1962 Ford Fairlane

24 Classic Cars That Millennials Are Passing Over

We often hear about the generational divide between boomers and millennials, but this clash extends beyond social debates and into the world of automobiles.

There are numerous classic cars beloved by boomers that millennials tend to overlook. For clarity, a boomer, or baby boomer, refers to someone born between 1946 and 1964.

In this list, we’ll explore 24 of the finest boomer cars that millennials are missing out on, and why these vehicles deserve a closer look and a firsthand experience.

First-Generation Ford Mustang

1964½" Mustang convertible serial No. 1
Image Credit: Alvintrusty/Flickr.

The first-generation Ford Mustang creeps onto this list as production commenced in 1964. Thanks to its big V8 engines and various models, the original Mustang has become an icon of the muscle car era.

There was, of course, the Mach 1, a convertible, and then, latterly, the Shelby GT versions. The original Mustang is a boomer legend.

Chevrolet Corvette C1

1955 Chevrolet C1 Corvette
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

Produced from 1953 to 1962, the original Corvette was, of course, rushed into production, nearly killing the project. But Chevrolet worked hard to improve the Corvette for future years.

Nowadays, the original Corvette is an American sports car icon. One millennial will undoubtedly recognize it for its historical significance.

Jaguar E-Type

Jaguar E-Type 1961
Image Credit: DeFacto/WikiCommons.

The E-Type was first unveiled in 1961 and is one of the most beautiful cars produced in Britain. Under the hood was a potent inline-six; it sold as the XK-E in the United States.

In the 1960s, you could pick an E-Type up for around $5,500. However, the car has become a classic, so prices have skyrocketed.

Citroen DS

1955 Citroën DS
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

Citroen’s DS was famous for its Flaminio Bertoni design and incredible hydropneumatic suspension, which provided one of the most comfortable rides of any car from the 1950s.

The DS would also break new ground. It became the first mass-produced car with all-around disc brakes, a semi-automatic gearbox, power steering, plus directional headlights.

1962 Shelby Cobra

1962 Shelby Cobra 289
Image Credit: Charles/WikiCommons.

The Shelby Cobra was the product of a collaboration between Carroll Shelby and AC Cars. Shelby took the original AC Cobra, lightened it, and added even more performance thanks to a Ford V8.

The Cobra made a name for itself in competition, and later models would have even bigger engines, such as the 428 cu 7.0-liter V8.

Aston Martin DB5

1963 Aston Martin DB5
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

Aston Martin immortalized the DB5 thanks to its starring role in the James Bond films. But the 4.0-liter straight-six also made it a legendary Grand Tourer.

The 325 hp and 288 lb-ft of torque straight-six powered this glorious work of art down the word. It was a car that firmly put Aston Martin on the map.

Ford GT40

1965 Ford GT40
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

The Ford GT40 was the car that Henry Ford II ordered to defeat Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It debuted in 1964; however, that proved a tricky year for the car, with all three GT40s entering and retiring from that year’s Le Mans.

Ford got it right eventually, though, and the GT40 would find four consecutive Le Mans 24 Hours from 1966 to 1969.

Lola Mk6

Lola Mk6
Image Credit: teamheronsuzuki/Flickr.

Before the Ford GT40, there was the Lola Mk6. The British manufacturer built just three, and under the hood, they had a 4.74-liter Ford V8 engine. 

It won one race in 12 attempts, but it would serve as the basis for the GT40, and it laid much of the groundwork for Ford’s all-conquering sports car.

Volkswagen Beetle

The Volkswagen Beetle by Ferdinand Porsche
Image Credit: Vwexport1300/WikiCommons.

The Volkswagen Beetle, or “Bug,” is one of the most recognizable cars in the world. The 1950s and 1960s were particularly successful for the German car as Germany began to shake off the image of World War 2.

The Beetle was in production from 1938 to 2003. In 1994, Volkswagen unveiled the Concept One, which would become the “New Beetle” built on the Golf platform.

Fiat 8V Supersonic 

1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

Fiat sports cars are scarce, and the 8V Supersonic is among the rarest. Fiat introduced the vehicle in 1952, packed a 70-degree 2.0-liter V8 under the hood with 104 hp.

Thanks to improved camshaft timing, that power went up to 125 hp, and the Italian manufacturer produced just 114 8Vs. Zagato, Vignale, and Ghia produced a mixture of coupe and convertible bodies.

Ford Thunderbird

1957 Ford Thunderbird
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

The Thunderbird became one of the best luxury roadsters of the 1950s. Its power came from 4.8-liter and 5.1-liter Y-Block V8 engines, which could produce up to 200 hp.

It proved a worthy adversary to Chevrolet’s Corvette, particularly after the Bow Tie’s production issues with the sports car.

Aston Martin DB4

1961 Aston Martin DB4
Image Credit: Sicnag/WikiCommons.

While the DB5 is the most famous, the Aston Martin DB4 is arguably what got people talking about the British manufacturer.

When it launched at the 1958 London Motor Show, the DB4 caused a real stir thanks to its sleek, clean, and beautiful design. The 240 hp DOHC straight-six engine only increased the positive feeling toward the DB4.

Ford Fairlane

1956 Ford Fairlane Sunliner
Image Credit: Mecum Auctions.

Ford’s Fairline is typical of mid-size cars from the 1950s. Throughout its production life, the Fairlane was available in various body styles, including two-door and four-door hardtops and station wagons.

