We’re currently witnessing technology evolving at a rapid rate, especially within our motors – In the recent years, we’ve been introduced to driverless innovations, self-parking cars, luxury features such as heated seats and surround sound. However, many to this day believe that vintage cars cannot be beaten. Older vehicles were designed differently – their shape and form are unlike the cars of today, and even their drive it different too. They require a lot more manual work from the owner, which makes them favoured for their journeys. Stairlift manufacturer, Acorn Stairlifts takes a closer look at classic cars from around the world.
Fiat 500 – Italy
Just like the Vespa, the Fiat 500 is a great symbol of Italy and many tourists hire the 2007 version of the car to explore the country in style. Fiat has produced many products that weren’t related to the automobile industry, such as aircraft engines and military equipment during World War II. Their first car rolled off the production line in 1900 and, in the same year, their manufacturing plant was established which lead to the production of 24 cars per year.
The Fiat 500 was originally designed to be small and affordable for everyone. After that, the brand went on to successfully produce other cars such as the elegant 525, the economical 514 and the SuperFiat. The original Fiat 500, commonly known as Topolino, was launched in 1937. It stood out from competitors with a lowered aerodynamic nose profile whilst others had a flatter grille. Fiat went on to produce two further models of the 500, one in 1957 and the other in 2007.
Standing at only 4ft tall and weighing in at just over half-a-ton, The Topolino is made to be lightweight and compact compared to other cars on the market.
Today’s value: £4,000 – £50,000 depending on model, age and condition.
It was in 1964 when the original Mustang was manufactured, and the sixth generation of the vehicle is still being sold today. The ‘Stang started the ‘pony car’ craze in America — a collection of vehicles which were affordable, sporty and had a performance-oriented image. This class of cars were aimed towards a younger market than the traditional car buyer and they proved popular. In fact, 22,000 sales of the model were made on its release date.
The aim of the manufacturer was to make a car like no other. This was achieved through its sporty coupe silhouette and short rear decks. The generations that came after the ’64 version seemed to become wider and longer in size, yet still remaining as popular.
The Classic Mustang, is believed to be the models between 1964 and 1972. This encompassed vintage models such as the Shelby Mustang Lineup, Boss Mustangs and the Cobra Jet.
Today’s Value: £6,500 – £70,000 depending on model, age and condition.
Volkswagen Beetle – Germany
It’s unknown why the Beetle got its name. The first time the reference was used in print was in a 1958 edition of Autosport magazine and the use of the term continued to grow. Built either side of World War II, it took a while for the Beetle to gain popularity. Just as the first few cars were manufactured in 1938, the war began, and the factory was used for war efforts instead. It wasn’t until 1947 when people finally got behind the wheel of the automobile.
Originally, the Beetle was built to be strong more than beautiful, however its iconic image, is what makes it wanted today. One of the features that many collectors love is the original split-rear window design that got replaced by a single oval window in 1952. Unlike smaller vehicles that were around at the same time, the Beetle accommodated for four adult passengers with plenty of storage beneath the seats and in the boot.
Beetle collectors receive cars of different power, depending on when the car was manufactured. Originally made with 24 horsepower, the model underwent many engine enhancements which left the car with a horsepower of 57 by 1970.
Today’s value: £1,000 – £40,000 depending on model, age and condition.
Mini – Britain
The Mini is iconic to Britain, just like the red double decker bus and Buckingham Palace. Just like a storyline from a movie, the design of the car was penned out on a napkin in a restaurant by Alec Issigonis in 1956. By 1959, the car had been launched, named the Morris Mini Minor at the time (known as simply the Mini ten years later) and it went on to become the best-selling British car in history.
The aim of the automobile was achieved, and that was to be able to provide passengers with plenty of legroom whilst remaining under 10ft long. In fact, 80% of the car was devoted to passenger and luggage space. Since the boot was smaller, Mini came up with a solution to maximise on space. The company offered the extra option of picnic wicker baskets which fit perfectly underneath the rear passenger seats and were ideal for transporting belongings from A to B.
Innovation was required to be able to fit the compact engine, the vehicle had to be placed on its side which allowed the engine to be slid into the small space – a concept that is still being used today when manufacturing smaller vehicles. Wheels on other cars at the time were generally around 15 and 16 inches, those on the Mini however were a tiny 10-inches to maximise interior space.
Today’s Value: £5,000 – £50,000 depending on the model, age and condition.
A lot of collectors take pride in restoring vintage cars – they usually strip the entire vehicle apart and put it back together with revamped parts. The prices of each model range massively due to the quality of the vehicle, the mileage and the model — which one takes your fancy?