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Attractive Older Cars and Why You Think So

Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,421
edited March 6 in Mazda
Those are pretty good lists, and made with a good eye, all in all, and I can live with most of them (scratch the Monte Carlo and I'd be happier) as long as I keep the word "style" in mind and don't let "size" get in the way. It's interesting that some cars only look good BIG and some look good SMALL, and when a big car is too small or vice-versa it doesn't work for me.

I think the last generation RX-7 was a beautiful car in that it was modern but restrained...not a superficial scoop or piece of phony anything on the car...just right.

Sometimes only time can judge a car's beauty...one rule of thumb I've relied on is whether a car still looks good when it's stripped and lying in a wrecking yard...like the 70s Alfa GTV sedan, a clean Bertone design that even looks good wrecked with pieces missing. Can't say that for the Monte, IMO.

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Comments

  • bubukittybubukitty Posts: 96
    I am glad that this topic was started! I think the gamut was covered on the ugly car topic!

    Here are some of my favorites:

    Jaguar XKE (series one covered headlight) from the early and mid 60's---still timeless
    Chevy Corvette mid year coupe and roadster ('63-'67)-absolutely perfect.
    Ferrari 250 GTL (Lusso). An amazingly beautiful car. Most of the '60's Pinninfarina Ferraris are amazing designs--too many to list here.
    Maserati Ghibli. What a car!
    Lamborgini Miura. Just beautiful.
    Iso Grifo. Italian Style with American power.
    Alfa Romeo boat tail spider (late '60's).
    Alfa Romeo 2000 & 2600 Spider (early 60's).
    Mercedes 230-250SL roadsters.
    Mustang '67-'70, including Shelbys
    Camaro '67-'68 and '70-'73
    BMW 507 roadster (late 50's)
    BMW 2800 & 3.0 cs/csl coupe
    BMW 6 series coupe

    There are others than this, but these are some of the main ones I think are great. Some mentioned earlier too like the '63-'65 Riviera and the Miata.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,421
    yep, yep, like 'em all for style.

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  • tbirdtonytbirdtony Posts: 2
    The best looking car of all time is the 1957 Ford Thunderbird. Other great looking cars include:
    65 to 69 Mustangs.
    65 to 70 Shelbys.
    57 Chevys.
    63 Chevy Impala 2 door hardtop.
    63 Falcon convertible and Ranchero.
    66 & 67 Fairlane GT & GTA.

    My opinion.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    My opinion for best looking cars are as follows:

    Imports:

    Mazda Miata--Wouldn't want to drive one, but they are kinda cute.

    Jag XJ6/8/12/R/whatever else they call the thing--I'd have to give it to this car hands down in the looks department. Even the 80's models with the clunky black bumpers and square headlights look good.

    Jag S-type What can I say, I have a thing for Jaguars!

    Domestic

    Late Model Taurus (Just kidding. I'm not like, you know, high on pot or anything!)

    Late 70's Early 80's Ford/Lincoln/Mercury Full sized cars...Crown Vics (except they were called LTD's back then) Grand Marquis's Town Cars, the like. Also the Caddies from this period (except the one with the chopped trunk)

    Buick Regal Don't know what it is about that car, but I like it.

    57 Chevy Nuff said

    Those snout nosed GM vans of the Early 90's (Lumina, Sillouette, ect.) I'm currently the only person I know who like those things.

    58 Edsel Absolute lemon, but cool looks. (Again, see what I said bout the Lumina. I have weird taste in cars.)

    95 T-Bird...I own one. What can I say?

    I could go on and on, but these are the main ones.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,421
    Well, you know what you like!

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  • esneedesneed Posts: 16
    I'll give you credit - you have a 'different' list! But you included the Miata, and since I own one - how can I judge you too harshly?! :)

    I have an odd appreciation for mid-size/full-size cars of the 70's. (Ah... the days of Landau tops, opera windows, and poorly matched two-tone paint!) Most everyone considers these cars to be the most underpowered, poorly built cars made. And admittedly, there IS complete truth to that. But when I see a mid-70's LTD, or a large Plymouth Fury, or a boat-tail Buick Riviera, there's something about these cars that fires an interest in me - they are sheer yachts on wheels. The '73-'77 Monte Carlo/Grand Prix may look like yachts today, but these cars were VERY popular for their time, and most held up better than their replacements built from '78-80 - just from their sheer bulk. Then when the downsizing era began in 1977 at GM, car styling REALLY did begin to get BORING!

