Interesting Info 14 Feb 2024

Cars Made With Love

With Valentine’s Day very much on everyone’s minds at this time of year, unless you’ve forgotten and are now reading this post now panicking about where to get last minute gifts, we thought we’d take a look at cars made with love. Vehicles that you can tell were designed with the passion and love of the designer and that are perfect examples of beauty in automobiles.

Since it is February 14th, we’ve produced a list of 14 cars that are considered the most beautiful ever made. A blend of Coupes, Convertibles and Sports Cars, notably none of them were introduced past 1970 but we will gloss over that, but all evoke visions of driving along Mediterranean coastlines in the sunshine, touring through mountain passes in the Alps or parading the lawns at the finest concours competitions.

Let us know what you think and if you feel we have missed any cars out, or feel one needs to be replaced and with which model. Here is our list of the most beautiful cars ever made (in age order not beauty order to prevent any arguments):

1936 Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic

Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic
Image courtesy of

Originally designed by Jean Bugatti, son of founder Ettore, the Bugatti Type 57 was created to be the ultimate grand tourer. Using a powerful engine from the Type 59 grand prix cars, the Type 57 and 57 S/SC (S for ‘Surbaisse’ or ‘lowered’, and C for ‘Compresseur’ or ‘Supercharger’) certainly put the ‘grand’ into grand tourer. But it was the later ‘Atlantic’ that is the most sought after of all Type 57 models.

Based on a shortened chassis and with flowing coupe lines and the now iconic ‘seam’ running all the way down the middle of the car, just 4 Atlantics were built and as such are some of the most desirable cars ever made. The stylish aerodynamic inspired lines are one of the automotive world’s most stunning creations, even Jean Bugatti himself saw it as his most innovative and most valuable creation. Just 3 of the original 4 cars are known to survive and each are thought to be worth in excess of $100million.

1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Mille Miglia Roadster

1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Mille Miglia Roadster
Image courtesy of The Amalgam Collection

As was the way in the early days of racing, the Alfa Romeo 8C was built to be a road car as well as a race car. Using a straight 8-cylinder engine (hence 8C) throughout the 1930’s, it even powered the first single-seat Grand Prix racing car from 1932 in the Monoposto Tipo B. The 8C race car was incredibly successful from launch and as a result demand for the road cars were also high.

Towards the end of the 1930’s Alfa Romeo’s in-house racing team, Alfa Corse, created the 2900B Roadster specifically for the legendary Mile Miglia race with bespoke coach built bodywork and tuned versions of the straight-8 engine. With a 1-2 finish and another win at the Spa 24 hours in the same year, the 2900B Roadster was a roaring success. The provenance and the effortlessly elegant styling of the Mille Miglia roadster, as well as the bright red colour of the Alfa Romeo cars, means that the 2900B is one of the most beautiful cars of all time.

1948 Jaguar XK120

Jaguar XK120
Image courtesy of RM Sothebys

Post-war demand for things a bit more fun and indulgent led Jaguar to show off their new XK120 at the 1948 London Motor Show. Intended as a testbed for their new XK 6-cylinder engine, the car was met with such acclaim and demand that Jaguar immediately put it into production. Named XK120 for its top speed of 120mph, the two-seater roadster was joined by a fixed head coupe and a drop head coupe, each with swooping lines and curves that made the car instantly desirable.

Despite its stunning and stylish looks and image of B-road cruising in the countryside, the XK120 proved to also be a very successful racing car. Appearances in such events as the Targa Florio, Le Mans, Mille Miglia and multiple Alpine Rally events made the car even more desirable as not just a beautiful car to look at but also one that had the performance and sports car racing reputation to match.

1954 Mercedes Benz 300SL

Mercedes Benz 300SL
Image courtesy of RM Sothebys

Produced as a road going version of the manufacturer’s successful 1952 racing car, the W194, the 300SL combined advances in racing technology and lightweight construction to create the fastest production car of its time. Whilst the ‘SL’ stood for ‘super-leicht’ (or super-light) it was the low drag from the svelte bodywork that made the SL so quick, resulting in a top speed of 163mph.

The object of the whole design process was to create a car that was as streamlined as possible and resulted in the now iconic gullwing doors. With the wide and tall bodywork allowing for an inset cabin area, it also meant that traditional doors wouldn’t work so gullwing doors were the only option in order to be able to climb over the high door sills. Not only was this practical but it became a factor that greatly defines the desirability and coolness of the SL. With notable former owners such as Juan Manuel Fangio, Pablo Picasso, Sophia Loren, Ralph Lauren and Frank Lloyd Wright, the SL is one of the most stylish cars to have ever been created.

