Cast your vote for the most gorgeous car body! These are the prime contenders.
Continuing our popular series, we are going to celebrate the most exciting and eye-pleasing body styles in car design, from last 70 years of the automobile era. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but surprisingly, some cars possess what can be considered "a universal beauty" - no matter what your taste, or where you're coming from, you may end up enchanted. It's easy to pacify even a hypothetical alien monster, if you arrive in one of these sensuous rides - or you can make a very fast escape, if things go wrong.
Italian Stylists Present: Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, by Franco Scaglione - 1967
Continuing the string of enchanting designer bodies for Alfa Romeo in the 1950s and 1960s (see the Pininfarina custom body for Alfa Romeo 33, for example - revealed at Paris show in 1969 and discussed in our previous article), Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale ("Street") is another curvaceous beauty, as desirable as it is rare:
The street version of the Alfa-Romeo Tipo 33 racing car was designed by Franco Scaglione, a major talent who just left Bertone studio, and went free-lancing... apparently losing none of his master touch.
The first production vehicle to have "butterfly" doors, the first mid-engined Alfa Romeo road car appeared at Milan Motorshow in 1967. Its voluptuous, nicely proportioned shape many consider to be one of the most beautiful designs ever:
On a racing track the car was intended to lock horns with Ferrari (that was promoting its own famous Dino 206S back then) and with a line of 910s from Porsche. The 33 model performance was called "unprecendented": indeed, considering it went from 0 to 60mph in just 6 seconds - and could reach maximum speed of 162 mph (260 km/hr) - making it a true supercar at the time! Perhaps even better than Ferrari Daytona...
(image credit: Phillip Leemans)
Only 18 such cars have been built, mostly due to their astronomical price. Some versions had entirely different front-end styling (I find it quite a bit tamer and less flamboyant):
(images credit: Wouter Melissen / Rob Clements)
The 33 Series Alfa-Romeo chassis proved to be attractive to numerous stylists, among them Bertone, Pininfarina, and Ital Design from 1968 to 1976. In the next articles we'll try to cover these rarities as well.
"Muscular, aggressive and sensual, the 33 Stradale was magnificently sculpted"
The German Style:
Could it be the neatest-looking German supercar from the 60s?
As we all know, Porsche designers rarely change body styles, preferring to stick to the same "good old" look for decades. However, there was one model, perhaps easily overlooked, sandwiched between canonical 911 and variations on 550 Spyder - the drop-dead gorgeous Porsche 904 Carrera GTS:
Porsche 904 Carrera GTS (1963-1964) was no slacker in every department. Coming from a premier sports car manufacturer it's got what it takes to compete on the track - but the street version is even more exciting, bringing these sexy curves to the highway. On a closer look, the car even had "garters", funky-looking leather hood straps... Not to mention that it makes great scale model toys (I remember having one as a kid) -
The 904 model debuted in 1963 as an answer to the new great cars from Alfa-Romeo and Abarth in GT class. Since then it has become one of the most collectible Porsche models, a fascinating page in the marque's history.
Note the uncluttered back-end styling and the compact aerodynamic look, taking advantage of its short-base chassis:
Proving the versatility of this car, it won a second place in a snow-covered 1965 Rallye Monte Carlo. Imagine sending this sculpted metal rocket around snow-covered road curves, ripping through the silent winter forest... tasting the car's exclusivity and power:
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