There’s hardly a better feeling than cruising on an empty highway. Imagine the breeze flowing through your hair while you see the majestic views of mountains, oceans, plains, and more. Now, envision yourself driving a vintage car. Classics like Corvette and Mustang are just two of eight classic vehicles to take on a road trip.
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1. Aston Martin DB5
The 1960s were a highly influential time for automakers. Cars became more affordable after World War II, so more people could purchase the vehicles people now call vintage. One of the most popular models in this decade was the Aston Martin DB5. You may know DBs from the James Bond film series — the DB5 first appeared in the movie “Goldfinger” in 1964.
The DB5 is a beautiful car from a British manufacturer and is ideal for touring the country, so plenty of people will be looking your way. The DB5 has a maximum horsepower of 282 and a top speed of 142 mph. This Aston Martin is one of the rarest vintage cars on the market, so take advantage if you can get your hands on one.
2. Ford Mustang
When you think of classic American cars, the Mustang is likely one of the first to come to mind. Ford introduced the pony car in 1964 and it’s been a staple for vintage vehicle enthusiasts and collectors ever since. The Mustang has been in production for nearly 60 years and has no plans of stopping. There are a few solid options to choose from for road trips.
One of the most popular Mustangs is the 1966 Fastback. Car enthusiasts enjoy this model because of its aesthetics. Besides the original one in 1964, this model is among the most recognizable because of its shape. You’ll turn heads when driving one of these vintage vehicles.
3. Chevrolet Corvette
Another American classic that’s great for a road trip is the Chevrolet Corvette. The Corvette is the only American sports car currently in production that only seats two people, so it’s ideal for a romantic getaway. Imagine driving a Corvette down the Pacific Coast Highway in the summer. The open roads with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean are made for these vintage cars.
If you’re looking for a Corvette, there’s nothing wrong with the classics. The 1963 model is one of the most popular because it’s the one that started the car’s second generation. Chevrolet unveiled the Sting Ray edition of the Corvette, which was smaller than its predecessors. The 1963 Corvette Sting Ray has 300 horsepower, a V-8 engine, and 360 pounds of torque.
4. Ford Country Squire
Your grandparents would recognize a Ford Country Squire because these cars were a staple in the United States for the better of four decades. Station wagons were a vehicle of choice for Americans going on road trips. The Griswold family used a 1983 Ford Country Squire in “National Lampoon’s Vacation” to poke fun at the popularity of station wagons in the 1960s and 1970s.
The specs for the Ford Country Squire will depend on the generation you drive. Look for an eighth generation if you want to mimic the Griswold family for your road trip. These cars carry over the V-8 engines from previous generations. The eighth generation is almost a foot shorter and 1,000 pounds lighter than its predecessors.
5. Dodge Charger
When you think of Dodge, you probably imagine the Charger and the Challenger as their two flagship vehicles. Dodge introduced the Challenger in 1966 as an affluent and larger pony car, another name for a compact convertible with a sporty look. The manufacturer crafted the Charger to compete with Ford’s Thunderbird and Oldsmobile’s Toronado.
In American media, the Dodge Charger is one of the most recognizable vehicles in film and television. The second generation of Chargers from 1968 to 1970 are among the most popular because you can see them in “The Dukes of Hazzard” as the General Lee car. Fans can also see it in “The Fast and the Furious” movies as the notorious black Charger.
Dodge also made the Hemi Charger 500 in 1969. The rise of NASCAR inspired Chrysler to enter the fold of motorsports. In competition, Dodge created the Hemi Charger with speed in mind by making major aerodynamic adjustments. Most of these cars have a 440-magnum V-8 engine, which would be perfect for a road trip.
6. Volkswagen Type 2
This list would be remiss if it didn’t mention the Volkswagen Type 2. You may know this vehicle as Volkswagen’s microbus. The German automaker introduced it in 1950 following the success of Type 1, the famous Beetle. This bus was a symbol of the 1960s and the counterculture movement. In the “Cars” film series, Fillmore represents this era with his floral design.
To get the vintage car feel, find a model from the first generation, spanning 1950 to 1967. These microbuses are ideal vehicles for road trips because they’re spacious and have a nostalgic presence. Take the microbus on a trip down Route 66 for a classic American road trip.
7. Pontiac Firebird
Pontiac’s version of the pony car was the Firebird. This division of General Motors (GM) started producing the Firebird in 1967 to compete directly with the Ford Mustang. It got its name from GM’s prototype cars that it made for auto shows in the 1950s. The Firebird has a Coke bottle design, similar to its GM counterpart, the Chevrolet Camaro. It’s a stylish vintage car that’s excellent for the road.
It’s hard to beat the first generation. The first three years of the Firebird are among the most memorable for this car. The 1967 Firebird had up to 325 horsepower at 4,800 revolutions per minute (RPM) in the GTO edition. Pontiac built the car for cruising, and it’ll be an ideal fit for you on any road trip.
8. Ferrari 250 GTO
Seeing a yellow logo with a black horse in the middle can only mean one thing: a Ferrari is zooming by. This luxury car manufacturer is a household name and one of the most famous worldwide. Since 1940, Ferrari has been a symbol of wealth and speed on the road, making its cars ideal for trips.
If you’re going to take one to the road, go for the Ferrari 250 GTO. This luxury car has a sleek design that was ahead of its time for the 1960s. The 250 GTO has a V-12 engine and a maximum speed of about 175 mph (280 km). It’s a high-performance sports car with a maximum horsepower of 300. Imagine the 250 GTO on the Million Dollar Highway in Colorado or the Overseas Highway heading toward the Florida Keys.
Road Trips With a Vintage Car
From California to Maine and Miami to Anchorage, there are plenty of opportunities to take a road trip in the United States. This country has thousands of miles of open roads and beautiful stops along the way. You’ll have an incredible experience if you take one of these eight vintage cars.
Jack Shaw writes in the men’s lifestyle niche. When he’s not writing, you can find him hiking or hanging out with his dog.