The nineteen sixties, a decade in which we put a man on the moon, came within a hair’s breadth of nuclear annihilation, and proved to the world that America could foster not just one, but multiple super cars.
Oh what a week it has been, as we have counted back the years and you have given us your votes for the greatest super cars of each of the past four decades. So many cars, and so many years. Today is Friday and that means the sixties, an era, that, unlike the ’70s, produced more than its share of super performing automobiles.
Of course, the most iconic of sixties super cars is also one of the first out of the gate- that of the AC-based, Carroll Shelby voodoo’d Shelby Cobra. The 289 Cobra would have been a viable contender in itself, but the 427 Cobra, with its new tube frame and massive horsepower remains to this day one of the most brutal and unimpeachable performers in all of automotive history. Less a car than a god, the Cobra would be an easy pick to top this list. But that discounts other Ford-powered iron (or aluminum and magnesium in this case) that could be considered the Cobra’s performance equals, and contributed to racing’s history with similar efficacy. I speak of course about the multiple Le Mans-winning GT40, which Ford commissioned to beat that other super car perennial, Ferrari. Ford wasn’t the only American maker whose engines powered super cars, Chevy contributing V8 power to Cheetah (yes, there was a road version) and of course Yenko Corvettes.
But the Americans didn’t wholly own the super car arena in the sixties and cars like the Jag XKE (and nearly the XK-13), as well as the aforementioned Ferraris – Lusso, GTO, 275 swb – and Lamborghini’s massive heart attack of a car, the Miura, colluded to make the sixties another golden age of automotive testosterone delivery.
But which of those cars stands head and shoulders above the rest? Is there one that, if a gun were held against your head you would choose above all others? Can they even be equated against each other, or was technology moving so fast that each end of the decade produced cars of wildly different temperaments and capabilities? Oh who are we kidding, fast is fast, and there’s one that made all that fast be more fun than anything else, which gets your vote for being that car?