Ford’s been unleashing monsters right from the start, crafting metal beasts that dominate both the asphalt jungle and the racing circuits. Think growling Mustangs, slick Thunderbirds, and the unstoppable force of the GT40.

We’re not just talking cars here; we’re talking legends, built with grit, muscle, and a whole lot of horsepower. These are 20 classic Fords that have proven time and again why they’re the kings of the road.

1940 Ford Standard Fordor Sedan

SicnagCC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The 1940 Ford Standard Fordor Sedan sticks out with its slick front grille, setting it apart from its siblings. It’s a classic ride, with Ford rolling out about 151,000 of these back in the day.

Priced around $21,500 now, it’s powered by a 221-cubic-inch V8, kicking out 85 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque, matched with a manual three-speed.

1968 Torino GT

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Back in the late ’60s, Ford shook things up with the Torino GT, a sleek beast built from the Fairlane’s bones but with way more attitude. Known for its distinctive looks – think long hood and short back, kind of like a coke bottle – it became a favorite.

With its hearty V8 and a range that included everything from sedans to wagons, the Torino GT’s not hard to find and keeps on cruising with its tough-as-nails guts.

1953 F-100

Johann Jaritz / CC BY-SA 4.0CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Clocking in at $27,000, the 1953 Ford F-100 is the truck everyone’s after. When Ford celebrated 50 years by renaming the F-1 series to F-100, they hit the jackpot. This truck, with its distinct hood and big, bold headlights, isn’t just a looker; it’s a doer, through and through.

Made in a time when a pickup meant something, it’s the real deal for anyone chasing that appreciates a good truck.

1970 Ford Escort RS1600

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The Ford Escort RS1600: a legend from ’71 to ’74, tearing up rallies and races alike. With its Cosworth magic under the hood – a 1.6-liter engine paired with a five-speed – it was the underdog that could and did.

These days, seeing one in action is still exciting, a nod to its glory days on the track.

1951 Ford Deluxe

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Post-war and pushing boundaries, the 1951 Ford Deluxe was a game-changer. This “Shoebox” Ford, as they call it, was a hit for anyone eyeing a fresh start with a new car, beating out rivals in the race for the American driveway.

Today, a Deluxe will set you back about $13,900, offering a choice between a straight-six or a V8. It’s proof that good design never goes out of style, making it a catch for collectors or anyone who appreciates a ride with roots.

1960 Thunderbird

Priced at about $20,000, the 1960 Thunderbird wasn’t just Ford’s retort to the Corvette; it was its own thing, a luxury ride with a beefy V8 under the hood. Ford played it smart, not boxing the T-bird as a sports car but as something more upscale, and guess what? It worked. This bird outdid the Corvette in sales early on.

Though the Thunderbird’s production stopped in 2005, the ’60 model, with its sleek, jet-fighter looks, still turns heads and runs strong as a daily whip with the right TLC.

1954 Ford Crestline Skyliner

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If you’ve got $15,900 and want a taste of the ’50s American dream on wheels, check out the 1954 Ford Crestline Skyliner. This rare beauty comes with a glass roof panel up front for those sunny day drives.

With just over 13,000 made, it’s a catch. The 239 cubic inch V8 keeps you going with 130 hp, making every ride a smooth trip down memory lane.

1964.5 Ford Mustang

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The original pony, the 1964.5 Mustang, might not win any speed records or cost a fortune, but it’s the one that started the stampede.

Whether it’s the base inline-six or the beefier 289-cubic-inch V8, this Mustang’s got cool written all over it. It’s the kind of car that never goes out of style.

1969 Shelby GT500 Convertible

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Owning a Shelby is a badge of honor, but having one that Carroll Shelby himself drove? Priceless. Well, almost – someone forked over $742,500 for this privilege at a 2008 auction.

This 1969 Shelby GT500 Convertible isn’t just any ride; it’s one of only 247 made, powered by a roaring 428ci Cobra Jet V8 with 335 hp.

1958 Ford Del Rio Ranch Wagon

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After shelving the premium Parklane, Ford wasn’t ready to give up on the sport wagon scene, cue the Del Rio. Launched in 1957 and based on the two-door Ranch Wagon, the Del Rio offered a better deal than its Chevy and Pontiac rivals, without breaking the bank. It’s got a practical two-piece tailgate, dodging those pesky water leaks GM wagons were known for.

With just 12,687 made and a recent price jump to $21,600, the Del Rio is a solid choice for wagon enthusiasts looking for something special.

1967 Lotus 49 Ford-Cosworth

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The 1967 Lotus 49 Ford-Cosworth changed the game with its DFV engine, making it the backbone of the car, literally. This ride wasn’t just fast; it was a blueprint for future racers, snagging second in the constructors’ championship in ’67 and leading the pack in ’68 and ’70.

The DFV didn’t stop there, powering winners in Formula 1, Le Mans, and the Indy 500. It’s a piece of history that set the standard for what a powerhouse engine could do.

