Cars Aging Gracefully: Better-Than-New Modern Classics

1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

There’s a cold, dark and ugly secret lurking behind almost every new car:

Buy one today, and it’s almost guaranteed to look dated and old tomorrow.

Most new cars simply don’t age well, which is why most models get refreshed every 3-5 years. Soon the brand-new, cutting-edge source of pride you once displayed in the driveway, freshly washed, will sit in the garage under a coat of mud splatter and road salt as a $500-per-month testament to how quickly car design goes out of style.

Some cars, on the other hand, have proven to look just as good today as when they first graced the showroom floor.

Keep reading for a list of cars that have aged gracefully, and a prediction for which 2011 models might hold up, design-wise, until 2020 and beyond.

1969 Corvette Stingray

Luscious, curvy, sexy and strong. It’s a combination that has proved itself time and time again, going on over 40 years now.

Lexus SC430

Lexus SC 430

True, there’s nothing particularly significant about this somewhat stodgy Lexus, but it dropped jaws when it came out in 2001 and still turns heads today. Car & Driver lauded it, Jeremy Clarkson rubbished it. Then again, Clarkson is the one who said Americans “wouldn’t know a good car if it jumped out of a hedge and ate their feet.” Right.

2000-2006 Toyota Celica

Just over 3,000 Celicas were sold in the States in 2005, the last year it was sold here. That’s down from over 50,000 in 2000. It’s still a sharp-looking car that would stand proud next to Toyota’s new FT-86 II concept.

1990-1996 Nissan 300ZX

Next time you pull up next to one of these at a stoplight, try telling yourself you don’t want one. Still the best-looking Nissan on the road today! Except for maybe the early Quest minivans.

1997- 2005 Jaguar XK

To go all Clarkson on you again, the Top Gear host likened the interior of the original XK to Blenheim Palace. Old-world beauty just never goes out of style!

So what 2011 models might still turn heads in a decade? I think the Lexus RX 350 design is pretty timeless, along with the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ford Mustang, Dodge Charger and any Audi or BMW sedan.

What older cars do you think still look great today?


Find Used Cars in Your Area at CarGurus

Used Chevrolet Corvette
Used Lexus SC 430
Used Toyota Celica
Used Nissan 300ZX
Used Nissan Quest
Used Jaguar XK-Series
Used Lexus RX 350
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee
Used Ford Mustang
Used Dodge Charger


  1. My cousin still has his ’92 Dodge Stealth R/T… the engine is a complete mess (that thing had countless problems) but it’s in his garage under a car cover waiting to be restored.

    I think any of the muscle cars out now will still turn heads 10 years from now. Camaro and Challenger, and Mustang like mentioned, just for their retro-modern design and power.

  2. Yes, the Stealth was essentially a Mitsu 3000GT. The one to get is the twin-turbo 300-hp R/T! Otherwise the standard Stealth was just 164 horses.

  3. What about the old Dodge Stealth. I rarely see one, but it still turns heads. I think the Dodge was a rebadge of the Mitsubishi 3000GT (or something like that) which was equally as impressive.

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