The 1960s decade was a golden era for American automobiles and automotive design. Everything converged together perfectly for American cars in the 1960s. There was the official birth of the muscle car, pony car, America’s first mass produced rear engine car, and so many new advancements in automotive exterior design. Additionally it was the golden era of the American V8 engine. During this time a vast majority of American cars were equipped with V8s. With so many beautiful American cars from the 1960s it is a very tough task to pinpoint the 5 most beautiful cars however here is the list of the 5 most beautiful American Cars of the 1960s.
1961-1967 Lincoln Continental Convertible
The debut of the fourth generation Lincoln Continental for the 1961 model year was a giant leap forward in American 4-door sedan styling. While most American automakers were still preoccupied with high tailfins and crazy amounts of exterior chrome, the new 1961 Continental had squarish sculpted exterior panels with a minimal amount of exterior chrome which gave the Continental a modern look at least 10 years ahead of most American cars at the time. The Continental also had innovative rear side doors which opened from front to the back for easier access into the rear seats. However as good looking as the 4-door sedan hardtop version of the 1961-1969 Continental was, the 1961-1967 4-door convertible version was a work of art and its styling has gotten finer with age. Helping with the streamlined look of the Continental convertible was that the convertible top when retracted was completely hidden below the trunk panel.
1964 1/2 to 1966 Ford Mustang
The 1964 ½-1966 Ford Mustang needs no introduction, it was the car that created the pony car segment. It was an inexpensive and sporty 2-door car with beautiful styling that was marketed to appeal to younger car buyers but soon became a favorite among buyers in all age groups. In fact it was so popular that in a little less than 2 ½ years after it’s April 17, 1964 debut just under 1.3 million were produced. The main reason for its success was its beautiful styling which was squarish and not very long in length but had that sporty long hood and short decklid styling. The Mustang had three body styles: coupe, fastback, and convertible, all of which had beautiful modern styling. The 1964 1/2-1966 Mustang’s styling was so popular and well liked it could have continued unchanged for at least another 5 model years into the early-1970s and sales would have continued to be very strong. Never before had an inexpensive car made for the masses had such beautiful styling. Before the Mustang this type of styling was reserved for much higher priced cars.
1969 Pontiac GTO Judge
Pontiac engineers didn’t spare any development costs and expenses to come up with the 1969 GTO Judge which was Pontiac’s ultimate muscle car and one of the best looking American cars of the 1960s. The Judge was available in both a 2-door coupe and convertible. The 1969 GTO Judge had the 1968-1969 GTO’s beautiful body colored endura front bumper which was an industry first that allowed Pontiac to sculpt a ultra-modern front-end that other cars with metal bumpers could not copy. The Judge used the 1969 GTO’s exterior styling but had attractive side body stripes, a large rear decklid spoiler, and other exterior appointments which made it a work of beautiful art on wheels. The Judge like the GTO had optional hidden headlamps which magnified it beautiful styling. Even without the hidden headlights the Judge still had beautiful styling. Only 6,725 Judge hardtops and a super low 108 Judge convertibles were produced for 1969. The 1969 GTO Judge’s rarity and beautiful styling today make it a high dollar 6-figure collector car that is out of reach of most buyers.
1963-1964 Studebaker Avanti
By the early 1960s, Studebaker was on its last legs as an automaker with sales across its car lineup rapidly drying up. This is why it was such a shock when Studebaker for 1963 debuted its best and most beautifully styled car, the Avanti. The Avanti looked more like an expensive European four seat touring car than an American car. The Avanti only lasted two model years with 1964 being its last model year before Studebaker stopped production. Its styling was so modern that after Studebaker folded, Avanti production with the same overall styling continued for several decades under new management several times over the years until the Avanti’s final retirement in the early-1990s. The 1963-1964 Avanti had a long hood, very short decklid, a fastback roofline, a large curved rear glass window, and a super sleek front-end which did not have a front grille above the front bumper. The Avanti looks just as beautiful and modern today as it did back in the golden era.
1963-1967 Chevrolet Corvette
There’s was no other 1960s American automobile that had more beautiful exterior styling than the second generation 1963-1967 Chevrolet Corvette. It was the work of famed automobile designer Larry Shinoda who worked under the direction of GM’s Head of Design, Bill Mitchell. The 1963-1967 Corvette had sweeping lines of a race car yet it its exterior body panels had plenty of sharp edges and many curves giving it a unique one of kind look. The convertible model was a real work of art and had a sleek look since its cloth top retracted into the rear trunk where it was hidden from view. Even when the Corvette convertible had the optional removable hardtop it still had great looks. The 2-door coupe had the best sporty fastback design of any 1960s car, and subjectively had even more beautiful styling than the convertible. The 1963-1967 Corvette’s styling has become even more popular with age and even though it is more than 60 years after its original debut, it is one of the best automotive exterior designs ever not just in American but all over the world.
Click on the link below, to watch the video of this article via Old Car Memories’ YouTube channel:
Written contents in this article – © 2024 Pete Dunton (Old Car Memories) – All Rights Reserved