Since I'm starting the thread, it's not fair for me to go first.
But just for the purpose of demonstration, I'll post the ugliest production car ever built:
1962 Rambler American
Aston Martin DB5, oooh yeah!
1941 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet.
Though I have to admit that this advertisement puts the Lincoln Zephyr at a close second!
It's difficult to name just one, so here's my top-10: 1911 Torpedo, 32 Ford coupe, 33-34 Ford Coupe, 40 Ford coupe, 55 Bel Air, 69 GTO Judge, 69 Chevelle SS, 70 Superbird, 71 'cuda, 87 Buick GNX.
Auburn Speedster has always been one of my favorites.
Ask the man who owns one.
Unfortunately, that's not me.
Can't remember if they were still using an all oak frame at this point.
BTW I owned the 1960 version of that Rambler American. Your right, ugly, but for a teenager it had great gas mileage and best of all .... seats that reclined to make a bed!
ford model k roadster, cord 810 speedster, lamborghini islero
Here are my favorites - they perform as well or better than they look.
1905 / 06 Pierce Great Arrow
1909 Model T:
Mercer Raceabout, 1911
Ferrari Barchetta, 1951
David you get up too early for me! The DB-5 did it for me from the first time I saw it. Still does.
You did say "Most beautiful," right? Not most dependable, right?
Alfa Tipo 33 Stradale
alfa tipo (14.6 k)
Most beautiful Brand: Jaguar.
'40 Fords (these are mine).
There's nothing ugly about that Rambler.
I just wish I had one.
Certainly prettier that the Delahaye.
How can model T collectors even think of calling any car ugly? Jeese. Take a look at a '35 Pierce Arrow.
Bob, I dare to differ with you on the "ugliest" car. In my mind, the Citroen 2CV, takes the honor, going away.
Tough one, lots of great ones already listed. For most stylish and longest-lived design, I'd have to go with the Studebaker Avanti--the design is still "modern" after what, 50 years?
For timelessness and brand recognition, well, we're already there: Model T!
That being said, I'm a sucker for the Stutz Bearcat & the Mercer raceabout; the Auburn Speedster looks fast standing still. And then there's the coffin-nose Cord. . . .
Too many great designs out there!! Oh, and engineering-wise, and safety for it's time, Tucker!
The 2CV is so ugly, it's cute!! Nope, ugliest is the Scion!!
Don't get me started. Most Fords from the T era forward were pretty toady, compared to the rest of the market. The immediate post-war cars were hideous with their enormous bulbous ass, as was the 59, 64 and anything built after about 1967 ! Can we say Pinto ? Taurus ? Quick, someone gouge my eyes out !
No carmaker got it right all the time. How could they ? Packard had a good run from about 23 to 33. But a 46 or 52 ??? Not so much ! The 56 Caribbean was stunning amongst it's contemporaries. The 57-58 Chrysler cars shamed Harley Earl, but I find it impossible to compare pre- and post-war cars this way.
My all-time ugliest car vote goes to the Chevette. Not just for being ugly, but for the representative embarrassment it is/was to the American car industry. I'd like to see those responsible hunted down and shot.
My favorite post-war car is the 58 DeSoto Fireflite convertible. It wasn't only beautifully sleek, it was mechanically excellent.
Pre-war ? ... so many to choose from. It truly was an era of grand cars. How do you say "23 Packard" when you are looking at a 1920 Locomobile ?
Any discussion about the "ugliest" is not complete without mention of the 1960 Plymouth Valiant.
I don't know how to post photos from the iPad, but the 1923-'24 McFarlan Knickerbocker takes the sweepstakes for me. Next would be the 1914 Packard (any variation) or 1915 Pierce-Arrow four-passenger touring (the 38 is smaller, but more graceful and still huge).
Derek - You've no doubt heard the one about the once considered idea about combining the Plymouth Valiant and the Mercury Comet and calling it a "Vomit", right?
Since this thread deals with both ends of the beauty spectrum, I am reminded of a friend who remarked a few years ago, "Honda Element.... what element is that anyway, buttuglium?"
