Beautiful Luxury Cars Throughout History
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder — or the driver, in this case. This expression can apply to automobiles as well as people. Although the aesthetic appeal of any vehicle is subjective, some remarkable cars are best described as works of art — they are that beautiful.
Throughout history, car manufacturers have occasionally produced unique models that enchant observers with sleek lines, enticing style and exceptional beauty. Let’s take a look at some of the most impressive artistic accomplishments.
1957 Ford Thunderbird
The Thunderbird that debuted in 1955 was considered by some experts to be a competitor of the Chevrolet Corvette and several high-performance European sports cars. The sleek-looking, first-generation "T-Birds" — easily identified by their iconic porthole windows and classic hood scoop — looked just like sports cars.
2018 Mercedes-AMG GT S
The prolonged nose, swooped-back cabin and coupe body style of the 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT S turns heads on the track or when the car just cruises on city streets. The flagship of Mercedes’ high-performance line of super sports cars evokes images of a long history of sports cars, beginning with the classic 300 SL.
1967 Shelby GT500
Ford Motor Company launched the "pony car" segment of the car market in 1964 with the introduction of the innovative Mustang. While the first-generation cars were alluring, they were underpowered, even by the standards of the ‘60s.
2017 Pagani Huayra
Italian supercars lead the exclusive club of high-performance cars that not only consistently beat the competition on the racetrack but draw attention everywhere off the track. These rolling works of art express a rare and unparalleled beauty with their sleek lines and aerodynamic styles. The Pagani Huayra is no exception.
2017 Koenigsegg Agera R
The Swedish mid-engine supercar Koenigsegg Agera R gives the Italian exotics a run for their money, not only with its lightweight silky-smooth carbon fiber body, but also with its extraordinary power. The Agera produces more than 900 hp and reaches 60 mph in a mere 2.9 seconds, making it the world’s fastest production car in 2017.
2018 Bugatti Chiron
The signature horseshoe-shaped grille has been a design feature of every Bugatti automobile since the phenomenally successful Type 35 race car in the 1920s. While many believe the shape derives from a horseshoe due to founder Ettore Bugatti’s love of horses, the grille’s form actually mimics the shape of an egg.
1990 Ferrari F40
Perhaps the most characteristic feature of the mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive Ferrari F40 is the massive wing that adorns the rear of the race-car-style body. Designed to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Ferrari automobiles, the model was the last car approved by Enzo himself.
2005 Maserati MC12
Under the Maserati MC12’s beautiful and elegant coachwork lies the mechanics of the Ferrari Enzo. Although they share parts, the differences between the two cars are significant. The massive rear spoiler on the Maserati produces more downforce than is produced on the Enzo.
1995 McLaren F1
Only 64 of the 106 McLaren F1s made from 1992 to 1998 were road-legal machines when they left the factory. Experts claim no other car influenced the supercar segment like the McLaren. The design was revolutionary.
1965 Maserati 3500 GT
Maserati began production of the 3500 GT in 1957 with only 18 cars. However, many more — 2,226 in total — were produced when Maserati withdrew from motor racing to focus on Gran Turismo road cars. The GT helped save Maserati from the company’s economic difficulties at the time.
1980 BMW F1
While the 1980 BMW F1 strikes a menacing figure on the racetrack with its characteristic "kidney grille" and monster rear spoiler, perhaps it’s the famous powertrain that is most remembered. The BMW M12 engine, designed in the 1960s, became one of the most successful engines in the history of Formula 1 racing.
1913 Rolls Royce Ghost
Driving or riding in a Rolls-Royce brought the same enormous prestige 100 years ago that it carries today. In 1907, the respected publication Autocar coined the phrase "best car in the world," referring to the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. It was the hypercar of that era, and no other car came close to its speed and luxurious appointments.
2017 McLaren P1
Introduced in 2013, the P1 is McLaren’s second production supercar and the most powerful road-legal car the company has produced to date. Using a hybrid drivetrain, the P1 LM, a street-legal variant of the P1 GTR, has a total power output of 986 hp and 774 lb-ft of torque.
2017 Lamborghini Veneno
Based on the Lamborghini Aventador, the Veneno is a limited production supercar built to celebrate Lamborghini’s 50th anniversary. Typical Lamborghini lines characterize the extreme proportions of the Veneno revealed in the forceful arrow-shaped front-end and the alternating razor-sharp lines and silky, tight surfaces.
1987 Porsche 959
Car and Driver described the ’87 Porsche 959 as nearly perfect: "What single word more accurately describes a car that combines race car performance with luxury sedan comfort, that is equally adept at commuting through rush-hour traffic, profiling in jet-set locales, negotiating blizzard-swept mountain passes and outrunning light airplanes?"