It would become one of the most popular and best-selling products in the Ford range. Various engines, including the 4.8-liter Thunderbird V8 and 4.5-liter Y-Block V8, were available.

BMW 507

BMW 507 1958
Image Credit: Lothar Spurzem/WikiCommons.

It would be difficult for millennials or boomers to get their hands on a BMW 507. The 507 was a limited-run sports car designed to appeal to the American market.

BMW also priced it slightly cheaper than its main rival, the Mercedes 300 SL. Each 253 built had a 150 hp 3.2-liter V8 under the hood. Most 507s were soft tops, but a few left the factory with a detachable hardtop. 

Jaguar XK120

1954 Jaguar XK120
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

It is easy to forget just how significant a car the XK120 is. The covers first came off at the 1948 British Motor Show, where Jaguar was building it to showcase its new 3.4-liter straight-six XK engine.

However, the XK120 proved so popular that Jaguar put it into production. With a top speed of 120 mph, it was the fastest production car in the world.

1964 Chevrolet Chevelle SS

Chevrolet Chevelle SS (1964-1972)
Image Credit: K Madsen/Flickr.

The first of the Chevrolet Chevelle SSs is just creeping onto this list. The Chevelle SS offered a higher-performance version of the famous mid-size Chevy, and the Bow Tie provided a range of powerful V8 engines for the muscle car.

The Chevelle SS was not just a loud muscle car but also very reliable and practical. In 2024, thanks to its affordability and available spare parts, it’s the perfect muscle car for millennials to sink their teeth into.

1963 Buick Riviera

1963 Buick Riviera
Image Credit: Joe deSousa/WikiCommons.

Buick introduced the Riviera in 1963, marking a significant change in direction for American automotive design. The sleek, sharp, and sporty design was akin to that of European sports cars and sedans.

Naturally, V8 power was available, and the first-generation Riviera had 6.6-liter and 7.0-liter Nailhead V8s under the hood.

1964 Porsche 911

1964 Porsche 911
Image Credit: Pat Durkin/Flickr.

As good as the current Porsche 911, there is something extra special about the first 911. Introduced in 1964, air-cooled H6s and turbo H6s were under the hood.

Millennials deserve to experience the original 911, to see just how far the sports car has come, and to find out how good the first one was. 

Lotus Elan

Lotus Elan
Image Credit: Rutger van der Maar/Flickr.

The Elan is the quintessential lightweight sports car from the genius of Colin Chapman and his Lotus company. Keeping the weight down was a steel backbone chassis and fiberglass body.

The Elan’s power came from a twin-cam four-cylinder engine derived from Ford and Lotus. While the 1.6-liter engine might not have produced much power, the Elan is one of the best-handling sports cars ever created.

Renault 4

Renault 4
Image Credit: Lothar Spurzem/WikiCommons.

The little Renault 4 might not look much to millennials, but it was one of the best daily drivers of the early 1960s. The French car rivaled the Citroen 2CV, and the Renault 4 modernized the small car segment.

A water-cooled 600cc 1.1-liter four-cylinder engine was under the hood. Providing more terrific refinement and allowing for better packaging. The Renault 4 was a car that was much more in keeping with the 1960s France than the aging 2CV.

Second-Generation Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

1963 Chevrolet Corvette
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

The Corvette Stingray was first introduced in 1962 for the new second generation’s 1963 model year. It instantly became one of the most eye-catching cars on sale, enhanced by the range of small and big-block V8s that the Corvette range had.

Early Corvette Stingrays are some of the rarest sports cars in the world. The split-window Corvettes, in particular, can fetch a lot of money at auctions.

BMC Mini

BMC Mini
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

The original BMC Mini-Minor first appeared in 1959. It was a cheap, affordable small car for daily use. It also broke new ground as the first car with a transversely mounted engine under the hood driving the front wheels.

It is far from the more prominent and bulkier Mini Coopers that BMW now produces. The original Mini is possibly the best as the first classic car for any millennial.

Mercedes-Benz 300SL

1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL
Image Credit: Charles01/WikiCommons.

It might be expensive, but if any millennial can afford a Mercedes 300 SL, they will own a real gem of a car. 

Gullwing doors, a 240 hp 3.0-liter M198 straight-six, and gorgeous 1950s styling make the 300 SL one of the icons of the boomer era. The straight-six also runs beautifully thanks to the Bosch mechanical fuel-injection system.

Rover P6

Rover P6
Image Credit: classic vehicle/Flickr.

It might not look much, but the small Rover P6 was incredibly advanced when it launched in 1963. The P6 had bolt-on panels on a steel monocoque, in-board disc brakes, and a highly complex multi-link suspension.

This practical and comfortable little car was also an absolute joy to drive, and that was further enhanced if you had the P6 with the 3.5-liter V8 under the hood.

Henry Kelsall

Author: Henry Kelsall

Title: Writer

Bio:

Henry has freelanced for over eight years now, mostly in automotive matters, but he has also dabbled in other forms of writing too. He has a lot of love for Japanese classics and American muscle cars, in particular the Honda NSX and first-generation Ford Mustang. When not writing, Henry is often found at classic car events or watching motorsports at home, but he also has a curious passion for steam trains.

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