Every car is, in its own way, beautiful — except, of course, the revived Ford Thunderbird — but some still outrank others. Everyone has a single car that they’d rank as their prettiest, above all else in the stable. Yesterday, we asked you for the best-looking cars you’ve ever owned, and today we’re combing through the answers.
A Karmann Ghia With aStory
My 69 karmann ghia. A friend of mine knew I was in the market for a drivable project VW. He told me about this ghia. I didn’t think I would have the money for a running and driving decent condition ghia, but it was right down the street so I figured why the hell not. He got me into contact with this sweet elderly couple - Mr and Mrs. Ford who told me “to come over whenever I wanted to. We have all the free time we could want.” So I did, and I get there and there your typical adorable, sweet old couple. Mr Ford was just excited to have someone to talk cars for a while and he spent hours showing me a photo album of him and his wife having the car over the years. They had taken it to Europe on a road trip which was really neat. He was sad to let it go because he was just too old to work on it and drive it but assured me he would only let it go to a good home. I got the jist that his kids didn’t really care to do anything with it or any of his automotive stuff after he passed. And I could tell there was some mental stuff going on. He repeated stuff pretty often. After a few hours the sun had started going down, and I still hadn’t seen the car. So I brought it up, he opened the garage and there it was. I just assumed i had had wasted this man’s time because I didn’t think I could afford it. It was just in too good of shape. He handed me the keys and told me to take it. So I took it on about a 15 minute drive with a friend of mine and it was a blast. We got back and he asked me how it was and I told him I had fallen in love with it. He asked if I wanted it and I of course said “yes.” He said “you can take it home for $1,500.” And my jaw hit the floor. I asked repeatedly “are you sure?” And he kept saying “it belongs to you, I know you’ll take good care of it.” I asked his wife too several times and she said she was fine with it too and she wrote the bill of sale. The banks were closed, so I called my dad and he brought over the cash and I took it home. It’s been a bit more of a mess than I thought it’d be. It’s getting a new wiring harness and a lot of body work. But I love it.
With a story like that, the Ghia has to be the favorite of your garage. It’s a gorgeous car in its own right, but to purchase it like that takes it to a whole other level.
A Datsun Z
My Datsun 240Z. The image is not of my car, but my car was exactly the same: colour, wheels, and even the bumper rider!
A classic Z, in green, white, light blue, or orange, remains my absolute dream car. I’ve never even driven one, but someday one will be mine.
I grew up in the 80's and 90's so instead of pining for a European coupe or muscle car from the 60's or early 70's was never really a priority for me. With that said, I have been privileged to own some great cars since buying my first performance car in the early aughts.
With that said, it is a tossup for me - I find two of the three cars sitting in my garage incredibly beautiful. My daily driver is an A7 PHEV in dark blue and while I typically do not find most modern cars as appealing from cars that are 10-30 years old, the side profile of a large hatchback is incredibly fetching. The A7, in my opinion, is the best looking semi-attainable (not 6-figures) 4-door on the market today.
The only car of its kind that I find more attractive is the previous model. Aside from the added cargo benefit, I have always felt that sleek hatches look way better than sedans.
Sitting in a detached garage across from the A7 is an E39 M5 in LeMans Blue.
Most can agree that BMW’s designs from the late 90's early aughts were among its best and one could easily argue that the E39 5-series is one of the best looking sedans ever made. It is simple, elegant, and muscular all at the same time and I love the subtle hints of the M’s prowess instead of the crazy spoilers, grills, and diffusers on today’s M cars. It doesn’t hurt that LeMans blue is one of the best colors to show off this great-looking body.
I’ve long held that silver is the proper color for the E39, because BMW’s marketing worked a little too well on me in my youth, but I may have to make an exception for Le Mans Blue.
I didn’t own this car, but my parents did. 1989 BMW 735i. It’s such a simple, strong design that has aged amazing well. It even looked good in this old-man tan color.
Classic Bimmers truly exude a style untouched by any other automaker. Contemporary Mercedes models were close, but never quite matched the BMWs.
The Final Evo
My Evo 10. Got it brand new in 2014. I think the 10s are the prettiest Evo generations and a pretty car in general, subtle styling in stock form (especially wingless, but they also don’t need a whole lot of body mods and add on to really stand out.