1954 Porsche 356 Speedster

Porsche 356 Speedster
Image courtesy of RM Sothebys

The 356 was the first production vehicle that Porsche made and began the lineage of lightweight, rear engine, rear wheel drive, 2-door stylish coupes that we know and love today. Of the 76,000 356’s originally produced, it is estimated that over half of them are still in existence, an incredible statistic. The 356 remained as a coupe for the first 7 years of production, before the convertible, cabriolet, rare split-roof and the roadster.

Whilst the coupe was indeed a great looking car, it is the Speedster that enhances the model’s beauty and adds coolness in spades. Introduced in 1954, the Speedster was intended as a lower-cost less equipped model, yet has become one of the most sought after iterations. With the lower roofline and minimal roof cover, the Speedster was an instant hit in warmer climates such as Southern California, at a time when the style and fame of the region had a great influence on the rest of the world.

1956 BMW 507

BMW 507 Roadster
Image courtesy of RM Sothebys

Conceived as a middle ground between the expensive Mercedes Benz 300SL and the cheap and underpowered Triumph and MG sports cars, the 507 was the idea of US automobile importer Max Hoffman. Using as many existing components as possible, the beautiful body was hand formed out of aluminium meaning no two cars were actually the same. With an abundance of chrome detailing, curvaceous lines and stylish interior design, the 507 remains one of the best-looking cars ever made and has influenced more recent roadsters such as the Z3, Z4 and Z8 models.

Despite its stunning looks and appealing profile, as well as a string of notable owners such as Elvis Presley (who had 2), Ursula Andress, Fred Astaire and John Surtees, the sales figures were not impressive for the 507. In fact, despite intending to steal sales from the 300SL by being a cheaper alternative, the model never sold more than 10% of the Mercedes coupe’s numbers. Just 252 507’s were eventually built, making them rare as well as extremely desirable.

1957 Ferrari 250 GT California

Ferrari 250 GT California
Image courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The 250 GT California was the result of Enzo Ferrari agreeing to produce a performance version of their 250 GT convertible specifically for the US market after importers were adamant demand was sufficient. Originally against the idea, Enzo was eventually persuaded and the rest is history. 106 were produced in 6 years, with a half and half spit between long wheel base models for the first 3 years, then short wheel base models for the latter 3 years.

The Pinin Farina design is considered one of the most successful in the history of car design, with its slender yet curvaceous lines proportioned perfectly presenting an elegant yet sporting silhouette. Its stunning good looks and desirability ensure that 250 GT California models regularly swap hands for multiple millions of pounds and many examples come to market after previous ownership from famous or celebrity figures from film stars to racing drivers.

1957 Jaguar XKSS

Jaguar XKSS
Image courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Following the success of the D-Type racing car, Jaguar withdrew from competition with the model yet a number of partly completed models remained unsold at the factory. Keen to recoup some of their investment they converted the remaining models into road going examples with only minor changes to the bodywork in order to accommodate a passenger and to conform to road standards and regulations. The result was the production of 25 XKSS models, unfortunately 9 of which were destroyed in a fire, leaving just 16 examples to be sold to the general public (aside from the 2016 continuation models).

The XKSS was quite simply a racing car for the road with an exceptional 3.4-litre straight-six race engine, a curb weight of just 900kg and looks that have beguiled ever since. With overly voluptuous wheel arches and curvaceous front and rear overhangs for maximum aerodynamic efficiency, the XKSS is one of the most beautiful road and (in D-Type form) racing cars that ever existed and its rarity and provenance has made it one of the most expensive cars of any collection.

1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa

1958 Ferrari 250 TR
Image courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Built to satisfy rule changes for the forthcoming sports car racing season, the 1957 250 Testa Rossa is one of the most successful Ferrari racing cars of all time. With no fewer than 10 World Sports Car Championship victories and 3 constructor’s championships in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. The curvaceous bodywork was a blend of pioneering aerodynamic design and Enzo Ferrari’s conservative approach meaning revisions were frequent in order to remain competitive during races.

In any iteration, though especially in an early guise, the 250 Testa Rossa is widely considered as the most beautiful Ferrari ever built. As a result it is one of the most desirable and sought after models in their illustrious history and as such can command 10’s of millions of pounds at a car auction. Surely any model that is considered the most beautiful of any historic brand is an exciting prospect, but when that brand is the prancing horse of Ferrari, it means so much more.

1960 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato
Image courtesy of RM Sothebys

Taking a car that is already one of the most stunning models ever made and recreating it in your own unique style is no mean feat, but for many years coachbuilders Zagato have been pulling off the same trick. However, in 1960 they produced arguably their best ever creation in the form of the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato. Taking a DB4 GT as a base and reducing the weight whilst creating a whole new bespoke bodywork, the GT Zagato is one of the most desirable classic cars of all time.

Just 20 original models were made, down from the 25 originally planned, yet due to the popularity of the model a further 6 were built using unused chassis numbers from the time. Not only that but a further run of 19 continuation models were built by Aston Martin Works in 2019 due to demand for a chance to own a DB4 GT Zagato despite not being original creations. The DB4 GT Zagato only becomes better and more desirable with age and its valuation is always going one way, up.