Dick - .....and as if the Honda Element was not ugly enough already, most of them had body parts that were just left in primer instead of painting the fenders and such with the same color finish coat as the rest of the car, right?
There are so many, it's really hard to pick, but the first thing that came to my mind was '40 Ford. Like a P-51 Mustang, that thing looks like it is going fast when it is sitting still.
The Cord would be high on the list too.
Here are some BAD ones
Aries K Car
David, the original Scion "box on wheels" is bad, but I'd still trash a 2CV before a Scion box. My second most ugly is the Nissan Cube. I'd like to purposely buy every one produced and personally drive them in a Destruction Derby!
I'm with Joe Van Evera. The Jaguar XK-E is the Lockheed Constellation of automobilesó
Undeniably feline and absolutely timeless.
Bob - I agree except that I've always thought the coupe was even more stylish! Of course I'm only admiring the "styling" here, because I'm pretty sure there's a reason that it's said that you shouldn't have just one, you need a second one for when,......well,......you know,.......harold
Frank, The AMC Pacer was no Studebaker Avanti, but at least you could drop an AMC 401 V8 in one and make one hell of a sleeper! I've thought about it many times.
My opinion has always been the 56 Ford, Convertible, Crown Vic, or Victoria.
The downside of a 56 Ford is the guts .... of which it has none. The 292/352 was a gutless gas hog and the brakes were flat out terrifying in any sort of emergency. Been there, done that. My Super Ford Fanatic Friend Tom marveled at how nice my ex-wife's Fords ran and stopped. My DeSoto would run circles around all of them and had no shortage of panic braking in reserve.
Now, the 66 Galaxie (390/4-speed) we ultimately ended up with was another matter. By then, Ford had figured out the value of performance. Of course, it wasn't as good looking as the 56. :-P
I'm with you on the Cube, although that weird wrap around rear window is definitely "unique".
Still think the 2CV gets amnesty for being so cute too. and efficient. I was in one once, and we were pulled over for going too slow on an LA freeway. Four of us in the car, and the driver was flooring it!
Burger, You have some of your facts wrong. The 56 Ford was not available with a 352, it wasn't available to the late 50's. The 56 was available with a 292/312. It was as fast as anything else that was produced at the time, especially if you got the 312 with the dual four barrel option. I don't know where you came up with the brakes being terrifying. You must have had something erratically wrong with yours, that you didn't know how how to fix. I drove a 56 Fairlane Club Sedan for 8 years and 300,000 miles. Never had a braking issue with that at all or much else for that matter. The only thing I can say about your Desoto is, there are way more 56 Fords around than there are 56 Desoto's. I will say that a 56 Desoto hardtop or convertible was a good looking car, but in my opinion not near as nice as a 56 Ford or 56 Merc.
The 55 Lincoln outclassed the Fords.
I will agree with you. I could never figure out why people would buy a car that was left half primered.
One winter (had to have been about 1983), Anja and I and our (then) two children were going to spend Christmas with her family in Holland. We decided to drive to Chicago, leave the car with friends and fly non-stop from there to Amsterdam. As an economy measure, we decided to drive our CitroŽn 2CV. My daughter and I in the front seat were in short sleeves, and Anja and our son in the back were bundled up in whatever they could wrap around themselves. The wind for most of the trip was diagonally from the front, so I was either in third gear or slipstreaming behind 18-wheelers. Not an ideal car for US highways....
When wifey saw all the 2CV in France in 1966, she thought they were leftovers from the war. I have to admit the vans looked like they were made from quonset huts.
Jaguar never built an XK-E.
There was an XK-120, XK-140 and XK-150, the number was the top speed of each.
They also built another line on cars called C-Type, D-Type (street/race cars)and E-Type.
They built 70,000 E-Types, Enzo Ferrari called it the most beautiful car ever.
Fair enough. A rose by any other name...
The 2CV was not the only car CitroŽn made. In 1976, with my parents' visit coming and a wine tour of France in the planning, I traded our Peugeot 204 for a CitroŽn GS. The amazing suspension of the larger cars was also incorporated into the GS. I really liked that car....
