The cars of yesteryear have a different DNA than the vehicles produced today. They were built with metal, muscle and magnificence, a far cry from today’s disposable plastic commuters. While metal rusts and muscle weakens, the magnificence of these automobiles doesn’t die. These 10 cars represent some of the most amazing restored vehicles in automotive history, from Ferrari to Bugatti, BMW to Bentley. So grab some steel wool and WD40 and hit the list below, you’ll be amazed at just how new these vintage classics look today.
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1950 Ferrari 166MM Barchetta
A piece like this really revs the engines of modern day treasure hunters. This 1950 Ferrari 166MM Barchetta was resting quietly in a barn in Italy before its exciting discovery, where it was purchased for the trivial sum of $8,000. Its discovery made waves in Ferrari collectors circles, as this was the vehicle that made Ferrari an iconic brand. After being shipped and managed by a group of resellers, the car finally sold for over $1,000,000 to collector Manny Del Arroz. Today, this Ferrari 166M is a hot topic on vintage luxury car shows like the Palo Alto Concours d’Elegance. [via roadnoise]
1950 Ferrari 166MM Barchetta Gallery
1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante
Over a half a century ago, this rare Bugatti disappeared shortly after its purchase by a reclusive doctor. This 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante was discovered a few years ago by the children of Dr. Harold Carr, who had recently passed on and left his garage to his family. When they opened the garage doors, they discovered this magnificent Bugatti… and likely didn’t know what they had on their hands. Today, Bugatti produces the fastest and most expensive production cars on the planet, but they pale in comparison to the value this one fetched at auction. This seventy-year-old beauty was cleaned up and restored before finally being valued at $8.8 million USD. [via autoblog]
1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante Gallery
Marcos Mantis XP
The Marcos Mantis XP isn’t just rare, it is truly one-of-a-kind. The Mantis was built by a boutique car manufacturer in 1968, with an aim to compete in the Spa 24 Hours race in Belgium that same year. After an unfortunate mid-race flame-out, both the car and the manufacturer didn’t last in the world of racing. But a car this strange couldn’t be forgotten, so a faithful restoration has returned it to its original glory. While it spent the last several decades in disrepair, it is now an active participant in vintage races and car shows throughout the US.
Marcos Mantis XP Gallery
1964 Porsche 911
For 20 years, this stunning 1964 Porsche 911 sat in a barn collecting dust. While a 911 of this quality can fetch a hefty price on the collector’s market (Jerry Seinfeld paid $400,000 for one of these in 1996), this gem was purchased for not a penny more than $9,500. After a whole lot of careful cleaning, mechanical maintenance and upgrades, it has been restored to its original 1964 glory in near-mint condition. For a model that has been produced for over 47 years, this early version is easily one of the marque’s most beautiful.
1964 Porsche 911 Gallery
1948 Buick Streamliner by Norman E. Timbs
When we first covered the 1948 Buick Streamliner by Norman E. Timbs, the article wrote itself. “Curves like these inspire poetry”, we said, and the fact remains true. This sixty-year-old stunner is in prime condition today, having been carefully maintained and restored to the vision of designer Norman Timbs. Timbs was an engineer who worked on performance and racing vehicles back in the 40s, but he set out to craft his own personal car on a Buick frame. With only $10,000 in costs, Timbs crafted a timeless automobile that looks like nothing else on the road– today, yesterday and throughout automotive history.
1948 Buick Streamliner Gallery
1934 BMW R7 Motorcycle
For 70 years, this amazing art-deco motorcycle was locked in a crate after its production. In 2005, that crate was cracked to expose this automotive work of art, the 1934 BMW R7 Motorcycle. When this R7 was removed from that crate, it looked far different than it does in these photos. Its engine had corroded beyond function, its body had rusted nearly beyond repair, but a lot of dedication and hard work has restored this beauty to its 1934 quality. Today, this bike stands as one of the most beautiful bikes ever built, a monument to pre-war automotive design.
1934 BMW R7 Motorcycle Gallery
1955 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback
On a list of amazing restored cars, this 1955 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback stands alone. This is a rare example of a luxury classic that has not been restored. It wasn’t found in a barn, it wasn’t rescued from a junk yard, it was kept in a garage and carefully maintained over the years with all original parts and components. It was repainted once in 1966, but since then it has been carefully preserved to remain in amazing condition. While the other items on this list show just how much work a car restoration requires, this one is a prime example of how to carefully preserve automotive luxury.
1955 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Gallery
1967 Jaguar XKE Roadster
This 1967 Jaguar XKE Roadster has quite a story. It had been parked in the same location since the 1970s, which started as a simple car port. In the 80s, the car port was enclosed with three walls leaving the front open. In the following decade, a brick wall was erected, entombing this Jaguar without light or contact with the elements. Recently, the last owner listed the car for sale, knocked down the brick wall and allowed the buyer to remove it. After a good cleaning, much of the car was intact and healthy. That thumbnail below shows how impeccable this Jag looks today, a stark contrast from the entombed mess above.
1967 Jaguar XKE Roadster Gallery
Lamborghini Miura Roadster
The Lamborghini Miura is one of the most sought-after vintage Lambo’s today, but this one is even harder to come by. This Miura roadster is one-of-a-kind, a car that was produced as a promotional model for Lamborghini but never saw mass production. It was purchased in 2007 by a New York real estate developer who carefully, faithfully restored this roadster to its 1968 condition.
Lamborghini Miura Roadster Gallery
1937 BMW 328 Mille Miglia
When it comes to restored luxury cars, is there a vehicle more beautiful than this? The 1937 BMW 328 Mille Miglia is a magnificent piece of automotive history, and you’re looking at it the way race fans did all the way back in 1937. While this isn’t the only 1937 BMW 328, it is the same model that won the Mille Miglia race in 1940– with an average speed of over 100 mph. This car is a design study that not only made BMW an iconic brand, but has inspired automobile professionals in the seven decades since its creation.
1937 BMW 328 Mille Miglia Gallery
What’s your favorite classic restoration? While we may be partial to that BMW 328, there are plenty other classic cars in the world that have been restored to perfection. Share your favorites below in the comments, we’d love to see more!