Newsletter Signup


    Classic cars of the 1960s: anniversary edition


    Our celebration of classics celebrating anniversaries in 2022 continues, with a focus on cars of the swinging sixties. A good number of these have become cultural icons, symbols of a technicolour decade that saw new adventures in music, motoring and more.

    So, who makes the list? Thanks again for your suggestions – they are all attributed below!

    Ford Mk1 Cortina – 60th birthday

    Suggested by Damien Wilkinson

    Launched in September of 1962, the Ford Cortina Mk1 turns 60 this year. Its angular body with tapering flutes and those ‘Y’ lights on the back made it instantly recognisable, and if you didn’t have one growing up in the ‘60s, someone on your street probably did.


    Ford Cortina Mk1 1960s classic cars classic car anniversaries
    A Ford Cortina Mk1 in the wild

    Designed as an economical family car, it was originally sold as the Consul Cortina, with Ford dropping the ‘Consul’ label in ’64. Before that, the Super and the GT were launched, the former sporting chrome strips down the sides.

    Over 1 million MK1s were built before the Mk2 came into being in 1966. There were a whole range of body styles, from two- and four-door saloons to the five-door estate.

    Popular enough to have its own official Mk1 Cortina Owners Club all these years later, it’s clear there are plenty of people who still want to see the original Cortina on the road.

    Triumph Vitesse Convertible – 60th birthday

    Suggested by Colin Holdich

    A 6-cylinder car with few rivals on price, the Vitesse was a motor that could perform as a sports car but was big enough for a family. Available in convertible and saloon variants, it featured a 1596cc engine at first, upgrading to 1988cc in 1966.

    Triumph Vitesse 1960s classic car
    A 1966 Triumph Vitesse on the track

    While it was based on the Herald, the Vitesse was bigger and certainly more of a looker. With wooden door capping to match the dash, as well as satin silver anodised alloy bumper cappings instead of the Herald’s rubber option, it was generally accepted to have much nicer styling.

    Comparatively few were built – 51,212 against the Herald’s cool half a million – and show 1.6k left on the roads in 2021. Are you one of the lucky owners? Colin Holdich is – thanks Colin for suggesting we include this excellent model in our anniversary list!

    Lotus Elan convertible classic cars of the 1960s anniversary
    The Lotus Elan

    Lotus Elan – 60th birthday

    Suggested by Heritage customer Mr Manuel Queiroz

    The first series Elan was produced from 1962 to 1975, and was the first road car from Lotus to use a steel backbone chassis with fibreglass body. Introduced as a roadster but with a coupé option from 1965, the Elan was only ever produced in fairly small numbers, although the exact figure is unknown, it’s thought to be around

    The Lotus Elite may be the Elan’s better-known brother, with six 24-hour Le Mans wins under its belt, but it was more expensive and was considered unreliable. Of course, the Elan has had its fair share of criticism, but no one can deny it was exceptionally fast in its day, an agile handler, and beautifully styled to boot.

    Some have dubbed it ‘the perfect sports car’, and it’s credited by others as the inspiration for the original Mazda MX5.

    Jensen CV-8 – 60th birthday

    Suggested by David

    With a total production run of 500 (or 499 if you take your cues from Wikipedia!), the Jensen CV-8 is certainly the rarest of our 1960s feature classics.

    A four-seater GT, it had a fibreglass body and a Chrysler big-block engine, and boy was it fast. The CV-8 boasted one of the fastest 0-60mph speeds in the world, at 6.7 seconds: faster even than the Jaguar E-Type or Lamborghini Miura.

    The Mk1 CV-8 was only produced from 1962-63, being replaced by the MkII which had a few bodywork changes, electrically-adjusted rear dampers, and a 381ci V8 engine which replaced the previous 361ci version.

    Next month, we’ll celebrate classics from both the 1950s and the 1970s. If you have any suggestions for inclusions in this or a future classic car anniversary feature, please send us a message below.

    Jensen CV-8 1960s classic car anniversary
    The Jensen CV-8, a rare speed demon. Image credit Wikipedia.

    In the meantime, if you have a classic that needs cover, our friendly team will be happy to help you.