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20 of the world’s most beautiful cars

Every fifteen years or so, Autocar staffers past and present assemble to decide on the undecidable: a list of most beautiful cars ever made.
Hundreds of new cars have been launched since the last list was put together. Despite the fact that safety regulations have undoubtedly complicated the lives of designers, they’ve still managed to create cars handsome enough to break into not just the full list of 100 cars, but right into the holy of holies: the top 20. Which we bring you here.

1961 Jaguar e-Type Series 1 Coupé



1970 Lamborghini Miura



Ferrari’s most striking mid-engined car, offering an irrestible combination of power and pleasing proportions

1959 Ferrari 250 GTO SWB


Another ultra-functional racer for the road that over-delivers on purity of line and near-sexual surfacing

1984 Ferrari 288 GTO




[caption id="attachment_5665" align="aligncenter" width="640"]1984 Ferrari 288 GTO 1984 Ferrari 288 GTO[/caption]

Ferrari’s most striking mid-engined car, offering an irrestible combination of power and pleasing proportions
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[caption id="attachment_5667" align="aligncenter" width="640"] 1963 Porsche 911[/caption]

The first 911 appeals for its stark simplicity, its aerodynamic lines and its almost human ‘face’

1962 AC Cobra 289



Simple but potent, the Cobra took a relatively inoffensive British sports car to a whole new level of performance

1962 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato



An Aston that wasn’t created in Feltham, Newport Pagnell or Gaydon, the Milan-crafted Zagato uses curves to denote strength

2001 Aston Martin Vanquish


Immediately identifiable as an Aston, the Vanquish began a design dynasty that lasted for over ten years

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1954 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing



Hoist the doors skyward and hinge the steering wheel away and you’re into an unreal world of aviation ideas and materials – and 180mph

1964 Ferrari 275 GTB



The shallow glasshouse looks shouldn’t really work, but they do: the 275 was a rapid and refined grand tourer

1938 Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic



Mobile art, and now with Old Master prices to match, the Bugatti Atlantic was as extravagant as it was exquisite

1962 Ferrari GTO



In the early 1960s, Ferraris were all about scalpel-sharp V12 engines: delicately carved bodyshapes were just a bonus

2004 Porsche 911 (997)


The 997 update of the 911 was one of the most successful in this iconic sportster’s long history

2004 Aston Martin DB9



Early DB9s might have lacked a little in terms of build quality but there was no doubt about its visual integrity
The 10 Most Beautiful Cars of All Time

1957 Ferrari TR250


Pure motorsports function comes to the road in Ferrari’s ‘gentleman’s racer’, an apparently random collection of panels that somehow works

1956 BMW 507



Flattening BMW’s famous ‘kidney’ grille shape added extra elegance to the 507’s Italianate looks
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