Top 10 Most Beautiful Cars Of All Time

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 20, 2015

When buying a new car nowadays, a number of customers will typically look first at engine performance as well as fuel efficiency and carbon emissions. This is not surprising as people are now more environmentally conscious than before.

Once they are satisfied with the engine though, it is then that they look at the interior and the exterior features. However there was a time in automobile history when people treated cars as more than vehicles. People treated them as works of art.

While they may not be at the same level as the masterpieces many are familiar with, these cars are on a level of their own. For some, there is no need to look inside as the design itself is often associated with astounding performance. Not arranged in any order, here are the 10 cars that will show you that art is possible in the auto world.

1. Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic

What kind of beautiful cars’ list would it be if the BUGATTI TYPE 57 SC ATLANTIC was not part of it? Designed by Jean Bugatti and launched in 1938, the T57 is indeed one of a kind. When it comes to mythical cars, Bugatti is the name that comes up in addition to the Ferrari.

Not many know that that this French automaker was in fact founded by an Italian by the name of Ettore Bugatti. During the early part of the 20th century, and with the effects of the war, cars manufactured by Bugatti became one of the most sought after by high society.

That the T57 is a stunning car should not come as a shock to many, considering who designed it. While Jean Bugatti is the son of Ettore Bugatti, Jean was a true genius when it came to auto design and was even dubbed as a "child prodigy."

The myth of his abilities went to new heights with his death at 30 years while driving one of his designed cars. Of the many versions of the T57 made, it is the "Atlantic" that is very famous and considered as the masterpiece.

Part of its beauty comes from the fact that despite having an aluminium exterior body, it had a wooden interior. Though it was launched in the 1930s, its 200 HP engine made it the fastest street car of the period, exceeding a top speed of 200 km/h or 124 mph.

To date, there are only three models of this version of the T57 released. The first one is part of the Ralph Lauren collection though it has undergone a number of restorations.

The second model, though painted in the traditional Bugatti blue, is part of a private collection in North America. Finally the third model that has been painted red is believed by many to have been destroyed.

2. Mercedes-Benz 300 SL

Introduced between 1956 and 1959, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL "Gullwing" was designed by none other than Daimler-Benz though the chassis was a product of Rudolf Uhlenhaut.

Although it was based on a race car, the 300 SL, is considered by many not just as the most magnificent car built by the brand but the most beautiful car made.

The various details on the car, the harmonious lines, and the concavity of the roof are not just the reasons why many consider it as among the best. It is the addition of the "gull-wing" doors that would later be imitated by others.

300 SL is thought of as the rightful heir of the “silver arrows,” the highly successful race car models of the brand during the 1930s to the 1950s.

Thus the 300 SL has a very light yet high performance 215 HP engine. With the weight of the car distributed perfectly, the combination with the engine allows it to reach a maximum speed of 260 km/h. It easily became the fastest car of its generation. The 300 SL is considered as well to be the predecessor of the SL cars.

3. Chevrolet Corvette C1

Chevrolet Corvette C1 was released in 1954 by General Motors. Bruce Springsteen described it best in his song. The American dream runs on highway 9 with its chrome wheel and fuel injection.

The Corvette is not just a symbol of the American Dream but it was also made during a period when there was cheap gasoline and speed limits were not the same.

This car has represented the American philosophy when it comes to sports car for more than 60 years. Wild and powerful, it was the dream of many people to own one.

While the C2 series was arguably more recognized due to the Sting Ray model, it was the C1 of the 1950s that rose to the status of a classic car. The Corvette is truly the best example of art that can be driven on the streets.

4. Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

Released in 1960 and designed by Zagato Studio through Ercole Spada, the inclusion of the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato in this list surely is not a surprise.

While the DB5 and DB7 were made famous by being known as superspy James Bond’s vehicle of choice, it is the DB4 that best represents British supercars. Zagato Studio displayed a limited edition of a modified DB4 during the 1960 London Motor Show.

To their credit, the studio added to this amazing Aston martin model a 314 HP engine giving it the capability to reach speeds as high as 250 km/h.

It was sadly not widely accepted during its launching and its production was limited to merely 20 units. Today however many consider it as the one of the best British cars produced and it can even fetch more than $1 million when it appears on any auction block.

