Let’s face it, there are some extremely ugly cars out there. Practicality typically trumps style in the car design process. There are good reasons for this, but it is still an especially good turn for the books when a car emerges that is as beautiful as it is practical. Here is a not-quite-comprehensive list of the most beautiful cars ever to hit the road.
This list would not be complete without a mention of Ferrari’s ultimate 1990s supercar: the F50. Produced exactly 50 years after the first Ferrari tore out of the factory, the F50 was everything a top-of-the-range Ferrari should be. It was fast as hell, looked like a fighter jet, and was packed with beautiful hand-stitched furniture. F50s are worth a pretty penny these days. If you have an example in your possession and keep thinking, ‘I should sell my super car,’ then now is as good a time as any to get your precious cow off to auction.
Aston Martin DB 5
The British car industry is not exactly known for producing practical vehicles. The island nation does, however, create some stunning-looking vehicles. What could be more stylish than the car tossed around Europe by famous spy and martini drinker James Bond? The fictional spook took to the roads in a customized DB5 in arguably the most famous Bond movie: Goldfinger. Production DB5s did not have an optional ejector seat for thwarting henchmen, but they did have the same beautiful sleek styling of Mr Bond’s car. The DB5 was the ultimate car for glamorous heirs and heiresses in the 1960s. Thinking of driving to the Amalfi coast to drink cocktails with movie stars in 1965 after your trip to Monaco? You’ll be wanting one of these, then. The DB5 was compact and looked especially good in a silver finish.
Supercars might be beautiful, but they are not exactly accessible. All of the cars in the first half of this list were only ever really available to extremely rich people. Style and beauty, however, are not attributes exclusively possessed by expensive vehicles. Some of the most dazzlingly stylish cars ever made were budget models designed to appeal to the mass market. Case in point: the Morris Mini/ Mini Cooper. The Mini was released by the British Motor Corporation in 1959 under its Morris and Austin badges. When it was first unveiled, a new Mini would only cost around 500 British pounds. This was perfect for the British post-war market. British families were only just escaping the austerities of wartime and could largely not afford large cars.
The mini had great performance for its price, but most importantly (as far as this list writer is concerned), it was an instant design classic. Space restriction sometimes breeds aesthetic innovation. Such was the case for the Mini, which had an adorable stumpy body, rounded headlights, and an oh-so stylishly cramped interior. An enduring classic without a shadow of a doubt.