8 incredible vintage cars to feast your eyes on
16 August 2019
New cars have their novel charm, but there is no beauty like that which has stood the test of time. Vintage cars are not only visually beautiful, but they also have their own stories and place in history.
As vintage car enthusiasts, we not only appreciate their exquisite appearance and performance today, but also their larger significance, what they meant to the companies that built them, and the people who first drove them. Here are just a few of our favourite vintage vehicles for you to enjoy.
Bugatti Type 41 Royale
Starting our list off with the proper pomp and circumstance, the Bugatti Royale is a beautiful luxury car that perfectly encapsulates the extravagance of the latter years of the roaring 20s in which it was originally released. At 6.4m long and weighing in at 3,175 kg, it’s one of the largest and heaviest cars ever built.
Supposedly, Ettore Bugatti designed it in response to an English lady’s unflattering comparison of his cars to those of Rolls-Royce. Originally, it was meant to serve as a vehicle for Europe’s royalty, with one sold to King Alfonso of Spain, who was, however, deposed before he could take possession of it. Looking at it, it’s clear that it’s the kind of vehicle only someone who thought Rolls-Royce was too pedestrian could build.
Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith
Unlike the Royale, the Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith did serve as a vehicle for numerous royals and other political leaders, including the President of Brazil, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, and Josip Broz Tito, among several others.
This is somewhat ironic, considering that it was deliberately designed as a smaller, more modest car in keeping with the UK’s general attitude of post-war austerity at the time of its release. It, along with the larger Phantom models have acted as enduring status symbols for heads of state for over half a century. With its distinguished appearance, it’s not hard to see why.
Electric vehicles are finally re-establishing themselves after nearly a century out of the spotlight. At the turn of the 20th century, electric vehicles made up nearly 30 percent of the market, only losing popularity with the introduction of Henry Ford’s cheap Model T. The 1940s, however, brought about one small exception.
In Nazi-occupied France, Paul Arzens developed the L’Oeuf Electrique, the Electric Egg. Long ahead of its time, this unique looking aluminium and plexiglass creation had a range of 100 km, and could comfortably travel at speed up to 70 km/h.
Lamborghini 350 GT
Lamborghini’s first production vehicle was based on its earlier 350 GTV. When it debuted at the 1964 Geneva Motor Show, it was largely responsible for establishing the brand in the popular imagination. The model’s popularity is largely responsible for Lamborghini’s survival in its early years, while simultaneously setting the carmaker up as a viable competitor to Ferrari.
Aston Martin DB5
The Aston Martin DB5 is one of the world’s most widely recognised cars. Not only is it a meticulously engineered and beautiful car, but it’s also the car of James Bond. Released just as Goldfinger (1964) was being filmed in 1963, the DB5 would go on to become the quintessential car of the franchise. After the release of Goldfinger, the DB5 was showcased at the 1964 New York World Fair as “the most famous car in the world”.
James Bond’s DB5 played a formative role in the awakening of many classic and vintage car enthusiast’s initial interest in the topic, and we maintain a soft spot for it to this day.
Ferrari 250 GTO
This is still the first car that comes to mind for many of us when we hear the name Ferrari. It is, in our opinion, quite simply the best-looking sports car of all time. The 250 GTO won the 2000cc class in the FIA’s International Championship for GT Manufacturers in 1962, 1963, and 1964, as well as the Tour de France Automobile in 1963 and 1964.
While Ferrari certainly went on to enjoy incredible success to the present day, the 250 GTO is its most iconic achievement. Today, it’s the most valuable model of Ferrari in the world, valued at $52 million USD.
Jaguar XK120 Roadster
While Jaguar’s lineup of beautiful classic cars is incredible, our favourite is the XK120 Roadster, which marked Jaguar’s return to sports car production after being forced to halt in 1940.
While still incorporating some visual elements of its earlier 30s models, the XK120 hints at Jaguar’s future with the XKSS and later E-type models, bridging the gap between Jaguar’s pre-war era, and its post-war heyday before its merger with the British Motor Corporation in 1966.
The Porsche 356 was the first car Porsche ever built under its own name and was the precursor to the 912 and 911 models. Porsche had originally been tasked with developing the Beetle and the Volkswagen Brand by the German government in 1939, which marked its first foray into car manufacturing.
Released in resource-poor post-war Germany in 1948, it originally incorporated many of its parts from Porsche’s only other production car. Later on, in the 50s and 60s, the 356 underwent multiple progressive design changes that eventually led Porsche to take its place among the world’s premier car manufacturers.
A passion for vintage cars is more than just an appreciation for their appearance, performance, or luxury. It’s about understanding the value of the history that these vehicles have, and appreciating the automobile industry’s development over the past century.
For those of us lucky enough to own such a piece of history, protecting it is a high priority. To help with that, we at Star Insurance Specialists provide the Star Enthusiast Vintage Car policy. It’s specially made for history’s custodians to protect their vintage cars and restoration projects.
Our specialists know everything there is to know about insuring vintage cars. We provide the coverage your vintage car deserves. We insure based on Agreed Value and cover spare parts too. We even have specialist repair options and specialist repair assessors. Give us a call today to learn more.