1965 Ford GT40 Mk II
Ford Motor Company designed and built the GT40 with one goal: Beat Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. The Italians had won every year from 1960 to 1965. While two GT40s with 427 CID Galaxie engines showed well in the ’65 race, they were ultimately retired due to transmission problems.
2020 Tesla Roadster
The 2020 Tesla Roadster demonstrates that an electric car can be as sleek, elegant and stylish as its traditional gas-powered competitors. What’s more, the EV outperforms even the most expensive high-performance supercars. The Roadster utilizes two electric motors, both front and back, powered by a 200-kWh battery that gives the EV a range of up to 620 miles under normal driving conditions.
2020 Mercedes-AMG G63
Only diehard Mercedes G-class enthusiasts would claim that the AMG G63 is a beautiful machine. On the contrary, it’s essentially a box on wheels. The beauty of this vehicle isn’t in its aesthetic appeal, but in the features that make it a first-class off-road vehicle that is also comfortable to drive on city streets.
1993 Jaguar XJ220
Jaguar has a history of building some of the most beautiful, luxurious and well-respected sports cars in the world. The graceful lines and aerodynamic bodywork make the automobiles worthy of the label "work of art."
1935 Jaguar SS 100
In the 1930s, it was common practice to give products animal names. Hence, the Jaguar moniker for this 1935 SS 100. The number 100 referred to the maximum speed (optimistic) of the vehicle. Only 308 SS 100 roadsters were produced from 1935 to 1939, and only 190 had 2-liter engines.
1967 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale
The 1967 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale — literally meaning "street legal" — is considered by many to be the first modern supercar. The gorgeous mid-engined two-seater — based on the Tipo sports prototype racing car — was the fastest production vehicle for the standing kilometer when introduced. The 2.0-liter V8 engine generated 227 hp and 152 lb-ft of torque.
1963 Chevrolet Corvette
The 1963 Corvette model year is often remembered as the first year Chevrolet used the "Stingray" name. It referred to one of the two models introduced (the other being the convertible). The exceptional Stingray featured elegant flowing body panels and compound-curved side windows that made it an aerodynamic masterpiece well ahead of its time.
2004 Porsche Carrera GT
In 2004, Porsche unveiled an exotic mid-engined supercar that no one expected, but it piqued the interest of many well-heeled enthusiasts. Based on a Porsche Le Mans race car design that never came to fruition, the Carrera GT boasts a 0-to-62-mph acceleration time of 3.9 seconds.
2001 Lexus LFA
The appearance of the 2001 Lexus LFA is cutting edge, to say the least, even when compared to the unique style of a Ferrari 458 Italia. The LFA form was partly influenced by the 4.8-liter V10 positioned in the back in the front engine bay. Lexus achieved a 48% front and 52% rear weight distribution.
The Talbot-Lago was once labeled as outrageous, shocking and even vulgar. Sir William Lyons, Jaguar's creator and designer, said, "The lines of that car are positively indecent." However, today’s experts consider the teardrop design of the Talbot pleasing to the eye, making the exotic 1930’s car one of the most beautiful and stylish in the world.
1954 Chevrolet Corvette
By today’s standards, the 1954 Chevrolet Corvette is not an exceptionally beautiful automobile. Its beauty and allure come from the 60-plus years of Corvette history that followed. Chevrolet built only 3,640 Corvettes in 1954, and sales were disappointing. Nearly a third were unsold by year’s end.
2018 Aston Martin DB11
Aston Martin sports cars are featured in seven James Bond films, but the DB5 is perhaps best known for its role in Goldfinger. Few can forget the passenger seat eject feature activated by a button on the gear shift knob.
1967 Toyota 2000GT
Toyota has produced millions of sturdy and well-built cars over the years, most of which were Land Cruisers, mini pickups and Coronas. Before it became an auto industry giant, the company built an exotic supercar, the 2000GT, that boasted a seven-main-bearing, 2.0-liter DOHC in-line 6-cylinder engine. With a top speed of 131 mph, the 2000GT broke 13 endurance and speed records at Japan's Yatabe test circuit in October 1966.
2001 Lamborghini Diablo
The Lamborghini Taurus logo wasn’t a fierce enough figure to convey the aggressive posture the company wanted for their new supercar, so they named it the Diablo (devil in Spanish). The high-performance mid-engine sports car produced between 1990 and 2001 was the first production Lamborghini with a top speed exceeding 200 mph.
1983 Ferrari 288 GTO
Road and Track claimed the Ferrari 288 GTO was a pioneer, "Has there ever been a better-looking high-performance mid-engined sports car? Prettier ones, perhaps…but never one so perfectly proportioned, so perfectly melding pure aggression with beauty."