Top Cars that are more seductive than art

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Top Cars that are more seductive than art

More than just a means of transportation, cars have evolved significantly over the years, with many becoming pieces of art along the way. Be it the original Volkswagen Beetle or the latest Chevrolet Corvette, some cars offer a lot more character and style than others, regardless of the performance or price. Let's take a look at some of the most seductive cars launched yet, and analyze what makes them art.

1960 Ferrari 250 GT California

Let's kick off the list with the legendary Ferrari 250 GT, more specifically, the California Spyder model which was designed for the US market. Ferrari made some significant updates to the standard 250, giving it a drop-top and an updated design. An updated version was later launched in 1960 with a more powerful V12 engine and disc brakes, significantly improving performance and drivability.

The 250 GT California was designed after some American customers wanted an open version of the standard 250 GT. Just 106 examples were made in total, making it highly exclusive and sought after. Prices are listed as high as $17.5 million, making it one of the most expensive cars today.

Coming to the design, all the California models were hand-crafted like Ferrari’s competition models by Carozerria Scaglietti. Based on the standard 250 GT Cabriolet Series 1, the California received some notable updates like uncovered headlights.

1954 Jaguar XK120

From making some of the fastest cars of the era to winning several motorsports events, Jaguar was one of the most notable and iconic manufacturers in the post-war era. The XK120 further solidified its stance back in 1948 with its two-door design that looks stunning to this day. It was also one of the first production cars capable of reaching 120 mph. Production only lasted for 5 years and most models built after 1950 were made from steel instead of aluminum. The XK120 also later evolved to the Mark V Saloon, fixed head, and drophead coupes in the later years. During its initial production run, only 200 XK120s were made of aluminum, making it a limited option and highly valuable.

Other than its performance, the XK120 was known for its stunning design which is no less, a work of art. From the narrow grille to the curvy bodyline, the XK120 looks classy from every angle. The rear wheels were also blocked off to give it a cohesive and aerodynamic design from the sides, helping it reach its top speed.

1954 Mercedes-Benz SL300 Gullwing

The Mercedes-Benz 300SL is one of the most important cars in history for multiple reasons. Originally conceived as a racecar, Mercedes decided to put the 300SL into production in 1954. The 300SL is so significant in fact, that it bagged the “Sports Car Of The Century” award back in 1999. Unfortunately, only 1400 examples of the 300SL were made before production ended in 1957. Along with its unique design, the 300SL pioneered a lot of technologies including direct fuel injection. With 215 hp on tap, the 300SL was also the fastest production car of that age with a top speed of 155 mph. Pat of the reason for this stellar speed was the lightweight spaceframe design that supported all components, leading to the gullwing door design.

The door design is by far the most distinct design character of the 300SL, opening upwards with hinges at the top. The spaceframe weighed just 110 pounds, making it one of the lightest sports cars of the generation.

The overall design was done to maximize aerodynamic efficiency, culminating in a streamlined body that was cut from a single mold. The high door sills made upward swinging doors the only option, further streamlining the design with no protruding door handles. Instead, the door is opened with a pull-out bar and moved with the help of a telescopic spring. Most of the body was made with high-grade steel for better strength, while aluminum was used for the hood, trunk, and other areas. Mercedes also offered all aluminum bodies to some customers, resulting in just 29 being made and these being the most sought-after options.

The Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing is easily one of the best sports cars ever launched and an alloy 300SL was sold for a whopping $6.8 million recently.

1974 Lamborghini Countach

Moving forward a few decades, the Lamborghini Countach marks the beginning of the wedge-shaped era, focusing much more on aerodynamics and sleek designs than curves. Other than popularising the new design language, the Countach also brought several innovations, including scissor doors and an over-the-top door design. Over its 16-year production, the Countach also went through multiple design updates with bigger vents, fenders, and a massive wing. The new design also made visibility an issue, especially through the rear. Another notable factor of the Countach was the massive V-12 naturally aspirated engine mounted in the middle, which produced nearly 450 hp by the end of production. The top speed achieved was an impressive 185 mph, while initial examples could reach 158 mph.

The Countach went out of production in 1990, going through five iterations starting with the LP 400 and ending with the LP 5000 with a larger 5.2L V-12. The overall design was done by Marcello Gandini, just like the Miura that preceded it. The body was made with multiple lines and angles, giving it prominent wheel arches and a flat front end that housed pop-out headlights to reduce drag. The raked windshield and flat roof further add to the design. The Countach also received scissor doors that opened upwards instead of conventional ones, mostly because of the high and wide door sills. Later models also received a huge rear spoiler famous for blocking rearward visibility. To solve this, Lamborghini implemented a periscope setup.

The new design also brought forward a lot of sacrifices in the practicality department, offering a cramped and uncomfortable interior.

Prices for pristine examples have skyrocketed in recent years, with some selling for almost $1 million. Even when new, the Countach went for as high as $145,000.

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