Top 20 most beautiful cars in history (aesthetic over performance)

Some car models have stood the test of time and become iconic, whether for their humorous or unconventional lines, athletic flair, or refined discretion. This article is an overview of the most prominent ones. 

Sportiness, elegance, prudence, or extravagance—whatever their defining characteristics—there are car models that, throughout time, have managed to capture the eyes and hearts of the automobile industry. Moreover, numerous rankings have been created to place these cars in a certain order, serving as a sort of accolade based on the preferences of the press and the general public.

Given the risk of not leaving everyone equally satisfied and the protection of constructive arbitrariness, we created an exhaustive ranking of the 20 automobiles that emerged from multiple studies using various selection procedures. 

These scientific studies were based on the "golden ratio," a millennium-old mathematical equation that determines ideal dimensions and symmetries. 

Because the breadth of the parameter makes this a challenging task, we used feature models launched after 1950 as a starting point to restrict the sample to modern styles since the post-war period.

The following are the most beautiful and aesthetically pleasing cars of all time:

1. Jaguar E-Type

When it was displayed during the 1961 Geneva Motor Show, the Jaguar E-Type drew accolades from Enzo Ferrari, who referred to it as "the most beautiful car in the world." 

Now regarded as a timeless masterpiece, it was available in both coupe and convertible models and had a 269-horsepower, 6-cylinder in-line engine. 

It was in production until 1975, before the British manufacturers recently reintroduced it with 100% electric mechanics and a range of up to 250 km.

2. Aston Martin DB5

Since appearing on the big screen as James Bond's automobile in 1964's 'Goldfinger', the Aston Martin DB5 has surpassed the threshold of immortality. 

Produced as an extension of the DB4, it boasted greatly enhanced mechanical components, achieving 282 horsepower and 240 kilometres per hour.

It returned as the motor companion of Agent 007 in "Tomorrow Never Dies" and "Casino Royale.”

3. Mercedes 300 SLs

Better known worldwide as 'Seagull Wings,' the Mercedes 300 SLs marked a turning point in the automobile industry thanks to their avant-garde door opening system. 

Originally built as a coupe, it later saw production as a cabriolet, albeit at the expense of machine's attractiveness.

Production of this exquisite German sports car spanned from 1954 to 1963, with a more recent reissue featuring modern updates in 1994.

4. Lamborghini Miura

Many consider the Lamborghini Miura, introduced in 1966, to be the first true supercar, showcasing aerodynamics at their best.

Inspired by the Le Mans race prototypes of the time (such as the Ford GT40), it has earned a position among the most stunning cars in history. 

Developed by Marcello Gandini for Bertone and manufactured until 1973, its 385 HP V12-core engine could attain a top speed of 300 km/h. 

5. Ferrari 250 GTO

The Ferrari 250 GTO is just one of the numerous mythical productions of the Cavallino brand. Its initials stand for Gran Turismo Omologato, and the number 250 represents the cubic capacity of each of the 300 HP engine's 12 cylinders, which allows it to achieve 280 km/h. 

Produced in limited numbers between 1962 and 1964, it has established itself as one of the priciest at the world's most prestigious auctions, with a hammer price reaching US$80 million.

6. Cadillac Eldorado

Released in 1953, this gem from the golden era of North American manufacturing stood as one of the ultimate luxury convertibles, boasting a body length of 5.62 metres.

Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, and baseball legend Joe DiMaggio chose the Cadillac Eldorado for their garages dripping with valour and prestige.

Many claim it was named after the "Eldorado Country Club" in California, which General Motors executives frequented in the 1950s.

7. Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray C2

A second-generation muscle vehicle by Larry Shinoda, the Chevrolet Corvette, known as the "Sting Ray," debuted in 1963.

It glided on a fastback-style rear cut that became popular during its existence (until 1967) and boasted engines ranging from 253 to 430 horsepower, all of which were made of fibreglass.

8. Ford Mustang

The Ford Mustang was one of the great American fantasies, and it had a significant influence on the market when it debuted in 1964 in both hardtop and convertible forms. 

In 1966, sales surged, and it became established with the iconic 1968 film "Bullit," starring Steve McQueen as the star pilot.

9. Bugatti Chiron

Successor to the landmark Veyron, this French supercar debuted in 2016 with a superb silhouette.