P.S. This is a stock shot. I don't have a digital picture of our GS.
Fat finger error. I meant 292/312. And no, I am not imagining the brakes, or unable to keep them in good repair. My Ford Fanatic Friend Tom, whose stable of FOMOCOS was impressive, asked me to do all his maintenance after driving one of mine. They suck, and one only needs to drive a same year Buick or Chrysler to see the difference. The reason Fords survive in larger numbers is that they were made in HUGE numbers. How many 57 Chevy ragtops were built ? Something around 50K. How many 58 Fireflites were built ? Less than 500. It is no mystery why Fords survive in huge numbers.
I think the 56 Lincoln ranks way up there is beautiful production cars. Even the sedans look sexy.
This possibly belongs in the funny comments thread, but I did read about a guy in California driving a CitroŽn 2CV who was asked on a parking lot, "Mister, did you buy that car on purpose?"
They're all special, but Steve's Packard is the stuff dreams are made of.
Burger, The 57 Fairlane hardtop is the cream of the crop in those years. And the 283 vette was dog meat to a 312. But Iam glad we all like something different. That keep even the ugly, junk cars on the road. Scott
Burger, This post started out asking what your personal favorite car is. To bad you just couldn't leave it at that. Along comes a rock thrower to mess the thread up. I wasn't even going to touch on the fact that you said the 56 Ford had no guts. For the heck of it, I decided to check the Grand National Series for 1956-57. Back then you were actually racing a Ford, Chevy, etc. Of course they were set up for racing, but they weren't the total race car that NASCAR races today, which has no identity to the real car. Guess what? Ford took the Manufacturers championship in 56 and 57. So much for a 56 Ford not having any guts.
When you said the reason Fords survived is because they were made in huge numbers. They wouldn't have been made in huge numbers if there wasn't a demand for them.
What ever anyone thinks, my personal opinion of the best looking car is the 56 Ford Convertible. As soon as I am done restoring my 24 Touring, my 56 Convertible will be in the garage next. From past experience, I know I won't have any problems stopping it
Like some others above, I was struck with the E-Type Jag. I thought it was the most beautiful car I had ever seen! Road and Track magazine had a centerfold of it when it first came out, much as Playboy magazine had in every issue. I put that centerfold on my wall and left it there for a LONG time.
Of course I'm biased, but I have to go with David M., the 1907/08 Ford Model K Roadster can lineup with any car in my opinion. Guaranteed to make 70 mph, the lines say both power and grace. And, it's a Ford:
This has got to be the most hilarious thread I've seen on this forum. If there was an ugly car contest with what's on offer today, where would we start? There's no shortage of eyesores on the road to choose from. Take for example, the modern Range Rover. It looks like a cockroach that's been scuttling across the kitchen floor and someone's quickly stepped on the back of it just in time.
Don't get me started on the designs of today. There is no doubt they are truly hideous in every possible way. Mass produced plastic bubbles devoid of any style, with an accompanying name made from random letters, with vowels appropriately placed to enable some attempt at pronunciation.
Besides, they're not designed to be serviced, and that's just the beginning of my dislike of them.
This is why I own a Model T.
How does the K stack up against the 1912 Mercer Raceabout? They are the stuff of legends, although they made only a few.
The car to beat the Mercer is the Pope-Hartford Portola. Yikes, what a car.
I don't know. It seems cars advanced so quickly (sounds like computers now) that a few years seems to make a big difference. I know a gentleman who owned both a Model K roadster and touring, along with a 1909 Thomas 70 hp runabout, and he said while all were fast, the 70 hp Thomas was faster.
He said of the Model Ks, "they go fast and stop slow" (and he's right).
Well, I would agree that the 56 AND 57 top line ragtops were very good looking cars, arguably Ford's best efforts after the war.
Car guys tend to glom onto one brand or another and defend that make to the end, regardless. Often times, they have never driven or owned anything else to compare their "home team favorite" with. I prefer a more openminded perspective to the times and all that was going on.