A well-sorted Evo is another bucket list car for me. I may not want to own one (or, at least, it’s not at the very top of the list) but they seem like such a blast to drive.
My ‘01 Mazda Millenia. It was luxury-ish without pretention, smooth, elegant curves in all the right places, and tasteful bits of chrome and flair without being overwrought. I’m probably setting the bar a little low here, but it was easy on the eyes, and the interior was nice place to spend time listening to my Gorillaz and /Maroon 5/ Radiohead CDs.
I imagine there’s an incredibly specific vibe to this situation. Sitting in a Millennia, watching rain streak down the windows on a gray day, “Karma Police” blasting through an untuned stereo. Car and driver, striving for better, never quite reaching it.
The Less-Seen Bonnie
I will likely see no love from this, but it was my 1992 Pontiac Bonneville SSEi.
I owned it for less than a month, because it would just stop running.. It was the weirdest thing ever... No sputtering or anything like that, it would simply spin to a stop... dead.
Mine was white, just like this one. It was beautiful when it was clean. As this picture shows you, it was pretty hard to keep clean...
Fritz’s photo appears to have been Kinja’d, but the Pontiac is no Triumph Bonnie. Still, not a bad-looking car — easily worthy of inclusion on this list. C’mon, this is Jalopnik — you think we’re gonna pass up an oddball nineties Pontiac?
My ‘73 Volvo 1800ES. Bought it 20 years ago for too much money, fixed a bunch of mechanical problems, and it was my daily driver on and off for a long time. It’s waiting on some much-needed attention now, but man, does it get looks.
The P1800 is one of the greatest-looking cars ever put into production, let alone mass production. Volvo, give us a shooting brake revival.
Easily my ‘73 Lancia Fulvia Coupe. Not too shabby in the fun department either.
There are few cars that I have crashed more often in racing games than early Lancias. Does anyone else get a kind of C2 Corvette vibe from these?
More Z Cars
I’ve had 2 93 Nissan 300zx Twin Turbos. The 90-93 with the ducktail spoiler is still one of the most beautiful cars on the road.
If you suggest a Z car for AOTD, I will put a Z car in AOTD. I don’t make most of the rules, but this one I have made. I am a sucker for Zs.
Box and Bean
Do I have to pick just one?
The Fiesta ST is the angry jellybean of Ford’s lineup, but the Focus RS isn’t unlike a bean. Anyway, this is approaching the perfect two-car garage.
Those Gorgeous Lines
Not mine, somehow I never took a picture of it. But basically this car in the “Sidewinder” edition. Big black stripe down the center of the hood and gold BBS wheels. I’ve owned quite a few beautiful cars, but this one had something special.
You can’t go wrong with a Giugiaro design. I mean, maybe if you’re trying to build some sort of hyper-rounded futuristic school bus, but even then I think you could at least take inspiration.
My 1986 Lotus Esprit, very much like this one but without the red lettering and pinstriping. God how I loved that car... and God how it depleted my wallet!!!
I’m back on my Lotus kick, after picking up a The Spy Who Loved Me Wet Nellie pin from One Hell Of A Town. Maybe that old, broken Esprit that was on Marketplace so many years ago is still around...
For me, definitely my ‘71 chrome bumper MGB. The B was certainly less ‘swoopy’ than the A, or the Austin Healey 3000, and similar late 50s / early 60s British roadsters, but in some ways the slightly more subtle styling appealed to me more. Like a lot of those earlier cars, it maintained a bit of that ‘moving when standing still’ look I associated with British roadsters. This was alsoone of the last years before they started getting higher and more rubbery - so while less safe it was definitely (to my eye) a better-looking car. And who among us isn’t willing to trade looks for safety?
I can’t seem to find the ‘usual’ photo I post on here - so this is one from MG’s own advertising.
Back when I lived in Rochester, there was an older guy who would constantly drive his chrome-bumper MGB around. I think it was his daily driver through the nicer months.
While my current Volvo V60 is a very handsome vehicle (and boy do I love those “Thor’s Hammer” headlights), I think I still have to go with my Lexus SC:
The SC300 hid a 2JZ under its hood, making it one of the easier cars to secretly built Supra power in. Sure, it was only ever naturally-aspirated from the factory, but we have kits to solve that sort of thing now.
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