The Most Beautiful Cars Ever Made

5 best looking cars of all time

First thing is first this is a very subjective topic and different people have different views. This is my view of 5 of the most beautiful cars of all time. The strange thing is that while we disagree with many other motoring enthusiasts we all seem to agree with number one, the most beautiful car ever made. A lot of the lists I’ve seen are typically dominated by British and Italian sports cars, I believe there’s a conservative approach that people use, they follow a guideline which has been set and naturally that will always lead to the same cars.  What guideline did I use in formulating this list? Simple, what looks beautiful and what doesn’t. This means that every manufacture was considered. Pedigree and racing history were not part of this assessment, sorry Enzo. Beauty. Aesthetics. Easy on the eye. That’s it.

As you will read you will realise that the list consists of both old and new cars. There is a weird culture that lives in motoring circles where we ignore the latest cars and pretend that none can be as beautiful as those from decades ago.

Unfortunately I had to limit my selection to 5 cars, these are the four that were also in the shortlist, the Nissan Skyline R34 GTR, 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, 1967 Toyota 2000 GT and the BMW e9 3.0 CSI.

Nissan R34 Skyline GTR, Picture courtesy of StanceNation
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO
1967 Toyota 2000 GT
  1. BMW e82 1 Series ///M Coupe

This is one car that defies all the rules that typically makes a car make it on to lists like these. How? Simple, when a car is made it is originally intended to be a coupe, roadster, sedan, etc manufacturers then hop on and try to develop other forms of this car this often ends up in a compromise when it comes to aesthetics because the lines and general shape of the car were created for one form and then have to be adapted to suit another form.  The current trend is to create sedan versions of hatch backs. Think Audi A3. Ask any artist, builder, architect or whatever and they will tell you it’s always easier to start on a blank canvas than try to edit someone else’s work or even your own. This is also possibly why there are no convertibles on this list, as majority of convertibles originate from coupes and sedans  and the result is often a tooooooot looking car.

Back to the BMW 1 Series ///M Coupe (1M), this car was adapted from a 1 series which is a hatch back that is ironically one of the ugliest cars BMW has ever created (there aren’t many). So the 1M seems to have been doomed from the onset. However it defied odds and came out looking devastatingly beautiful, with a truly menacing stance which just screams  ”don’t even take a chance!”  Widened body, scooped bonnet, quad exhausts tips all feature on this car. One cannot help but be reminded of the original BMW E30 M3 when looking at this car or even the legendary BMW 2002tii.

BMW 1 Series ///M Coupe


  1. 2015 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT S

If you look carefully at the shape and lines of this car you will realise that Mercedes took it back to the 50s and 60s with this design, a time when cars were breathtakingly beautiful. The seamless flows of the c-pillars were a work of art. The sharp design of the cars from that era is a marvel to look at. The late 80s and 90s brought us boxy cars and the 2000s brought us very round-ish cars which look quite boring. Mercedes-Benz took it back on this one and they pulled it off.

While the AMG GT also has a Black Series version which is the top of the line, the non-Black Series version looks better. The bigger bumpers, spoilers and body kit on the Black Series just ruin the form of this car. It takes away from a classic clean beautiful shape to some boxy confused looking car which appears to be screaming for attention.  The Black Series version is definitely not for someone looking for the elegance and class which this car offers.

2015 Mercedes AMG GTS
  1. BMW e21 323i

The e21 is the very first generation of BMW’s big seller – the three series. A lot of people are not familiar with this car because it was not available for purchase locally. While a few have been imported and driven around you still should consider yourself lucky if you have seen a fine example of this in the flesh. It looks like The BMW e30 and the BMW e9 3.0 CSi fused together.  Actually I think the 1973 BMW 3.0 CSI deserves to be on this list. The BMW e21 is a beautiful car The not-so-long coupe style body makes the bonnet look a lot longer almost hinting a roadster look.

The 323i also had the placement of the two exhaust tips on both sides of the car an application that you wouldn’t find in any BMW until many years later. The lack of plastic bumpers and plastic all over like its younger brother (facelift e30) gives it a beautiful classic look. While the e30 is a beautiful car and a marvel to look at I do believe that its older brother has an edge over it in the aesthetics department.

e21 323i, Picture courtesy StanceWorks
  1. Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing

This is the one paragraph that took me the longest to write. I just had to keep looking at this beauty. Shakespeare needs to resurrect and come up with a word that describes how this car looks he may then return to resting in peace after completing this task. Beautiful just doesn’t do it justice.

But I wonder if people have considered the drawbacks to this car’s party piece, the falcon styled doors or Gullwing doors as the German brand prefers to call them. Imagine being in an accident and the car flipping on to its roof. How do you open the doors to climb out, now imagine if the car was burning and you now have to start attempting to kick out windows.  You thought that was the only drawback? No, see because the doors need to fight gravity they had to be light. Get where I am going with it? Yes, if an idiot decides to run into you on the side you aren’t as safe as you may think. Anyway this is not about safety. The car is drop-dead-gorgeous and the falcon styled doors add to its presence and drama.

Mecerdes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, Photo credit Ashley Buttle

Mercedes-Benz attempted to create a new version of this car when they created the SLS AMG, all I can say about it is “what an ugly car”, one that should never be associated with this beauty. Thankfully Merc made it up with the AMG GT which is number4 on this list.

  1. Jaguar e-Type Series 1 Coupe.

Three words: Beauty, Class and Style.

Jaguar e-type series 1



Marcus Phathwa

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