A Guide to 1964 Cars

The Ford Mustang burst onto the scene in 1964 and has been an American muscle car mainstay ever since. These are 1964’s best cars.
Written by Matt Nightingale
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
The Ford Mustang is the best car of 1964, but it definitely had serious competition from the Porsche 911 and the Aston Martin DB5.
The need for speed grabbed the auto industry in the 1960s. It was the era of muscle cars—and 1964 is a year that will go down in muscle car history. 
If you’re wondering what the best vehicles of 1964 were, or if you just want to take a drive down memory lane, car insurance
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has compiled this time-warping list of the best cars from 1964.
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The best cars of 1964

From muscle trucks and sports cars to the first luxury SUV, these seven vehicles are the cream of the automotive crop from 1964. 

The best car of 1964: 1964½ Ford Mustang

Average retail: $28,100
Powertrain: 2.8-liter inline-6 engine, 4.3-liter V-8, and 4.7-liter w/ 3 and 4-speed manual or 3-speed automatic transmission.
What makes it special:
1964 marks the birth of one of the most iconic cars to ever hit the streets: the
Ford Mustang
Production began on the very first run of Mustangs in March of 1964, and they were technically considered part of the 1965 model year. But, because the first models were produced four months before the beginning of the usual production year, true Mustang enthusiasts refer to the muscle car’s first run as “1964½” models. The Mustang has been the embodiment of the American muscle car ever since.
The very first Mustangs were available with 2.8-liter in-line 6-cylinder, 4.3-liter V-8, or 4.7-liter V-8 engines. The high-end V-8 models were capable of a top speed of 117 mph, produced 210 horsepower, and traveled from 0–60 in 7.4 seconds.

The best luxury car of 1964: Aston Martin DB5

Average retail: $1.3 Million
Powertrain: 4.0-liter in-line 6-cylinder engine w/ 5-speed manual or 3-speed automatic transmission.
What makes it special: 
The 1964 Aston Martin DB5’s IMDB page reads like that of an A-level celebrity. And it’s just as recognizable, too. Appearing in six James Bond films, including 1964’s GoldenEye, the DB5 has earned a special place in the hearts of 007 fans everywhere. 
But, the luxury sports coupe is a megastar in its own right. Widely regarded as the most splendid Aston Martin ever to roll off the line, the DB5 sported 15-inch wheels, leather seats, and electric windows. Under the hood, the 4.0-liter aluminum straight-6 cylinder engine supplied 330 horsepower, providing a top speed of 145 mph and a 0–60 clocking of six seconds.  

The best SUV of 1964: Chevy Suburban

Average retail: $30,800
Powertrain: Seven options ranging from 3.8-liter In-line 6 cylinder to 5.4-liter V-8 engine w/ 3 or 4-speed manual transmission or Powerglide.
What makes it special: 
When it first hit the streets in 1935, the
Suburban looked like so many other boxy wood-paneled station wagons of the time. But by 1964, the Suburban had finally begun to look like the full-size SUV we know today.
Although the term “SUV” wouldn’t be coined for another 10 years, you don’t need 23andMe to see that the ‘64 Suburban is undoubtedly a member of the family. With I-6 and V-8 engine options, the Suburban’s 270 pound-feet of torque combined with available four-wheel-drive option made it great for off-road scenarios. 

The best luxury SUV of 1964: Jeep Wagoneer

Average retail: $10,750
Powertrain: Six or eight-cylinder engine w/ 3 or 4-speed manual or 3-speed automatic transmission.
What makes it special:
The Wagoneer was Jeep’s first luxury SUV, offering all the amenities of a station wagon with the ruggedness of a truck. You could get in and out of it like a regular car, and yet it still had excellent ground clearance. 
And it was full of innovative ideas, too. It was the first vehicle to offer an automatic transmission in concert with four-wheel drive and an independent front suspension. Inside, the Wagoneer featured a stylish instrument panel, air conditioning, and could seat six comfortably—very comfortably.
The Jeep came equipped with a 140 horsepower, 3.8-liter six-cylinder engine, and wood side paneling, as was the style at the time. The Wagoneer was so popular that, by the time Jeep put it in the stable in 1994, it was the longest-running continuously manufactured vehicle, period.

