t's a question that has been asked more times than we can remember in the past, and one that will most certainly draw our attention again in the future: "What is the most beautiful car of all time?" Obviously every individual has his or hers own likes, but British Classic & Sports Car magazine went one step further by asking those whose opinion weighs in a bit more than your everyday Joe. The Brits polled twenty leading car designers of our time ranging from the awarded "Car Designer of the Century" Giorgetto Giugiaro responsible among other designs, of the Maserati Bora and VW Golf I, to current Jaguar director of design Ian Callum.
Each car designer nominated three vehicles which he believed are the most gorgeously styled cars of all times. And the which car was the winner, we hear you ask? Well, if you were expecting some sort of exotic Italian sportscar or a classic British roadster, then sorry, you judged wrong. The car that received the most votes was the iconic Citroen DS. Not surprisingly, Ferrari secured the most votes as a marque.
Along with casting their votes on the most beautiful cars of all time, the folks over at Classic & Sports Car magazine also asked the 20 designers what they thought about the Citroen DS as well as other cars of their own and of other colleagues.
Source: Classic & Sports Car
1.= Citroën DS
2= Jaguar XK120
2= Ferrari 275GTB
4= Cord 810/812
4= Ferrari 250GT Lusso
4= Ferrari 250GT Short-wheelbase
4= Jaguar E-type
4= Lamborghini Miura
4= Lotus Elan
4= Lotus Elite (1957)
What they said about the Citroën DS
Giorgetto Giugiaro: "The only example of a car really conceived 'outside the box'. It is just impossible to imitate."
Leonardo Fioravanti (former Pininfarina design chief and the man behind Ferrari's Daytona, Dino and 308GTB): "A real road car that, at its time and perhaps still now, has represented the 'dream' in its extreme progress."
Peter Stevens (British great responsible for the McLaren F1 and second-generation Lotus Esprit): "I have always considered the fact that this car was first drawn in 1955 to be extraordinary."
Marcello Gandini (Bertone stalwart responsible for Lancia Stratos and Lamborghini Countach among many others): "At the time I think it was complete folly, madness from a business and industrial point of view… but it was a really innovative car in 1955. A few people may have thought of all those beautiful ideas, but it was real bravery to implement all of them in one car."
Peter Stevens (McLaren F1): "I always intended that the design should be timeless rather than 'of the minute', and that is something that I would use as a measure of other designs."
Ian Callum (Jaguar XF): "It is the biggest challenge I've faced, but I think we pulled it off. I don't think people appreciate how well proportioned it is, given that it's a five-seater."
Gordon Murray (McLaren F1): "Designed as a road car, but went on to win Le Mans, which in my opinion is more difficult than F1."
John Heffernan (Aston Martin Vantage): "When I borrowed one, it was much appreciated by 'bikers of the Hells Angels persuasion, which I liked."
Patrick Le Quément (Renault Twingo): "Some love it, some hated it. I wrote to the president of Renault and said: 'I think you have to vote for instinctive design rather than extinctive marketing.' He wrote back: 'I agree.'"
of Lotus on the Ford GT40: "It's so sexy and has so much presence without really being aggressive."
Paul Bracq, former head of design for both Mercedes and BMW, on the Aston Martin DB9: "It's more beautiful than the current Ferraris. I don't understand modern Ferrari design: the new California looks like a big VW Karmann-Ghia."
Julian Thomson of Jaguar on the Lamborghini Gallardo: "I love the proportions… It's a tiny modern interpretation of a supercar: things like the Bugatti Veyron are totally irrelevant to me."
Martin Smith, executive design director of Ford of Europe on the Lamborghini Countach: "It was like a spaceship, something totally new combining smooth curves with geometric forms. I remember thinking 'I'll never be able to do something as good as that!'"
Ian Callum, Jaguar director of design, on the Ferrari 250GT Short-wheelbase: "A blend of beauty and aggression… I just drool over them, and I can draw them with my eyes closed."
Marcello Gandini on the Cord 810/812: "It was an impressive design for the 1930s, with solutions that could be seen in cars of 20 years later."
Tom Tjaarda, former head of Ghia's studios, on the Jaguar E-type: "A gorgeous car. It looks narrow, like a woman in high heels. It doesn't have the stance that cars have today."
The Designers: Adams Dennis, Axe Roy, Bracq Paul, Callum Ian, Carr Russell, Crijns Steve, Fioravanti Leonardo, Gandini Marcello, Giugiaro Giorgetto, Heffernan John, Karen Tom, Le Quément Patrick, Martin Paulo, Murray Gordon, Okuyama Ken, Smith Martin, Stevens Peter, Thomson Julian, Tjaarda Tom, Winterbottom Oliver
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All the cars that received votes
Alfa Romeo Canguro
Aston Martin DB9
Bentley Continental GT
Bentley R-Type Continental
Bertone BAT 5
BMW 328 Mille Miglia
Bugatti T41 Royale Coupé Napoleon
Bugatti T57SC Atlantic
Buick Riviera (1963-'65)
Ferrari 166 Barchetta
Ferrari 250GT Lusso
Ferrari 250GT swb
Ferrari 330 P3/4
Ferrari Dino 206S
Ferrari Dino 246GT
Hispano-Suiza H6 (Tulip Wood)
Jaguar XJ6 S1
Lincoln Continental (1961)
Lotus Elan +2
Lotus Elan S3
Lotus Elite (1957)
Mercedes-Benz Gullwing 300SL
Pagaso Z102 'Thrill'