With 1,500 horsepower and a peak speed of 420 km/h, the Bugatti Chiron positioned itself at the top of its class in terms of power and performance.

10. Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione

One of the most iconic works of recent times from the Lombard House, the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione arose from the board of Wolfang Egger, and was released to the public in 2006 in a limited batch of coupe and spider/convertible models.

In addition to the reintroduction of rear-wheel drive, both silhouettes featured a 450-horsepower Ferrari V8 engine.

11. Ferrari Monza SP1

Inspired by Maranello's vast tradition of sports vehicles, this futuristic 2019 single-seater leverages current technological breakthroughs. 

With a 6.5-litre V12 engine and 809 horsepower, it can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 3 seconds. 

In a 2021 study to scientifically choose the most beautiful car, the Ferrari Monza SP1 scored closest to the legendary golden ratio, with an approximate value of 61.75%.

12. Toyota 2000 GT

This two-seater grand tourer, regarded as the first Japanese sports vehicle, sprang from a concept that drew much notice and admiration during the 1965 Tokyo Motor Show.

With almost perfect proportions and an expanded hood with concealed lighting, the Toyota 2000 GT quickly gained popularity in the European market.

13. Peugeot 406 Coupé Pininfarina

Displayed at the 1996 Paris Motor Show, this stunning creation was the work of the Italian genius Pininfarina, who, in addition to designing for Ferrari, had previously collaborated with the Lion brand on the development of the 504 Coupé.

The Peugeot 406 Coupé Pininfarina was constructed in Italy at the coachbuilder's facility in Turin, and became a more economical alternative to well-known sports vehicles.

14. Maserati 3500 GT

The Maserati 3500 GT was manufactured in quantities of 2,200 units between 1957 and 1964, and it is remembered for its individuality and elegance.

The exceptional quality and structural integrity of the welded steel tube chassis set this Italian model apart, in addition to its body lines.

15. Aston Martin V12 Vanquish

The Aston Martin V12 Vanquish was one of the most complex vehicles of its day, thanks to its aluminium chassis and body constructed of carbon fibre and other composite materials designed by Ian Callum. The first generation of these lords of automobiles was produced between 2001 and 2007.

In addition to superior technology and a 5.9 engine with powers of 460 and 528 HP, it went down in history as the official automobile of James Bond in "Die Another Day," with protagonist Pierce Brosnan being the lucky one behind the wheel.

16. Citroen DS 19

Designed by Flaminio Bertoni, the Citroen DS 19 generated a sensation because of its fun nature and excellent profile with noticeable aerodynamics. 

Popularly known as "Jaws" (also "Toad"), it made its debut in 1955 and was the first to incorporate hydropneumatic suspension as standard. 

Its place in history is immortalised by two significant milestones: it sold 12,000 units in a single day, and it saved French President Charles De Gaulle's life during the 1962 shooting attack despite being an unarmed presidential car. 

17. BMW 507

The BMW 507 was a groundbreaking production showcased at the 1955 New York Motor Show. Created by Albrecht von Goertz, it is widely regarded as the most beautiful roadster produced by the Bavarian company.

It had a pioneering, daring, and incredibly sexy silhouette, a high-performance V8 gasoline engine, and laid the groundwork for the lucrative "Z" series that would follow years later.

18. Mazda MX-5

Better known as the Miata, the Mazda MX-5 is a real emblem of both the Japanese industry and its projection to the world. It's a work of art that was once a best-selling roadster.

The ease of handling and dynamic performance were two of the features that elevated this car, which debuted in 1989.

19. Audi TT Coupe

The Audi TT Coupe transformed the automobile industry with its own style of rounded forms. This German sports vehicle, designed by Peter Schreyer's team, was first produced in the late 1990s and is now in its third iteration.

The convertible model appeared a year after its premiere.

Mechanically, it had four-cylinder turbo engines rated between 150 and 225 horsepower, as well as a V6 rated at 250 horsepower.

20. Volvo P1800

Swedish philosophy's customary sobriety served as the inspiration for the 1961 development of the Volvo P1800, a two-door coupé.

More than 47,000 units were manufactured in 12 years, both in coupe and shooting brake or rural versions, in a daring production that marked a watershed moment in the history of the Scandinavian Corporation.