The List: Timeless Automotive Design

There’s nothing worse than when a manufacturer takes a great looking model and redesigns it to ‘keep it fresh’ only to end up ruining the beloved ride. The old adage about not needing to fix what isn’t broken should be hung up on every designer’s wall. But that’s not to say everyone gets it wrong. A few of them got it very right. Our top picks for cars whose design has stood the test of time are below. Aston Martin DB We’re talking DB5, DB6, DB7, and DB9 here. These are truly beautiful cars. The design team has made sure a number of certain things are always consistent, such as the grill always being in the same shape. They’ve routinely kept their iconic bits of flair – like the slash-style intakes on the side of the car - while pushing the modernity of it. It can look while super new, yet still demonstrate a fair amount of heritage which lies behind it. The DB 7 is considered one of the most beautiful cars ever designed in the history of automotion and that model is right in the middle of the whole DB line. Ford Mustang Admittedly, the Mustang had a slightly awkward teen-with-braces moment, in the seventies. But from 1974 on, Ford’s gawky teen blossomed into a beautiful adult. The 5 liter Foxbody Mustang (remember this as the Vanilla Ice one?) is really sweet. Ford’s always been able to keep a slight look of the original, something particularly evident in the grill and headlights of the latest version, while putting new angles into the car. Not to mention the fact that the newest generation of Coyote 5.0 liter engines are fantastically on point. BMW M3 The M3, in particular, is spectacular. The original E36 M3 – which are now highly collectible - were one of the first designs to feature box flares on the rear wheels. It was a great look back then and the body of an M3 has progressed nicely. It’s always kept the squareness and the muscular-ness from the original. The flared out fenders and the bulge on the hood have always been really consistent, as has the interior. The M3 has kept its lineage but didn’t feel like it had to be throwback-nostalgic, which is great. Volkswagen Beetle While I’d totally make fun of any man who drives this car, it is a brilliant design. And it shows that even girly cars can have some great lines to them. The original was just very cool. A convertible Beetle from 1964 is very classic looking. They run like crap, but they do look great. The redo was okay, and cute, but they’re still not for men to drive. Volkswagen can change the Beetle all day long but the gender of the driver will remain the same. Chevrolet Corvette The 1950s were the prime years for the Corvette. The 1956 was the best, with the iconic grill in the front. The 1963, with its split rear window, was the first year they made the true Stingray body. Over the next four years, it changed into the design that became more widely known. From then on, the first ones were small and had a lot of chrome and the materials got a bit more fiberglass-y as the years wore on, but they kept the design very nice throughout the years and they’re very similar and relate to each other. Even now, the Z06 is a great looking car. Kelli Ambrose is a BoldRide Contributor who was raised by a drag racer, and is a proud sister of two motocross racers.