The 1960’s were a turbulent time, as the United States and the cars of this generation underwent dramatic changes. The 60’s gave us great cars like the Mini Cooper, the Aston Martin DB5, and the Ferrari 250 GTO. However, there are many unsung heroes from this period that are completely underrated. Here are of the most underrated classic cars from the 1960’s.
1) Sunbeam Tiger
The Sunbeam Tiger might’ve had a different fate if Carroll Shelby been able to reserve the rights for this roadster. The Sunbeam had a powerful engine with the 260ci in the Tiger Mark I and 289ci in the Tiger Mark II. It was Jensen Motors who ultimately acquired the contract to manufacture the Sunbeam Tiger. This vehicle was all about performance. It was manufactured between 1964 and 1967. 7,083 units were manufactured with 6,460 being the Mark I models. Today, most surviving Sunbeam Tigers have been modified in one way or another, so good luck in finding an original model at a reasonable price. Ultimately, the Sunbeam wasn’t quite as appreciated as other cars during that time and that’s why it has been largely forgotten.
2) Porsche 914/6
It’s not surprising that out of all of the dozens of Porsches out there, there was at least one that’s considered to be largely underrated. This is sadly where the Porsche 914/6 falls. With all of the Caymans, 911s, 918s, Boxters, Panameras, and Cayennes to compete with, the 914 wasn’t quite remarkable enough to be as memorable as its cousins. The 914 housed an engine that gave it about 100 horsepower (which may be the reason why it’s seriously underrated). Compared to the bar that Porsche has set today, 100 hp is nothing. The Porsche enjoyed its run from the late sixties to the mid-seventies before slowly fading away as time progressed.
3) Ferrari Dino 308 GT4
Ferrari’s are known for their astronomical price tags. There was a point in the late sixties through the mid to late seventies that Ferrari realized that if they wanted to reach a larger demographic of people they needed to make a more affordable car. Enter the Ferrari Dino GT4. During the Dino’s run, three models were released to the public, the last of which was the 308. The Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 was a 2+2 seater and the first of its kind to generate 250 horsepower with a V8 engine. For one reason or another, this vehicle has become largely forgotten. It’s believed that it was the release of the Ferrari 308 GTB/GTS with its two seats and new and more modern look that overshadowed the Dino.
4) Pontiac 2+2
The Pontiac 2+2 was initially a trim package for the Catalina in 1964. This European-inspired classic was available both in Convertible and two door hardtop coupe forms. Unlike the Catalina, the 2+2 offered bucket seats, unique exterior panels, and a different center console. The trim option came with the option of either a 389ci V8 engine or a 421ci V8. The independent 2+2 on the other hand only offered 421ci or 428ci Rochester V8 engines that were capable of pumping out 376 horsepower. Still, the Pontiac 2+2 was considered to be one of the finest classic cars during its very short run.
5) Ford Falcon Sprint
It could be said that fate has been cruel to the Ford Falcon Sprint. Not to be outdone by Ford, Mustang began rewriting the sales record books with the release of a new muscle car. From that point, the Falcon began to fade away into the mist slowly. Nevertheless, the Falcon didn’t go down without a fight. Not only did the Falcon Sprint offer heavy duty springs and a powerful V8 engine, but it was also quite affordable. Sadly, these features weren’t enough to cause a significant buying frenzy. In fact, so few people bought the Ford Falcon Spring that by 1970 (the Falcon was first launched in 1964), it had completely disappeared from American markets. No longer welcome in the United States, the Ford Falcon Sprint went on to become an exclusively Australian car. The Ford Falcon Sprint won’t be completely forgotten, though. If you’re a fan of the Mad Max franchise, you might just spot the Falcon Sprint on the big screen.
6) Ford Mustang Mach 1 428 Cobra Jet
Ford has once again made it onto this list with the Mach 1428 Cobra Jet which ran from 1969 to 1970. In this case, the Ford brand is what brought this vehicle down. Going up against the likes of Shelby, Ford simply couldn’t compete despite the fact that it has the same performance, engine, and aesthetical style as the Shelby GT 500. Simply put, collectors were typically more enamored with the Shelby brand and tended to gravitate in that direction as a result. Today, the Mach 1 is worth up to $100,000. That’s a pretty penny, but the Shelby GT 500 is twice as expensive and still garners twice as much attention.
7) Pontiac GTO
The demise of Pontiac hasn’t decreased the value of the classics that it produced in the past. This powerful GT, as well as others like it, are known as the defining force behind the muscle-car era. The GTO could pump out an astounding 360 horsepower with its massive big-block engine. If you wanted a big powerful vehicle from 1964 to 1970, you didn’t need to look any further than the GTO. Also, this vehicle sported a floor-mounted four-speed manual transmission. The Pontiac GTO has never truly received recognition like the other muscle cars from the same era.
8) Triumph TR6
The Triumph TR is an amazing little British sports car that reigned from 1969 to 1973. The sports car had a personality all its own. It was spirited, powerful and downright stylish. The TR6 is powered by a 150 horsepower 2.5-liter six-cylinder engine that had major torque. The Triumph TR6 considered a great collector’s car because it not only looks fantastic, but it's easy to maintain. Also, it doesn’t hurt that parts are readily available. It won’t cost you too much to maintain this beauty. Despite this, the Triumph TR6 isn’t quite as popular as it rightfully should be.
9) Cadillac Eldorado
Looking back at the Cadillac Eldorado from the present, there isn’t much to be impressed about, but during the late ‘60s, this vehicle turned heads every time it drove down a street. At the time it was considered to be one of the most advanced vehicles in the world and shared the spotlight with the unique looking Oldsmobile Toronado. The Eldorado was the second front wheel drive that General Motors ever built (second only to the Toronado). With its sharp lines and de regueur headlights (on top of an amazing drivetrain), the Cadillac Eldorado was considered to be the first “personal luxury coupe”. A few years later, two door rear wheel drive competitors such as the Chrysler Cordoba, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, and the Lincoln Mark three inundated American highways. Despite having been forgotten by many, the Cadillac Eldorado paved the way for the more popular brands to reign supreme.
There you have it, nine of the most underrated classic vehicles from the 1960s. Of course, there are much more classics from the ‘60s that could be added to this list, but these were the most prominent that seemed to stand out during that decade. Remember, not every great car gets its due, and there will always be a competitor waiting on the sidelines to overtake a champion of the roads.