    There's a local guy in town who has a 1979 Chrysler Cordoba (ah, rich Corinitian leather) - gold, loaded w/ all options. Been garaged for 90% of its existence. Absolutely looks like new. OK, it's a Chrysler from the late 70's, so quality was not a strong suit... OK, so Lean-Burn technology wasn't exactly 'successful'. Yes, it makes the Queen Mary look like a small Sea-Ray in comparison. But looking at this car in mint condition was astonishing - it is truly a beautiful looking car, and it definitely stands out with the conservative styling of cars today. And since it only has about 16,000 miles on it - it truly rides like a dream (minus the whistling wind noise from the frameless door windows).

    No, I don't think Chrysler should return to building these beasts once again - but isn't funny when you look at the similarities of full-size cars from the 70's and SUV's today. Look at the chrome and excess on a Lincoln Navigator - even teenage kids who would snuff at an old 70's full-size monster - actually drool over this luxury SUV. Or the sheer massive size of a Ford Excursion - it looks like an Econoline Van with a full truck cab in front!

    Just MY .02!
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    Well, you are still the only known person hta likes the GM "dustbuster" vans - but what the hey
    - you're certainly entitled to your opinion. Love the fact that you included the 58 Edsel. I'm in that school that thinks that is about the top of 50's excess (that and maybe the 59 DeSoto).
    Doesn't mean they can't be seen as attractive (how's that for diplomatic???).

    Of course the 57 T-bird and 57 Chevy. Love the fact that esneed included the 55 Chevy - great design. How about the ol' 57 Ford - you know - Fairlaines. Nice design. Actually sold more cars in 57 than Chevy did (the only year in decades).
  • sbarersbarer Posts: 35
    While most Duesenberg J's and SJ's were quite nice, no two cars were alike. Clark Gable's roadster J looks nothing like Gretta Garbo's J, or a Murphy bodied J which is very distant from a LeBaron dual-cowl phaeton.

    So one would have to classify in a Duesey, much like other high-end cars of the generation, which coachbuilder.

    Although, my two cents enters the Talbot-Lago T150 or a Delahaye v12 (with the covered front wheels)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,421
    Did you know that's where the expression..."That's real Doozie" comes from? Oops...should have put that in trivia!

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  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    People seem to prefer talking about ugly cars than attractive cars by a 10 to one margin.

    Anyone?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,421
    Unlike with people, huh?

    Maybe it's that people agree more easily with what's ugly than what's beautiful...but not always...I think the Viper is a mutt of a car regarding looks but some people think it's actually beautiful...go figure....

    Another problem is that cars in 1999 look very similar to one another...they are designed neither to attract nor repel too strongly.....cars by Starbuck's.

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  • sbarersbarer Posts: 35
    I almost used that term in the post, but have been shying away from it lately, because most people don't understand its meaning or orgin.

    Duesey: superlative, derived from the 1920s-30s American ultra-luxury auto manufacturer Duesenberg.

    Many people today believe the word to mean "complex, stumper or brainteaser"
  • I love the Starbuck's analogy to modern automotive styling! Maybe one can compare the much better styling of cars in the past to Peets! (Peets makes way better coffee than McStarbucks).

    Yea, the Viper is interesting looking but I don't consider it a beauty by any means. Mr. Shiftright, can you give all of us car worshipers a list of your favorites?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,421
    Gee, I have a lot of cars I think are really beautiful, but some are pretty obscure...of the more well-known ones, I'd say my favorites (currently) are: (in no particular order)

    Jaguar XK120 roadster (clean, graceful, beautiful, purposeful, and was as fast as it looked).

