Beauty is in the beholder, of course, and this is particularly true when we talk about automobiles of the past. We all have our own idea of which classic cars are truly special and which are rather more ordinary. There are several on the market these days, but only a handful really stand out from the rest. Here are five of the finest ones on the road today.
The Mini has been with us in some form or another since the early 1960s, and the Mini Cooper is perhaps the best variation of them all. As well as turning heads in towns and cities all over the world, it came to represent Britain, London and the whole Swinging Sixties ethos. These days, people tend to forget that it was a regular winner on the rally circuit as well.
There have been many incarnations of the Mercedes SL since it first appeared on the forecourts in the mid-1950s. The first generation, made between 1954 and 1963, is perhaps the finest example of this classic German grand tourer. Sleek and rather haughty, the lovely rounded lines and distinctive front grille make the SL a joy to behold for collectors of all ages.
While nowhere near as sporty, as powerful or as eye-catching perhaps as most other classic cars, there is something about the 1948 Morris Minor that inspires dewy-eyed nostalgia in auto fans of a certain age. It’s rather functional design looks like something from way back when nowadays, but it reflected a post-war economy that was trying to rebuild at the time.
The Ford Falcon is one of those cars which have proved popular in Europe, partly because the design is so typically American. It was perhaps unusual in its styling when it was first manufactured in the US in the early 1960s, because it bucked the trend for larger gas-guzzlers with tailfins the size of Texas. The Falcon was smaller but it was no less lovely.
Alfa Romeo Giulietta
Any fan of classic cars will know all about the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, a magnificent example of Italian style and elegance which first hit the market in 1954. It’s easy to imagine yourself at the wheel of one of these beauties, with a little jazz on the radio, the open road in front of you and the hot sun beating down as you hit the outskirts of a Tuscan fishing village.