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10 Best Selling Sports Cars of All Time

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 2 5

To own a sports car has long been a goal for many men (and women) across the globe. For whatever reason the sports car has experienced amazing popularity over the years that is still thriving today. Such motor vehicles will always turn heads on a road and for all the impracticality that a two seated car has its shortcomings are often outweighed by factors such as the aesthetics of the car, engine power and the mind boggling top speeds that such cars can reach. In this article we take a look at the most popular sports car models in history in terms of sales. Enjoy!

10. Mercedes-Benz SLK R170 (1996 – 2004)


Total Sales – 311,000

Bursting on to the fast car scene as the first convertible hard top by Mercedes the SLK made its first appearance in 1996. Very few people would argue with the opinion that the SLK looked beautiful as well as being able to reach top speeds of 193 mph in advanced models.

9. Triumph Spitfire (1962 – 1980)


Total Sales - 314,332

One of the few successful and popular sports cars to be made in Britain the Spitfire was given the added touch of Italian styling that made it a nifty, much loved sports car around the world. Designed by prolific designer Giovanni Michelotti the car thrived due to its aesthetic prowess as well as its trustworthy performance.

8. MG Midget/ Austin Healey Sprite (1958-1979)


Total Sales – 356,000

Essentially these two cars were exactly the same except for being sold by different motor companies and the MG Midget being slightly more expensive. Over time the car became popularly known as the ‘Spridget’.  However, the original name of ‘Midget’ for this particular sports car was apt due to the fact that when measured up the car only reached 137 inches in length. Due to its abundance of character there was a huge boom of sales in the 1960’s for this fun little car.

7. Chevrolet Corvette C4 (1983-1996)


Total Sales – 366,000

An exceedingly popular sports car particularly in its home nation of the U.S when the C4 came out it was the newest Corvette for 15 years.  Five different engines were implemented into the C4 over the years each one faster and more powerful than the one before. The cars elegance and stature made it become the Pace car for the Indianapolis 500 twice over its 13 year history. Also the star of an extremely cheesey and typically 80's television advert:

6. Pontiac Fiero (1984 – 1988)


Total Sales – 370,000

The Fiero holds the title of the fastest selling sports car ever after over 136,000 cars were sold in the first year of sales alone. Bearing in mind the short production era of 5 years the Fiero sold well above its estimated sales. Despite criticisms of the cars performance today the Fiero is seen as one of the great sports cars made by General Motors and has developed a strong following of admirers. And here is the Fiero cementing it's place as a legendary sports car by skipping over water:

5. Mazda RX-7 Gen 1 (1978 – 1986)


Total Sales – 471,000

The first generation of the Mazda RX-7 was an unexpected success for the Japanese motor company who did not expect such a high sales figure. However, the authentic sports car look coupled with well thought out handling and acceleration made sure word spread about the car.

4. MG MGB/ MGC (1962 – 1980)


Total Sales – 524,000

The most successful British sports car ever and one of the few cars on our list to have more than 2 seats as the coupe version could seat up to 4 people. Perhaps surprisingly, popular in America due to the cars reliability on the road and its sleek style. 

3. Datsun 240Z/260Z/280Z (1969 – 1978)


Total Sales – 531,601

Experiencing huge popularity in the United States it seemed that the 240Z had everything a person would need from a sports car. Firstly it was significantly cheaper than U.S and European sports cars of the time as the Japanese owned Nissan decided to produce a more affordable sports car. Despite being affordable the sports car didn’t let up on performance and was better thought of than the MG roadsters of the 70’s.

2. Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (1967 – 1982)


Total Sales – 542,867

The most succesful American sports car by quite a way. The main selling point of the Stingray appeared to be the iconic design that oozed with style. Widely recognised as being a solid piece of engineering the Stingray has become the all-American sports car that is unlikely to be rivalled, ever.

1. Mazda MX-5 (1989 – 2005)


Total Sales – 721,629

And the winner is the Mazda Mx5 which is the best selling sports car ever. Based on earlier, British roadsters like the Triumph and Midget the Mazda Mx5 had great mass appeal. Well known motor car enthusiast and television presenter Jeremy Clarkson said of the car: ‘The fact is that if you want a sports car, the MX-5 is perfect. Nothing on the road will give you better value. Nothing will give you so much fun. The only reason I’m giving it five stars is because I can’t give it 14.’



Nov 5, 2011 1:25am
Nice list! Who wouldn't love any of these beauts?
Nov 10, 2011 5:16pm
I used to have a Riero, they are great cars but they are very small.
Nov 14, 2011 10:20pm
Thanks for the list. I've always liked those Z Cars. I didn't know they were among the top sellers all time for sports cars.
Jan 3, 2012 8:04pm
A friend of mine had an old Fiero back in high school. Very very tiny car...and who could forget the speakers in the head rests.

Nice post.
Jan 4, 2013 2:21am
I like this car
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