With an auction price of $22 million, the 1956 Ferrari 290 MM is one of the most expensive cars ever sold. Even though this model isn’t a household name in Ferrari racing history, it is still significant due to the list of drivers who drove this car (via Top Car Auctions).
Practically anybody who was a celebrity driver in the 50s was behind the wheel, making this red Barchetta a true example of a well-preserved racing machine.
As a world-renowned sports car brand, Aston wanted into racing in the early 1960s, briefly becoming the owner of “the world’s fastest production car” title. Their weapon was the Aston Martin DB4 Zagato, a lightweight 300 HP version of the DB4 Grand Tourer (via Motor Trend).
Aston’s engineers tried hard to achieve this power output with three carburetors and two spark plugs per cylinder. The original example sold for over $13 million.
During the 1950s, Jaguar was heavily involved in racing, especially at Le Mans. First, there was a C-Type racing car, but soon, the company developed a brand new and much-improved D-Type that proved to be an equally successful and influential racing car (via Robb Report).
The C-Type was the car that launched Jaguar as a performance brand and managed to win the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Very few were built since it was a purpose-made race car, and surviving examples are known to fetch high prices. This one achieved over $13 million.
Based on the 250 Europa, the GT was Ferrari’s main model up to 1964. It was also the definition of the 250 Series and one of the first Ferraris produced in significant numbers, which brought some financial security to the factory (via Supercars).
Numerous versions were available, and this one was called Tour de France since it was victorious in the race held under the same name. It was a bit more potent than stock and featured several race-spec modifications. The price? $13.2 million.
In 1971, Steve McQueen made an ultimate racing movie with “Le Mans.” The film featured real racing and real racing cars, especially the legendary Porsche 917. However, even before the movie was released, the Porsche 917 was a legend in racing circles.
The 917 incorporated everything that Porsche as a company had in its arsenal. It had a unique body of lightweight materials, a flat-12 engine made out of two flat-six units, exceptional aerodynamics, and a top speed of over 200 mph. Today, it has a price of over $18 million (via IMSA).
Unfortunately, the days of big cube engines and high horsepower ratings were gone in 1979, so Pontiac decided to invest in new technology to generate power. That new technology was turbocharging, and in late 1979 it introduced the Trans Am Turbo (via Hagerty).
The engine in question was a 301 V8 with a Garrett turbocharger bolted onto it. The power output was relatively modest at 200 to 210 HP, but the torque was high at 340 lb.-ft, which resulted in a hint of performance. Highly-preserved examples can fetch over $50,000 at auctions.
The Grand Wagoneer is the ultimate vintage luxury off-road vehicle. The fact that it was produced from 1963 to 1991 with just a few tweaks is proof of its qualities. The Wagoneer was powered by numerous inline-six and V8 engines. It had both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive.
The most coveted models came from the 1984 to 1991 Chrysler era, when the car went through a series of upgrades. With air conditioning, high-quality audio, power seats, and optional woodwork, the Wagoneer was a well-equipped car. The cleanest examples can fetch $100,000 at auction (via Carscoops).
When it was introduced in 1975, Jaguar XJS had the daunting task of eclipsing the aging-yet-still-gorgeous E-Type. Although it wasn’t as beautiful as the car it replaced, this ugly duckling was still a sales success, with production lasting up until 1996 (via Hemmings).
On the classic car market, though, the XJS is in E-Type’s shadow. But that means one thing – you can find a V12-powered example for quite a reasonable sum. One of the best examples you can find is this convertible with low mileage and a price of just over $28,000.
One of the best and most interesting classic American compact cars was the legendary Plymouth Valiant. With flamboyant styling, smaller dimensions and engines, and a low price, Chrysler deliberately presented the car in Europe, hoping to sell many cars there.
The Valiant was styled after many of Chrysler’s concept cars from the late ’50s and looked much more expensive and upscale than the rest of the compact car market. This one is a renewed custom car valued around $100,000 (via Classi Cars).
Introduced just two weeks before the Ford Mustang, Barracuda was the first pony car in history. During most of the 1960s, it was in the shadow of the Mustang and Camaro yet in 1969, it debuted with upgraded styling and more options.
The 1969 model was available in three body styles, and here we have a cool-looking convertible equipped with period-correct wheels and a desirable color combination. The price is relatively affordable at almost $40,000 (via Classic Cars).
One of the craziest but still roadworthy concept cars was the famous GM Futurliner bus. Designed in 1939 as a part of the Parade of Progress, Futurliners were custom-made buses that used a regular GM Truck Division drivetrain.
Redesigned for the ’50s, Futurliners gained a recognizable shape and each one of them was designed to show specific technology or achievement. The interior featured an information desk. GM produced 12 of these vehicles and only nine of them survived. One of them sold recently for a staggering $4.4 million (via Barett-Jackson).