1959 Ford Country Sedan

©Ford

Rolling in with space for nine, the 1959 Ford Country Sedan was the go-to wagon for the family on the move. Not as fancy as the Country Squire but still packed with the essentials like dual sun visors and a more intuitive horn ring. It was a hit, with over 123,000 units sold in its prime year.

Nowadays, its value is jumping, showing that this wagon’s blend of practicality and classic style is getting the nod from collectors, with prices now hitting $19,200.

1955 Ford Thunderbird

©Ford

Ford’s answer to the Corvette came with flair in 1955: the Thunderbird. This wasn’t just another car; it was Ford’s statement on style and luxury, quickly outselling its rival. With a variety of body styles over the years, it carved out its niche.

After a storied run that saw it come and go, the Thunderbird nameplate hung up its wings in 2005, leaving behind a legacy of 50 years filled with ups and downs.

1965 Shelby 427 Cobra

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When Ford and Carroll Shelby joined forces, they weren’t playing around. The Shelby 427 Cobra was a monster, packing a 427-cubic-inch V8 that pumped out up to 485 hp.

This car wasn’t just about power; it was about setting a benchmark for performance that still echoes today. If you’re talking about cars that left a mark, the Shelby 427 Cobra is up there with the legends.

1969 Ford Fairlane 500

The Fairlane 500 stood out as the cool, more approachable cousin to the Plymouth Road Runner. What made it special? That 428-cubic-inch Super Cobra Jet V8, for starters, pushing out 360 hp. It came with a smooth ride and responsive steering, although it wasn’t the king of the curves.

Prices for a well-kept Hardtop Coupe are around $45,100, but with recent interest spiking, who knows? This could be the next six-figure classic.

1966 Ford GT40

The Ford GT40’s origin story is like something out of a Hollywood script, born from a rivalry with Ferrari after a deal went south. Henry Ford II’s mission was clear: build a car to outclass Ferrari at Le Mans.

Despite a rocky start and a string of engineering challenges, the GT40 made history in 1966 by claiming a 1-2-3 victory at Le Mans, marking Ford as the first American manufacturer to dominate the podium there.

These days, snagging an original GT40 means shelling out big bucks, but it’s a piece of racing lore that’s worth every penny.

1969 Ford Thunderbird

©Ford

The 1969 Thunderbird is finally getting its due, with its value on the rise. It’s not the first T-bird model that jumps to mind, but it’s got a lot under the hood with its 429-cubic inch engine cranking out 360 hp.

For just $16,800, you can own this slice of American muscle, showcasing that even the underappreciated models have their day in the sun.

1908 Ford Model T

©Ford

Talking about game changers, the Model T is at the top of the list. Launched in 1908, it wasn’t just a car; it was the vehicle that brought automobiles to the masses, thanks to Henry Ford’s assembly line innovation.

Dominating the roads with over 15 million units sold by 1927, the Model T is the definition of iconic, making it clear that Ford’s legacy is built on more than just luxury and performance.

1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302

©Ford

The 1970 Mustang Boss 302 was Ford’s answer to the Camaro, dialed up to be sportier and stronger with its revamp. With a powerful 290 hp 302 cu in V8 under the hood, this pony was meant to gallop.

With only 7,013 made, scoring one today for $12,400 feels like a steal, especially for a car that’s made its mark in the pony car wars.

1989 Ford Bronco XLT

©Ford

The 1989 Ford Bronco XLT, or as fans like to call it, the “brick nose,” brings a bit of an edge to the Bronco family with its more dynamic, sloping body lines. This fourth-gen Bronco, running from ’87 to ’91, took a leaf out of the eighth-gen F-150’s book, sporting a similar front fascia that set it apart from its predecessors.

It’s a blend of rugged capability and a dash of style, making it a standout choice for those who want their off-roader to have a bit of character.

1971 Ford Capri RS2600

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The 1971 Ford Capri RS2600 is a piece of Ford’s European flair, crafted with the spirit of the Mustang in mind but tuned for the European roads. Thanks to Philip T. Clark, one of the Mustang’s designers, the Capri had that fastback coupe vibe down pat.

Built on the mechanical bones of the Mk2 Cortina, the Capri was Ford’s way of delivering muscle car excitement to a European audience.

The RS2600, with its 2.6-liter fuel-injected engine pushing out 148 bhp, was the cream of the crop, showing off what happens when you blend American muscle with European handling finesse.

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Author: Abbie Clark

Title: Co-Founder

Expertise: Automotive Industry, Electric Vehicles, DIY Car Repairs

Bio:

Abbie Clark is a writer, blog, and founder of RideRambler, Hey She Thrives, and The Bearded Bunch.

From clever car cleaning tricks to the freshest car features and reviews, Abbie loves sharing her knowledge on everything automotive. Outside of her time writing for her websites, you’ll find her fishing with her husband, deciphering her toddler’s babbling, or baking up something sweet.

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