Ford was on par with Chevy and Plymouth for decades as the leaders in the low price field. Some years were real winners for each, in terms of looks and design, but they always were the low priced offerings and reflected that in terms of performance. Carl Keikhafer stomped all comers in the 55-56 Nascar circuit with his Chrysler 300's and D500 Dodges. Not sure where you are getting your intel.
Back on topic, yes, a 56 Ford in topline trim really looks like an upscale car for it's great lines and trim detail. They took a lot of styling cues from the Mystere show car, ... one of the coolest show cars of the 50's.
I am with John H. ... I hardly consider anything made after 1970 worth the trouble of setting on fire.
Am I the only one that believes all the best looking cars were built before 1930?
Ford model K, Mercer Raceabout and Stutz Bearcat certainly lead the pack along with so many Packards (among the best looking late '20s cars). I need to add Kissel Goldbug and one of my top favorites; Paige Daytona!
Guess I am just a strictly antique car guy. I mostly lean toward horseless carriages. But I sure wish I could find that 1921 Paige Daytona!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Dan Haynes that Pope-Hartford IS quite the car! I had never heard of one or seen one until you mentioned it. I googled it and you do it a disservice not posting pics! It's very elegant and makes the K almost plain in comparison.
I can't believe no-one has included this one!
1941 Cadillac Four-Door Sedan!
(Pictures are not mine!)
Jonckheere Rolls looks pretty cool.
My vote: Mark V Lincoln. The one in the background isn't to shabby either
Dan and Seth,
I hope you two don't "run up the bid," there's a Pope Portola coming up for sale on a Bonhams auction:
They are beautiful cars, (I had not seen one before either). This 1913 version is quite a few years removed from our lowly Model K (in car years). As mentioned earlier, automobile technology and styling seemed to make giant leaps in just a few years between 1905 and 1915.
I do think the 1909/11 Ts were right up there, with a fair amount of brass work and a moderate to high horsepower rating for the period, especially when comparing horsepower/weight to other cars of the period.
My parents first "new" car was a 61 Rambler. Then we went back to Fords (so I can honestly say I rode around in one of the "ugliest car" vote getters.....).
Fresh off the show room floor. This is hands down the best car I ever owned. Delivered price TT&L $2,595.00. Sold for $125,000. years later. My mistake.
Haha Rob I don't mean to be dogging on the K at all. The white K speedster is a good looking car. I'd literally never heard of or seen a Pope-Hartford until Dan mentioned it in this thread. I know nothing of the engine or the car's dependability. I just really like the curves and the stance - it looks low and fast and well-proportioned. It doesn't hurt that the black one I found has a fantastic finish.
I'm partial to Model T's, I love the simplicity and the usefulness. I like the crude styling. My favorite however is the 1911 Torpedo Runabout. It is just an awesome car.
Some of the million dollar cars, like Delahaye, can hardly qualify as "production" cars. E-types are gorgeous, but I am partial to the XK120, and the best part, this one is MINE!
I agree, a really attractive car (Pope). Two more pre 1910 cars that would make my early top ten, 1907 60 hp Thomas Flyer runabout and 40 hp American Underslung. Both cars were in the 1907 Detroit 24 hour race that Ford set a 24 hour world record. I would choose the Thomas for the engine/drivetrain, the American for styling:
No photo but 1967 Mustang Fastback.
OOOOOOOOoooooooo TIM! You just mentioned my baby. Dream car. This is the real unicorn I'm chasing. I've mentioned it before.
I want a black one with pearl racing stripes. I get goosebumps just thinking about how awesome she's going to be. My dad had one in high school, a GT with the 390 in it. Yowza.
Weird that both photos I found were red, but these are the more original and correct versions, like trying to find a stock '34 Ford.
Seth, You are close. The 1965 Fastback is the one. Iam not finished with mine. So when you get yours maybe mine will be on the road and we can cruise. With T,s its a tour but with muscle cars its a cruise. Scott
What a great thread and beautiful pictures. That said, an expression from my rural upbringing comes to mind i.e. "be satisfied with what you have". (1925 Model T Fordor and '82 Jaguar XJS HE for me). Over 65 years of "playing cars", I've had the good, the bad and the ugly. Couldn't possible name a favorite but my '55 Red T Bird was really pretty.