The best family car of 1964: Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser

Average retail: $36,600
Powertrain: 5.408-liter Rocket V-8 engine w/ 3 or 4-speed manual, or 2 or 3 speed automatic transmission.
What makes it special: 
With a 5.4-liter 230 horsepower V-8 engine and available three-row seating, the
Vista Cruiser was 100 cubic feet of family road trip fun. The Olds station wagon offered plenty of amenities to keep everybody in good spirits on those long cross-country treks to visit the cousins, including under-floor storage, second-row sun visors, and an optional see-through roof.
While not quite as famous as James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5, the Vista Cruiser has had a respectable television career, most famously for its recurring role on the hit series That 70s Show.

The best sports car of 1964: Porsche 911

Average retail: $771,700
Powertrain: 2.0-liter to 3.3-liter air-cooled flat 6-cylinder w/ 5-speed manual or 4-speed semi-automatic transmission.
What makes it special: 
911 might have been the best car of 1964 if not for the Ford Mustang. The ‘64 911 was built with a rear-mounted, air-cooled 130 horsepower flat-six engine, and was capable of reaching 60 mph from a standstill in 8.3 seconds.
The 911 is the most popular sports car in the world and over a million units have been manufactured since its 1964 debut. Over one hundred 911s are built every day in Porsche’s Stuttgart factory, which is the only factory to make the Porsche 911.
The 911’s iconic design makes it one of the most recognizable cars on the road. If you stare long enough at a Porsche 911 you might start to notice a small resemblance to the Volkswagen Beetle. That’s no coincidence—the two vehicles were both designed by Ferdinand Porsche. 
MORE: What is the best Porsche 911?

The best truck of 1964: Dodge D100 Sweptline CSS

Average retail: $18,200
Powertrain: 5.2-liter Chrysler A, 2.786-liter slant-6, or 3.605-liter slant-6 engine w/ 3 or 4-speed manual, 3-speed push-button automatic, or 4-speed automatic.
What makes it special: 
America’s love affair with muscle cars was in full swing in 1964, and
took advantage by sticking a 365 horsepower engine under the hood of a pick-up truck. The result was the Dodge D100 Sweptline Custom Sports Special.
Dodge advertised the D100 Sweptline CSS as a luxury sport truck, which featured bucket seats, a center console, carpeted floors, chrome bumpers and grille, and snazzy racing stripes. All this power and luxury helped Dodge reach new markets. Where previously pick-up trucks were seen as vehicles only farmers used, the D100 brought the truck to urban drivers, setting the stage for today’s generation of pickups, like the Ram 1500, GMC Sierra, or the Ford F-150.
MORE: The Dodge Magnum vs. the Dodge Charger

What cars came out in 1964?

There were a lot of great cars available in 1964, many in their second and third generations. But, there were a lot of brand new models born that year. Here’s a look at some of the cars turning 56 this year.
Vehicle type
Average retail
Chevrolet Chevelle 300
4 door sedan
Three generations, 1964–1977
Ferrari 275
2 door convertible
Named 3rd best Ferrari of all time by MotorTrend
Honda S600
2 door roadster
One generation, 1964–1966
Mercury Cyclone
2 door hardtop
Five generations, 1964–1972
Plymouth Barracuda
2 door fastback
1971 Hemi convertible is considered to be one of the most valuable collectible muscle cars
Buick Sport Wagon
4 door sport wagon
Came with optional tinted sky roof
Chevrolet Malibu
4 door sedan
Originally a Chevelle trim, it replaced the Chevelle in 1978
Chevrolet G10
½ ton van
Three generations, 1964–1996
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The most popular car in 1964 was the Ford Mustang. That was the year that the iconic American muscle car was first made available to the public. The 1964½ Ford Mustang sold 121,538 units.
The fastest car in 1964 was the aptly named Ferrari 500 Superfast, whose top speed was 171 miles per hour. There were only 36 Superfasts ever made, with one selling recently at auction for over $3 million.
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