The most popular sports car of the 1960s was the Ford Mustang, followed closely by General Motors models such as the Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette. Carroll Shelby's modified versions of the Mustang and lightweight AC Coupe were also quite well-known and influential upon 1960s-era sports cars, though they were relatively rare compared to the mass-produced vehicles of major American manufacturers. Inexpensive, lightweight European vehicles such as the MG and Sunbeam Tiger were also popular sports cars of this time.
The Ford Mustang debuted in 1964 and was an overnight success, becoming one of the most popular cars of the 1960s overall and launching the so-called "pony car" segment of automobiles. Though arguably not true sports cars by purist definitions, the pony car combined the smaller dimensions and lighter weight of sports cars with a much more practical body design, allowing people who could never justify the impracticalities of a sports car or roadster to enjoy a performance vehicle.
While GM's vehicles tended to be larger than the Mustang, the Camaro and Pontiac Firebird followed much the same design philosophy during the 1960s. The Chevrolet Corvette hewed closest to the European-style roadster and sports car design of vehicles like the MG among popular American sports cars with a dedicated two-seater design and lightweight fiberglass body.