My dad had a '67 in high school but has decided if he ever gets another it'll be a '65. I really like both but if money were no object I'd have a '67. To be fair mine will be heavily modified, such the tires will really be more like asphalt crayons. With a fuel injection, supercharger, intercooler, and good heads, a 351W stroked out to 408 will make get over 800 HP and over 800 ft-lbs of torque.
1907 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost AX201. The most attractive and suffisticated auto of it's day.
I forgot about the original "Ghost." Good choice.....
So many cars, so little time (and money)
35J Mercer Raceabout
Great looking cars! Do you know the specs? I wonder how they compared with the Stutz in terms of specs, performance and price?
"Great looking cars! Do you know the specs? I wonder how they compared with the Stutz in terms of specs, performance and price? "
Rob, Of all the cars that have come thru our shop and I have been fortunate to drive on the road and race track in the last forty years,
I rate the four T-head Mercer Raceabouts we have worked on at the top of the list. The Austin Clark car seen above which we mechanically
prepped and is going to be one of the Pebble Beach sale is a three-speed as all of the 1911 and 1912 cars were.
The 1913 and 1914 Raceabouts are called the Model 35-J and feature a four-speed transmission which makes a big difference in
acceleration and also being able to choose the right gear at the right time for spirited driving.
A few Stutz Bearcats have also come thru here and while the do the same basic thing, they are heavier, need to be man-handled a bit more
and only have a three-speed.
Price wise a Mercer with a good history usually sells for about double of what a Stutz will bring.
We have another 1914 coming in this fall and am really looking forward to it.
Below is a 1913 Model 5-J for comparison
A 1966 2CV was my restoration project for some years after moving to Spain until I finally brought my Model T over here. That little car transported my wife and me to the 2CV World Meeting in Slovenia without any mechanical problems. I must admit it was a challenge crossing the Maritime Alps between Italy and Slovenia in a car with a 26 cid engine (425cc) developing 18hp. Had to keep it in in low gear, buzzing along at 13 mph while the big trucks passed us. Couldn't even catch a vacuum to help us along.
To the 2CV bashers, I have to agree with David Dewey, the 2CV is so ugly it's cute. ;-)
1910 model 16 Buick or 1910 model 54 Rambler or 1905 Rambler surrey 1
I think the Flubber Mobile was the most beautiful car ever built.
You did the Alps in a 2CV, my hat's off to you!! (better keep yours on, it gets cold on those passes!)
Yours looks great, BTW--as much as a 2CV can look "great"!
My favorite is clearly the Jaguar XK-E. (Aaron, Jaguar called it both E-Type and XK-E and XKE, and I am sure a few more.)
David G., I envy your experiences with Mercer and other cars that have passed through your shop. Thanks for the info on Mercer and Stutz.
A lot of great cars and choices.....
Citroen 2CV - Ugh. Owned one in West Germany for a short time. It did have one redeeming feature - it was a great little runner out on the tank range - until the MPs took our beer and made us leave.
I hate it when that happens (ed). Hohenfels, 1988, 1989, 1990.
Hohenfels - in the winter was a bad place when your employment had you outside most of the time. I worked for Bn HQ and the job I had kept me out of the field most of the time, but when I did go, it was usually during the bleakest parts of winter.
I left in March of 88. And you were there for the tearing down of the wall right?
I was stationed mostly in Darmstadt although I did TDY as part of my job to a number of places, Munchen, Nurnburg, Koln, Stuttgart etc. Even Frankfurt and Ramstien Air Base.
And since this is a cool car thread, I might add that I owned a really nice Mercedes there. It was only 15 years old at the time I bought it - a 1970 280S. Beautiful in and out (remember how well the Germans took care of their vehicles?) and when I was stationed there we enjoyed some of the best exchange rates ever for the DM about 4.50 to 1 so the Mercedes only cost me about $600.
