Classic cars are going to the dogs - literally! In recent years, the need for classic vehicles that feed a car lover’s delight while catering to their furry friends has only grown. After all, what’s more, perfect than cruising the highway with man’s best friend beside you?
But, not all classic rides suit four-legged passengers. You’ll want a ride with the right features. Check out this list of vintage cars whose features are perfect for the pet and motor enthusiast.
By David Berry from Rohnert Park CA, USA
1949 Jeep CJ-2A
In its heyday, the Jeep CJ (civilian Jeep) carried the moniker “probably the most successful utility vehicle ever made.” Designed after the military Jeep utilized in WW2, the Jeep CJ family resembles the modern Wrangler.
Boasting plenty of power and speed for its day, the Jeep CJ included a three-speed T90 transmission. The tailgate makes it easy for Rover to get in the car and depending on the model modifications, the passenger and rear seat provide an excellent spot for your pet to recline.
By Rex Gray from Southern California
1955 Chevrolet Bel Air
There’s nothing more classic than a Chevy Bel Air. Originally labeled “The Hot One” by GM, the ‘55 Bel Air built on the success of its predecessors. This antique car model stands out with the carpeted interior, classic cherry red color, and air conditioning.
Still famous for its handling and sturdy V8 engine, the Bel Air receives excellent marks for pet-friendly features. Its wide backseat, four-door access, and cozy carpet work well for pet pals. Plus, convertible models offer more of that wind-in-the-hair feeling all dogs love.
By Andrew Bone from Weymouth, England
Cruising to hamburger stands with the Beach Boys and your furry best pal is a dream in the 1966 T-Bird. Noted for its soft sprung suspension, this model of T-Bird brought a new level of luxury and safety to the Ford line.
This year included disc brakes and sequential blinkers, affording more security for drivers and traffic alike. In addition, its “shell-design” seats cradle the driver (and pet-companion), and the back seats offer excellent foot (or paw) room - plus the vinyl covers clean up quickly.
1973 AMC Hornet Sportabout
The AMC Hornet was in many ways Chrysler’s answer to filling the small car niche of the 1970s. With its raked hatchback affording extra space, the Sportabout variation has a sporty look with ample storage.
The ‘73 model featured a ‘Mini-Camper’ option, with rear-seats folding down to convert the hatchback into a sleeping area that any dog would love to relax in!
By Kieran White from Manchester, England
BMW Z3 M Coupe
With the speed of a sports car and the storage of a hatchback, the BMW Z3 M Coupe has plenty of zoom for the speed-loving driver and man’s best friend. In addition, the 5-speed transmission and quick steering response make for a fun ride.
Keep in mind that the BMW Z3 M Coupe came with leather consoles in some models - make sure man’s best friend is chilling in the roomy back of the car for optimal vehicle care and pet comfort.
The name Porsche is synonymous with classic and modern car luxury. The 924S was the entry-level model in its heyday, with plenty of cool features like the folding headlights and grille-less nose.
Keep in mind that the rear-mounted transaxle lifts the car a bit, so smaller dogs need a lift into their spot. Larger breeds may want roomier headspace, but the average-sized Rover will do just fine in this model. Make sure to protect the leather seats from scraping claws, too.
Volkswagen Golf MK2 GTI
Remembered for its flashy red and black paint job, the Volkswagen Golf MK2 puts up plenty of competition compared to other coupes and hatchbacks on this list. However, this model has recently achieved classic car insurance status, as it first appeared in 1983.
The five-door setup is more family-friendly, but the open hatch works great for taller dogs. Comparatively, the Volkswagen Golf MK2 GTI offers more headspace for your bigger pets, like german shepherds, wolfhounds, or the occasional Great Dane.
By Andrew Duthie from Nashville, TN
1971 Ford Bronco
The Ford Bronco has aged gracefully, slowly turning into a classic SUV loved for its rugged looks and sturdy power. The Baja model, especially, has developed a fan following for its quicker-ratio steering, automatic transmission, and cool roll bar.
The Bronco, both Baja and otherwise, features optional bucket seats or a front bench and an open back, similar to a truckbed. A few other options came with a backseat bench. Either setup works great for your furry buddy to tag along.
1970 GMC Jimmy
Off-roading with man’s best friend is a blast in the vintage GMC Jimmy. This SUV featured a shortened pickup truck, with all the benefits of the build plus the addition of more interior space with the topper.
Jimmy has all the space a pioneering dog-owner could need for even the largest pup. In addition, the ‘70 Jimmy had the bonus of a removal top to make adventuring with the dogs all the more exciting!
1964 Chevrolet Corvair Greenbrier Sportswagon
Modified cars and vans have grown in popularity lately, especially the Chevrolet Corvair Greenbrier. This van evokes memories of a particular mystery-solving gang and their dog.
This van model packs plenty of punch for antiquers with dogs. Vinyl seats, two-side-loading doors, and double rear panel doors on the panel truck are perfect for furry friends. Plus, by leaving out the third-row seating, you create more storage or camping space in the back.
By Alvintrusty - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
Volkswagen Type 2 (Transporter Van) 1950s-1960s
The premier antique van of its age, the Volkswagen Transporter, marked an era. This flower-child favorite appears with countless groovy modifications; shag carpet, sunroofs, beaded doorways, and more.
Some modified variations have done away with bench seats that come standard to make room for a live-in van model. But, the general 50-60s era vans come with ample space for dogs, family, and gear.
Things To Shop For In Pet-Friendly Vintage Vehicles
Before purchasing your next collector’s car, make sure it has features friendly for your pet companions. Consider vehicles with vinyl seats and space for your pup. Happy cruising!