It’s almost inevitable. Attend a car show or get-together with a group of car enthusiasts and the subject of the best decade for cars is bound to come up in animated conversation. You’ll have the guys that claim that the cars of the 1960s were the absolute pinnacle of design and performance, while others might argue that the cars hitting the streets today are the best ever made. No matter what side they are on, though, one thing is certain: car buffs are passionate about their cars and will argue until they run out of breath for their favorite decade.
If you don’t have a preference and end up in one of these debates, you might find that you can easily be swayed one way or another. Not sure what to pick? Check out these considerations for cars from each decade. Just be warned: no matter what you pick, you are in for an argument!
Of all of the decades, the 1960s probably has the most proponents for being the best decade for cars. From the stylized Cadillacs and Chevrolets from the early part of the decade (fins, tails and candy-colored paint jobs weren’t uncommon) to the sports cars and muscle cars of the latter half of the decade, the 1960s saw more innovation in the design of cars than any other decade since. For example, the iconic Corvette first saw the light of day in the 1960s and some argue that the 1966 Corvette is the best example of that car – if not the best car, ever. In the late 1960s, we saw the rise of the muscle car, such as Chargers, Mustangs and GTOs, all cars that still get gearheads drooling today.
Source by : flickr
The early part of the 1970s saw a continuation of the muscle car dominance of the previous decade, with many models seeing improvements. However, the gas crisis in the mid-‘70s led people to pack away the Detroit horsepower in favor of the new, smaller more fuel-efficient models. The 1970s also saw the import market growing, with the Honda Civic and Volkswagen Beetle flying off of dealer lots. Some might think that the decade that brought us the Pinto, widely considered the worst car ever made, to be forgettable in terms of cars, but there are still some who find 1970s-era vehicles to be among the best crafted.
You might be hard-pressed to find anyone who thinks that the 1980s were the pinnacle of car-making (or, and let’s face it, anything) but there were some highlights in this decade. In a time period marked by frankly boring economy cars (Reliant K or Ford Escort, anyone?) some cars, like the IROC-Z model Camaros stood out. The 1980s also saw the forerunners to some of today’s top car models; the Toyota Cressida, for example, was a high-end, luxury model that birthed the hefty Lexus label. And on the ultra-high end of the spectrum, the 1987 Ferrari F40 and its forerunner, the 288 GTO, are widely considered to be the best Ferraris ever made.
The 1990s saw the rise of two trends: luxury brands and the SUV. Lexus was introduced in 1992, Infiniti in 1989 (with 1990 models) and brands like BMW, Mercedes and Audi saw the highest sales figures they had ever recorded until that point. By the end of the decade, though, the Ford Explorer was one of the best-selling vehicles in the U.S. and manufacturers scrambled to introduce comparable models. At the same time, the 1990s saw the re-introduction of the Volkswagen Beetle, as well as the affordable (but still stylish) Saturn models.
If technology is your thing, then the past decade or so is probably the most exciting time in car-making for you. From onboard computers that do everything but drive for you (some even do!) to in-car computers and tablets that let you run your life from behind the wheel, today’s cars are more technologically advanced. Fuel-efficiency and style are both important to today’s buyers; the new ideas coming from car designers are sure to thrill even the most die-hard classic car fan. For more information on the increasingly futuristic developments of such cars, just do your research on the internet and see what’s been unveiled lately.
So, what do you think? Do you like the Detroit horsepower of the 1960s or the space age systems of today’s cars? It’s all up to you; just be prepared to defend your opinion.
This article was written by freelance car expert Ray Normandy. Ray has worked with cars from every decade, even the archaic models of the 1920s.