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Best classic cars

Ford and Holden battle for first place in the top ten classic cars

…the rarest, or the most innovative, but simply the ones that put a smile on kids' faces - young and old - at any concours or show 'n' shine event.

1. 1971-74 HQ Monaro GTS:

The Monaro began in 1968 with the HK, but the second-generation HQ is the one that drew everyone's attention, especially the 350 GTS with its blacked-out grille, rally patches, side vents and bold hippy colours. The V8s variants are always more valuable than the sixes, but we're not so sure about the 1973 four-door model.

2. 1972 Falcon GT-HO Phase III:

The rarest is the Phase IV with only three made before Ford bowed to hostile public reaction to dangerously powerful and fuel-guzzling muscle cars and ceased production. That leaves the Phase III as the pinnacle of '70s Aussie muscle power. It had a top speed of 250km/h and was our fastest four-door production car throughout the '70s.

3. 1968 Ford Mustang GT 390 CID Fastback:

The Steve McQueen car came from the movie Bullitt. Not the prettiest Mustang, but it comes with streets of San Francisco cred thanks to the film which has one of the best car chase scenes in cinematic history. Mustangs remain the fastest-selling car of all time, so there are plenty, prices are low and parts are plentiful.

4. 1955-63 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing

Coupe: The first production Gullwing is pure beauty from every angle. On top of that comes the engineering genius of those doors. It was also the first four-stroke petrol engined car with fuel injection. Only 1400 coupes and 1858 convertibles were made. These days they sell for about $500,000.

5. 1981-82 De Lorean DM-C:

Immortalised in the Back to the Future series, this space-age car with gullwing doors and brushed stainless steel body was the branchild of American engineer John De Lorean who was arrested for drug trafficking in a sting. Only 8500 DM-Cs were made before his company went belly-up. About 6000 remain.

6. 1964-71 Mini Cooper S:

Again the silver screen immortalized this little cutey. In the original 1969 Italian Job film, the Mini stole the starring role from Michael Caine with its antics in Turin's gridlocked streets, footpaths and plazas. The Mk I and Mk II Cooper Ss feature tiny engines from 970cc to 1071cc capacity, yet they are so small they have great power-to-weight ratio and with a wheel in each corner, they handle like a go-kart.

7. 1969 Lamborghini Miura:

It tragically appears in the opening scene of the Italian Job driving through the snow-covered Italian Alps and crashing in a tunnel only to be unceremoniously pushed over the edge by the bulldozer it ran into. A terrible end for a car considered by many to be the prettiest Italian built. Only 762 of the two-seater, mid-engined sportscars were made from 1966 to 1972. The 3.9-litre V12 succumbed to the oil crisis yet was replaced two years later by the even bigger 4-litre V12 Countach.

8. 1968-1980 MGB roadster:

It replaced the old-style MGA and was quite modern in styling, hence its longevity in almost the same shape. It has been a long-time favourite of the restorer mainly because its popularity means there are plenty around. For 10 years they were made in Australia. There are also loads of spare parts. In fact, parts are still being made. It was one of the first cars with a crumple zone to soak up crash forces.

9. 1961-75 Jaguar E-Type:

It is the archetypal sportscar and the pinnacle of British car production. The New York Museum of Modern Art has one on permanent display. Even Enzo Ferrari called it the "most beautiful car ever made". The coupe and convertible came with a variety of engines from 6 to 12 cylinders and an even bigger variety of reliability problems.

10. 1952-2011 Chevrolet Corvette:

General Motors has been making the people's sportscar for more than half a century. The second generation introduced the famous Sting Ray badge. The Corvette began as a concept convertible, but has evolved over the years into a successful race car, popular film prop, highly collectible classic and today's ZR1 is an Italian supercar-beating 330km/h machine with 476kW of power from its 6.2-litre engine.