. However, the original design was not all that good. The car was prone to rust and the reliability was not all there as the car got older. Step into the V6 variation of the car and things tended to get a lot worse.
Still, there are some noteworthy features you could point to. For starters, the Mustang was the original pony car and it came in the iconic convertible version. The Mustang was also iconic with a new generation of drivers who appreciated the freewheeling design of the car. It remains one of the auto industry’s most desired dream cars.
It doesn’t take a lot to tell that the Camaro has become iconic as one of the most loved dreams cars of the automotive market, but the car wasn’t all that great. Chevy was quick to throw something together on the heels of the Mustang debut, but the Camaro was not well-planned. You could say that the Mustang caught GM off-guard because of the entirely new market segment. Pony cars had not been produced yet and this was a first of its kind car.
There are a lot of things that make the Chevrolet Camaro stand out, the first of which being the noteworthy design. You don’t get more iconic than the original design of the Camaro; step into the SS and it stood out even more. But the Camaro had a lot of work that needed to be done and the second generation was even worse.
For Chrysler, finding a car that could captivate the market was never an easy thing to do. The Duster had a lot going for it, but it also had a lot of drawbacks to it. Chrysler didn’t plan out the design the way that the company should have, and as such the car suffered for this. The Duster had the Hemi V8 but reliability was scarce at best. A lot of what you can get with the Duster was found on other sports cars at the time.
Sales managed to meet expectations but the Duster was never the massive hit that the Camaro or the Mustang was. Hence why those two models are still here today and the Duster and Plymouth have become dream cars that are merely relics of the past.
The big sedan Chrysler released in the ’60s was supposed to incite excitement with potential buyers. A string of styling changes made the 300F look a lot different than anything else on the market. But this wasn’t enough to propel the oversized thing to a sales success. Marketed as a sports sedan, the 300F had a lot of hype in the media, and its performance was great on paper.
The car also had some innovative interior advances which made it easier to live with. Yet sadly this was not enough to sell the 300F. Consumers were looking for something more out of a vehicle, and what this one brought to the table wasn’t enough to justify the price. Decades later, the 300C became a smash hit for the company.