1961 Jaguar E-Type

Jaguar E-Type OBL
Image courtesy of Iconic Auctioneers

The endless praise for the Jaguar E-Type surely peaks at a certain Enzo Ferrari apparently saying it was ‘the most beautiful car ever made’. Offered in coupe or convertible form, the E-Type turns head wherever it goes, something it has been doing consistently for over 60 years now. When it was in production it was adored by celebrities and notable figures the world over and has remained a staple fashion accessory for those in the know ever since. Regularly featured and appearing top of multiple Top 10 or Top 100 Most Beautiful Cars surveys and press articles, the E-Type is as close as it gets to automotive perfection.

Over its 13 years of production more than 73,000 E-Type models were sold and its appeal and desirability remains just as strong today. From ‘barn find’ examples to fully restored early models, the E-Type remains at the top of most car enthusiasts wish lists and one of the flagship cars of any collection. Whether cruising down a country road on a summers day in a roadster, or impressing people round a track in a lightweight low-drag coupe, the E-Type remains as beautiful today as it ever has been.

1963 Mercedes Benz SL (W113)

Mercedes Benz SL (W113)
Image courtesy of Iconic Auctioneers

The W113 Mercedes Benz SL was designed as the ultimate all-rounder. A safe yet fast sports car with high performance, that provides a high level of luxury and comfort, it just so happens that the styling is effortlessly chic. With roof up or down, or when fitted with the ‘Pagoda’ hard top, the SL oozes style and sophistication and its design hasn’t aged at all in over 60 years. With lashings of chrome, stylish colour options right down to the matching hub caps, and clean lines that remain retro yet contemporary to this day, the SL looks like it was designed as the ultimate fashion accessory.

Almost 50,000 were built over its 8-year production run, with 2 out of every 5 being sold to the US market. It even spawned a California special edition model without a retractable soft top roof thanks to their temperate climate in the part of the world. The SL is a timeless design classic and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cars ever made, its desirability ensuring that they also remain a shrewd investment.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Image courtesy of RM Sothebys

Following the success of the C1 iteration of Chevrolet Corvette, the brand followed it up with one of the most iconic and stylish American cars to ever exist, the C2 Corvette Stingray. Said to have taken inspiration from the aforementioned Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic and a 1950’s Alfa Romeo spotted at the Turin Motor Show, the long bonnet, fastback styling and split rear window were a staple of the Stingray and defined a whole era of American classic cars.

Unusually for an American car of the era, the Corvette was sophisticated for its time and was highly lauded in the automotive press for its handling, grip levels and power delivery. In one of the most effective forms of product placement it also received unrivalled fame thanks to a very specific and unusual form of endorsement, Astronauts. In the 1960’s they were the rock stars of the era and were famous the world over, and almost all of them drove a Corvette Stingray. This cemented the Corvette’s cool image the world over and ensured it of a place in classic motoring royalty.

1970 Citroen SM

Citroen SM
Image courtesy of RM Sothebys

The Citroen SM was one of those rare automotive moments where the vehicle was way ahead of its time. Thanks to its sophisticated suspension set up and clever engineering the SM excited motoring journalists as unlike anything they had experienced before. The levels of comfort combined with sharp handling and impressive braking was simply not available in any other car at that time and was a revelation during road tests. As well as the hydro-pneumatic self-levelling suspension and self-levelling lights that turned with the steering, the SM also pioneered variable power assist steering and ‘sensitive’ auto-adjusting windscreen wipers.

But it wasn’t all technology and engineering, the SM looked like nothing else too. For its time it was sleek and modern and incredibly aerodynamic with a dramatic interior to match. Everything about its styling manages to be of its era in terms of retro touches, yet is also futuristic and cutting edge at the same time. Whilst its modernist styling means it certainly deserves a place as one of the most beautiful cars of all time, its clever engineering means it would also appear highly on a ‘coolest’ car list too.

Oracle Car Finance

At Oracle Finance we have your new car funding sorted, no matter which kind it is or what age it may be. Our expert Account Managers use our panel of specialist lenders to help you to find the perfect package, bespoke to you and your circumstances. Our team are always on hand should you have any questions about arranging car finance and your dedicated Account Manager is ready to take your call today. Not only that, but our knowledge of the car market means we can offer advice regarding residual values or offer you a free valuation on your current car.

With over 2,000 Trustpilot reviews and a overall rating of 5 out of 5, and as four-time consecutive award winners of the Best Specialist Car Finance Provider award from 2020 through to 2023, you too can find out why thousands of people trust us time and time again to find a smarter, tailored funding solution when looking for your next dream car.

Make sure you follow us on InstagramLinkedIn and Facebook to keep up to date with what’s happening in the market and to see some stunning photos and videos of the amazing cars we fund.