29 Sept 2012

The most handsome cars ever made

If beauty is a feminine concept then handsomeness must surely be it's masculine counterpart.  And whilst certain cars are considered to be beautiful there tends not to be the same debate revolving around handsome cars - nor is there a definitive list of handsome cars that we could find.

So in the name of balance and to recognise certain cars that might be considered striking to look at but certainly not beautiful, here is our list of handsome cars.

We understand this is an entirely subjective list and our viewpoint may differ from yours.  Please feel free to leave a comment below if you disagree or if you feel we've omitted any.

Audi Quattro

The original fire-breathing rally-bred icon.  With it's square shape and straight lines the Audi Quattro can only be called a coupe because it is low, has two doors and a sloping rear end.  It is nothing other than itself.  On it's release the Quattro did not have any competition because no-one else had thought to create such a machine.  And thirty years later it still looks sensational.

Land Rover Defender

The definitive handsome car.  Built for a purpose and so well designed that the basic shape hasn't changed in 60 years.  Not beautiful but the very definition of form following function.  Which has produced a very pleasing shape.

Mercedes S class W126

Big, bold and not very beautiful - but domineering and masculine.  The 1980's S was the superlative statement of wealth.  It is a big car but the clean lines hide it's bulk well - something the later W140 failed miserably to do.  The W126 S class knows its place in history.  Nothing like that could be designed today but it is testament to W126 that it still looks handsome today.

Subaru Legacy Outback (3rd generation)

For years Subaru had two images - the rally-bred boy racers machine and the farmers sensible 4x4.  The Legacy Outback falls firmly into the second category.  But, whilst the Impreza's with big spoilers and gold wheels now seem rather dated the Legacy Outback still looks heroically handsome.  The European models edge the North American ones on looks.

Ford Granada Mark I

The Granada Mark II is the more well known because it has featured in more iconic television programmes but the Mark I has aged well.  The ultimate company car of the upper middle executive of the 1970s the Granada is definitely a handsome, if not beautiful, car.

Bentley Turbo R

Bentley never used to publish statistics about their cars - power was quoted as 'adequate'.  All 1980s Bentleys and Rolls Royce' looked similar but the Turbo R had the edge.  Because we knew that, as well as the turbocharged 6.75 litre engine, the R gave it an already butch car an added frisson of masculinity.

Lamborghini Countach

Italian but not beautiful.  Handsome in extremis.  On the wall of every small boys bedroom in the 1980s.  The Countach was the ultimate mad supercar.  Square, squat, mean, manly.

Jaguar XJS

The Jaguar XJS wasn't appreciated in it's own time but has grown into it's skin.  It didn't help that it was meant to be a follow up the most beautiful car of all time, the E-type.  But now, looking back, we can appreciate the XJS for what it is.  A very handsome sports car.

Toyota Supra Mark II

Japanese manufacturers spent their early design years copying the designs of others.  With the Supra Mark II Toyota got it spot on.  Handsome indeed and has aged well.  It's a pity Toyota have forgotten how to design good looking cars.

Land Rover Discovery Series II

Land Rover know how to make a handsome car.  Almost all Land Rover's are handsome and this is why we have allowed them two cars on the list.  The Discovery Series I was a reasonable car but the body did look a little top heavy.  With the Series II they got it just right.  The shapes, the corners, the whole package is one of the most handsome on the road today.  It's just a pity that in later life the sunroofs leak, windows stop working and sometimes the doors won't open.  I know, I've got one.