Nice Mercedes. Yes, it seemed all the cars were kept in perfect condition (and always clean, inside and out). I was on Reforger three times and we would always end at Hohenfels.
Munchen (Munich) was one of my favorite places to visit whenever we were able to get away. My wife and I visited Minchen a few years ago and of course I had to show her the Hofbršuhaus. For some reason she was not as impressed as I had been
When talking about the 1907 - 1909 Model K styling one needs to remember that the restyled Ford Model K is sort of a "Chinese copy" of the 1906 American Tourist, with perhaps a bit of the 1906 Winton in there someplace. The original 1906 Model K Ford had a pug nose radiator reminiscent of the 1905 / 06 Ford Model B.
1906 Ford Model K:
1906 American Tourist:
Clearly if you think the 1907 Model K is a great looking car, you are giving homage to the cars that the Model K is copying stylistically. It is sort of like the new Hyundai always looks like last year's Mercedes.
Eric, looking forward to seeing you on the tour. Will you be joining us at Spicer or returning home in the evenings?
Another favorite of mine is this 1907 Stevens Duryea "Little Six." Stevens, along with Ford, Frayer Miller, Franklin and National were the first six cylinder domestic car makers for 1906. I like the long hoods, that were necessary because most of the first six cylinder cars had seven mains and required the additional hood length. The car pictured below participated in the New London to New Brighton tour three years ago, and is a beautiful car:
Rumor has it there will be a six cylinder Stevens Duryea at the New London to New Brighton tour this year (not the same car).
Bob, what a great "thread" this has turned into. So many beautiful cars, that's for sure!
Cars are the most perfect form of functional art. Art with no rules or parameters often shows a lack of purpose. A lot of bad artists hide behind this.
I love the challenge of adding artistic design to a device with a function. It introduces extra challenges. How can something be made a beautiful snapshot of modern design, but also propel itself forward? Cars provide the greatest example of this, and I consider myself an "art collector" of sorts.
What a perfect challenge:
-Make me a piece of art. I want it to be shiny (or not), clean lines, beautiful curves, etc.
-Also, make sure this piece of art can fit a gas tank, 5 people, an engine, water pump, can handle a million little explosions inside, get wet and still stay beautiful. Cars are it for me! Form and function in its most true example.
While I love my Model T, and my 53 Ford Customline, and my '49 dodge truck, for me the car that calls out to me as the most beautiful is very specific (and one I don't own): A four-door, 1952 Hudson Hornet.
What do almost all of them have in common? Long hoods. I'll cast one more vote for the E Type. Love that long bonnet.
Hey, I resemble the remarks above, my daily driver is a Honda Element! By the way, those fenders aren't primer, they're genuine Japanese plastic!
I just finished a camping trip earlier in the week, here is my Element with the optional Honda tent and front window screens attached:
Time to mention the Pontiac Aztec*.
(and my favourite is the XK140 Fixed Head Coupe)
*ugliest, though the Toyota Yaris Verso comes close.
Alfa Tipo 33 Stradale - 2 litre V8 with dual ignition revving to 10000rpm and making 270hp and top speed of 180mph+ in race trim..
It was more expensive than a Lamborghini Miura in its day. Only 18 were made.
#15 on the top 100 sexiest cars ever made
Cheers to the Italians!
I vote for any 1933 1934 they look speeding while
whoops cant edit but thats my father back in the
sixtys. Atlantic Service
sam (as the sign says above the door)
And this rear....OMG
Haha Justin if I were picking on you I'd say "Eh, looks like it wishes it was a Ford GT." LOL
Just a couple of observations. I know its a C$**^&, but the 65 Corvette roadster is niiiice!
If I had to choose an old car it would be Springfield Rolls Royce Phaeton, superb British engineering with absolutely wonderful American late 20's styling.
Allan from down under.
I was privileged to work on a 1927 RR Springfield Piccadilly roadster. Wonderful car, great engineering even! And for T content, it's original owner was the president of the Warford Transmission company! Wish I knew where the car is today (this was 30 years ago).