1971-1975 BMW 3.0CS/CSi/CSL
The CS coupes are, quite possibly, the most beautiful car to ever roll out of Munich-even if they came from we-preinstall-rust-at-the-factory coachbuilder Karmann and not actually BMW’s Munich factory. Pictures almost rarely do them justice; in person, they’re delicate, half again as small as photos make them out to be, and enormously feminine. The picture we used didn’t highlight the CS’s best angles (side and rear); arguably, the head-on shot makes it out to be a little less than pretty. Find one in person, and if you still don’t agree, Bunky, then you’re just plain wrong. No ifs, ands, or buts.
Seriously: it looks like a road-going version of a ’30s J-class America’s Cup boat, or the curve of a good woman’s leg. You can’t see that? Am I still talking to the camel salesman? Glasses. That’s it; you must need glasses. Click here for the original 3.0CS/CSi/CSL story.
1966-1967 Oldsmobile Toronado
The Toronado may not fit into the traditional definition of beauty, but it’s a seminal design, nonetheless. And seen in person, it looks a hell of a lot better than it does in pictures. (In pictures, I have to admit: it looks like a pouncing whale. And whales don’t pounce.) You may not have to agree with us on this one, but at least find one in person and stare for a bit-it’s pretty in its own way.
No, I didn’t vote for it, either. Click here for the original Toronado story.
1968-1979 Jaguar XJ6
Admittedly, we ruined a beautiful-in-person car here by only showing its worst angle: head-on. Those draping, curvaceous fenders, that elegant C-pillar, those gently curved flanks . . . in person, the first- and second-generation XJ6s are a world apart from the traditional definition of pretty, but they’re also sublimely simple and elegant. Click here for the original XJ6 story.
1957-1963 Lotus Elite
Another one of those simple-choice-easy-answer-but-we-ruined-it-with-an-ordinary-letdown-of-a-picture things. So pretty. So light and small and waspish, so much like a tight-fitting dress and so unlike anything else. It’s a damn fine argument for the lack-of-fillips school of design, and the simpler-is-better school of thought. Click here for the original Elite story.