5. Ferrari Testarossa

Designed by Pininfarina as well, the Ferrari Testarossa made its presence known during the period of 1984 to 1991. In the automobile world, when it comes to sports car, the name Ferrari would always be the first on the list.

However this very famous Italian automaker faced a very large problem during the 1980s. It found out that despite its reputation, it failed to form a relationship with the American market.

To address this particular issue, Ferrari made the Testarossa. It remained to be a two-seater supercar and it was not just large, it was very comfortable as well.

Adding to its status was its 12-cylinder engine. Through its air intakes and harmonious lines, the Testarossa became the basis for many of Ferrari’s models in the coming years.

6. Lamborghini Miura SVJ

The Lamborghini Miura SVJ made its appearance from 1968 to 1971. It was designed by Marcello Gandini of Bertone Studio. There is a terrific story behind this particular car. Ferruccio Lamborghini had complained that Modena supercars were very unreliable.

Because of this, Lamborghini was said to have been told by none other than Enzo Ferrari to drive a tractor instead as it appeared he did not know how to drive Ferrari cars. During this time, Lamborghini did not just manufacture tractors but was wealthy as well.

The comment made Lamborghini plan the best revenge there is, to make a sports car that will be better than the Ferrari. While there was still no assurance if the Lamborghini Miura would indeed perform as expected, it showed the world that there was another supercar that was not the Ferrari.

A radical two-seater car, the Miura did not only have a powerful engine under the hood but it had a very aggressive design making it far more advanced than any of the Ferrari models during this time. Lamborghini though was still not satisfied and instructed Gandini to design one to become more exclusive.

The new design came to be known as the Miura SVJ, a supercar with an appearance that remains modern even after 35 years. On the downside, many customers complained that riding the Miura was uncomfortable.

It was not only dark and hot but with the cockpit still near its motor, it had a tendency to be hotter. Even so, aesthetics-wise the Miura SVJ is still one of the most beautiful there is.

7. BMW 507

Designed by Count Albrecht von Goertz, the BMW 507 was shown to the world during the years 1956 to 1959. The 507 came into being due to a crisis that was faced by the brand in the early 1950s.

At this period, the design of BMW was criticized as its designs were obviously very inferior compared to its competitors. Max Hoffman thus charged Goertz with designing a new two-seater roadster that was sure to turn the heads of many.

The result was this model that was originally displayed during the 1955 Frankfurt Motor Show. It became iconic to a degree that many celebrities like Elvis Presley wanted to have their own.

BMW later however stopped the manufacture of the 507 as the production cost became very high during post-war Germany leading to economic problems for the brand. Even then and more than half a century later, it is still one of the best cars ever made.

8. Alfa Romeo 8C

Originally produced during the mid-to-late 1930s, the Alfa Romeo 8C is without a doubt part of what many experts claim as the Golden Age of auto designs.

Many car designers today even use the cars during this era as their “divine inspiration” for the new models that they come up with.

Of the many cars during this era, the 8C was considered a legend as it was originally designed by Vittorio Jano in 1935.

The 8C has experienced resurgence as Alfa Romeo manufactured a limited series of 500 units back in 2007 that was designed by Wolfgang Egger.

9. Volkswagen Beetle

This list would not be complete without the iconic VW Beetle. Some people may argue that this car does not deserve to be part of this amazing list as it carries a rather basic design.

The original design was done by Ferdinand Porsche and unlike other cars, it has managed to survive for 65 years from 1938 to 2003.

Thus people from different generations are able to connect due to them being familiar with the design.

Further strengthening the Beetle’s inclusion on this list is that many of the future cars that Porsche built such as the 911 would not be possible without this well-known vehicle.


While it may not have as familiar a name as the others in this list, the CISITALIA 202 is a Gran Turismo that was designed by none other than Pininfarina.

This is the same company that has designed vehicles for companies like the Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, and Maserati, among many others. It was produced in 1947 and was in production until 1952.

The focus on the design is very clear and it is said to have influenced the design of many coupes during the 1950s. What makes this car part of the list is that it is the only automobile that continues to be displayed in New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Topics: design, top 10

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