Iconic American Classics from the 50’s to the 90’s

Jack Morris, Writer

 America is famous in the car world for its production of beautiful cars, especially throughout the ‘50s and the ‘60s. Although many factors, such as offshoring and the oil crisis, the U.S has continued to produce all-American automobiles and has left its mark in car history by doing so. Here are some of the most iconic classic American cars, from the fabulous 1950s all the way to the 1990s.

1950s: 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible

The 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible is quite possibly the most iconic American classic of them all. The Bel Air is famous for its beautiful styling and that oh-so-desirable red and white color combination. Although these cars usually go for around $30,000 today, some of the nicest can be sold for $50,000 and up.



1960s: 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible

If the ‘57 Bel Air isn’t the most iconic American classic, there’s an obvious winner. The 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible represents the start of a new era of American muscle and has proud owners all across the United States. In a way, it was God making up for the assassination of J.F.K a year before the production of these began. One of these classics tend to be sold today for around $16,000, yet can get up to almost $30k in excellent condition.


1970s: 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS

   The ‘70s are known for a couple of things: stagflation, the coining of the term “serial killer,” and American muscle cars. From the Pontiac Firebird to the Plymouth Hemi’Cuda Convertible, the ‘70 Chevelle takes the cake when it comes to the ‘70s. They’re now valued from around $12,000 to $20,000.


1980s: 1987 Buick Regal

   The ‘80s are sort of the drop-off point (in value and coolness) when it comes to classic cars. Various brands continued to downsize their vehicles to create a sportier appearance and lost profit as well, yet a few ‘80s cars stand out and remain cool. Although the ‘89 Eldorado is a beauty, the ‘87 Regal gets the award of the most iconic American car of the ‘80s. With references in various hip-hop songs of the ‘80s and ‘90s, these bad boys gained some serious popularity over the past 30 years, now being valued at around $23k, yet some fetch as much as almost $50,000.


1990s: 1990 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1

 Although it’s often argued that cars from the ‘90s aren’t really classics at all, this 29-year-old Corvette remains a car that you can take to a car show every weekend and not get dirty looks. The 1990 ZR-1 is an example of a future classic, if not one already, and you can get one now for about $20,000 to a decent $35k.


Although a seemingly unimportant addition to daily life to some, the car community (especially in Southern California) is an extremely large group of people that enjoy their cars more than they’d care to admit. Of course, not all people have a classic, yet about 88% of Americans own cars. Some are status symbols, some are strictly for transportation, and some are pure cruisers like a couple of the ones on this list. No matter your personal opinion on cars, many have shown to establish themselves, truly, as pieces of history. Note: All prices are from www.hagerty.com