The 10 Most Beautiful Cars Ever – and What They Cost

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The mid-1950s to the mid-1970s produced some of the coolest cars ever – which are worth millions today.

The most beautiful car of all time is a 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL.

Or so says Total Car Score, which admits its new list of the Top 10 Best Looking Cars of All Time is “highly subjective.” But its team says its picks, listed by age rather than beauty, “all boast signature contours that continue to influence the design of today’s cars.”

Of course, Total Car Score didn’t provide sticker prices. So we did – and photos too (click the model name)…

1. 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL

Claim to fame: A two-seat sports car known for its gull-wing doors.

Recent price: Around $1 million, but prices vary. A pre-production model was recently spotted for sale at $850,000, and a 1955 with an aluminum alloy body went for $4.62 million.

2. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California

Claim to fame: You’d probably recognize this car as the one trashed in the Matthew Broderick film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – although that was a fiberglass fake, because even in 1986, the makers couldn’t even afford to rent one, much less buy it and smash it.

Recent price: $10,976,000.

3. 1963 Chevrolet Corvette

Claim to fame: Also called a Sting Ray, this year’s model was the first time a Corvette coupe was ever seen – the first generation was only convertibles – and it was the only year to feature a weirdly split rear window. (Car and Driver speculated that feature might return, but Automobile says that isn’t happening, at least not in the 2014 model.)

Recent price: $40,000 to $60,000.

4. 1964 Aston Martin DB5

Claim to fame: Another car with an iconic place in film: Sean Connery drove one as James Bond in Goldfinger, and it’s been in other Bond films since. (It’ll reportedly be in the upcoming Bond flick, Skyfall.)

Recent price: The Bond car sold in 2010 for $4.6 million, although a non-Bond car sold for $833,000 just a few months earlier.

5. 1965 Jaguar E-Type

Claim to fame: Enzo Ferrari – guess which brand he started? – called it “the most beautiful car ever made.”

Recent price: $87,000.

6. 1966 Ford GT40

Claim to fame: This is the only American car to be overall winner in 24 Hours of Le Mans, the oldest car-endurance rally in the world – which it won four times in a row from 1966 to 1969.

Recent price: $1 to 2 million.

7. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4

Claim to fame:  Only 330 were ever made, but it’s considered by many Ferrari fans “the best looking and performing variant of the late-1960s V-12 berlinetta.”

Recent price: $1.65 million.

8. 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T

Claim to fame:  This was the real star of the 1971 police chase film Vanishing Point – which coincidentally has a scene where this car races a Jaguar E-Type.

Recent price: $104,000.

9. 1971 Lamborghini Miura SV

Claim to fame: The last model of the Miura and the fastest Lamborghini till that point, it does 0-to-60 in 5.5 seconds, with a top speed of 170 mph.

Recent price: $900,000.

10. 1973 Porsche Carrera RS

Claim to fame:  Porsche 911s have had a long production run – continuous since 1963 – but this is the most popular classic model among collectors, and it was only produced for two years, in 1973 and 1974.

Recent price: $225,000.

Buying a classic

Dreaming of these beauts or something similar? They’re not a purchase to make lightly even if you have the cash, as Money Talks News founder (and classic-car owner) Stacy Johnson explains in 5 Classic Cars for Less Than $15,000. You’ll find lots more detail (plus a cool video) there, but here are a few things to consider…

  • Maintenance. Finding parts and qualified mechanics can be a nightmare, and incredibly expensive.
  • Value. Unlike most cars, classics have a chance to go up in value, but don’t count on it. Buy for love, not money.
  • Popularity. Look for slightly different models or those outside the most famous years. A Mercedes 280SL is around $15,000, a fraction of the 300SL or even many new cars.

What do you think is the most beautiful car ever? Drop us a line (or better, a photo) on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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