Top 15 Most Beautiful Cars Ever made
You probably won't agree - but here's what are, to me, the most beautiful cars ever made...
It's at this point that you're probably scrolling down to the bottom, contorting your face in disgust, and preparing to tell me what a monumental idiot I am. But don't, because you should at the very least read the first 2 paragraphs.
Trying to definitively decide what is the most beautiful car of all time is one of the great impossibles of the automotive industry. Aesthetics are the most subjective aspect about a car, because they're the one thing anyone can form a valid opinion on without the need to drive the car; all they need is a picture of the car, and 2 working eyes in their skull. But from the title of this article, you’d be forgiven for thinking that I was here to answer the impossible. But no. This blog called “Top 15 Most Beautiful Cars of All Time” does not tell you what the top 15 most beautiful cars of all time are. What it does tell you however is what I THINK are the most beautiful cars in the world, and with that, I need to write one little prerequisite…
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and in this article, I am the beholder. If you don’t agree with my choices, that’s fine - but don’t tell me that I’m wrong, because I’m not. I’m neither right or wrong, because this topic is completely subjective. What you see documented here is my opinion: what is to me the top 15 most beautiful cars ever. This is said through my eyes, and you are more than welcome to disagree – but please don't try to tell me how things look through my own eyes.
Now that little bit of housekeeping is done with, let’s get on with the show (if you haven't already skipped to the bottom)…
15: Alfa Romeo Giuila QV
On The Grand Tour Jeremy Clarkson didn't favour the Giulia's looks. According to him, the car looks like a Woolsley. Obviously, because I made a point in saying how subjective aesthetics are, I also have to state that his opinion is totally valid. But so is mine, and I think that to compare the Alfa to a Woolsley is akin to comparing David Gandy to our aforementioned friend, Clarkson.
I cannot think of a more beautiful 4 door saloon car. Unlike an Audi, Mercedes, or BMW, the Alfa is all about beauty. It doesn't aim to blend in to a sea of workhorses, while combining its anonymity with a whiff of recognisable success; it's here to make your taste buds tingle. And that's exactly what it does.
Unless you're a classic car aficionado, this is probably the first time you've laid eyes on this Maserati. This was a car that was designed to go racing in the inaugural series of the World Sportscar Championship (now the World Endurance Championship) in 1953. But looking at it, there's not a single bone in my body that feels inclined to race this car, as I'm far too preoccupied with looking at it.
The proportions are relatively unusual, yet absolutely stunning! The low roofline makes the cabin look like a headroom challenge – but adds a critical and defining detail to this car's wonderful profile. And the twin exhausts running underneath the sills either side is something you can't help but love.
You can try to break down what makes this thing beautiful, but it’s pointless really. Everyone can see why it's beautiful because everyone has eyes.
13: Spyker C8 Aileron
The need to be contemporary can often fool us into thinking less is more – and sometimes, that's true – but not for the Spyker C8 Aileron. This car is all about duelling its natural beauty with a sprinkling of exquisite details. And it's those details that hypnotise you when you're in its presence.
This car has the power to completely pull you in closer to appreciate all the special little nuances that add so much to this cars aesthetic appeal. The circular side intakes, and the single one on the roof, they all contribute to the Spyker's ability to make your mouth water.
12: '58 Corvette C1
Is there a car in history that's worn white wall tyres better than the face-lifted C1 Corvette? I don't think there has. For this – one of the all time great American icons – wears its white walls with the same allurement as Marylin Monroe wearing Chanel No5.
The first incarnation of the C1 Corvette – which was introduced in 1953 – was unquestionably a stunning looking car. But it took until 1958 for the car to adopt the quad-headlamp design. Many of the other gorgeous details that separate it from the very early cars was carried over from the 1956 C1's, and as a result, what I believe to be the most beautiful American classic was born.
11: Ferrari 330 P4
Technically, a racing car – but it's just too damn beautiful not to be included. Back in the late 60's when this thing raced, people didn't have the appreciation for just how stunning it is like we have now.
This was a racing car conceived before the hand of aero-grip properly slammed down on racing. And as a result of that, there's no wings or splitters to intrude upon this car's sumptuous curves. It is, quite simply, one of the most stunning racing cars ever to grace the earth.
10: Delahaye Type 165
There are many people who think that the 1930's was an era where all cars followed a similar aesthetic direction. Much like the cars of today, in that sense – only back then, the similarities were assuaged by charm. But the Delahaye Type 165 broke traditions by garnishing originality with fantastic beauty.
Wheels encompassed in waves of gloriously sculpted metal, with such a low stance it gives the illusion that the car is simply floating, like an automotive cloud. A cloud however would never be able to project the sheer amount of beauty that this gorgeous piece of machinery.
9: 1955 Alfa Romeo 1900 CSS by Zagato
The Alfa Romeo 1900 of the 50's was a beautiful car that was the basis for many other beautiful iterations – none more so in my opinion than this: the CSS of 1955 by Zagato.
Simplistic, yet breath-taking; quirky in all the right ways. Everything from the lower lights – which to my eyes each look like Mercury scorching as it dances in orbit around the sun – to the single offset air intake. It all culminates to create an exceptionally beautiful car.
8: Jaguar E-Type/XK-E
You can't really call yourself a car enthusiast if you are unaware of the compliment Enzo Ferrari gave the E-Type Jaguar. For he said that the E-Type was, quite simply, "the most beautiful car in the world".
