Thanksgiving is a special time of year here in the United States, one in which Americans come together to eat an excessively hearty meal and complain about their local football teams. It’s also a time for giving thanks — if you can find a spare moment between leftovers, scoring those great Black Friday deals and evading that one relative who really wants to talk politics.
In the spirit of the season, then: Here are six vintage cars we found across the Internet that are still in fine form. We can’t afford them. But we’re thankful others are out there to care for them and give them a loving home.
1974 BMW 2002Tii
Why We Like It: The quick and well-handling BMW 2002 helped establish the company’s reputation for producing “the ultimate driving machine.” These cars are anything but rare on the vintage car market, because so many owners have loved them, cared for them, and kept them running. This one’s a mostly-stock 1974 2002 Tii, which had a little extra horsepower as well as upgraded brakes and suspension components.
1978 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow
Why We Like It: The Silver Shadow modernized Rolls-Royce in the 1960s and 1970s. It had standout features like a sublime hydropneumatic Citroën-sourced suspension. Because they were so popular and Rolls Royce produced so many of them, you don’t need to go have “Crown Prince” in front of your name to be able to afford one. In fact, the Oakland Raiders’ dentist previously owned this one.
1994 Land Rover Defender 90
Why We Like It: The classic Land Rover Defender 90 is timeless and charming. This sought-after 1994 North American spec version, won in a sweepstakes, was rehabbed by specialists at East Coast Defender. You may want to paint over that Barbour logo, but that Barbour-trimmed interior is, quite simply, magnificent.
1984 Toyota Land Cruiser
Why We Like It: The classic FJ40 Toyota Land Cruiser made the car an off-roading icon. This rig is not just any FJ40; it’s the holy grail version for North American buyers, since U.S. production of the FJ40 ended in 1983. Better still, the 1984 edition we didn’t get in the United States had a five-speed manual instead of the old four-speed. This 1984 version has had a frame-off restoration, hence the steep asking price.
1962 Austin Mini Beach Car
Why We Like It: The classic Austin Mini was an undeniably fun-to-drive, capable and cool car. This example is a super-rare Fiat 500 Jolly-style North American-spec Mini beach car, with no doors and wicker seats. It has been well cared for by a single family for its entire life. Why would you travel from your swanky vacation cottage to the beach in anything else?
1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SL
Why We Like It: The charming R107-gen Mercedes-Benz SL-Class hung around in the lineup for 18 years. The 560SL, as seen in this Gear Patrol feature, was that car at its most gravitas-laden, thanks to a big 5.6-liter V8. Why’d we choose this precise 1988 version? Well, my parents once owned this exact spec car, and I, very occasionally, got to drive it. So I’m extra-thankful for it.
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