Journal: Which Classic Car Is Surprisingly Great?

Which Classic Car Is Surprisingly Great?

By Michael Banovsky
June 17, 2016
13 comments

If you’d have told 10-year-old me that one day I’d have the keys to a 29 horsepower Citroën 2CV, he would have politely asked, “Why?” “Because I realized it was unexpectedly amazing,” I’d reply. A huge number of classic cars will also be amazing, for different reasons—but have you been surprised to like a certain vehicle?

I’d count the horsepower ratings of supercars, log their 0-60 mph times in a notebook, and endlessly sketch the Ferrari Testarossa’s side strakes during class as if my life depended on it. The car magazines I read had mentioned the 2CV, though more as a punchline and not as viable transportation. Then I drove it and, well, enjoyed it enough to find one of my own a few months later.

Which classic vehicle have you been surprised with?

Photo Sources: Afshin Behnia, Low Tech MagazineFlickr

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Charlie
Charlie
4 years ago

Trabant 601…

Mike Partin
Mike Partin
5 years ago

1970 Fiat 500

Janels Katlaps
Janels Katlaps
5 years ago

Saab 900 Turbo.

Ray Houghton
Ray Houghton
5 years ago

It would be my 73 fiat spider. Not the fastest, primitive suspension, but that inline 4 dual overhead cam engine, and the five speed gearbox. I live in a remote area of Northern California, so that measure a lot of windy roads. It’s been a joy to drive. Parts are easily accessible, and there are even many upgrades still available. When I grew up many of my high school friends had Fiats, I was never very impressed. I wanted something with a big American V8, but there is something to said for small, light, and high revs. I’ve loved it since the first time I drove it.

Though I have to admit a few years back my son gave a Fiat X1/9, and on windy roads that was hard to beat. IF you can fit in one I would recommend giving it a try. The handling is amazing. Once you get your speed up carrying that speed through the curves is a joy. I still regret selling that one. Would love to pick up another.

CJ_Madson
CJ_Madson
6 years ago

’63 Mercury Meteor. Small 260 V-8 and two on the tree, but bronze over black, no B pillar and tons of chrome made for a cool ride during high school days and no danger of going way too fast. I even passed a guy once (slingshot move). Plus we could put the raft on top and tubes in the back for the lake. RIP, old girl — she got hit by a crazed moto rider but kept my sisters from getting hurt. I saved the chrome script from the trunk. Perfect car for teenage dude.

Steve Harris
Steve Harris
6 years ago

Austin Healey Sprite. Slow, no power, very crude suspension, but a great drive.

KevinCamp
KevinCamp
6 years ago
Reply to  Steve Harris

I had a 65 Sprite. Felt a hell of a lot faster than it really was. Close ratio gearbox meant it was pulling about 4500rpm at 60mph. Fun car.

Alberto Lemus
Alberto Lemus
6 years ago

Surprisingly great: old VW Bug. I drove one for about 6 months while I had it with me. It was a ’71.

By all means, the car is not special in anyway, but when you’re swarmed with electronic everything cars, it just felt incredibly satisfying to drive a mechanic-everything car.

Not very dependable, but incredibly easy to fix, not power to get you in any sort of trouble with the authority, and it actually felt torquey for a 1600 cc engine.

Maxime Veilleux
Maxime Veilleux
6 years ago
Reply to  Alberto Lemus

One of my personal favorite car along with the Mini for the adage : Slow car to drive fast.

Also its pretty polyvalent for a 30+ years old car.

Don’t expect to move furniture with it but a surprising number of boxes will fit in it.

Nicolas Moss
Nicolas Moss
6 years ago

Not exactly a classic, but I fell in love with our ’91 Toyota Previa. Dang, I miss that thing…

Darel Matthews
Darel Matthews
6 years ago
Reply to  Nicolas Moss

Seriously?

Cameron S
Cameron S
6 years ago
Reply to  Nicolas Moss

Nicolas, that’s cool. I actually sort of had something similar in mind – a Toyota Crown.

To the car fascists, look, it his opinion, not yours. Drive tastefully and act tastefully.