ferrari 250 gto featured

By Aekkm (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Most Beautiful Cars Ever Designed: Part 2

Every auto designer dreams of being remembered for creating a car that will be considered a work of art on four wheels. In the first part of the series, we showed you some stunning automobiles that will go down in history for their combination of beautiful form married to function. In creating these odes to automobile design, their designers have earned immortality as the creators of undeniable classics. Today, we will highlight five more of these works of perfection that have transcended mere function and become classics, in the second part of our series on the world’s most beautiful cars.

Porsche Carrera GT

The Porsche Carrera GT, released in 2004, is a beauty from the digital age that pairs gorgeous styling with breathtaking performance. With its carbon fiber chassis and an open top, the Carrera GT stands out on the road.

By nakhon100 (Porsche Carrera GT) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By nakhon100 (Porsche Carrera GT) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Wing mirrors, low profile, and sharply sweeping curves define the outline of this beast. From the front, it is slender and low, flaring upwards and outwards as your eye follows the line of the vehicle towards the back. A high spoiler adds a visual accent while also giving the Carrera an impressive amount of downforce. Side air intake scoops behind each door providing visual appeal and air to the mid-mounted engine. Inside, carbon fiber shells provide the seating, and two-toned leather accents envelop both seats. A layered instrument cluster is centered directly in front of the driver, helping the driver to control the 605 horsepower beauty produced by the Carrera’s 5.7-liter V-10 engine.

1965 Jaguar E-Type

When Enzo Ferrari, founder of Ferrari and no stranger to beautiful cars, first saw the Jaguar E-Type, he remarked that it was the most beautiful car in the world. With its elongated hood and sharply bobbed rear end, the E-Type cut a stunning figure.

By Snowdog (1965 Jaguar E-Type) [CC0 1.0 Public Domain ], via Wikimedia Commons

By Snowdog (1965 Jaguar E-Type) [CC0 1.0 Public Domain ], via Wikimedia Commons

Subtle curves and slight flares flowed organically around its straight profile, with the cabin resting just ahead of the rear wheels. The headlights of the E-Type sit in long recessed covers, with the covers engineered to follow the curves of the body smoothly. Available as either a coupe or a roadster and produced between 1961 and 1975, the E-Type turned heads wherever it went. Inside, it was comfortably outfitted with leather seats and vinyl and leather instrument accents. Revolutionary for its day, it offered independent front and rear suspensions to help keep its tires in contact with the road. It was powered by a 4.2-liter inline-six engine that produced 265 horsepower.

Ferrari 250 GTO

The Ferrari brand has produced many drop-dead gorgeous cars, but the Ferrari 250 GTO stands out even from that rarefied group. Its flat front end suddenly flares up to accommodate its engine, with curves tracing a slim outline before flowing into a massive rear fender.

By Mike Roberts from London, United Kingdom (Ferrari 250 GTO) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Mike Roberts from London, United Kingdom (Ferrari 250 GTO) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The swoops and curves of the main body truncate abruptly as they meet the rear spoiler, creating an iconic racing design that would inspire countless other storied race cars. The 250 GTO was never a mass-produced vehicle, with only 39 vehicles produced between 1962 and 1964; each vehicle boasts several unique design cues. The 250 GTO boasted more than aesthetic appeal, however; its 3.0-liter V-12 engine produced 302 horsepower, and its design and handling characteristics gave the vehicle an unusually strong aptitude for racing. The inside of the 250 GTO reflected this singular purpose, with a Spartan interior and an exposed shift gate that would become a consistent Ferrari detail for decades.

Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione

Available as both a coupe and a roadster, the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione is a vehicle of subtle but undeniable beauty, with throwback notes to many of the classic Alfa Romeo vehicles of the 1950s and 1960s. A triple grill adorns the front of the vehicle, with the framing around the middle grill turning into a raised chevron that outlines the center of the hood.

By Keanan from Orlando, United States (Alfa Romeo 8C (3)) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Keanan from Orlando, United States (Alfa Romeo 8C (3)) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Recessed headlights allow the curves of the wheel wells to flow naturally from the front fender all the way to the bobbed rear end. A mesh side vent rests behind each of the front wheels. Inside the cabin, carbon fiber is married to high-end leather constructed with old-fashioned artisanship, and billet aluminum adorns the instrument gauges. The deep-throated engine that sits inside the hood, a 4.7-liter V-8 that produces 444 horsepower, is equally beautiful, creating a car whose performance matches its beauty. The engine is exquisitely tuned to produce one of the most satisfying exhaust notes ever created, with the acoustic rumble of the engine an integral part of the Competizione’s appeal.

Mercedes-Benz SSK

The Mercedes-Benz SSK was the last car designed by Ferdinand Porsche before he set off to establish his own company. Originally produced from 1928 until 1932, the SSK was the preeminent sports car of its era. Its 7.0-liter straight-six engine produced between 200 and 300 horsepower, making it the most powerful and fastest car of its day.

By Lebubu93 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Lebubu93 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Today, it still stands as a testament to the design aesthetic of its day, with open wheel wells, an exquisitely machined tubular body, and exposed intake pipes that hint at its power. A short windshield caps off the sparse cabin, completing the look of the 2-door roadster. Immediately upon its introduction, its short frame and powerful engine sent the SSK to the victory lane of the most prestigious races of its day. Only a handful of these vehicles were ever produced, and each individual vehicle had numerous unique touches to reflect each of their owners personalized style.

Final Thoughts

Beautiful cars come in many forms, but all of them embody the freedom, grace, elegance, and power that the automobile has come to represent. From the very first days of the automobile, all the way up to the supercars of today, the aesthetics of a car are every bit as important to most buyers as the performance they offer. When you shop for a car, how important is its appearance to you? Which of the cars mentioned here is your favorite? Have we left any other noteworthy automotive beauties off our list?

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