Driving around today, you may have noticed an unusual number of restored vintage or reproduction vehicles on the road. That’s because today is National Collector Car Appreciation Day.
This annual event was launched six years ago to celebrate the classics of both the past and the future. The automobile has been a unique gift to American history, and no other country appreciates the car as thoroughly as does the U.S.
Whether you are a serious car collector or you merely dream about the day you’re able to give yourself the unique gift of an extraordinary automobile, here are some truly unusual models to inspire you.
No car will attract more attention than this officially licensed, roadworthy replica of the Batmobile. Built on a custom Lincoln chassis, the crime-fighting cruiser comes standard with a 430-horsepower, 383 Blueprint Crate engine and a Monster TH350 automatic transmission. The vehicle’s cockpit honors the gadgetry of the TV series with a blinking Batphone, switch-operated electric actuators that open the hood and trunk, and a rotating red beacon. A rear-facing propane tank creates the same afterburner effect as the original. The exterior bears the hallmarks of its namesake, from bubble-canopy windshields to chrome “rocket” tubes behind the rear windshield.
This 1:2 scale gas-powered version of the iconic Jaguar XK120 unleashes adults to careen and cruise as if driving the real thing. Faithful to the details of the 1948 original—sweeping rounded fenders, long hood and tapered grille—this version seats its driver within a padded leather aircraft-style cockpit. The interior includes a wood-rimmed aluminum steering wheel and dashboard, while the exterior can be finished in any color, including the classic glossy British Racing Green of yesteryear.
If you have a bigger crew to haul around, this authentic London Hackney cab holds six passengers plus the driver. This version is a fully restored and overhauled Fairway taxi from the 1980s. Designed with a high degree of English sensibility, it provides the roominess and appointments of a limo in a smaller size. Of course, it’s updated with modern convenience, luxury, and U.S. safety standards. With its 2.7-liter Nissan diesel engine, it delivers dutiful performance while turning heads.
Many communities show appreciation for collectible cars throughout the warm weather months with rallies, cruise nights, and car shows. Even if you don’t have fancy wheels of your own to show off, you might enjoy attending a local car show to scope out that unique gift for yourself, for when the time is right.