    Jaguar XKE --a shocking car for 1961--shocking in price (CHEAP!)in performance, and in outrageous looks. It was, at the time, an absolute sensation to eyes that were used to '58 Buicks

    1955 Buick Convertible, white with red leather...I dunno why, but there is something about it that I find irresistable...the only 50s American car that I personally would consider owning today.

    57 Corvette---just a "classic" Corvette for me...they mussed it up in 1958.


    Alfa GTV Coupe--a very pretty 1970s 2 door coupe by Bertone...the perfect little GT coupe, from which all current Japanese rocket-coupes take their inspiration.


    Mercedes 300SL roadster--not as famous or as valuable as its sister ship, the 300SL Gullwing, but it's got a very muscular style and the power to back up its image....inspiration for the Cobra and Viper, I think, but much more refined than either.


    Saab 850 Monte Carlo--a little two-stroke aerodynamic blob of a car from the 1960s that is a kick to drive and looks like nothing else on the road.

    Mazda RX-7 Twin Turbo Coupe--clean, purposeful, not one extra piece of chrome or decoration, and blazing speed...a lovely, integrated, well-thought-out design.


    1965 Corvair---best looking 4-door hardtop ever made in America.


    Porsche Boxster


    Austin Healey 100M --your classic British sports car--two seats, wind all over, tail swinging out fun-mobile.


    Alfa Guiletta Spyder Veloce -- a cute little jewel of a car that you can wind up to outrageous RPMs for a late 50s-60s "everyday" sportscar.


    63 Buick Riviera ---at attempt at sanity in an insane design environment. A Man's Car...one of the first of the "luxury coupes".


    Well, I could go on and on, but I don't want to bore you all...these are some of my favorites...

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  • Thanks for your list. Many of yours are the same ones I chose, plus others that I did not think of. There are really a lot of special cars out there that are not only good cars, but beautiful as well. A few more weeks and I'm off to the Monterey Historics and the RM Classics auction to ogle at the beautiful cars and imerse myself in my favorite pastime!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,421
    If you're down there, stop at the Automobilia Bookstore booth at the Laguna Seca historic races. I'll be there...ask for Joe.

    Everyone who likes old cars should go at least once to Pebble Beach, if for no other reason to see such a wide range of domestic and foreign "classics", and also to better appreciate what makes a car special. Some of the restorations are way over the top (a bad American habit), but it's really great to see someone driving a 1.5 million buck car on the track at 9/10ths.

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  • buttonbutton Posts: 8
    In addition to many of those already mentioned, I would like to add my list...
    36 Ford Cabriolet
    53-55 Vette
    57 T-Bird
    59 Eldorado Biarritz
    Any E Jag Roadster
    62-63 T-Bird Sports Roadster
    67 Chevelle SS
    76-77 Olds Cutlass Supreme
    Not much from the eighties
    Lamborghini Diablo
    Jag XK8 Roadster
    94 T-Bird LX
    Can't remember the year, but late model Mazda MX6
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,421
    Nice list, but...but...'76 Cutlass Supreme...was that a typo?

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  • Mr. S., I will make it a point to drop by and say hello when I am at Laguna Seca. It would be nice to meet you. The name is Rob.

    I love the Monterey Historics. My wife is kind enough to go with me each year and indulges me in my love of cars. She has come to enjoy the event too and wanders around the paddock area with me. My favorite was a few years ago when Ferrari was the featured marque. Everywhere you looked were Ferraris of every year and model. I almost got whiplash from looking around so much, especially when I was wandering around in Carmel and heard the beautiful roar of a Ferrari V-12! A visual and sensory feast!! See you there!
  • buttonbutton Posts: 8
    Nope, not a typo. My first brand new car. Ordered from the factory, black on black on black with t-tops, and 455 cid. 4400 lb. of personal luxury and enough grunt to get out of it's own way. Closest thing one could get to a convertible during the mid 70s (you may notice from my list that I tend to lean toward open air autos). Not the greatest handling car, but a really nice cruiser. Also had nice clean lines. Would like to find one today, but the darn bodies had a terrible rust problem. Most of the ones that are still around have the rear bumper held on with bailing wire. I know I know the bumpers could be used as park benches, bit so could those on any other domestic car from that era.
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