From the Jaguar F-Type to the Cadillac CTC and the the SRT Viper, we've driven some cars this year that could live in our garages with pride for decades to come. These vehicles are on the short list for the best of 2014, but what will push them over the edge into collector's items — coveted enough to be parked in the garages of aficionados like Jay Leno? We looked back at the undisputed classics — the iconic Corvette, the sleek Lamborghini, and the art deco style of the Bugatti 57sc — to get a sense of what it takes for a car to look even better at the ripe age of 50 than it did in the new car lot.
Jaguar E-type 
Number made: 7,670 coupes (est.), 7,830 convertibles (est.)
What one will cost you: $20,000-$46,900 (coupe), $23,000-$63,200 (convertible)
Engine: 3.8 liter, twin-cam inline 6 cylinder
Top speed: 150 mph
0-60 mph: 6.7 seconds
History: Jaguar eventually produced three series of E-types – in coupe and convertible form – before stopping imports in 1974. By then, the U.S.-bound car was so smog-restricted and fat-bumpered that it had lost most of its sensuality. The first-generation E-type is the Jaguar that best encapsulates the athletic spirit of the brand, and in 1996 Jaguar created an homage to it called the XK8. But this was the PC nineties, so the XK8's phallic overtones were kept tucked in its pants.
Design: Some have called it cigar-shaped, but, with apologies to Dr. Freud, the E-type was more than just a good smoke. In its contours, length, and girth it resembled nothing so much as the male member. No wonder it became Cool Britannia's sexual liberation machine, one eventually and perfectly recast as Austin Powers's personal steed. With its thrusting insinuations of freedoms both mobile and libidinal it gave sixties swingers maximal grooviness for minimal cash. The official story behind its shape goes like this: Jaguar boss Sir William Lyons, who was also the firm's chief stylist, was too busy being knighted to head up the E-type design. So it was the first Jag drawn by aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer, and the first predicated on mathematical formulas rather than the good taste of Sir Bill. Ironic, considering that the E-type turned out to be the best-looking Jag of all time.