A personal car collection reflects an individual's automotive taste and preferences. Many collections are guided by certain themes – be it an era, a vehicle segment, or something else entirely – and as such are unique to that owner. However, there are some cars that we think no true gearhead would pass on.
The vehicles decorating this list each represent an era, a piece of automotive history that's worth preserving, and showcase everything that made the mid-20th-century car industry great. From exotics to race cars, muscle cars, and luxury supercars, these are the 10 classic cars every gearhead would love to have in their collection.
10 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra Super Snake
A monster from the '60s, the 1967 Cobra still inspires awe among classic car enthusiasts for its breathtaking design and raw power. Inside this one, however, the legendary Caroll Shelby placed a massive 7.0L V8 engine and bolstered it with a par of superchargers for extra power.
The final result was a 2250lb, 800-horsepower roadster able to hit 60 mph in less than 4 seconds, and cruise to a top speed of 200 mph. Beautifully designed by British AC Ace, this classic is a dream car for any automotive enthusiast and gearhead alike, which explains why in 2007 it was auctioned for a staggering $5.5 million.
9 1963 Corvette Stingray Sport Coupe
With the 1963 model, Corvette introduced a unique, beautiful design, featuring components like retractable headlights and innovative, aerodynamic bodywork. Over 50 years later, this car is lauded as the most beautiful Corvette ever created.
It was the first fixed hard-top 'Vette, which made it even more unique and alluring to auto enthusiasts. And, with an independent suspension and a large 360-horsepower 5.4L V8, the Stingray was fully capable to compete with Shelby's Cobra (also on this list).
8 1969 Ferrari Dino 246 GT
We could not let this list go by without including the famously alluring Ferrari Dino - Ferrari's first mid-engine production car. The Dino was named after the founder's son, and was more than just beautiful: it was quite capable as well. The Dino did not need a lot of horsepower to be exciting on the road, as it weighed just about 2,000 lbs, or under a tonne.
Hence, it featured a 2.0L DOHC V6 that was able to power it to 60 mph in just 7.5 seconds. However, to own one of these today, you'd have to set aside some 298,000 British pounds, which equates to roughly $374,000.
7 1969 Dodge Charger R/T
With its undying popularity and long history of fame, having starred in movies like Fast and Furious, this oldie definitely deserves a spot on our list. Its design is a unique combination of cool and aggressive. In its best edition, the '69 charger churns out 425 horsepower at the brakes, courtesy of a massive 7.0L V8.
Today, this is a pony car that every gearhead would love to have as a decoration in their garage. The nice thing about the Charger is that they're not as hard to obtain as some of the other cars on this list. You can pick up one of these in great condition for under $20,000, depending on the trim.
6 Ferrari 250 GTO 1962
Ferrari 250 GTO needs no introduction. It's widely regarded as the most legendary motor vehicle of the 20th century and claims the record for the most expensive car ever publicly auctioned, at $48,4 million.
Its value lies in its design, rarity, and history, as these were widely used in historic race championships. The 250 GTO features a 3.0L V12, sending 300 horsepower to the back wheels and is able to attain a top speed of roughly 158 mph.
5 1965 Ford GT40
The Le-Mans-winning 1965 Ford GT40 is a legendary icon that gave rise to the Ford GT as we know it today. The car was designed to break speed records and put European Le Mans contestants the likes of Ferrari to shame. It features a 7.0-liter V8 that pushes out approximately 500 horsepower, allowing it to easily eclipse 200 mph.
Apart from that, the original Ford GT is absolutely beautiful and highly collectible, being able to fetch millions at auctions, and we're sure no sane car enthusiast would mind having one in their garage.
4 BMW M1 1981
The M1 is one of the most unique and special BMW's ever produced, and as such, it has been the dream car of enthusiasts for over 30 years. It has an interesting story behind it, though. The M1 was BMW's attempt at designing a motorsport competition model that would rival Porche.
It was unsuccessful in meeting the competition requirements in time, and only a total of 453 were hand-built in its history. This is BMW's first and only mid-engine supercar, so decorating the back is a 3.5L inline six-cylinder connecting to a 6-speed manual transmission and producing a decent 274 horsepower. Back in the late '70s and early '80s, this was enough to qualify the M1 as a full-blown supercar, especially considering its light 2866-lb curb weight.
3 1963 Aston Martin DB5
It's the very same model featured in numerous James Bond movies throughout the '60s, which forever cemented it as a unique and irrefutable piece of automotive history. Aside from that, the DB5 is stunningly gorgeous and offers the kind of refined luxury and style that simply lacks in today's time.
This is why it may come as a surprise to some that the DB5 was among the fastest production cars in its era, featuring a 4.0L inline six-cylinder that churned out 325 horsepower and propelled the car to a top speed of 150 mph.
2 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL
Dubbed "Gullwing," due to its innovative door design, the 300SL is a million-dollar vintage supercar that has captivated the automotive community with its beauty and elegance for over 60 years. When it was designed, the 300SL was eons ahead of its competitors, with its design elements still implemented in Mercedes-Benz supercars to this day.
And although it may not look like one, the 300SL is a pure performance supercar of the '50s. Revving its 3-liter straight-six engine releases an impressive 215 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque. With a top speed of 140 mph, the 300SL claimed the title of the fastest car in the world when it was released.
1 Jaguar XJ13 1966
The XJ13 is one of the most beautiful vintage and underappreciated sports cars ever produced. Its origins date back to 1950s. However, the final model was approved and produced in 1966 and was designed using aircraft techniques. Today, it's among the rarest and most valuable vintage cars ever created. Only one of these has ever been produced, which makes it perhaps even more valuable than the legendary 250 GTO (also on this list).
Its massive 5.0L V12 engine is interestingly positioned behind the driver's head and covered with a glass dome, which helps attract a lot of attention. Apart from being priceless, the car is extremely powerful for its time. At full throttle, the XJ13 produces more than 500 horsepower and is able to shuttle itself to 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds.