We asked; you delivered. Below, some of our car-enthusiast readers’ personal rides, with the stories to go along with. There are plenty more to share, but this time we’re concentrating on vintage sports cars — because, well… obviously. If you’d like the chance to share your own car or motorcycle, submit all the info about your ride here. It’s exciting for us to see the project, daily driver and/or pride and joy in your stable, so thanks for sharing. Keep ’em coming.
1971 Datsun 240z
V. Ramjee — Chicago, Illinois / Melbourne, Australia
Why do you love your car? It started as a boyhood dream. I wanted to build a car based on a TV show I loved: Wangan Midnight.
The Best Story About Your Car: I purchased the car in poor condition, not running and completely neglected. It had rust holes the size of soccer balls and an engine that wasn’t fit for such a beast. I purchased the shell when I was 20 years old, and took five years to build and get to where it is now. It was a project I wanted to complete with my younger brother (13 at the time).
My fondest memories are long drives within the ranges — just me and my brother. I used to daily the car … as a consultant it used to baffle all my clients. I have had multiple people offer to buy it, and it is something that I hope to pass onto my kids.
When I moved to the US, I told my brother he was not allowed to drive the car. Being a true 18-year-old, he took the car on the last day of high school and hit the car in front of him when leaving school. It goes without saying, he will be indebted to me for life! Lucky it was only a cosmetic damage. You can see my build at @angrypandagarage on Facebook.
Has the car been a good deal? I purchased the car for $2k, and over the years have spent close to $50K getting it to where it is.
Any advice for other enthusiast builders? Do it. Many sleepless nights are well worth it when you see the finished product.
1991 Porsche 911 (964 Coupe)
Sam F. — New York City, New York
Why do you love your car? I love that it is the “red-headed stepchild” of 911s. It is the perfect mesh of modern meets analog. I love the looks and street cred I get from being seen in it; I love that you need to be at attention at all times behind the wheel. Every ride is exhilarating.
The best story about your car: I just had my first son and my bucket list item was to have an air cooled Porsche by 30, which I was just about to turn. I wanted to have a car I could bond over with my son (now sons). I found one in Albany (not quite local), jumped on a train and bought it on the spot after my test drive. I drove it right back to Brooklyn where I immediately put my newborn son behind the driver seat. It is now in his DNA. He LOVES cars, especially my 964.
Has the car been a good deal? I paid $33,000. I think it was a GREAT DEAL!
Any advice for other enthusiasts? Don’t be afraid to DIY. There is something very intuitive about 964s, but also, make nice with a good local mechanic who knows these cars well too.
1975 Jaguar XJC
Ian C. — London, United Kingdom
What makes your car special? This is a professionally built one-off restomod, the only one in the world and built to be used as a daily driver! The car was stripped to bare metal and then completely rebuilt with new everything in order to keep the stunning original looks – albeit with a few external design tweaks – whilst making it reliable and fast. It was built to replace my BMW M5. [My XJC has] similar speed and performance yet looks so cool. The engine is now a Chevrolet LS3 and the car has: racing AP brakes, racing suspension (yet still a comfortable drive), new gearbox, re-built XJS rear end, new wiring, custom new interior, stunning paint job in Jaguar 1960’s gunmetal, alloy “rostyle” wheels and is just generally perfect.
The best story about your car: When I drive around the car generates smiles. People wave or come up and ask questions. It does not generate the sneers that Ferrari/Lambo drivers experience. Even my wife describes the car as the most beautiful car she has seen!
1975 Ford Maverick
Erik N. — Houston, Texas
Why do you love your car? It’s easy to salivate over the tricked-out, or even all original, Toyota LCs or Land Rovers, but for most of us they’ll run half a year’s salary. There are many gems that can be found from $5,000-$7,000. There are endless people that will stop by and say “I haven’t seen one of these in years,” “My family had one,” “I learned to drive in this,” “I went to prom in this car,” or any number of everyday things people did in this everyday car. One of my favorite things about it is that it’s not a Mustang — but mine still hides a stock 302 under the hood. And it’s not a car that you see that often in this good of shape, or even restored.
The best story about your car: After driving it from Virginia down to Georgia for an extended work trip, I found a last minute car show to enter. She’ll never win any prizes, but it’s always fun to hear the stories and see people reminiscing of times past. The guy parked next to me with a mint 70’s Dodge Charger lent me his placard number for a few minutes so I could at least get a few votes though.
Has the car been a good deal? I paid $6,100 for it. It’s mostly original, and in good but not great shape. A basic Maverick in decent shape will pop up from time to time between $5-$7K, with mint or modified ones running you $10K+. I think I got a decent deal, as it can function as a daily driver and is all there.
Any advice for buyers? Once you realize how good of a classic car you can get at a reasonable price, you’ll find yourself having the recurring issue of shopping for more.
1960 Austin Mini – Works Monte Carlo AJB44B replica
James T. — Los Angeles, California
Why do you love your car? It’s 1 of 2 Works Monte Carlo Mini Tribute cars in the U.S. and RHD. The visceral feel and agile handling make this car such a joy to drive. Since it is such a rare and unique car, it always draws attention and gets the most smiles per gallon.
The best story about your car:
Any advice for buyers? RHD takes a little getting used to in the U.S.
1965 Shelby Cobra – Factory Five Mk3
James T. — Los Angeles, California
Why do you love your car? It’s an old car with very modern technology. The drivetrain is a crate Terminator motor from Ford SVT and the transmission is a Tremec T-56R racing unit from the Ford FR500C. Absolute savagery.
The best story about your car: Sharing many memorable drives with my late friend Dave who built the car and spent many many hours on it. It’s an honor to be a caretaker of this car for many years to come. One time we were testing out the new supercharger, and coming on the freeway on-ramp at 60mph. I dropped it into third gear and it lit up the tires up to 80mph. Unreal experience.
Has the car been a good deal? $35k and it was a great deal considering the build cost double that.
Any advice for buyers? It’s definitely not an everyday car. In the five years I’ve owned it, I put only 8K miles on it. There have never been any mechanical issues with it, but it’s just a full-on assault to your senses. It’s rare to be in the mood to drive it around on the weekends. The weather has to be just right also since there are no windows or top. But as a fun car, it’s an incredible bang for your buck considering it makes 500hp and weighs 1800 pounds.