The outside of a classic car is often what entices fans. The elegant chrome, svelte lines, and decadent touches make these cars so special and collectible. But equally important to this is the insides of a classic.
Different countries have different approaches to interior design. From the almost ancestral use of walnut and leather in old British sports cars, the style and excess of Italian cars, and the mad ingenuity of the French, European classics have some of the coolest car interiors.
10 Ferrari Daytona
The Ferrari Daytona was produced in 1968. Interestingly enough, ‘Daytona’ was never the Ferrari’s real name, but instead came to be through Ferrari’s entrance into the 1967 24 Hours of Daytona. This vehicle had a brilliantly cool interior that showcases all that makes Ferrari’s interiors iconic.
The small yellow enamel badge sat in the center of a svelte wood-rimmed steering wheel and is almost artful. The seats were deep and relaxed and yet supportive if you put the hammer down. The gated gearbox is an incredibly beautiful piece of engineering. Definitely a deserving member of this list.
9 Jaguar E-Type
The Jaguar E-Type was launched in 1961 and is the quintessential British sports car. Remembered for being so iconically styled and remarkably fast, reaching 150mph at top speed, the E-Type is a brilliant European classic.
The interior of the car was definitely something to be seen. The use of wood and leather in the interior of the car was an added luxury and enhanced the classic feel of the E-Type. The vehicle had a low driving position, perfect for creating an engaging driving position.
8 Alfa Romeo Montreal
Originally introduced as a concept car in the late 1960s, the Montreal was officially launched in 1970. In terms of style all-round, the Montreal definitely had an Italian flair about it and was a reflection of Alfa Romeo at its best. A sweet V8 engine only sweetened the deal.
The interior of the Montreal was definitely out-there. The instrument binnacles became a hallmark of fast Alfas, including use in the awesome 8C Competizione. Also, Alfa Romeo used a wooden steering wheel – a very cool choice, alongside a great selection of interior colors.
7 Citroen SM
Citroen introduced the SM in 1970 and during the brand’s brief ownership of Maserati. The appearance of the car on the outside was very unusual, which made the car stand out when it was launched. The SM can be considered one of the finest cars ever made by Citroen, even over 50 years later.
The interior of the car was extremely cool. The interior was very French, just like the exterior. The radio was vertically mounted, and the brake pedal replaced by a rubber button that reacted to the pressure, not force. It was a very futuristic-looking interior and is very fitting for a large FWD French grand tourer.
6 BMW 3-Liter CSL
Launched in 1972, the BMW 3.0 CSL was a part of the BMW E9 lineup. The 3.0 CSL was homologated for racing and really was great to drive, shown with overall victory at the European Touring Car Championship in 1973. Whilst many remember the insane ‘Batmobile’ body kits, the interior was equally iconic.
The car’s clear focus there is driver engagement, the low-slung bucket seats were supportive and the simple three-spoke steering wheel was a nice touch. The curved wood dash was a nice touch of luxury in a car that had shed 200kg over the original E9.
5 Audi Quattro
The Quattro was launched in 1980 and really cemented Audi as a sports car heavyweight. The combination of AWD and a turbocharger revolutionized rallying forever. The vehicle was well-received among consumers and enthusiasts and still remains to be a fan-favorite today.
When initially launched, the interior wasn’t really special – the seats were comfy, yet the interior was largely standard. The launch of the digital dashboard in the vehicle in 1984 was really where the cool factor came in. Even though it wasn’t the first car offered with an LCD display it suited the Audi perfectly.
4 Porsche 911 2.7 RS
Launched in the early 1970s, the Porsche 911 2.7 RS is one of the most iconic 911s ever made. This 911 was built to be lighter, and more track-focused. The vehicle was definitely suited for drivers and racers.
The interior of the car is very iconic. Many of its elements are still used in Porsche 911s today also. The 5-Face instrument cluster is a hallmark of the 911 whilst looking sleek and driver-focused. Everything in the 2.7 RS is simpler – it is lightweight but the vehicle is sleek and is unmistakably Porsche.
3 Maserati Bora
Launched in 1971, the Maserati Bora shared plenty with the Citroen SM. The vehicle definitely fit the design style of the 1970s with sharp, angular styling. It was also very advanced, the first car to use independent suspension for all four wheels.
The interior of the Bora shared a lot with Citroen. The seats, in particular, were very similar to the Citroen SM. The stereo was mounted on the outside of the steering column, an unusual but cool feature. The center console was also shaped toward the driver, a very ergonomic touch.
2 Lamborghini Countach
Lamborghini launched the Countach in 1974 as their hallmark supercar. The vehicle isn’t the best to drive but looked so cool it is now a collector’s piece. Drivers can’t really see out of the car properly and it isn’t easy for people to get in and out of – and it gets way too hot.
The Countach is a genuine example of style over substance. Lamborghini designed the Countch on the inside as being very stylish and cool – it was definitely extremely modern when the vehicle was released. The seats were very recessed and looked amazing, even if they offered very little support. Early ‘Periscopio’ models featured a periscope as opposed to a rearview mirror and are particularly collectible.
1 Facel Vega II
The Facel Vega II was launched in 1962 when the Facel Vega brand was facing bankruptcy. The vehicle was very luxurious and is regarded as one of the finest GT cars ever produced. With a massive V8, it was also one of the fasted four-seaters of the 1960s.
The interior was particularly elegant. The blend of leather, wood veneer, and dainty switchgear gives the car a rich and regal demeanor, almost like the interior of a 17th-Century chateau. The perfect reflection of what a great grand tourer should look like.
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