2022 will see the 60th birthday of possibly the most famous car in the world, the iconic Ferrari 250 GTO. With only 39 models built, the 250 GTO was destined for greatness, going on to win races with its high performance and admiration for its stunning looks. So, as we wish a happy 60th to such a classic in 2022, we thought it only right to mention a few other notable milestones from both 1952 and 1962.
In 1952, three classics were born that will celebrate 70 year anniversaries in 2022. Firstly, the Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn, now with the option of a four-speed automatic gearbox as opposed to only manual. It was launched as a successor to the earlier Dawn and Bentley MkVI models.
The Bentley Continental R, with its sleek body designed by HJ Mulliner, also appeared in 1952. This very stylish classic was fitted with a manual gearbox in what was a real supercar of the day, but an automatic version was also available. High-speed cruising was the key feature of this beauty, with 100mph attainable even with four occupants.
Completing a trio of Platinum jubilee cars is the Austin A30. This model was initially manufactured as a four-door version in 1952, with two-door and Countryman estate versions following soon after. With a new A-series engine, this A30 was certainly a more visually appealing model than earlier Austin vehicles. This small family car was released as a competitor to the Morris Minor.
As we move into the 60s, 1962 saw the birth of another four classics that will reach their Diamond anniversary in 2022, beginning with the MGB Roadster. For many years the MGB was the best-selling sports car in the world, with production continuing right up until the early 1980s. The Roadster released in 1962 was bigger and more comfortable than the previous MGA, and also quicker. The MGB was only manufactured as a Roadster initially, with another three years passing before a closed GT coupe version became available.
The Triumph Spitfire is another that turns 60 in 2022. This small sports car was built to take on the MG Midget, and with its spacious interior and more powerful engine, it soon became a very popular model, still selling well into the early 80s.
How could we compile a list of 60-year-olds and not mention this one, the iconic AC Cobra? With a Ford V8 engine installed, the first AC Cobra was manufactured in January 1962, with later models having a slightly larger engine capacity. This Carol Shelby classic had amazing performance and would go on to write its own history on the road and race track.
Completing our 60th birthday honours list is the Alfa Romeo Giulia. This early 60s saloon sold over 800,000 models during a 10-year production life. With its smart looks and manual five-speed gearbox, the Giulia was a very agile mover, despite being aimed at the family market.
So there we have a shortlist of Platinum and Diamond anniversary classics to celebrate in 2022, although they still have a few years to go before reaching the century mark of 100 years! One final raise of the glass is in order for the Amilcar C4, which reaches this remarkable milestone in 2022, a car that first appeared was back in 1922 in the days of the cyclecar market!