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4 Classic Road Trip Cars Everyone Used to Love
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May 4, 2019
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Matt Harding
Matt Harding is a magazine writer, photographer and former newspaper reporter who loves to travel.
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Who doesn't love a good road trip? I’ve cruised around in all types of mostly modern vehicles, though most recently it’s been my 1990 Fleetwood Jamboree Rallye, a “classic” Class C RV on a Ford chassis. But how about the real classics? Real head-turners that make these modern rides look like plastic crap thrown together without care. With so many to choose from, here are four classic road trip vehicles that everyone used to love (and we still do):

Chevrolet Corvette

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Nothing says "Let’s cruise the Pacific Coast Highway" quite like a classic, candy-apple red Corvette. In production since 1953, there’s really not a wrong year or model to go with if you want to hit the road in American style. The 1963 Sting Ray coupe wouldn’t be a bad choice if you want to turn heads (well, they’re all great for that). Even 1970s and 80s versions of the vehicle will be a top-notch choice to travel in.

Ford Country Squire — 'The Wagon'

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It may not have been the first station wagon, but the Ford Country Squire is what comes to mind if you say, “station wagon.” This version was built from 1950-1991. It’s the ultimate family road trip car. Pack up the kids and the cooler, and hit the cabin. Actually, with that wood paneling, it already feels like you’re in the woods.

Mercedes SL 300

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A showstopper, without a doubt. First introduced in 1954, it was the fastest production car of its time — traveling at an incredible 160 miles per hour with its direct fuel injection system. Its doors lift up like bird wings and you’d almost expect it to be able to take off. Some road trips are about camping and off-roading, but some are about the highway itself — what made Route 66 the bastion of early vehicle traveling.

This Mercedes was one of the best of the best, and unlike a lot of classics, people knew it then. According to Town and Country, three-quarters of the original SL 300s are still around today, and many belong to their original owners. It’s certainly one to hold onto.

Volkswagen Type 2 — 'The Bus'

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This is about as classic as it gets for road trip vehicles. First introduced in 1949, the Volkswagen Type 2, better known simply as the "Bus," became most popular during the counterculture movement in the 1960s — a symbol of the free-spirited. The van was featured on the cover of albums by Bob Dylan and the Beach Boys, and was even used by the Grateful Dead (and their legions of fans) while touring. It was a festival van, cementing itself in pop culture history as the vehicle that brought so many people to Woodstock in the summer of 1969. Far out!

It continues to be an icon today, but not just that — it’s also still a majorly cool collection car, ready to hit the road and see more pavement, beaches and mountains. Heck, Volkswagen even decided to come out with a new electric version due in 2022. For future generations, it’ll surely be a classic.