That viewpoint couldn't have been further from the opinion of Jaguar managing director, William Lyons, who upon seeing the E-Type for the first time was completely deflated, to the point where he predicted the car wouldn't sell, all because he thought it wasn't pretty. The big question now is: was Mr Lyons suffering from some sort of distorting disease of the retina?!
I will always stand by the belief that the E-Type is the one car that can explain the love of cars to anyone who doesn't understand just by driving passed. It is everything that can summarise the mad, capricious, and occasionally illogical reasons why we adore cars – just by being what it is.
7: Aston Martin Vanquish (2nd Generation)
In the world of modern automotive aesthetics, there are usually 2 places you can go to if you want to be guaranteed a pretty car: Alfa Romeo, and Aston Martin. In regards to Aston, some may complain that the reason all Astons are pretty is because – apart from the new DB11 – they all echo the same design direction, and therefore were boring. If you do however think that, then to be honest, you're a tiny minded idiot!
The 2nd generation Vanquish encapsulates everything that was magnificent about Aston's now old styling formula. It culminated everything from their series of V12 GT cars, and refined and sharpened all the most beautiful elements to craft a shape that completely steals your heart at first sight. If I were wealthy enough for the choice between the Vanquish and an F12 to be a genuine concern, I wouldn't be bothering with the Ferrari. I'd take the Aston all day long.
6: Porsche 356 Speedster
Question: if you take a Volkswagen Beetle – or KDF Wagen as it was originally known – and intend to create a performance version of it, what do you end up with? You end up with one of the most unbelievably beautiful things ever to be put on wheels: the Porsche 356.
The original 356 was always a glorious looking thing, but I believe it wasn't until 1954, and the introduction of the Speedster version, until it took its most beautiful form. It may have been hopelessly impractical – with a low, raked windscreen, and a subsequently low soft top that didn't allow anyone with a head to sit inside – but as a visual object, it was beyond fault.
5: Ferrari 250 GTO
And so we find ourselves drooling over another classic racing car – a racing car that many hold as the most beautiful car ever made. It's not difficult to see why such a belief exists.
Back in 2013, a 250 GTO sold at auction for $38,115,000 – setting a new record that still hasn't been surpassed. That is just what some people – with rather deep pockets – are willing to pay to have this piece of Italian moving art sitting in their garage under cover.
As tragic as it sounds to simply have it sitting unseen and unappreciated, if you'd just spend such an enormous amount of money on it, would you want to drive it on the public roads and risk Johnny Transit Van hitting you up the jaxy? I sure as hell wouldn't!
4: Mercedes 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe
"Why isn't this a 300SL?" is probably what the majority of people are thinking at this point. But for me, there are a number of little details that separate the SLR from its 300SL brother.
The position of the headlights, sat atop of the wings just as they begin to flow down like a waterfall; their oval shape with that dark hue background; the shape of the wings, so proud yet elegant; the modest bulge on the bonnet; and the single offset vent.
Exhausts sprouting out perfectly from the sides, as though the power and noise couldn't possibly contain itself on its journey rearwards. I once had a curry that could be described in a similar fashion. But anyway...moving on!
3: Singer 911 Targa
The Singer 911 is a car that could only have been built by someone who absolutely adores cars. Based on a 964, it is the culmination of the best of everything throughout the air-cooled 911 saga, and finished with an attention to detail no 911 that's ever come from Porsche has ever seen.
To my eyes, the Targa is the most beautiful version of the Singer. Some may think I'm rude in giving such credit to Singer for the design as opposed to Porsche – but when you compare the Singer 911 Targa with the 964 Targa, you suddenly realise that the Singer is by far the better looking car.
The details are extraordinary! Everything from the 5 leaf-clover wheels to the simple yet glorious shape of the wing mirrors showcases a level of beauty that hasn't touched any 911 before it. It is strong evidence for the case that people who love cars more than anything else make some of the greatest cars.
2: 1952 Alfa Romeo C52 Disco Volante
I will never forget the first time I laid eyes on this Alfa. Even with legs of steel, trembling knees was the most gentle side effect of being in its presence.
Falling over in rapture is just part of the process of drinking in this car's divine aesthetic facets. But despite the fact that this car was a child of the early 50's, those glorious lines owe their shape to science and not someone's paintbrush.
Crafted so it would simply glide through the air with the slipperiness of an oily eel, the C52 was one of the most aerodynamic cars of its time. If only all aerodynamic exercises could result in such unwavering beauty.
Before I get to unveiling what is my No1 pick, in a manner akin with something WatchMojo would produce, here are a few honourable mentions:
Alfa Romeo Giuila Spider
Ferrari 250 California
Aston Martin Db4 GT Zagato
1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B
1: Aston Martin V8 Vantage
The Aston Martin V8 Vantage is one of those cars that can fill a person up with the sort of flutters they'd feel upon being winked at by Margot Robbie. It is an achingly, painfully, desperately beautiful thing to behold! To me, it has no equal in regards to its looks.
This motoring journalism business is essentially just a series of moments in which so called "professionals" try to describe what words cannot possibly convey. That would be me if I put my poet's cap on and started romanticising about just how beautiful the baby Aston is – but I'm not going to, because the aesthetics of this car can most accurately be described with simply a noise: the gasp as it steals the breath from everyone who looks at it.
So, now you know what I think are the most beautiful cars ever made. Next week, be sure to tune in again, as I'll be looking at things from the other end of the scale. Yep, next Monday the 1st of May on my tribe Speed Machines, it's time for "The Top 15 Ugliest Cars Ever Made".
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Written by: Angelo Uccello
Tribe: Speed Machines
Facebook: Speed Machines - DriveTribe